When my daughter started riding the school bus, she didn't want her friends to see me hugging and kissing her off to school. She loved me kissing and loving her, but not at six years old, or 7 or 8. That was my limit. You are not going to come to snuggle up to me, love on me, get in bed with me, and have all my goodie time, and then deny me in public, among your friends and classmates.
So, I stopped loving on her at the bus stop and stopped loving on her at home. I explained to her that kind of behavior is inauthentic, and if she would be ashamed of me in public, then it shall be in private. Needless to say, she learned the lesson. And so did my son. People who see me with my family think we are crazy. We are generous with our hugs and kisses, and we are unrealistically close.
I have noticed along the path of life that there are people who are happy to love on me in private, tell me how much they value me, or appreciate me, or couldn't have done it without me. But in their "other" circles or mixed company, the veil references become, well, veil. While the people they value outwardly express their affections and admiration of them. Taking notice of people's behaviors, silence in critical situations, and their boldness in others is key to understanding one's value, place, and position in someone's life. Suppose it's a relationship that I feel strongly about, like my children, and I want to "work" at it. In that case, communication is vital, and most often, the answer will and has unveiled itself.
Recognizing this does not mean stopping supporting or being around these individuals; I don't burn bridges. Well, at least not often, and sometimes, not on purpose. What it does, is empower me. It gives me the ability to navigate and strategize. Give only as much of me as I can or choose, in the capacity of my choosing. Eventually, what is not good, fall away, like melting snow after a storm, or it gains new life, and bloom like spring, based on both party's decision to be genuine and authentic.
I genuinely believe that nothing is free in this life. There is a price for everything. Time is our most precious commodity. It's the only currency we squander and do not know how much of it we have. As an empath nurturer, I use my time as my display of love language. But it is too precious to squander!