By Anubhav Srivastava (Register For His Workshop – Super Confidence For Super Success !)
How to deal with people who use you? Throughout life you are going to deal with people you will do a lot for but they will remain ungrateful towards you no matter what you do for them. These people maybe your colleagues or superiors in your workplace. They maybe so called friends. They maybe part of your immediate or extended family. They may even be someone with whom you share an intimate relationship.
The point is no matter what you do you will always have a group of people who will have a problem with you, even if you maybe the greatest living person on earth. These people may take you for granted, or they may use you or they may not show gratitude towards what you do for them.
So now that we know that having such people in our lives at some point or the other is inevitable, how do you deal with people who use or abuse you? How do you deal with ungrateful people who make you feel bad about yourself and do not respect you no matter what you do for them, even if you are tremendously important for their lives?
Well here is how to deal with people who use you.
1) Respect Yourself
If you cannot respect yourself, do not expect anyone else to respect you either. If you do not respect yourself, expect to be stomped upon, no matter what you do. Having self respect and having an ego are two different things. An ego is all about trying to establish superiority over the other person, it’s about trying to show the other person that it is they that wield power and the other person should bow down to their whims.
Self respect is different. It is about having a healthy self image of yourself and being confident. It’s about thinking highly of yourself without thinking low of others. It’s about looking at yourself in the mirror and being proud of who you are, instead of being ashamed of what you have become or are being forced to become.
The first step to dealing with toxic people or those who use and abuse you is to possess or build self respect. If you do not have any self respect, you won’t have the courage to stand up for yourself in the first place or have the desire for a better life.
2) Stand up for what you deserve.
Once you discover respect for yourself, the next step is to stand up for what you deserve. Often times the other person does not even know that the are making you feel bad or that they are doing anything wrong with you. They may not necessarily be evil, they might just not be empathetic enough. It is good to attempt a dialogue (you can atleast try) and mention to them clearly about what you are unhappy about. If you feel you are not being compensated enough for your duties in your job, tell your boss, especially if you are an indispensable employee. Why would the boss raise your salary if he holds the belief that you don’t mind working for a lower pay.
If you feel you are being mistreated in a relationship, tell your partner why you are not happy. For all you know they might actually think you are okay with being treated the way they treat you. No change is going to happen in your life unless you stand up for the change.
Some people will get your point and try to mend their ways. But others, especially those who are truly narcissistic and do not care about you will probably ignore you. However, initiating a conversation at first is always a useful first strategy
3) Stop being “too nice.”
Being too nice is actually a bad thing. You might think that being excessively nice and trying to please everyone is the secret to success. On the contrary to trying to please everyone or trying to please specific people on the time will actually backfire in a big way and will ensure that you do not become successful.
You can be polite but you don’t have to say yes to everything they say or bend to their whims and fancies every single time. If you do, you will erode your respect in their eyes, because they know they can take you for granted and stomp upon you like a doormat.
Taking anything to the extreme is a bad thing and the same holds true for excessive niceness and politeness. Instead of appreciating you, people will start using you further because they know you are too afraid to offend them. People at your workplace will start putting their work on you. But when the time comes to claim rewards, they will claim all the credit for themselves because they know you are too nice to even claim credit for what you did!!
4) Don’t be afraid of people’s opinions, they will always have one.
Most “nice” people are terribly afraid of judgement. They are afraid of what people will say about them should they stop saying yes to everything or display a change of attitude. Well guess what, people are always going to form an opinion. Do you really think people respect you because you are a very nice person who never says no? Of course not, they most probably make fun of you and tell others how easy it is to manipulate someone like you. In their eyes, you have no respect. They are still forming opinions about you while you are miserable.
When you change, their opinions will change, but they will still have an opinion. They are probably not going to make fun of you and instead complain about how you have changed or become rude just because it is no longer so easy to manipulate you. The criticism will always be there. If they don’t like your change in attitude, who cares? It’s not like you were treated with genuine respect and dignity earlier. They are going to still have an opinion, albeit a changed one, but at least this time you are actually happy instead of being miserable!
5) Make your presence needed by showing your absence.
The more you are readily available for someone all the time, the cheaper your value becomes in their mind. Value has nothing to do with need, it has everything to do with availability. What do you think is the thing that we need the most in life to survive? It is oxygen. Oxygen is even more important than water because without it we can’t even survive for more than a few minutes and yet no one values it because it is so readily available.
But put their head underwater and they will realize the value of oxygen in less than a minute and be desperate for it. They will be gasping for breath and the only thing they will want at that time is some oxygen to breathe. From something they didn’t value at all, in a minute it becomes the only thing they ever need. Oxygen was always important for them but they didn’t value it because they didn’t notice its absence
People who use you are no different. If you always make yourself available to ungrateful people, they will continue to use you and never value you even if you are someone absolutely crucial to their very survival. By limiting access to people who use you, you take away the power that they think they have and make them realize how important and valuable you truly are. It is only then that they will regret what they did and people who have some common sense will never repeat that mistake again because they will realize how precious you are.
Those who still don’t change, and resort to the same old behavior once you re-appear, limit your access to them permanently. They never deserved you in the first place.
Being liked is important but being respected and valued is even more important. Being excessively nice or available will only make your value in peoples’ eyes go down even if they are not in a position to do anything without you. Begin with respecting yourself and understanding your value as a person. If you can’t respect yourself, how can you expect respect from someone else. Start standing up for what you deserve. If you don’t stand up for what you deserve, don’t complain when you don’t get it.
Next, you have to stop being too nice. Anything taken to the extreme is bad and being too nice is no different. It is only going to lead you to becoming a doormat who will be stomped upon as per the other person’s wishes. Decide to change ways and don’t be afraid of people’s opinions. People are always going to have an opinion anyway. Even when you would say yes to everything, they probably made fun of you behind your back for being gullible. Let them complain about your changed attitude if they want, at least this time you are leading life on your terms, not theirs.
Finally the most important thing to get your value back is to stop being readily available to people. Value has nothing to do with need, it has everything to do with rarity. People don’t even value Oxygen, the most important element for life, until their heads are forced underwater and they are gasping for breath. So limit your access to those taking you for granted, the wise ones will mend their ways quickly because they will realize how valuable you are to them and their renewed relationship with you will be see a tremendous positive change!
About the Author
Anubhav Srivastava is an author, speaker and the director of Carve Your Destiny, a first of its kind inspirational documentary featuring some of the most famous personalities from diverse fields. It has been seen by over One Million People on Youtube. Anubhav has also been featured in numerous International and India Media outlets such as BBC , The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Rediff.com, Leicester Mercury and many others.
For one on one consulting or a motivational workshop at your organization please email firstname.lastname@example.org . If you would like to write a guest blog post on Anubhavsrivastava.com you contact me on the same email address.
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