You are always going to deal with situations where people just don’t seem to be grateful for all that you do for them. You are always going to encounter people in life who take advantage of you and take you for granted.
This maybe the case in your personal life as well as your professional life. Some of these people may work with you, or they maybe your bosses.
Others may be people who claim to be friends. Still others may be people who are a part of your family or maybe your relatives. They might even be your romantic partner.
Being taken for granted never feels nice in life. It feels even more terrible when you are giving it your all because you love the person. So how do you deal with people who are ungrateful and pretty much use you all the time even if your very existence is crucial to their lives?
Here are 5 ways in which you can make sure people stop taking you for granted.
1) Tell them how you feel
Initially you need to give people the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes these people do not even know that their actions are hurtful or that they are mistreating you. They may not be a bad person but they might lack the ability to see things from others’ point of view instinctively.
So initially, it is a good idea to let them know clearly that you feel you are being taken for a ride.
If you feel people at work are using you and are not paying you enough, then tell your boss about it. Why would any of your superiors raise your salary if you make it appear like you are perfectly happy working for much less than you deserve.
If you are not happy with the way your partner is treating you, then first you need to tell them. Don’t expect them to be all knowing beings who are supposed to know the moment something begins to bother you.
Many people often expect their partners to know instinctively that they are not happy with them. On the other hand their partners often have no idea what they did wrong. If you are upset with your partner with the way they are treating you, then tell them, and tell them clearly!
Many times, implementing this point alone maybe enough. People may understand that you were hurt and are being treated unfairly so there is a good chance that for many of you, your problem will be sorted.
However, there will be others who will pay no heed to what you say. The next steps four steps will be helpful in those scenarios.
2) Stop being a people pleaser all the time.
Some people have been mentally programmed with the idea that they ought to make others happy under all circumstances. They try so hard to make people happy that it backfires.
Instead of earning others’ admiration, these people are just seen as vulnerable targets that can be controlled and used. They are not respected or admired. How can one admire someone who doesn’t have a backbone?
Now I am not asking you to be rude but you don’t have to always be a yes man (or woman) to everyone all the time. I had this problem when I was young. I had been brought up with this idea that you should always be nice to people which in itself isn’t a bad thing. But when you begin to over-generalize it and let people use you, it becomes a big problem.
There have been many times where I have had to compromise my own happiness to make others happy. But then I realized there is no joy in making others happy if it makes you depressed.
One of the reasons why people find it so hard to say no is because they are scared of being judged. They are scared of what others will think of them once they change their attitude and stop saying yes to everything.
Well, here is some information for you:
People will form an opinion on you NO MATTER WHAT you do.
If you are a yes man, they are going to laugh at you and tell others how simple it is to take advantage of you. If you say no, they are going to complain about how you have now become arrogant and tough to deal with.
People are never going to stop forming opinions so why care what they think? It’s not like you got tons of respect for saying yes to everything earlier! The only difference is, this time you are actually happy for choosing what you want to do instead of doing what you are forced to do.
3) Never be too dependent on someone else
It is pitiful to see how the vast majority of us, especially those in corporate jobs are still slaves in a way and get little respect from their superiors despite the fact that they are hugely talented.
Now, don’t get me wrong, without a doubt, even this so called slavery is a million times superior to “genuine slavery.” However, treating people with respect never hurts.
People say that they stay in corporate jobs where they get no respect because at least they are making money there. Now, there is nothing wrong with materialistic success. In today’s world everybody needs it and they ought to. We need to bring home the bacon, right? But the question is, at the expense of what?
Will you really be pleased with what you accomplished in life if that meant being treated with contempt and losing all your dignity? For the vast majority, the answer would be no.
I chose to end up independently employed and maintain my own business since I knew I didn’t need a manager yelling down my throat. Now it is a myth that in business, you are the only boss. You are, but only to an extent. You do have clients to cater to and obviously you need to address their worries. And I am cool with that.
What is not acceptable to me is compromising my dignity and the minute somebody goes too far, I cut them off and do not work with them anymore. I am grateful that I can choose to do so.
If I were in a corporate job and had an evil boss (as most people do!) I would have no choice but to put my head down and deal with disrespect quietly. I would have to do it because I would be totally dependent on that person for my livelihood.
But because I run my own business I walk with my head held high and choose to only work with respectful people. I am far happier this way.
Introspect and see if it is possible for you to ensure that you are never fully dependent on one organization or person. Many people tolerate abuse simply because they are 100 percent dependent on someone else.
If you are totally dependent on them then you are putting yourself in a position where people will take you for granted BECAUSE you have no where else to go.
When it comes to work, see if it is possible to create multiple streams of income. If you are totally dependent on someone else emotionally, then realize and begin implementing the fact that true happiness comes from within, not from some other person.
4) Through your absence, show how much you are really needed.
If you are always available for people, no matter how they treat you, in their minds your value will become cheap. The truth is that your perceived value in the eyes of the person has nothing to do with how important you are to their existence. It has everything to do with your availability for them. The moment you disappear, it is only then that they will truly appreciate your existence.
The most urgent and essential thing for a living being’s survival in this world is not money, it’s not even love, it’s not even food or water, it is oxygen. Without oxygen you cannot even survive beyond some minutes and do you ever get up and say, “Today I am grateful for oxygen?!”
Nope! Because it is so readily available that you don’t even notice it.
But if someone puts your head under water, you will realize the value of oxygen in less than a minute and be yearning for air . The only thing that you will want is some oxygen to be able to breathe.
From something you didn’t even notice, in less than a minute it becomes the most important thing you desperately need for your very survival. Oxygen was always crucial for you but did not value it because you took it for granted.
People who take you for granted are not much different. If your availability to people who are ungrateful is always guaranteed, why should they value you? By choosing to consciously make yourself absent to such people , you rob them of the power they think they have over you.
You also make them value you by showing that you won’t be available for them all the time. People who have some sense in their mind will not repeat their errors again as they will realize how important you are.
Some people will act like they are apologetic but will go back to their old ways the moment they realize you are back in their lives. In this case you may have to take the decision of cutting them out permanently. People who do not value your efforts for them do not deserve you to begin with.
5) Realize that nothing is more important than Dignity.
Nothing is greater than dignity. Apart from being happy, if there is one that matters most in life, it is being proud of yourself, your actions and the way the world treats you. And by the way if your dignity isn’t intact, happiness is not possible in the first place. This is true regardless of the cash you make or the materialistic success you attain.
What is dignity?
Many people confuse dignity with pride. They are two separate things.
Pride is about trying prove yourself better than the other individual, whether by attempting to insult them or by trying to exert control over them directly or indirectly.
Dignity on the other hand is about looking in the mirror and being truly content and pleased with who you are and not giving others a chance to see you like a slave or a thing they can use or discard according to their desires.
This often happens to people in their professional lives but I see the the same happening to people in personal relationships as well. In fact, far more! Many women as well as men choose to stay in relationships that are abusive physically or emotionally or both.
They may be demeaned, taken for granted and manipulated all the time. But still they choose to stay because they either don’t see an identity for themselves, except when they are with the other individual or they are afraid of being single or they have been brainwashed with the idea that abuse is normal
They believe that by tolerating that kind of treatment, the other person will really value their faithfulness and adore them more. Or, in the end, understand their mistakes and change. Sadly that never happens.
In actuality, the individual begins respecting them even less and that only worsens things. They feel that regardless of what happens, you are continually going to be there and quietly accept all the crap they give you.
I am not saying that at the first sign of disagreement or problems, you ought to pack up and leave. To an extent, compromising is okay and is a smart way to save any relationship.
But you have to define limits. When they are crossed by the other person, you have to let yourself know that the last straw has been broken and cut them out of your life.
If you don’t, then I am sorry to tell you, but things are never going to change. You are going to be mistreated for the rest of your life.
Are you really okay with that? Start having some dignity, without pride of course. Realize that nothing is more crucial than your self respect. Do not give others the chance to keep treating you like an object they can use.
If you are continually being put down, offended or manhandled, whether emotionally, verbally or physically by somebody who says they love you, then regardless of what they claim, the fact of the matter is in their eyes you are simply a toy over which they think they have complete force.
If you are being treated with disrespect in your job all the time, then even the highest salary won’t change the fact that according to your manager, you are an object, not a human being.
See Also: Stop Being Treated like Garbage
Do you truly think you can be cheerful in such sort of an existence, where your extremely presence turns into that of a thing, not a person? Stand firm, let people know you have had enough and you won’t give them a chance to abuse you any longer.
When you have a back bone, not only will you begin having a healthy self image, others will begin giving you the admiration you deserve as well.