One of the worst feelings humans can encounter is being taken for granted. You do things and you give, a lot, but you don’t receive anything or even feel appreciated for what you’ve been doing. It is very normal that at this point you feel frustrated and maybe question your value to others. If you can relate here, firstly, rest assured you are not alone and that it is very common. Secondly, you can still fix it and get the respect and appreciation you deserve.
Besides your gut feeling, how can you know if someone is taking you for granted?
• You feel excluded.
• You don’t see effort from the other person to meet you halfway.
• They don’t really care about your needs or the things that will make you happy.
• They never thank you or show appreciation.
• They guilt trip you.
• They don’t return your calls or text for several days.
• You lower your expectations to meet theirs.
• They make you doubt yourself.
What to do about it?
1. Don’t be overly nice all the time.
Just to make it clear, being nice to others is a really good thing, but going overboard to please others at your own disposal will make people eventually take you for granted. So, be nice but as soon as you notice that you are taking advantage of your niceness or politeness, switch to a firmer attitude.
2. Set boundaries and be strict about them.
One of the reasons why people take us for granted is the lack of boundaries. They cross your limit once and they get away with it one time, two times, at the third time they will show no respect and will even be upset when their needs or demands are not met. You need to set clear boundaries and stick to them. They might try to overthrow these boundaries at the beginning accusing you that you have changed or that you are not as nice as you used to be. Don’t let that shake you and stand your ground.
3. Learn to put yourself first.
Stop making it about people all the time and never about you. If you have the tendency of doing everything and everyone but yourself, it is time to change. Start thinking about what makes you feel happy and your needs. We know that sometimes we try to give way too much just to win acquaintances as friends but you should weigh more importance on yourself, your value, and your self-worth.
4. Never allow anyone to overpower you.
The moment you allow someone to control or overpower you, it should be no surprise if they begin to take advantage of you. This is because they have walked you over and instead of standing up for yourself you’ve let it slide by. In doing so, the other person perceives you as weak and accordingly will continue using you.
5. Work more on your self-esteem.
To earn others' respect you have to know your self-worth. Be confident, know your value, don’t allow others to bring you down, and most importantly make it clear that you have no tolerance for disrespect.