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Respect Yourself: Stop Letting Others Take Advantage of You

April 3, 2015 Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Everyone needs to learn to respect themselves and stop letting others take advantage of us. Just the other day I noticed that I was about to let someone take advantage of me. It may not have been on purpose, but the gal at the checkout overcharged me for an item. I felt this strong sense of unfairness and asked her nicely to change the price. She apologized and fixed the mistake.

This may sound like a simple example, but the truth is, each time you stand up for what's fair, you respect yourself. When you stop allowing others to take advantage of you and respect yourself, your self-esteem improves.

When others take advantage of you, it can do one of three things: one, tick you off, leading to aggressive outbursts or internal anger at yourself (and them); two, feelings of hopeless and reinforcing the false belief that you don't deserve respect; or three, guide you to act assertively and stand up for yourself. Clearly, the third will help you develop strong self-esteem and more self-respect, but it can feel uncomfortable at first.

Stop Letting Others Take Advantage of You in 4 Steps

It's likely that you are a helpful person by nature, and sometimes you allow people to take advantage of you, because you're nice and you want to please others. Stop this pattern; it's killing your self-respect. You can be kind and nice and have boundaries. Learn to value your own schedule and plans as much as you value others.Learn how to finally stop letting others take advantage of you. Here are 4 simple steps that will help you respect yourself and build self-esteem.

Respect yourself step 1: Think of a time that you were treated unfairly. What did that feel like? Perhaps it was your colleague dumping a project on you at the last minute, the waiter bringing you the wrong food, or your mother calling and keeping you on the phone for an hour. Think about how this situation made you feel physically and emotionally. Did you want to fix it but just didn't know what to say or were you afraid to say something in order to get what you deserved? Think about the feelings and thoughts that come up when you recognize someone is taking advantage of your time or kindness. This feeling is important, it will push you to use the following skills.

Respect yourself step 2: Figure out what you value. Is it your free time, workouts, Netflix binges on the weekend? As a therapist, I have people emailing me at all hours of the day and calls that "need to be answered" at all hours of the night but I can't be available 24/7. That's not fair to me and it isn't fair to my clients. If I'm annoyed, angry, or frustrated, how am I going to be serving them? Instead, I decided to set hours, and let my clients know these were. This helped me spend my time with family and friends

Respect yourself step 3: Start small. Pay attention to the details. Did your cab driver keep the meter running or your friend keep you waiting for an hour? Notice the small things that take advantage of your time, kindness, or your lack of attention. If I wouldn't have been paying attention, the checkout girl would have unknowingly taken advantage of me, and I would have been upset with myself and her if I noticed it later on. Be aware of your interactions and if people begin to make you feel like you are being taken advantage of, then you can act.

Respect yourself step 4: Act. Say something, speak up for yourself. It may just be a question to confirm that your needs are being met, but their answer will also keep you feeling confident and in control. Be nice and polite when you are asking for what you want to be fixed or inquiring about it. Here are some examples:

  • Excuse me, I thought the price was lower; could you double check for me?
  • I have other plans that I can't change. You'll have to find someone else.
  • I only have 10 minutes to talk; how's it going?

Look, at the end of the day, it is you who may be taken advantage of, so you have to step up, be brave, and respect yourself otherwise it will keep happening. The more you practice saying "no" or standing up for what's right for you, the higher your self-esteem will become.

Emily is the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are.You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

APA Reference
LPC, E. (2015, April 3). Respect Yourself: Stop Letting Others Take Advantage of You, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, October 20 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/buildingselfesteem/2015/04/respect-yourself-stop-letting-others-take-advantage-of-you



Author: Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Emily is a psychotherapist, she is intensively trained in DBT, she the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are. You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

Anon
says:
September, 22 2019 at 11:55 am
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent'. I just had a huge wake up call about being 'kind'. I volunteer in another country at animal refuges. I care deeply about the condition and plight of animals and saw first hand the challenges faced by the caretakers trying to help the animals. So over the last few years I have developed relationships and a couple times a year I bring suitcases full of things to help the animals and also things to help the people helping the animals. Well, at one of these refuges I have brought stuff to on several occasions, I visited last week with 3 suitcases loaded. Everything in my suitcase is bought by me, I don't work with any organized charity, I just saw a huge need and decided that 'one person could make a difference'.

This time around my 'host' (contact/thought was a friend) takes me to a very expensive tourist restaurant along with another person and orders the most expensive thing possible. The bill--which I of course was expected to pay-- equaled what the average person makes in that culture in one month. I don't live/eat like that in my own country and I would have been quite happy with something much more modest. On the way home I stopped at a tourist grocery store to buy a jug of water and I grabbed two containers of cooking oil for my two companions since it was something they could use and is periodically hard to get in their country. Well, one of them, the one I have known for a while, proceeds to pick out two extreme luxury type items that are not available to the typical resident and she puts them on the conveyor belt for me to pay for. I was shocked. I did not say anything at the time about this bold move but inside I was extremely disappointed since there were items in the store that would have fed the animals I came to support but she didn't select those items.

The final straw was the next day. Another person I worked with and brought supplies for shows up and wants to take me to lunch 'at a friends house'. That turns out to be a taxi ride (I pay) and then it is not a friends house at all but another fancy place where one meal is equal to the cost of a months wages in that country. Then this 'friend' says the other friend (the one who put the expensive items on the conveyor belt) wanted me to wire some money to her husband who was in another country working. That would be the money I gave her for animal food for several months after the stuff I was bringing ran out. She wanted to wire money to her husband to buy some personal luxury items. I said no. The person I am sitting across from in the expensive restaurant keeps saying I didn't understand the request and won't drop it as a topic. I of course do understand. I understand the money I gave to help a cause close to my heart was not going to be used to help the animals at all, it was going to be used for some unnecessary luxury item to enrich a household that had nothing to do with the whole reason I was making a trek to the country in the first place. That was it for me. The last straw. I told the other person to drop it, the answer was no and when she didn't drop it I grabbed my purse and walked out the door.

The person followed me on to the street, grabbing my arm, telling me again I didn't understand the request but of course I did. They were bold enough to claim they weren't asking me for money, just to wire some money-- yeah, the money I gave yesterday!! I don't think I have ever felt so completely depleted and used and disappointed and shocked.... but then I have to own my own part of this. I made the decision to go to that country, to spend my own money, to neglect my own house and needs to try and help. I had to own that behavior and see that I was maybe using this 'mission' to defer dealing with some things in my own house and life that needed attention. Are you being 'kind' to keep blinders on in your own life situation?

I will not let this situation stop me from trying to help animals, but I go into it with eyes wide open and a more modest approach and also with the understanding that maybe when I feel an overwhelming need to try and make a difference in some far flung country I might be hiding some basic truth about my own situation from myself. It is a learning experience. To have kind impulses is a noble positive outlook on life but don't let it be used against you. 'Charity begins at home'-- be kind to yourself first and step back and see where your own weak spots might be leading you to a place that allows someone else to take advantage of you. Walk away and say no and no is its own answer, no need to explain a 'no'. No is no! Don't let one user sour you on others, don't become cynical but don't be a doormat, either.
September, 24 2019 at 1:06 pm
This sounds like it was a very important experience for you, in understanding how you wish you exist in the world. Thank you for sharing your story!
Jess
says:
January, 7 2019 at 8:00 am
Hi Emily, great article. I find myself on both sides of this. I feel I take advantage of those who love me (my family).
While I'm a total door mat to others boys, friends, people I want to love me. How do I find a middle ground where I can be respectful to myself and others?
nad
says:
November, 22 2018 at 1:15 am
i want to share and excuse me if it too long i need to let it out..
people been taking advantage of me my entire life
since i was a kid
my family "mom,dad and siblings" no wonder my friend too
i been raised to be taking advantage of . i can't stand up for my self. every time i do it thy got mad and i began to feel guilty AF . am 25 years old and i can't stand out for my self i have low self esteem .
myfam build this image of me without even looking at me if i act different of what they expect me to do they would reject it
i can't even speak for my self and i believe that's why i don't have friend thy always use me and then dumb me when they finished using me i can't trust no one "now i have (1)trust issue"i can't even trust my self .
i tried once to act i stood in front my mom for something i thought silly not a big deal ''' she ended up in the hospital she got diabetes and Pressure disease and she couldn't handle the truth or the why i did i still feel guilt about it she got in the hospital for 3 months because of it .
now i can't even tell her that am "gay" i mean she got so mad when i told her am "atheist" she still denial it "she says "be a hypocritical but don't you dare to be infidel "
am still virgin they want me to marry a Muslim guy...
and what killing me that i know they don't give a dam about me
They will sacrifice me for their ::ennoble honor::
i want to leave to start over but i cant do it
i cant stand out for my self cause i don't know how to do it. i tried .
i worth nothing .
cant do anything to Chang how i feel about my self
i been throw a lot ...i got sexually assaulted by my big and younger brothers i felt betrayal to me don't got evidence it won't confirm my family wont believe me . i guess thy got away with it
its hard for me that thy still live with me and the family
and to be seeing them everyday .
it was in 2012 i guess am still not over it . i cant feel safe at home or anywhere else it effect me so much that
i can't have a job like normal person i dont have trust on my self i cant defend my self am weak stupid and worthless who can't accomplish anything in life .
every time i want to move on new shit happen
i need to over coming my self and escape to a place i can find love and appreciation to find people who except me for who i am
people who will respect me and treated my like human being a person feelings
i really dont know what to do with my life
Charlotte
says:
May, 20 2019 at 2:40 am
Hi Nad. I believe and understand your emotional distress as I'm myself learning how to respect myself by practicing healthy boundaries.
We all deserve to live fulfilling lives, unfortunately some of us haven't had the chance, while growing up, to acquire the necessary tools to have the capacity to demand respect from others. Since our families were not able to provide us with unconditional love (because of their own personal issues), we grow up thinking we're worthless. Because those one-way relationships is all we've known, we are unconsciously attracted to people that take advantage of us. It's a vicious cycle that in my case did turn into a vicious cycle of being abused and becoming an abusive person as well.
Thank God, I have overcomed that cycle approx. 10 years (I'm 55) through therapy, self-reflection and, a ton of determination and hard work.
Although one part of me still struggles with self-love, and trying to be less vulnerable to being used and abused, the other part of me is still determined to continue my daily personal work of listening to my own needs so I can stop putting the needs of others ahead of mine by setting boundaries.
Please remember, each person in this world is valuable in their own and unique way. We did NOT choose to be ONLY loved if we meet our families high expectations to make THEM feel good. We did not choose to being sexually abused by family members and have our basic needs of safety, unconditional love and respect been totally ignored by those who should have been there to protect us.
We are the ones who have to become our own parents, give ourselves unconditional love and self-respect. One step at a time. It's normal to go forward one step and go backwards a few steps, however, we CANNOT give up on ourselves, we must be our own cheerleaders!
So stand up after each fall, shake the dust off, roll your sleeves, keep you chin up and get ready for the next round of fighting for yourself.
PS...and don't be scared of getting bruises, they are part of our fight to gain self- esteem.
PPS. I'm proud of your capacity to share such deep emotions as it helping me in my journey.

May, 20 2019 at 3:21 pm
Hi Charlotte,
Thank you for your comment. I know discussing sexual abuse can be a difficult thing, and you approach this topic with grace and kindness. I appreciate everything you wrote, and the time you took to write it.
love
says:
June, 26 2019 at 9:42 pm
Good evening, beautiful my heart goes out to you for the pain you are experiencing. I want to say to you, you are brave for putting this out there. I think I know why you resorted to being an atheist, you must feel like God has left you, and allow these terrible things to happen to you. I want you to try something it might sound strange as well feel unease, but ask GOD to remove the bad spirits away from you. Ask him to reveal what your brothers done to you to your parent's, and trust that its going to come out. Your brother's will began to experience bad karma for what they've done to you. GOD is not an evil person and he will come to your rescue. They did not get away with it. I will share this with you my step mother was sexually assault by her brother as well, she carried that pain around for years until she met my dad. She told my father and her brother who had done that to her was in jail serving amlife sentence. My father wrote him a letter and told him he needed to write his mother and tell her what he had done. He failed to do so and my mother told his mother. I'm saying this to say people don't get away with bad things, GOD will punish them and her brother went to jail for something else but he will never see day light again he will spend the rest of his life in prison. Don't give up on GOD that's what the devil want you to do. Go ask GOD to forgive you and he will ask GOD to heal your heart. I love you here is my email if you want to talk.
natanya2015@gmail.com
July, 3 2019 at 12:59 pm
Hello, thank you for your comment. I appreciate your decision to share your story in the hopes that it will support and encourage another person. While many of us come here with different religious beliefs, self-forgiveness is a universal concept that we all work to understand.
Aniyah
says:
August, 10 2019 at 10:50 am
I love you Nad and I’m sorry all those things happened to you. I wish I could hug you and kiss your head. I would love to kick your brothers butt for what they did to you. You are very special and were wonderfully made, all of you.
I pray that you will see this soon because you are my beautiful sister. We may not be related by blood but my heart tells me we are one in the same and my beautiful sister you will always be.
August, 10 2019 at 12:44 pm
Supporting members of our community can help create a healing environment for all–it reminds us that we are not alone. Thank you for your comment.
Catherine
says:
August, 10 2019 at 8:39 pm
Dear Nad, i know it dont seem like it right now but this too shall pass. God wont give us more than we can bare and what doesnt kill us will make us stronger. Ask God to give you his strentgh,his wisdom and to show you his truth. Ask him every day and he will do just that. You are Gods child and he loves you very much. God bless you child.
August, 13 2019 at 11:10 pm
Though we all come from different religious backgrounds, being able to show and feel support is an important part of healing. Thank you for your comment, Catherine.
Sahra
says:
March, 30 2018 at 12:01 am
I try my hardest to be nice to everyone and respect people’s privacy and space, this is what most of my friends love about me. They mistake and take my kindness for weakness and they bail on me last minute when I’m already waiting for them at a restaurant, or put their anger out on me when they have had a bad day, or put me down when an opportunity arises to make themselves feel better, and put out my faults. I cut 1 friend out and then went back because she sincerely apologized, but this year as I tell people’s own their action affect me they change their mood and say that I’ve changed. Is this how all friends act or should I look for new friends. Thank you

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 30 2018 at 8:33 pm
Hi Sahra,

Thanks for your comment. That sounds like a really difficult situation. Obviously you want to be a nice person and people admire that about you, but it seems even your friends will sometimes take advantage of you because of that. It's okay not to always try your hardest to be nice and available for others, especially when this means you're letting others not be nice towards yourself. There is definitely a balance to be struck.

This isn't necessarily how all friends act. Maybe they're not purposefully taking advantage of you and being unkind, but it could be worth having a conversation with them about how they make you feel. If they are your friends, they should be understanding and be willing to respect you in the future.

Take care Sahra,

Sam

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Sabrina
says:
April, 15 2018 at 8:13 pm
Sahra, can I just say that I also went through similar experiences except your scenarios sound more hurtful :( I’m sorry you went through that, and I know how confusing it can be. You ask yourself, where does it all begin? It starts in the now. If you really want to nip this in the bud for real, it will take time. Analyze your friends and if any are toxic (putting you down especially consistently) cut them out or distance yourself. If they wonder, you can either say upfront the dynamic of your relationship and how it makes you uncomfortable, or play it off and continue the distance. It depends how brave you want to get. At this time, you are vulnerable and need to control your environment as you continue improving yourself. Next, you will have to pay attention and act on present situations where you can catch your friends in a hurtful scenario. I really do believe if one does not stand up for themselves then it means there’s a lack of self respect, self love. Think how critical this is. You will make mistakes and have your voice shake, but think of the reward. It will make your relationships much better, the real friends will naturally be divided by ones who have ulterior motives. And you will stop having this poisonous feeling eating away at you. You sound amazing and kind and I hope you find your brave side, I know you have it. <3 Hugs

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Rebecca
says:
May, 9 2018 at 1:47 am
These are not friends a true friend would never stand you up at a restaurant and not show up cut you down for any reason if a true friend has a problem with you they would still be kind and discuss things until it is solved ...Yes you need to find new true friends...I hope things get better for you
Kate
says:
March, 26 2018 at 2:57 am
What about in situations where it is typical in Asia not to respect your clients’ money, time, kindness, and patience. They don’t treat me very well if i don’t look like I have money- the irony in that is- I do. I dress and act nicely and politely to see how well they treat me. More often that not, not very well and charge triple what the service is worth. When I clarify they point to the sign and won’t admit their mistakes or come up with an excuse. It’s just in Asia these two places are the best in term of location.
Adrianna
says:
March, 12 2018 at 8:04 am
I have one son whom I raised as a single parent. He married into a family with no family values. When I I say his mother in law says something it’s respected but if I suggest something it’s disrespectful and intrusive by me as my son tells me. I decided I am no longer exposing myself to this. The girl he married doesn’t know how to cook clean raise kids and is very dependent upon her mother who is in a relationship with no commitment and her brother doesn’t do anything at 27 . My family is structured. My son went to live with this girl at her home at 16 years ol and her mom allowed it. He had just finished High school bad choice but oh well. I didn’t want this for him but can’t impose thinking on an almost legal adult. N at her place there were no rules!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 12 2018 at 6:42 pm
Hi Adrianna, thanks for your comment. That sounds like quite a tricky situation, as obviously you want the best for your son but he is also living an independent life now. It, of course, must also be difficult to hear that your words are not respected by your son. Perhaps you could have some one-on-one time to chat with your son about what you've written here? Have you talked about this with him before? If so, what was the reaction?

Take care, Adrianna.
Regina Staake
says:
March, 11 2018 at 4:28 pm
My family is letting us stay in their house while my grandmother stays at her moms until the unfortunate day she dies. We are living rent free and only pay utilities but my grandma(her house) wants to have a bunch of stuff done. Renovations and what not. At first my GMA didn't want us staying in the master, I got her to let us stay there but she only wants us to stay for a year in the room. And then move to a different room. My husband says they are taking advantage of me because my GMA didn't make my mother and her kids do any of that. My husbands says they keep taking advantage. And I know they do but my family prides on family cpmming first and you just do stuff for them. They've helped me out in the past. I don't know what to do or what to thinn
cece
says:
January, 17 2018 at 6:42 pm
I have my mother in law staying with us and it was suppose to be temporary few weeks, which turned into months and now over a year and few months! I have talked with my husband about how she should be helping with hydro, tv and internet if she wants to continue to stay. she always pulls the pitty me card " I just need to catch up". seriously im going nuts inside ?. she comes and goes when she pleases and likes to drink whenever now. I feel like I'm gonna be forced to do a b**ch card. I want my own space and privacy back. I've dealt with in-laws enough now. even my own mom stayed her but she didn't even wanna impose more than a week. I feel lots of frustration and anger every time I see my mother in law and that's not the way I wanna feel. she makes good money and choose not to do anything.
L.G. Swift
says:
November, 12 2017 at 4:21 am
Solitude is not the same as lonelyness, or being taken advantage of.
Petra
says:
October, 18 2017 at 1:28 pm
I have neighbors who enjoy taking advantage of my kindness every time they park in my driveway and expect me to excuse them and say: "Oh, that's alright". When I get mad about the problem they immediately place a guilt trip on me by calling me a "bad neighbor". Another incident is using my outside water faucet when they hook up their own hose and wash their car in MY driveway. Another incident occurred when it was pouring rain outside and the 29 year old male neighbor parked his car in my driveway because he didn't have any rain gear. I said to move the car out of my driveway. He called me a bad neighbor because it was raining really hard and I wasn't feeling sorry for him. Boo Hoo!
Jo
says:
September, 30 2017 at 3:50 am
Everyone needs someone but when there's no one around it's impossible. I agree we have to respect ourselves. That being said what happens when you are only surrounded by users and didn't realize that they were? What about those that just refuse to respect you no matter what boundries you set up? Also what about those who you thought were friends but decided they couldn't help due to their conclusions of you being capable to solve the issue or didn't have time in their life to assist you? What about those, hmmm? What if there were absolutely no one there to help you What then? Face it, we are all users and are only after what "we want". Everyone needs someone but when there's no one around it's impossible. Inner strength has it's own limitations. To many give advice and don't help with the action part. There are people out there that need help with the action part too. Oh another thing! Why is it that the issue is always with the person seeking help? They are at least trying to resolve the situation. Respect comes in many forms that have yet to be discovered.
If I'm missing the message that you are trying to convey in this blog I'm sorry.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Liz
says:
January, 12 2018 at 4:24 am
Right on. About the people who tell you you can handle it....even tho they know you need help.... Or the pnes who dont have time ...Or who listen ..tell you what to do but dont have time to take action. Forexample to go with you. Or come over..or whatever action.would help
Worse yet wont even think the situation through with you..
Yet these people ..call me for a ride when car breaks down...cuz I offer. (No more) soak up my encouraging words etc when they call me with a problem etc... It takes a while to see these people are like that.......Then comes the deep hurt I feel. I get over it with time....but until then. Peole like me put out signals to "predators" for lack of better word right now... Wanting to find out what those signals are...
Ter rod
says:
September, 3 2017 at 11:01 am
I also have multiple people taking advantage of me! I know he is bad 4 me! Just when he holds me it feels so amazing nothing else even matters!
Ceegeedee
says:
August, 29 2017 at 6:40 pm
Ive let all the people around me, make me believe that they need me because i was smart, always know the answers. But listen to me when i tell you that all they did to me was make me feel burnt out and stupid. They now have someone new to screw, to let believe that they are needed, that they are all they have. All that they are users.... Im telling you. Im all messed up because they made me believe i was the answer to all their problems. All i was to them was "a roof to have over their head, a blanket to make them feel warm, and a restaurant open 24/7". Im getting up, they might have beaten the hell out me, but ill be standing once again, and it will be without them around me...

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Ann
says:
December, 25 2017 at 6:58 pm
Same issues here! Thank you for sharing. It helped me to see myself. I’m a strong independent person and got the royal screws done 3 times...I’m WAY TO NICE! DONE!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Ellen
says:
January, 11 2018 at 11:14 am
I was the same way. I gave myself to someone who was a taker, a narcissist. Never again! I learned a very painful lesson.
janett
says:
August, 16 2017 at 3:29 pm
the cashier did not mean to take advantage of you. she gets paid minimum wage and does not profit at all from overcharging you. you should have asked for the manager to correct the price in the system, because the product wil only be the same incorrect price when the next person buys it. I think you article is very helpful. You even provided us with what to say in common situations, which is helpful too.
Erica
says:
September, 23 2016 at 3:02 pm
I recently found myself in a relationship with 3 different people. It was chaos. Trying to fit everyone in and trying be a different person for everyone involved. Then things took a turn for the worst, when I began sleeping with 2 of them.

My heart ached for those 2 months because I knew what I was doing was wrong and it was below my standards of values. Although there wasn't any psychological recourse. What I encountered was a breakthrough. I had decided that in order to be involved in a successful relationship, I had to stop gambling my time between 3 people. All of which I knew weren't providing anything other than space fulfillment in there prospective time slots.

The most exhausting matter of all my actions above all, was that I had made myself to believe that no one could see the mess that I was creating within. And that everyone I had chosen to have a relationship with, was only offering me a negativity that I had fled from in a previous relationship that was with one person: the father of my son.

My sons father was an abusive user, that only wanted to control me. He was controlling in that he wanted to decide who I could talk to while I was with him (like family). Or what I could do while he was away.

I had began to think that in order for someone to prove they loved me they had to buy me something. Which often times was what my sons father would do when he had done something to cause friction between us that he ultimately wanted to dissipate.

I've spent a very long time trying to suspend the cycle of arguing, debating, hurting, crying, living in disappointment and depending on that man. ONLY to allow him to sprinkle a few sweet words in my ear about his redemption to our relationship and within a snap was having sex with him one minute and watching him walk out the door the next. - This left me heart broken. And very empty. Don't ever do this. Don't reverse the clock on a decision you KNOW is a bad one. It will only fester into dissatisfaction over your actions and alienate you from your goals as well as your purpose. Live your values.

Now- I'm at the place where I could cut off the other individuals, but couldn't cut off my sons father.

Then suddenly I said, yes I can.

I can and I will cut him off- even if that means I won't be able to see my son for some time (as I gave him full custody after we split, because he wanted to control me with paperwork) Which means ALL the horror stories you hear about women not allowing fathers to see their children and cutting fathers completely out- my sons father has done that to me. And yes, I am a woman (obviously).

You may say. You're nuts. You're not responsible. You don't care about your son. But I do. I love my son immensely. And even if I didn't see my son for 1000 years he will always know I love him and at some point he will seek to find me. I just have to give it time.

But between then and now I simply have to isolate my sons father from my life as he is counterproductive. He is a cancer that if you allow in, will spread like wild fire. He is toxic. He is insidious.

I am on a serious journey to 'stabalize' my inner peace so that I may radiate it with out and attract the things that I know I deserve. And I'm hoping that allowing some time to pass undistracted from negative people and situations will bring; solitude, harmony and peace to all that have been involved.

Please share your thoughts. I would love to hear them. Thank you for reading.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Sharom
says:
May, 24 2017 at 6:17 am
I do u understand me too I had to let my son go not because I did not love him I had to so he got to raise him and his family after 21 years he came back into my life the sad part is I could not really tell him what happened he said he already knew but he didn't because they had told him a bunch of Lies just got to do a lot of praying and hoping we started having a relationship again as mother and son but the problem is again more lies set in and he believed them the only thing I can tell you is that your his mother and only one person can be his real mother no one else can be so just hold in your heart that one day he will come to you I just hope and pray that he listens to your side of the story I never got a chance to tell my son my side I'm 56 now and he's 34 but I hope I'll be able to have that chance before I die and leave this earth that he will give me the time to tell him or something will happen where he will see the side that he should have known a long time ago just remember you can't change people and what they do just for their own satisfaction you just build yourself up and you'd be the person that you are and you need to be and in the end I'm sure things will work out fine
Tamika Hughey
says:
September, 18 2016 at 9:50 pm
Thank you so much for sharing. I have someone taking advantage of me right now and I need to get rid of him.....This information is so helpful, thank you.
Debbie Wood
says:
September, 4 2016 at 8:59 pm
My daughter go out and I baby sitting my two grandkids who live with me I love my grandkid but not to baby sit 3/5 day I feel usede and my husband have not been on no dates just helping my granddaughter's what should I say to my daughter?
carmen
says:
September, 3 2016 at 11:54 pm
I am in an almost identical situation to Di`s including the disability and years of emotional and physical pain bit. My “friend” does all the stuff Di mentions bar the stealing but I fear she may steal from me one day and I'm nervous of her being around my home for that reason. I feel trapped. I don't know what to do
Joyce
says:
August, 19 2016 at 10:12 pm
Boo hoo, take a stand for yourselves, set boundries for the way you expect to be treated and accept the consequences of your actions. If they leave because you set a boundary for yourself then accept it and move on. Remember that you are the one who is responsible for training people into how to treat you!
Debra
says:
June, 20 2016 at 3:38 pm
I recently took a good look at my life and I realize that the reason I have been used and made a fool of, is due to the way I was raised. My own mother took advantage of me, forcing me to do the majority of the laundry, cooking and housework (especially after she remarried, to a thieving piece of trash). At 18, I had to move out, one month after I got a full-time job at a factory with minorities, who didn't even speak English. My step-sister and her greedy brat were showered with tens of thousands of dollars, cars, a house, etc, yet never did jack for either my mother or stepfather. My life has been total crap, all because of the way my own mother treated me. I can't trust anyone, because they always use me. But at least I recognize what has gone wrong, even though I can't fix it.
Di
says:
June, 6 2016 at 10:19 am
I have a friend I've known for 10+ years. We had a 4 year break for completely different reasons than why I need to end it now. She's always been mean, and kind of racist. I've tried to tell her that her behavior isn't ok, but she doesn't seem to get it. She comes over, unannounced, even after I've said I'm busy, not home, etc. I believe she's sabotaged me in the past, but she's smart, and able to cover her tracks. She also apparently is a cleptomaniac, and a liar. I found some of my belongings in her home last year when I went to take her a bday gift. I know this all sounds nuts, and the answer obvious, but before I found my stolen items we had both gone thru a lot with cheating significant others, and she was a lifeline for me, as sad as that sounds. I was destroyed emotionally when I found things at her house, and then my family is after me for what she may have taken of theres. We didn't speak for several months last year after this, and my life settled down, I started getting all the bs folks out of my life. I'm disabled, and recently received some $$ due to the injuries that caused my disability. Mind you when I was laid up I barely saw her, bc I had nothing. I didnt see a lot of people, my external family forgot I existed. She started asking for everything when we started talking again, from cigarettes, to money, food, gas money, etc. I helped her w her rent. She's supposed to pay me back this month. I feel terrible even talking about this, I look like an idiot. I'm struggling to keep her away from me, I have to lie, not answer my phone. I want to believe she is as mentally ill as she says she is, bc I'm not in the best shape either. But I don't steal from people, I just go too far to help them. Her behavior seems sociopathic at times, and scares me. She's a scavenger, and a user, and a thief. I fear retaliation, and loneliness. I keep waiting for her to be the friend she used to be, but I suppose this is who she always was. I want better for myself after years of physical and emotional pain. I don't want to be mean, but I fear that's where I'm headed. It's like a scary reddit. It needs to stop. Yes, I am in therapy, and I do have some really good friends who don't abuse my generosity, and were there anyway when I had nothing. I've read a few different articles about ending toxic relationships, and this seems pretty textbook. Any ideas how I can cleverly get her out of my life with out causing a lot of waves? I'm a sitting duck here, I don't drive. ...I got rid of the ex boyfriend easier than this, and even we can be friends. Theres a terrible feeling that comes from being used this throughly...last week I was outside helping build a fence, and she spent way too much time inside my home unattended. My daughter and I believe she may have taken some food, and a dollar out of my wallet. Sound paranoid much? Very upsetting to be in this situation.
HOLLIE
says:
June, 6 2016 at 8:11 am
I need advice badly, I feel like I am a very kind,helpful,good hearted person. My problem is people love to take advantage of my kindness. I am a good person,simple and love to help others,its part of whom I am. I have had the worst year and a half,and my eyes have been opened to reality. my good friend,well she says were more like family,just keeps taking advantage of me and was not there for me and my family when I needed her most.My husband almost died at work and my world came to a sudden standstill in the blink of an eye, I called her and she came over and was my rock, for the day. the next day she acted as though she was here for us and slowly disappeared. I went through hell and back and made it through, but hold this anger towards her inside for her lack of friendship I truly needed at that time.its much worse the things she took advatage of me through the situation I was going through,she talked me into storing her two gun safes at my house with 50 guns in them,so she could become a caregiver,it was supposed to be for a short time and its now almost two years later, I finally told her she needs to store them somewere else and now she is mad and angered at me? I dont understand how she can act this way? I need advice? am I such a weak person?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

louisa claire johnson
says:
September, 13 2018 at 5:22 am
Hi Hollie and other comments. I have been in a similar position myself. I knew a person for over 25 years. We lived near each other.my husband and myself helped her out when her husband lost his job financially. Took him to job interviews as he doesn't drive. We supported them as best we could. A few years later we stopped hearing from them they never rang us either. I saw another neighbour and asked about had she seen them where they ok. Oh she said they moved 3 months ago to Yorkshire somewhere. I was completely shocked we have never heard from them since and the neighbour said no forwarding address given either. They still hadn't paid back the money we loaned them to buy a new washing machine either £250. We are very careful who we help now and trust after our experience with our So called friends.
Teri
says:
May, 27 2016 at 6:34 am
I run a guest house. If I'm kind to people they slowly take just a but more from me each visit. It really doesn't pay to be too kind to anyone really.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 30 2016 at 1:10 pm
Hi Teri, sorry to hear that others are taking from you. I know that it is terrible to feel taken advantage of. I would suggest having them sign something that allows you to charge them for the "missing things" my assumption is that most aren't doing it to be mean but some may. Being kind (for me) is something that feels good. I put up boundaries so that I can decide to engage or be kind to myself by not engaging. Kindness is an action that should feel good to you and you can only hope the receiver. Be kind to yourself first and foremost. Good luck.

Take good Care,
Emily
Veronica
says:
May, 25 2016 at 10:18 am
This is the problem with all the articles that I've read about self-esteem and assertiveness- They draw the line between helping others and being taken advantage of by other people. It seems whenever I help another person (be it adult or child) they always end up taking advantage of me! Whether it's taking way more time than agreed upon, stopping at more stops, using guilt trips to get me to give more, etc... So, do I just say no to everyone that wants help?! And to me assertiveness is different than self-esteem. I know my own value, but my problem is that most times that I agree to help people, they use me!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Joe
says:
June, 15 2018 at 1:48 pm
Veronica, I was in the same boat just recently. I had to learn to say "NO" a big tough word that makes people cringe, even the one's saying it. Trust me when I tell you, that I understand you like no other, in that I shared your same dilemma, and I'm not push over, in addition to having confidence and self-esteem. However, I've found that these issues occur to us from our inherent respect for others. We either learned or were thought that courtesy and respect makeup a decent human being. Of course they do, but then there are others that don't share this view. The hard part is drawing the line, and the best way to draw the line that has thought me an invaluable lesson about people in general, is the word "NO" but not just when you say to others, you have to say it to yourself too. For example, "NO. I will not help such and such" and stop there, no more thinking about why or because or based on what they say. The conclusion should always be "NO" only when a person enters into that facet of your life.
Lady
says:
May, 19 2016 at 9:10 am
I feel emotionally drained by the rudeness and taking advantage of by my 14 year old step son who Ive known for 4 years. I drove to his dads for 2 years with food, cooked, cleaned, ironed and my two boys had to do what the step son wanted because this was his territory. Father feels guilt over his divorce and has onky just noe at age 14 started to pull him up about being selfish. I feel burned out as Im always trying to please yet all I get in return is critisism, rudeness, disrespect and I cant do anything about it because he is not my son! To give a flavour ... I iron his clothes and hang them up and he scrunches them back into his bag from his mums, he always criticises food I cook, he is defiant about household rules, says they are stupid (simple things like taking shoes off in the house) slams doors, punches things, will not acknowledge my birthday at all and refused to wish his little step brother (5yr old) happy birthday and he lies about stuff too! Then when his dad tries to hold him to account, he argues back and waits to see if I react. He has a kind father who has spoiled him but we are both taken advantage of and hubby just wants to offload hus frustrations onto me and I just feel drained all the time and resentful of all the times he has taken advantage of. Any advice?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Joe
says:
June, 15 2018 at 12:46 pm
Lady, seems like you and the hubby have to set some grounds rules, and enforce them. Perhaps a family meeting, addressing all the issues, etc. However, here is the tough part "enforcing the rules" this in it of itself becomes even more tiresome. However, I've heard that after two weeks of enforcing rules, people start to see them as habitual. Then and only then after two weeks of enforcement does the actual learning and accepting of the rules begin. Try an integrative method of negotiating the ground rules at the meeting, with another meeting scheduled two weeks after. At the two weeks after meeting, if those rules or agreements are not met, use a distributive form of negotiation, whereas you hold back certain responsibilities because the rules are not met, or you use other distributive forms of negotiation that creatively get you what you want out of the relationship. If all this fails, then I resort to an ultimatum, whereas desperate actions resort to desperate measures. Some of which could be moving out, ending the niceties, not doing what you are responsible for doing, etc. The point is that you have to make another effort that makes the group aware, if that fails you interject in your benefit entirely, and if all else fails you put your foot down with measures that distant you from the problem. In the end you can't say you didn't try...
Theresa
says:
May, 17 2016 at 10:30 am
Thanks, I realize I can't fix her but she's not hearing me at all and I'm going to stop feeling guilty when she's angry that I didn't respond when she wanted me to. It's like being a doormat for someone's convenience. She cuts off a conversation if she needs to and then gets annoyed when she calls back and I can't talk. My husband and I went to movies over the weekend; she'd cut off our conversation complaining about her troubles saying she'll call back early in the afternoon... when did she call that night we were at the theatre; I didn't take the call of course, she hit redial and I let it go to voicemail again, then she texted... why didn't she think I was unavailable and just wait to hear from me? I could have been in bed with my husband if not at the movies... he could have gotten annoyed if I disrupted our date to take her call; our personal time is limited due to our schedules and though we've got no children in the house it is important to enjoy the time when we can have a date or just go for a drive alone. When I did call her back the next day towards the evening, the frost in her tone was clear as windshield in winter, so I just said call me back when you can, she hung up without even an okay. I've resolved not to call her as I think it's a good time to just breathe and let the chips fall where they may...
Theresa
says:
May, 16 2016 at 1:00 pm
I have a friend who's an independent business owner, she calls me at all times during the day forgetting I'm on the clock at a corporation. She ignores when I tell her I'm at work and have to, and if I try to say something about my life she glosses over it. I have been polite and pointed in telling her she does not have any respect for my time; that didn't work so I just stopped answering her every all and would take a day or two before responding to her. She got an attitude and would then be short in her response or blatant in now responding to anything I say. She has issues with her relationships in work and business and only seems to want to have an ear to voice about it but not doing the same in return. She gives a percentage of a contract to those who help her secure work to date I may be the only person who didn't get it and I did ask her about it. She said oh she forgot and has taken the profit from that contract and donated it to the non-profit business owned by the person I got her the job for... What does that have to do with a written practice of your business and me... is it because I'm your friend I don't get that bonus but you want me to keep being your friend? This is someone who seems impervious to the fact that those who may support her are entitled to respect.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 16 2016 at 4:49 pm
Very frustrating indeed. I have been in a similar situation and started to ignore the calls until the time was right for me. Sometimes texting to say I was busy. Even if I am busy doing my own thing (reading my book or eating dinner). Sometimes people don't hear you unless your actions show them that you are not available, nor should you have to be. You can set those boundaries and my guess is you'll feel better about yourself and your friend may get some time to sit with her thoughts and realize that she's causing some of the drama. You cant fix her but you can respect your time. You sound like a great friend.
Joan
says:
May, 6 2016 at 2:04 am
These steps can ABSOLUTELY be used with family members!

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