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 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.