How To Stop Being Taken Advantage Of
Relationships are complicated things. They require work. A lot of work. And sometimes being taken advantage of is just one part of the whole package deal that makes up a relationship.
I’m sure there’s plenty of people out there who have been or currently are in relationships where they find themselves being taken advantage of on some level. It may be something as simple as having your partner spend all day Saturday at work while you take care of everything else around the house so they can get away with not doing their fair share; it could also be more serious than this, like if your partner uses emotional blackmail tactics against you because he feels entitled to do whatever he wants without consequences.
While I don’t think any kind of abuse should ever occur, I definitely know how easy it can be to forget about your own needs and focus solely on fulfilling another person’s needs. However, even if we never cross into abuse territory, being taken advantage of is still an unfortunate reality for many people. This isn’t always due to malice; it’s usually due to ignorance and/or lack of awareness. But regardless of the reasons why someone would try to use you, here are some tips on how to stop being taken advantage of.
Give Others More Credit. Sometimes when you’re bending over backwards, it might come from a place of not giving others enough credit. You want to help them but you feel like you’ve already done too much, so you end up taking on extra responsibilities without wanting to. The problem comes when you start feeling resentful towards your partner because you feel like you’re constantly helping them yet they seem ungrateful.
The key is to remember that everyone has different priorities. We each need our own space and time to recharge and rejuvenate ourselves, so giving someone else those same opportunities is simply what we need to do in order to keep going. Just because they didn’t realize they needed these breaks doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give them them. On the contrary, it means you should reach out to them and see if they’d benefit from such an opportunity. If they say no, then maybe you’ll have to ask yourself whether you really want to continue hanging around with them.
Set Boundaries. Another thing you can do is set boundaries. If you haven’t done so before, now is the perfect time to learn. Letting someone walk all over you is unhealthy and won’t make them appreciate you more. Setting boundaries will show them that you value yourself and respect your limits. Not only will this let them know that you aren’t willing to tolerate their disrespect anymore, but you’ll also prevent them from crossing other lines that you establish later on.
Learn to Deal With Conflict. Conflicts arise when two parties disagree on an issue. When conflicts happen, it’s important to communicate clearly and calmly with your partner to avoid escalating emotions and drama. It’s also important to acknowledge your differences respectfully instead of trying to change your partner’s beliefs or opinions through intimidation or manipulation. Once you’ve learned how to handle conflict effectively, you can both move forward in harmony rather than letting it tear you apart.
Being taken advantage of is painful and hurtful. While it may be difficult some times to stand up for yourself, once you’ve established yourself as an empowered individual, you won’t allow anyone to treat you unfairly anymore.
If you’re struggling with this, here are some ways to deal with resentment and anger:
1. Don’t blame yourself. Blaming yourself for something that was out of your control is self-defeating and disempowering. No matter what happened, you did nothing wrong.
2. Do not engage in negative thoughts. Thinking negatively about the situation only serves to reinforce the pain. Instead, focus on positive solutions.
3. Focus on the solution, not the problem. It’s easier said than done, but if you stay focused on finding a resolution to the underlying issues, you’ll be better equipped to address them when they inevitably arise again.
4. Identify the core belief behind your negativity. What is it that keeps bringing you back? Is it fear? Anger? Guilt? Whatever it is, identify its root cause. Then, figure out what’s underneath that fear and resolve it.
5. Get support. Seek counseling or therapy. There are many resources available to assist you in identifying the source of your problems and resolving them.
6. Take action steps toward empowerment. Taking action by speaking up, setting boundaries, learning to deal with conflict, etc., helps build confidence and strength.
7. Forgive yourself. Everyone makes mistakes. Even though you may have failed to recognize it at the time, it’s possible that you were justified in your actions. By forgiving yourself, you will free yourself from the burden of judgment and guilt, which allows you to take responsibility for your actions rather than blaming yourself.
8. Think positively. One way to improve your outlook in life is to develop good habits. Make the decision to become positive and optimistic. Positive thinking leads to positive results.
9. Spend time alone. Spending time alone with yourself is essential to getting centered and reconnecting with your true feelings. Doing so gives you the chance to process your emotions and move past them.
10. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family members. Having people around you who are empathetic and understanding will provide you with encouragement and compassion as well as accountability.
11. Practice gratitude. Gratitude has been proven to increase happiness throughout the day. Keep a gratitude journal and write down three to five things you’re grateful for every morning.
12. Meditate. Meditation helps calm the mind and relax the body. As a result, stress, anxiety, depression, and other negative thoughts dissipate. Daily meditation practice can lead to greater inner peace and happiness.
13. Exercise regularly. Regular exercise increases energy levels and releases tension in the muscles. In addition, exercising boosts the immune system, improves sleep, builds muscle tone, strengthens bones, reduces risk factors for heart disease and stroke, lowers blood pressure, and prevents weight gain.
14. Eat right. Eating healthy foods rich in nutrients contributes to mental clarity, physical health, and overall wellness. Foods high in vitamins and minerals include fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, nuts, beans, seeds, low-fat dairy products, eggs, lean meat, and dark green leafy vegetables.
15. Drink water. Water flushes toxins from the body and provides hydration. Drinking eight glasses daily assists the digestive system and promotes proper digestion. Properly hydrating the cells enables you to perform optimally during the day.
16. Smile. Smiling is contagious. Studies indicate smiling makes us happier. Smiling brightens the moods of those around you as well.
17. Breathe deeply. Deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which slows down the heart rate and regulates the respiratory cycle. Slow deep breaths relieve stress and restore balance in the body.
18. Sleep soundly. Lack of quality sleep causes fatigue, irritability, memory loss, confusion, and poor concentration. Quality sleep restores balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Poor sleep disrupts hormonal regulation which can cause increased appetite, cravings, decreased ability to concentrate, and mood swings.
19. Laugh often. Laughter stimulates the release of happy hormones called endorphins, which can lift your spirits quickly and reduce tension. In fact, laughter produces endorphin within 15 minutes.
20. Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness refers to paying attention to the present moment without judging it. Your focus is placed entirely on what’s happening in the present moment without becoming distracted by the stories running through your head.
21. Use affirmations. Affirmations are statements of personal truth repeated aloud until internalized. Repeatedly affirming “I am capable,” “I deserve love,” “I am worthy” helps remove limiting patterns of thought that hold us back from living our best lives.
22. Visualize success. Picture yourself achieving your goals and desires while maintaining positivity. Imagine yourself as successful and fulfilled!
23. Live in the future. Research shows that imagining events that haven’t occurred yet creates new neural pathways in the brain, thus increasing the likelihood that they actually will transpire.
24. Find inspiration. Finding inspirational quotes is a great way to motivate yourself. Read motivational books and articles online. Visit sites such as Pinterest and Tumblr to seek out inspiring images and pictures. Or, listen to podcasts and audiobooks. Listen to uplifting music.
25. Follow your intuition. Intuition is a powerful inner guide that lets us know if something is right for us. Pay attention to your gut instincts. Ask yourself questions. Trust your instinct.
26. Avoid perfectionism. Perfectionists tend to put unrealistic expectations on themselves, set impossible standards, and strive for unattainable outcomes. This puts undue pressure on themselves and takes away joy from the journey.
27. Accept compliments graciously. Whenever someone offers you praise, thank them sincerely. Yet, don’t dwell on it and waste precious energy beating yourself up. Acceptance is the highest form of compliment.
28. Practice random acts of kindness. Pick up strangers’ groceries and pay their parking tickets.
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