You may think that kindness is the best way to deal with everything in life however, being too kind - enough to let someone take advantage of you - can create some issues for you. Compiled from Reader's Digest, here is a list of eight signs that indicate you are being taken for granted.
1. Someone else takes credit for your work
If someone tries to take credit for your work, that's a sign he is taking advantage of your kindness. "We all know the co-worker that accepts praise for the part of the project you did," says Erika Martinez, PsyD, a licensed psychologist in Miami. "These behaviours communicate a sense of entitlement from the person that's benefiting from the relationship."
2. They're unwilling to balance favours
Not saying thank you for something or not offering to pick up the slack next time are just some of the things that count as social fails. When someone does not appreciate you for your help or favours, it shows that your friend does not take your feelings into consideration.
"There's no reciprocity in the relationship. You listen, do them favours, help when they're in need but they never think to do the same for you," Dr Martinez says.
3. You're pushed to be compliant
One thing that everyone needs to learn is the art of saying no. "Before you respond, ask yourself, 'Will I feel resentful about this later if I say 'yes'? If the answer is 'yes', then kindly decline," Martinez advises. "If he pushes you, kindly repeat your 'no.' The point is: Don't accept the additional responsibility if you have the slightest inkling that saying 'yes' to someone or something will leave you feeling resentful."
4. The friendship is not equal
Your friends may have a habit of relying on you all the time. However, if they forget you in your time of need then this indicates selfishness. "You are there for lots of long text sessions and phone calls to help her handle her on again, off again romance but when you need her, she is slow to get back to you or disappears altogether," says Rhonda Milrad, LCSW, founder and chief relationship advisor of Relationup, an app that provides real-time, anonymous relationship advice from professionals.
"The friendship does not feel equal and you notice that you are growing resentful and feel used. If it's a close friend then it may be worthwhile having a conversation and sharing your feelings. If the person is less meaningful, it may be better not to put too much energy into trying to repair things."
5. You're on the receiving end of deceptive flattery
If there's a co-worker showering you with admiration, in awe of how you do everything 'so well', this may be a sign he's shamelessly buttering you up for the wrong reasons. "Blinded by the rosy glow of false flattery, you fail to spot his true motive: using you to do his work," cautions Wendy L Patrick, JD, PhD, a San Diego-based attorney and behavioral expert. "And since you 'know everything,' he never has to look up any information on his own, he can just ask you," Patrick states.
6. You're uncertain
Having an unstable relationship can prove to be very unhealthy. Research shows that uncertainty in a relationship—the feeling that a partner may be unpredictable with his or her support or negativity—can take a quiet toll on your health.
7. You're made to feel unworthy
It's important to remember that if we don't value ourselves first, we can't expect others to value us. Samantha Ettus, a Los Angeles-based work/life expert recommends doing a self-worth check if you're questioning whether you're being taken for granted.
Ask yourself: Are you constantly apologising? Do you tend to stand in the back of the room rather than take a seat at the table? "If you answer yes, you may be undervaluing yourself. This enables others to take advantage of you," she explains.
8. There are no boundaries
If you feel that you are constantly being asked for favours but getting nothing in return then it is time to set some boundaries. "When asked to do yet another favour, decline without an excuse," Ettus says. "Once you get caught up in concocting excuses, you end up feeling bad about yourself. Saying 'I can't pick up Jack on Friday' is enough. The more you practice setting those boundaries and standing your ground, the stronger you will feel."
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