Everyone deserves to be treated with fairness, compassion, and appreciation. If you feel that you’re not being treated this way, no matter how much you treat others in that manner, then you might be getting taken for granted.
A person who takes advantage of you needs to be shut down before your connection with them becomes toxic and severely disproportionate. But how can you tell if it’s someone mistreating you or if it’s just your expectations soaring a little too high?
Three Signs You Are Taken For Granted
Here are 3 signs you’re being taken for granted and how to fix it in 4 ways.
1. The Way You Communicate Is Uneven or Changing
Communication is the heart of any relationship, whether platonic, familial, romantic, professional, or otherwise. Unbalanced or shifting communication methods can point to being taken advantage of. Here are some things to look out for:
· Conversations Are Stopped Short
When you try to have a conversation with someone, it’s reasonable that the discussion must sometimes end quickly. But if someone is always cutting short all conversations with you, it can seem like they don’t actually want to be in that conversation on equal terms.
· You Are Not Listened To
You listen to this person, but they don’t listen in return. You meet their needs and requests, but they never heed any of yours. That’s a huge sign of being taken for granted and is objectively inexcusable.
· Pleasantries Are Lost
When someone doesn’t greet you properly or take the time for pleasantries, instead of getting straight to the point of what they need, it can be a sign you’re being taken for granted. While this can be acceptable in a professional setting, among friends and loved ones, you deserve more than to hear only what the other person wants. You are not a means to an end!
2. Others Don’t Value Your Time
Time is money and is just as valuable as any other resource in the world. You have a busy schedule, just like millions of people across the globe. There is no reason that your time is worth less than any other person’s – especially your peers’. Someone who doesn’t think your time is important is taking you for granted. Here are some signs that your time isn’t being valued:
· They Are Always Late
Arriving late, a couple of times is perfectly fine. Absolutely never being on time, however, is a problem. It shows that the time you have is not being valued as if it’s fine for you to waste your time waiting for them to show up.
· You’re Not Informed Of Lateness
It’s a common courtesy for someone to inform you when they’re running late to an appointment with you. If that person is constantly arriving late and fails to let you know in advance, they’re not just bad at time management – they also don’t respect you or your time.
· Your Free Time Is Taken Advantage Of
Some people might seem to think that the existence of your free time means you should be using it for them. This is simply incorrect. Everyone deserves time to relax and unwind, and at the end of the day, you don’t owe someone the spare hours you have. If someone makes you feel guilty for having free time, they’re taking you for granted.
3. Your Efforts Are Not Appreciated
Few things hurt more than trying your best, then being made to feel like it’s not worthy of notice. Your hard work and efforts are deserving of recognition. Someone who fails to see these efforts time and time again is taking you for granted. Here are some examples of this:
· You Always Need To Give More
Even when you’ve done so much already, someone might make you feel like you need to do more. Their expectations are unfairly high and even impossible, indicating that your current efforts are being taken for granted.
· They Directly Take Credit for Your Ideas or Work
This is a pretty black-and-white sign that you’re being taken advantage of. If your actions and results are passed off as someone else’s successes, you’re not being appreciated, and the other person is behaving in a ridiculously entitled manner.
· You Feel Unworthy
If you constantly feel like you’re never good enough for someone, it’s time to take a step back and think about why you feel this way. Are you truly not doing enough, or are you just not appreciated? Is this person taking advantage of you or failing to express their appreciation? Chances are, that person is making you feel this way.
How To Fix Being Taken For Granted
1. Change The Way You Communicate
It is important to note that it is never your fault when other people take advantage of you or take you for granted. Other people’s behavior is never on you or your fault.
But with that being said, sometimes, your communication methods may encourage people to be unfair to you because they think they can get away with it, or they think you’re fine with such behavior. The School of Social Work at the University of Buffalo has some great pointers about what you might be doing that make others think it’s fine to treat you in disproportionate or less-than-positive ways. Here are some of the common traits you might exhibit:
- You have difficulty saying no
- Agreeing to requests that are inconvenient, inappropriate, or unfair
- You do not communicate regarding shifting boundaries or problems
- You are self-effacing when you express feelings, thoughts, needs, and opinions
- You’re often self-deprecating and put yourself down around others
- You’re apologetic when communicating
- You focus excessively on how others think of you
- Talking down to yourself
These communication methods are counter-productive; no one can read your mind and determine your true feelings or intentions. Even those who know of your discomfort may not feel inclined to heed your unspoken desires if they can benefit from your silence. Avoid falling into these traps, and much fewer people will take advantage of you.
2. Consider The Opposite Perspective
You likely feel hurt and pained by the actions of the person who has taken you for granted, and that is completely reasonable. But to fix it, you have to get to the root of the problem and do something complicated – consider the perspective of the person in question.
Finding a solution requires working together with the person who you think is taking advantage of you. You can’t do that if you don’t want to understand why you accept this treatment. As tough as it is, you have to meet in the middle before they can realize their wrongs and apologize. Here are some things to keep in mind as you ponder the perspective of the other person: