You were taught to respect, be kind, and help out others. However, sometimes people might take advantage of your generosity and kind nature, and expect or demand more from you than is fair or right. Such people may repeatedly ask you for favors, without returning any favors or showing you any respect.
When this sort of boundary is crossed, it can be challenging to speak up for yourself and set up appropriate give-and-take. If you feel as if there are people in your life who take you for granted, protect yourself and reset those boundaries.
Below are 10 ways to deal with being taken for granted
1. Acknowledge Your Feelings
It is important to acknowledge to yourself that you are being taken for granted. You cannot address this problem until you admit that they exist. Research has linked expressing and analyzing your negative emotions to a variety of mental and physical health benefits.
Repressing your feelings will only make them worse in the long run. This may be difficult if you have been taught to be nice in a way that is passive, that allows people to take advantage of you and tells you that you do not have a right to speak up for yourself.
2. You Have The Right To Be Respected
Social and cultural pressures may encourage you to believe that saying no to others when they ask you for things is rude. You may also have been taught to feel that your work is less valuable than others and does not deserve acknowledgement. This is particularly a problem for women, especially in domestic contexts.
These things can lead to you feeling taken for granted. Everyone has the right to be respected and appreciated, and it isn’t wrong to want to be treated that way. It’s natural to be angry or hurt, and it can be easy to let those feelings take over. Keep your focus on being constructive, rather than venting your anger on the other person.
3. Think About The Other Person’s Perspective
When you feel injustice in a relationship, whether it’s with a coworker or a romantic partner, it can be hard to consider the other person’s perspective. You feel punished and disrespected, so why should you try to understand why you are being treated this way?
Trying to understand what the other person is feeling may be helpful to understanding what is happening. It may also help you work with the other person find a solution to the problem.
4. Examine Your Communication
You are not responsible for others’ behavior, and you should not blame yourself when others are unkind or ungenerous. However, you can control your own actions. If you feel disrespected or ignored by others, you may be able to affect how they respond to you by changing how you communicate and act.
5. Recognize Distorted Thinking
In addition to having irrational beliefs, such as feeling like you should always be able to do anything anyone asks of you, you might also think about yourself in a distorted way. In order to deal with feeling taken for granted, you must confront illogical and distorted thoughts about yourself and others.
6. Think About What You Want
You know that you don’t want to feel taken for granted. But what do you want? It will be hard to see any change in your situation if you feel vague dissatisfaction but have no clear ideas on what would improve it.
Try making a list of things that you would like to see change about the relationship. Once you know what your ideal interaction looks like, you’ll be able to take better action to get you there.
7. Honor Yourself
Only you can set a boundary and stick to it. You may feel unappreciated because you aren’t communicating your needs and feelings clearly, or it may be because you are interacting with a manipulative person. Sadly, there are people who will manipulate others whenever possible to get what they want.
Whether the other person’s treatment of you stems from ignorance or manipulation, don’t assume that the situation will simply clear itself up. You need to take action.
8. Learn To Be Assertive
Communicating assertively doesn’t mean you’re arrogant or unkind. It means that you clearly express your needs, feelings, and thoughts to others. If others don’t know what your needs and feelings are, they may end up taking advantage of you even if they don’t mean to.
Research has shown that you can even express negative emotions without hurting others if you do so assertively, rather than aggressively.
9. Become Comfortable With Confrontation
Some individuals will try to avoid conflict at all costs. This may be because they are afraid of displeasing others. It could be because of cultural values, for example, people from a collectivist culture may not view conflict avoidance in a negative light. When your desire to avoid conflict means that you shut down your own needs and feelings, it becomes a problem.
10. Be Consistent
Make it clear to the person that when you say no, you mean it. Don’t give in to any manipulations or guilt tripping. People may initially test your boundaries, especially if you’ve frequently given in to demands in the past. Be persistent and polite about enforcing your boundaries.
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