Now and then, I feel swallowed by the selfish tactics of energy vampires. More than that, I am perplexed by the assumptions that my time and resources are free to take for whoever wants them. The entitled mindset of those close to me and even those who I don’t know well at all leave me wondering why these vultures act in such a way that I owe them something.
It’s an annoying feeling: the aftermath. If you’re a kind, talented, bright, and giving person, it’s pretty standard for people to be drawn to you for the taking. That doesn’t mean you should continue to allow it, though.
When people take advantage of you, it can irritate you, leading to angry outbursts or internal anger at yourself (and them); two, make you feel hopeless, reinforcing the false perception that you don’t deserve respect; or three, encourage you to act assertively and stand up for yourself.
Because you’re polite and want to please others, you’re likely a naturally helpful person who sometimes allows others to take advantage of you. Stop this cycle; it’s destroying your self-esteem. Instead, you may be kind and kind while maintaining boundaries. For example, learn to place as much value on your schedule and plans as you do on others’.
How to Stop Letting People Take Advantage of You
- Consider an instance when you were treated unjustly. How did that make you feel? Perhaps it was a client who threw a project at you at the last minute, expected a free consulting service, a waitress who brought you the wrong food, or your friend calling and talking to you for an hour. Consider how you felt physically and emotionally as a result of this situation. Did you want to solve it but didn’t know what to say, or were you frightened to speak out so you could receive what you deserved? Consider the emotions and thoughts that arise when you realize someone is abusing your time or kindness. Please write it down and then write down what you should have said to the person instead of letting them devalue your time.
- Determine what you value. Is it your free time, training courses, working out, weekend Netflix binges? As a Social Media Manager, I get emails at any hour of the day, and I call “must be replied to” all-night hours, but I can’t drop everything I’m doing in an instant at any given time just because a client has a question. Like anything else, it can wait until I have thought out what they are asking and wrap up whatever it is currently working on. I decided to set clear boundaries for myself and my clients. I stop taking calls and answering emails after a specific time, and when I am feeling low on energy, I focus on what I need to do to recharge without giving away more of me when I need to be resting or disconnecting. Know what your priorities are and act accordingly.
- Make yourself less available to people and events that are not good for your mental, physical, spiritual, or emotional health.
- Pay close attention to the details of the actions of others you interact with. Take note of every moment you feel you’re being taken advantage of.
- Take inventory of the quality of people you surround yourself with, do business with, or develop relationships. If you engage with those who noticeably take advantage of anyone they can get free services or mooch off people for their benefit, it’s best to take a few steps back and find a better quality of people who invest your time. You can’t always change how someone treats you or certain aspects of their character, but you can change who you choose to talk to. Raise the bar on the quality of people you allow in your life. Low vibrating and selfish people have no regard for the well-being of others. It could be that you need to distance yourself from certain friends, co-workers, or even family members who drag you down and take advantage of your time and resources.
- Don’t agree to plans in an instant. Give yourself time to think and feel the invitation out before deciding right away or committing your time to something you may later regret saying “Yes” to.
- Speak up for yourself. Put an end to allowing people to take advantage of you. It may only be a question to confirm that your needs are being met, but their response will keep you feeling confident and in command. When asking for something to be fixed or inquiring about it, be friendly and polite. The more you practice saying “No” or standing up for what’s right for you, the higher your self-esteem will become.