When people who are loving and caring go overboard with their service to others, they tend to be taken for granted. Unfortunately, not everybody acknowledges how much they do. It is easier to just get used to it and start expecting more. Here are the signs when people take you for granted:
- They don’t acknowledge your efforts
- They constantly criticize you and find faults with everything
- They control you and tell you what to do
- They have high expectations and get angry when you don’t comply
- They don’t respect your boundaries
- When challenged, they escape by saying you are not good enough; you must improve yourself and work harder on the relationship. They will not take any responsibility for what went wrong.
It would help to distance yourself physically or mentally from people who take you for granted. Very often, that doesn’t work out because they are in your inner circle. Nevertheless, there are some things you can do if you are in this situation:
- Spend more time thinking about what you want rather than what they want
- Don’t always be available.
- Don’t seek approval for every decision of yours. If they comment on your choices, tell them you have a mind of your own and need to do certain things your way.
- Allow them to be angry with you if they are angry just because you didn’t do as they wanted.
Set boundaries by letting them know which areas you can allow them to speak about and which are off-limits. For instance, if they repeatedly and unreasonably tell you whom to spend your time or money with, you might need to remind them that you are an adult and have your own choices to make.
Allowing people to overstep their boundaries and take you for granted will hurt your identity. You will not be able to distinguish yourself as an individual. You will find it difficult to be your own person resulting in an unhealthy dependency on others. They will tell you how to feel and act in situations. This will hurt your confidence in being in this world as an independent, fully functional adult.
Remember, people who take you for granted are very often not aware they are doing it, so go easy on them. You don’t have to fight things out. To begin with, just withdraw the amount of attention given to them and focus more on yourself. Do what you want to do and think less about what everybody else would feel about it. When they see you don’t take yourself for granted, they will not be able to do so either.