Being taken advantage of

Growing up there was always a side to me that aimed to please. There were times when me being kind was an opportunity for others to take advantage and sadly that is invariably what happened.

That said, it’s easy to become resentful of people and situations, when we’re taken for granted; primarily because we’re not in full control of our own thoughts or feelings; but being assertive helps.

Being assertive

Being assertive protects us from being told what to do and when to do it. It also respects the rights and needs of others, because we learn to compromise and be respectful of each other’s opinions.

When we’re assertive we identify the feelings that allow us to say what we want to happen. We can then behave in a calm and reasonable manner, to resolve conflict amicably.

I do however think it’s wise for us to choose our battles carefully. Situations may arise where we don’t have to be assertive; because what is being asked of us is something we’re happy to do. It’s important to be assertive when we need to. Only we can determine whether we’re being taken advantage of.

Evaluate our feelings

When we come to evaluate our feelings, we will know whether we’re being taken advantage of and that of course will need remedying. Speaking from my own experience (and we’ve probably all experienced it to some extent), those who take advantage will continue, until we say something.

It may seem out of character and a challenge for us to say something. The hard part is choosing our words carefully, so that the other person isn’t easily offended. Letting someone down gently is the best way forward. If we start off by telling them how we feel, that has to be better than starting off a sentence with the words ‘you said.’

It’s important to know that there is always another option open to us, we must say no, if we feel we’re being taken advantage of.

3 Jul, 2011

8 thoughts on “Being taken advantage of

  1. I’m not too assertive and let others do what they want; like my daughter and her boyfriend living with us.

    I usually get around to letting them know how I feel but a lot happens in that time and I’m so furious when I do tell them I’m afraid I’ll say something completely out of line. I’ve never been assertive.

    My first husband abused me verbally and I could never stand up to him until he threatened our daughter. Sometimes it takes something drastic to get me to assert myself.

    1. Thank you for being so honest Lisa. I think being assertive is not as easy as it sounds. If you’re not used to saying what needs to be said, it’s very easy for others to take advantage.

      I agree with your sentiments that when we’ve got to boiling point, usually through anger or frustration we speak out. You did it back then with your first husband. Maybe now that you’ve done it once, you can learn to do it again.

      You will feel so much better. Sometimes we just have to do it whatever the cost. The cost is usually too great if we don’t.

  2. Very good post today. My mother was not an assertive type. She always wanted to please and not rock the boat. She could be taken advantage of to a point. Marlene is very much the same. It is scary how alike they are.

    I tend to be a person who drums to his own drummer most times. The one person I have trouble saying no to is my father. Mostly I want to keep the peace and not start a fight. In that way I am like my mother.

    1. Thanks Randy, I understand completely. In my experience those who take advantage, will continue to do so unless we speak out.

      Of course, it’s okay to want to keep the peace, but I feel a compromise would always be the answer.

        1. I totally get what you’re saying Randy; but don’t you think there’s an element that he chooses not to know what it means? I should think it’s easier for him that way.

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