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Are you being taken advantage of?

I consider myself a giving person who has a high tolerance level for many things. I am also a highly thoughtful person who appreciates thoughtfulness immensely. I was brought up to be kind, giving and a good sharer however, I have always thought it's a thin line when people start to 'take the p!ss' - you know take advantage of an opportunity or situation. I know we have all been there. Offered help to a friend only to find they come back and ask more frequently than you had thought; provide monetary support once and then say yes each subsequent time they ask; you forgave someone once then they repeatedly do the same thing... it's not on.

The thin line comes from boundaries - I know such an over used term that many just don't know what it actually means and who is responsible.

You may have said 'yes' once however this should not mean to the other person that you will say 'yes' every time. Respect my friends!

We can often feel obligated to say 'yes' every time or to stop considering what we want because it seems easier - plus many friends and family can sound so persuasive! 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 or always think you will say yes, or indeed you want to stop saying 'yes' - try these tips -

1 - Realise that this is happening. Don't brush it off saying 'oh, it's just my son he needs this money'... being overly accepting is just adding to your woes! This may be difficult if you have been taught to always be 'nice' in a way that is passive - accepting what others do or say without resistance - it allows people to take advantage of you. Don't dwell on your feelings about it DO something. Sitting in misery because you want to say NO won't help you.

2. You are enough and you have the right to be respected. What you do or say is no less valuable than what anyone else does. In your family life or at work or in social situations you may have been brought up to believe that saying 'no' to others when they ask you for things is rude - it isn't . Everyone has the right to be respected and appreciated, and it isn’t wrong to want to be treated with respect no matter your answer to a request.

3. It is helpful to work out why you are feeling this way - take time to examine what is happening to make you feel this way. Write out a list of the specific triggers and events that are making you feel unappreciated. No matter who we are, we all like to receive some validation or appreciation of a job well done. However, this shouldn't be the primary driver for saying 'yes' or accepting a situation which is less than favourable to you. If you feel you are being taken for granted is it because you are afraid that refusing the request would make you feel worse?

4. Relationships ebb and flow so change happens without us noticing. Look at the relationship in question and Identify what has possibly changed in that relationship. If you feel taken for granted, it may be because you once felt valued by the person who is now taking you for granted. How have your communications and interactions changed over time? What is acceptable now may not have been some time ago. We all change - I love that we do but look at how you first used to interact. What did they do that made you feel appreciated? What is not happening that used to? Have you changed anything about yourself? Have they changed anything about themselves? Are there any outside influences that have changed?

5. It's always hard to think about it from the other person perspective especially when you feel hurt and disrespected. Trying to understand what the other person is feeling may be helpful in understanding what is happening. What has changed for them? Often people don't return favours because they are no longer interested in the relationship but don't know how to leave it! They just distance themselves hoping you will get the message.

Never assume you know the motivation of others. Always ask questions never assume.

Communication is the stand out for getting your message across. This doesn't mean yelling, shouting or crying I mean positive clear communication remember you can always change your mind.

Now go out there and stand up for yourself!

Dawn x

+61 408 532 808

NSW, Australia