Respect Yourself: Stop Letting Others Take Advantage of You
Everyone needs to learn to respect themselves and stop letting others take advantage of us. Just the other day I noticed that I was about to let someone take advantage of me. It may not have been on purpose, but the gal at the checkout overcharged me for an item. I felt this strong sense of unfairness and asked her nicely to change the price. She apologized and fixed the mistake.
This may sound like a simple example, but the truth is, each time you stand up for what's fair, you respect yourself. When you stop allowing others to take advantage of you and respect yourself, your self-esteem improves.
When others take advantage of you, it can do one of three things: one, tick you off, leading to aggressive outbursts or internal anger at yourself (and them); two, feelings of hopeless and reinforcing the false belief that you don't deserve respect; or three, guide you to act assertively and stand up for yourself. Clearly, the third will help you develop strong self-esteem and more self-respect, but it can feel uncomfortable at first.
Stop Letting Others Take Advantage of You in 4 Steps
It's likely that you are a helpful person by nature, and sometimes you allow people to take advantage of you, because you're nice and you want to please others. Stop this pattern; it's killing your self-respect. You can be kind and nice and have boundaries. Learn to value your own schedule and plans as much as you value others.
Respect yourself step 1: Think of a time that you were treated unfairly. What did that feel like? Perhaps it was your colleague dumping a project on you at the last minute, the waiter bringing you the wrong food, or your mother calling and keeping you on the phone for an hour. Think about how this situation made you feel physically and emotionally. Did you want to fix it but just didn't know what to say or were you afraid to say something in order to get what you deserved? Think about the feelings and thoughts that come up when you recognize someone is taking advantage of your time or kindness. This feeling is important, it will push you to use the following skills.
Respect yourself step 2: Figure out what you value. Is it your free time, workouts, Netflix binges on the weekend? As a therapist, I have people emailing me at all hours of the day and calls that "need to be answered" at all hours of the night but I can't be available 24/7. That's not fair to me and it isn't fair to my clients. If I'm annoyed, angry, or frustrated, how am I going to be serving them? Instead, I decided to set hours, and let my clients know these were. This helped me spend my time with family and friends
Respect yourself step 3: Start small. Pay attention to the details. Did your cab driver keep the meter running or your friend keep you waiting for an hour? Notice the small things that take advantage of your time, kindness, or your lack of attention. If I wouldn't have been paying attention, the checkout girl would have unknowingly taken advantage of me, and I would have been upset with myself and her if I noticed it later on. Be aware of your interactions and if people begin to make you feel like you are being taken advantage of, then you can act.
Respect yourself step 4: Act. Say something, speak up for yourself. It may just be a question to confirm that your needs are being met, but their answer will also keep you feeling confident and in control. Be nice and polite when you are asking for what you want to be fixed or inquiring about it. Here are some examples:
- Excuse me, I thought the price was lower; could you double check for me?
- I have other plans that I can't change. You'll have to find someone else.
- I only have 10 minutes to talk; how's it going?
Look, at the end of the day, it is you who may be taken advantage of, so you have to step up, be brave, and respect yourself otherwise it will keep happening. The more you practice saying "no" or standing up for what's right for you, the higher your self-esteem will become.
Emily is the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are.You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.
Roberts, E. (2015, April 3). Respect Yourself: Stop Letting Others Take Advantage of You, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, August 4 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/buildingselfesteem/2015/04/respect-yourself-stop-letting-others-take-advantage-of-you
Author: Emily Roberts MA, LPC
This time around my 'host' (contact/thought was a friend) takes me to a very expensive tourist restaurant along with another person and orders the most expensive thing possible. The bill--which I of course was expected to pay-- equaled what the average person makes in that culture in one month. I don't live/eat like that in my own country and I would have been quite happy with something much more modest. On the way home I stopped at a tourist grocery store to buy a jug of water and I grabbed two containers of cooking oil for my two companions since it was something they could use and is periodically hard to get in their country. Well, one of them, the one I have known for a while, proceeds to pick out two extreme luxury type items that are not available to the typical resident and she puts them on the conveyor belt for me to pay for. I was shocked. I did not say anything at the time about this bold move but inside I was extremely disappointed since there were items in the store that would have fed the animals I came to support but she didn't select those items.
The final straw was the next day. Another person I worked with and brought supplies for shows up and wants to take me to lunch 'at a friends house'. That turns out to be a taxi ride (I pay) and then it is not a friends house at all but another fancy place where one meal is equal to the cost of a months wages in that country. Then this 'friend' says the other friend (the one who put the expensive items on the conveyor belt) wanted me to wire some money to her husband who was in another country working. That would be the money I gave her for animal food for several months after the stuff I was bringing ran out. She wanted to wire money to her husband to buy some personal luxury items. I said no. The person I am sitting across from in the expensive restaurant keeps saying I didn't understand the request and won't drop it as a topic. I of course do understand. I understand the money I gave to help a cause close to my heart was not going to be used to help the animals at all, it was going to be used for some unnecessary luxury item to enrich a household that had nothing to do with the whole reason I was making a trek to the country in the first place. That was it for me. The last straw. I told the other person to drop it, the answer was no and when she didn't drop it I grabbed my purse and walked out the door.
The person followed me on to the street, grabbing my arm, telling me again I didn't understand the request but of course I did. They were bold enough to claim they weren't asking me for money, just to wire some money-- yeah, the money I gave yesterday!! I don't think I have ever felt so completely depleted and used and disappointed and shocked.... but then I have to own my own part of this. I made the decision to go to that country, to spend my own money, to neglect my own house and needs to try and help. I had to own that behavior and see that I was maybe using this 'mission' to defer dealing with some things in my own house and life that needed attention. Are you being 'kind' to keep blinders on in your own life situation?
I will not let this situation stop me from trying to help animals, but I go into it with eyes wide open and a more modest approach and also with the understanding that maybe when I feel an overwhelming need to try and make a difference in some far flung country I might be hiding some basic truth about my own situation from myself. It is a learning experience. To have kind impulses is a noble positive outlook on life but don't let it be used against you. 'Charity begins at home'-- be kind to yourself first and step back and see where your own weak spots might be leading you to a place that allows someone else to take advantage of you. Walk away and say no and no is its own answer, no need to explain a 'no'. No is no! Don't let one user sour you on others, don't become cynical but don't be a doormat, either.
While I'm a total door mat to others boys, friends, people I want to love me. How do I find a middle ground where I can be respectful to myself and others?
people been taking advantage of me my entire life
since i was a kid
my family "mom,dad and siblings" no wonder my friend too
i been raised to be taking advantage of . i can't stand up for my self. every time i do it thy got mad and i began to feel guilty AF . am 25 years old and i can't stand out for my self i have low self esteem .
myfam build this image of me without even looking at me if i act different of what they expect me to do they would reject it
i can't even speak for my self and i believe that's why i don't have friend thy always use me and then dumb me when they finished using me i can't trust no one "now i have (1)trust issue"i can't even trust my self .
i tried once to act i stood in front my mom for something i thought silly not a big deal ''' she ended up in the hospital she got diabetes and Pressure disease and she couldn't handle the truth or the why i did i still feel guilt about it she got in the hospital for 3 months because of it .
now i can't even tell her that am "gay" i mean she got so mad when i told her am "atheist" she still denial it "she says "be a hypocritical but don't you dare to be infidel "
am still virgin they want me to marry a Muslim guy...
and what killing me that i know they don't give a dam about me
They will sacrifice me for their ::ennoble honor::
i want to leave to start over but i cant do it
i cant stand out for my self cause i don't know how to do it. i tried .
i worth nothing .
cant do anything to Chang how i feel about my self
i been throw a lot ...i got sexually assaulted by my big and younger brothers i felt betrayal to me don't got evidence it won't confirm my family wont believe me . i guess thy got away with it
its hard for me that thy still live with me and the family
and to be seeing them everyday .
it was in 2012 i guess am still not over it . i cant feel safe at home or anywhere else it effect me so much that
i can't have a job like normal person i dont have trust on my self i cant defend my self am weak stupid and worthless who can't accomplish anything in life .
every time i want to move on new shit happen
i need to over coming my self and escape to a place i can find love and appreciation to find people who except me for who i am
people who will respect me and treated my like human being a person feelings
i really dont know what to do with my life
We all deserve to live fulfilling lives, unfortunately some of us haven't had the chance, while growing up, to acquire the necessary tools to have the capacity to demand respect from others. Since our families were not able to provide us with unconditional love (because of their own personal issues), we grow up thinking we're worthless. Because those one-way relationships is all we've known, we are unconsciously attracted to people that take advantage of us. It's a vicious cycle that in my case did turn into a vicious cycle of being abused and becoming an abusive person as well.
Thank God, I have overcomed that cycle approx. 10 years (I'm 55) through therapy, self-reflection and, a ton of determination and hard work.
Although one part of me still struggles with self-love, and trying to be less vulnerable to being used and abused, the other part of me is still determined to continue my daily personal work of listening to my own needs so I can stop putting the needs of others ahead of mine by setting boundaries.
Please remember, each person in this world is valuable in their own and unique way. We did NOT choose to be ONLY loved if we meet our families high expectations to make THEM feel good. We did not choose to being sexually abused by family members and have our basic needs of safety, unconditional love and respect been totally ignored by those who should have been there to protect us.
We are the ones who have to become our own parents, give ourselves unconditional love and self-respect. One step at a time. It's normal to go forward one step and go backwards a few steps, however, we CANNOT give up on ourselves, we must be our own cheerleaders!
So stand up after each fall, shake the dust off, roll your sleeves, keep you chin up and get ready for the next round of fighting for yourself.
PS...and don't be scared of getting bruises, they are part of our fight to gain self- esteem.
PPS. I'm proud of your capacity to share such deep emotions as it helping me in my journey.
Thank you for your comment. I know discussing sexual abuse can be a difficult thing, and you approach this topic with grace and kindness. I appreciate everything you wrote, and the time you took to write it.
I pray that you will see this soon because you are my beautiful sister. We may not be related by blood but my heart tells me we are one in the same and my beautiful sister you will always be.
Thanks for your comment. That sounds like a really difficult situation. Obviously you want to be a nice person and people admire that about you, but it seems even your friends will sometimes take advantage of you because of that. It's okay not to always try your hardest to be nice and available for others, especially when this means you're letting others not be nice towards yourself. There is definitely a balance to be struck.
This isn't necessarily how all friends act. Maybe they're not purposefully taking advantage of you and being unkind, but it could be worth having a conversation with them about how they make you feel. If they are your friends, they should be understanding and be willing to respect you in the future.
Take care Sahra,
Take care, Adrianna.
If I'm missing the message that you are trying to convey in this blog I'm sorry.
Worse yet wont even think the situation through with you..
Yet these people ..call me for a ride when car breaks down...cuz I offer. (No more) soak up my encouraging words etc when they call me with a problem etc... It takes a while to see these people are like that.......Then comes the deep hurt I feel. I get over it with time....but until then. Peole like me put out signals to "predators" for lack of better word right now... Wanting to find out what those signals are...
My heart ached for those 2 months because I knew what I was doing was wrong and it was below my standards of values. Although there wasn't any psychological recourse. What I encountered was a breakthrough. I had decided that in order to be involved in a successful relationship, I had to stop gambling my time between 3 people. All of which I knew weren't providing anything other than space fulfillment in there prospective time slots.
The most exhausting matter of all my actions above all, was that I had made myself to believe that no one could see the mess that I was creating within. And that everyone I had chosen to have a relationship with, was only offering me a negativity that I had fled from in a previous relationship that was with one person: the father of my son.
My sons father was an abusive user, that only wanted to control me. He was controlling in that he wanted to decide who I could talk to while I was with him (like family). Or what I could do while he was away.
I had began to think that in order for someone to prove they loved me they had to buy me something. Which often times was what my sons father would do when he had done something to cause friction between us that he ultimately wanted to dissipate.
I've spent a very long time trying to suspend the cycle of arguing, debating, hurting, crying, living in disappointment and depending on that man. ONLY to allow him to sprinkle a few sweet words in my ear about his redemption to our relationship and within a snap was having sex with him one minute and watching him walk out the door the next. - This left me heart broken. And very empty. Don't ever do this. Don't reverse the clock on a decision you KNOW is a bad one. It will only fester into dissatisfaction over your actions and alienate you from your goals as well as your purpose. Live your values.
Now- I'm at the place where I could cut off the other individuals, but couldn't cut off my sons father.
Then suddenly I said, yes I can.
I can and I will cut him off- even if that means I won't be able to see my son for some time (as I gave him full custody after we split, because he wanted to control me with paperwork) Which means ALL the horror stories you hear about women not allowing fathers to see their children and cutting fathers completely out- my sons father has done that to me. And yes, I am a woman (obviously).
You may say. You're nuts. You're not responsible. You don't care about your son. But I do. I love my son immensely. And even if I didn't see my son for 1000 years he will always know I love him and at some point he will seek to find me. I just have to give it time.
But between then and now I simply have to isolate my sons father from my life as he is counterproductive. He is a cancer that if you allow in, will spread like wild fire. He is toxic. He is insidious.
I am on a serious journey to 'stabalize' my inner peace so that I may radiate it with out and attract the things that I know I deserve. And I'm hoping that allowing some time to pass undistracted from negative people and situations will bring; solitude, harmony and peace to all that have been involved.
Please share your thoughts. I would love to hear them. Thank you for reading.
Take good Care,