Being taken for granted isn’t something anyone wants to experience, but it happens. However, you don’t have to put up with it. You can improve your life and be more appreciated for everything you’ve you do on a daily basis by making a few basic changes to how you live. Here are some tips to try.
Notice the patterns. Write down or think about everything that happens consistently that means you’re being taking for granted. Do you pay for everything? Do you always make contact first? Are there bigger expectations on you than other people? Write it all down, think it all through, and realize all the ways you’re being taken for granted because it’s the first step to truly stopping the constant grind of ingratitude.
Speak up about how you feel. If you’re being taken for granted, one of the only ways to stop this is to speak up and say something. Often people think everything is okay and won’t read into signs of unhappiness and discomfort because it suits them to be happy about the situation. That being said, if you’re unhappy and someone really cares about you, they’ll want to do what they can to stop you feeling that way.
Create some distance. It’s important to distance yourself from the people who are taking you for granted. This could mean physically moving to another country (speaking from experience), moving out of a living situation, getting a different job, breaking up in a relationship, or finding new friends. Once you get distance from the situation and are in a less draining environment, you’ll be able to think more clearly about what is it you want for your future and how you want people to treat you.
Create boundaries. Creating boundaries can be one of the hardest things to do because it may upset the people around you. They may be upset that they don’t have constant access to your time anymore, that they’ll have to make more of an effort when they previously never had to. An example of a boundary that would stop you being taken from granted would be to limit your time with someone if they expect you to help them with something the whole day. Saying something like, “I will only come for one hour and then I have to leave” makes it clear that you are only available for one hour. Boundaries are necessary to break the never-ending cycle that is you being overlooked and underappreciated.
Stick to your boundaries. Sticking to your boundaries is even harder to do than creating them. It’s easy to waiver in the face of someone else’s disappointment, but the true disappointment should be that they are not considering your feelings. Telling someone you will no longer be buying all the gifts at Christmas time or constantly working overtime is not you being difficult or dramatic. It is you stating clearly these overbearing tasks and expectations are not benefiting you overall and it is time for this to change. To truly change this is to really follow through on what you’ve said to someone. If you buckle under the pressure (which can happen for sure early on so it’s important to practice creating boundaries and sticking to them), no one will take you seriously and you’ll continue being taken for granted.
Expect people to be selfish. When you express and follow through that you will no longer be taken for granted, some people won’t like the discomfort this creates for them and will act selfishly. They may even go so far as to try and make you feel bad for trying to change your life for the better. By expecting this, you will be better prepared for someone to be unhappy with you. Do not give in to the emotional (and sometimes manipulative) roller-coaster someone may want to take you on, it’s not a ride you need to be on and you’re free to get off anytime.
Connect with your feelings. Knowing you are not alone in how you feel can be the motivation to keep going in creating a better life and stop being taken for granted. Podcasts, blogs, and social media groups all have stories of people being taken advantage of time and time again and how they changed this for the better. When you see how easily it happens to other people, you’ll forgive yourself for not changing things sooner.
Learn the power of “No.” Learn to say “no” without further explanation. No, you will not be doing all the house chores yourself without any help. No, you will not be expected to work more for less pay. No, you will not make yourself available simply due to someone else’s availability. When asked to do something you really don’t want to do and know it will add to you being taken for granted, say “no” and nothing else. This is one of the best tools to stop being taken for granted.
Don’t reply. Sometimes people don’t listen when you clearly say no and what your boundaries are. This means you may have to take the step of not replying to someone when they demand your time and attention. If you’ve already communicated to someone you’re being taken for granted and will no longer be allowing this and they ignore you, it’s time to start ignoring them.
Spend more time with people who give you equal energy. By surrounding yourself with more people who don’t take you for granted, you will realize more and more how much easier and happier this lifestyle is. Once you are around others who respect you, your time, and your energy, you will wonder how you could ever surround yourself with people who do not.
Don’t be afraid to tell people what you want. It’s tiresome to tell people to treat you in a respectful manner but sometimes people truly don’t know what it is that you want. Tell people clearly what all your efforts have been and that you want more appreciation for them and to stop being taken for granted. Go a further step in how they can appreciate you like paying you more, giving you more time to rest, taking on tasks that were typically expected of you for whatever reason and communicating with, “Thank you, I appreciate what you’re doing.”
Stop being everything to everyone before you become nothing to yourself. If you are doing everything for everyone and nothing for you, you will be left in a situation you truly do not wish to be in. This could manifest in an emotional breakdown, poorer relationships, and isolating yourself. You don’t have to get to these circumstances to stop being taken for granted. Start today with little steps and practice, practice, practice how you want to be treated.