I Was Too Nice & People Took Advantage Of Me—Not Anymore

I’ve been called the “nice girl” when I know people actually meant to say I’m a doormat. The truth is, I was and didn’t realize it. Now I’m much more careful about who I’m nice to—here’s why.

  1. I’m tired of giving the benefit of the doubt. If I’m dating a guy and he’s late in replying to my texts for days, I might try to tell myself that he’s just busy/preoccupied with work or his phone is busy/lost/has been stolen. Obviously, that’s BS. Often, the guy’s avoiding me because he’s an a-hole. Enough is enough.
  2. I don’t give second chances anymore. I used to think that second chances were a good thing. Hey, everyone makes mistakes, right? Well, I’ve changed my mind. I know my worth more than I used to. If someone hurts me once, I know that it’s likely they will do it again—or do even worse. I don’t want to be there to have my thoughts confirmed.
  3. People take advantage if you let them. There are great people out there, don’t get me wrong, but there are also a lot of jerks. I’m so sick of people taking advantage of my kind nature. Just because I’m polite and ready to help others, it doesn’t mean toxic people should be ready to take advantage of that. Hell no.
  4. I’m done with being too nice. It only puts me at risk of receiving bad behavior and being hurt. This doesn’t mean I’m going to turn into some mean person, it just means that I’m more aware of how nice I’m being and if the person on the receiving end of my niceness actually deserves it.
  5. I’m done with being called negative. I don’t care if people think I’m guarded because I’m negative or jaded. I’m actually not—I’m just looking out for myself. Guys in the past have said I’m a “tough cookie to crack” because I’m so difficult. Whatever. If someone wants my loyalty, kindness, and trust, they have to earn it.
  6. I’ve learned to protect myself. I’ve always been a nurturer focused on helping and protecting others, but now I need to take care of myself. I know that in order for me to be helpful to others, I first have to look out for myself. Otherwise, I’ll be left with nothing, and that’s a surefire way to lose myself or hurt myself. I’m done with that.
  7. I respect my boundaries. I never used to think much about boundaries until I got screwed over. It’s a myth to think that your partner will just magically respect them. If I don’t set them, how can he know where they are and why they’re important to me? Boundaries are really about self-care. They’re a way for me to ensure that people don’t walk all over me—and if they do, they get sent straight to the exit.
  8. I keep my standards high. I’m so over putting myself down in order to lift someone else up. That’s certainly not the way to support someone. Why would I want to support someone at the price of hurting myself? No way. By having high standards, I ensure that I’m treated in the way that I deserve. I’m not afraid to keep these high standards because they’ll put good men off. That’s BS. When someone respects and loves me, he’ll make my wellbeing a priority. That means respecting my standards.
  9. If he loves me, he’ll respect my boundaries. Same goes for my standards, as mentioned above. The only guy who’ll complain about them is someone who was hoping to get a free lunch and take advantage of me. That’s not going to happen, so he’d better look elsewhere.
  10. I give what i get. I know relationships aren’t supposed to be a tit-for-tat arrangement, but it’s important to know what I’m getting in the relationship before I just go ahead and give everything I’ve got. If a guy’s a taker, that can really be a recipe for disaster. So, I make sure that we’re on equal footing when it comes to what we’re investing into the relationship. I’m not in this alone! He has to give as much as he takes.
  11. I take a long time to trust. I don’t have trust issues. I just have issues with trusting the wrong people and getting hurt. Sure, trust always involves a bit of faith, but I want to try to minimize the chances that I’ll get walked over and treated badly. Doesn’t everyone? I take a long time to get to know the guy before saying I trust him. It’s not enough for him to say he loves me. He’s got to show me that I can rely on him and that he’s not going to take advantage of me. Why put myself in a situation that will likely end in pain and heartache?
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.