12 Ways You’re Teaching People To Treat You Badly

You might say that you’d never let someone treat you like crap, but are you sure you’re not actually setting yourself up for it? If you’re doing any of the following 12 things, you’re showing people that you’ll put up with their bad behavior and it’s time to grow a backbone.

  1. You give the benefit of the doubt. You know that it sucks for the guy you were supposed to meet for a date to cancel at the last minute—again!—but you can’t help but want to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he did really fall and hurt his knee, the one that’s always conveniently giving him trouble lately. But the more you do that, the more you show people that you’re gullible.
  2. You’re exceptionally kind. You’re always nice, no matter what. Even if someone’s rude to you, you take the high road. While that can be a good thing, when dating someone who’s always pushing your buttons, it can make it seem like they can say whatever they want and you’ll just take it with a smile and a laugh at their “funny jokes” which are actually quite insulting. You’re better than that.
  3. You’re always keen to help others. When your date tells you he needs some money, you’re quick to whip out your wallet. When he asks if you can help him with his flat tire in the middle of the night, you’re quick to race to him. Although it’s good to be there for others, it’s not cool if you end up feeling like their 24-hour assistance hotline.
  4. You say the words “no problem” a lot. When you’re too busy to chat, you still make yourself available every single time. While this might be tempting to do when you’ve started dating someone and want to be with them all the time, it does mean you’re open to manipulation. It also reeks of desperation.
  5. You put their needs ahead of yours. You might really want to head to bed so you’re fresh for a busy day at work tomorrow but your partner wants to talk on the phone about his issues so you stick around and listen. While you might see that as an act of kindness, the danger of doing such good deeds is that you can end up hurting yourself, like when you go into work tired and stressed out the next day. If whatever you’re doing is putting you at a disadvantage, you need better boundaries.
  6. You apologize when you don’t need to. Yes, sometimes the best thing is to apologize for an argument, no matter who started it or why it happened. Still, that doesn’t mean you should always be the one to apologize, especially if you’re not the one who screamed, said insulting things, or started it. If you do this regularly, you’re basically telling your partner that no matter what they do, you’ll always go crawling to them to say you’re sorry when you shouldn’t be!
  7. You bite your tongue. You’re upset that your partner interrupted you in public but you don’t say anything to him about it later. You hate how your partner mocks you but you don’t say so. You’re always keen to bite your tongue and keep the peace. The problem? It tells him that he can continue his annoying and hurtful behavior.
  8. You say yes and then hate yourself for it. If you’re always keen to go with the flow and do what other people want, over time this could cause you to start to resent the whole situation. A sign that this is happening is if you say yes when someone wants you to do something but then you grind your teeth or feel stressed out when you leave the room.
  9. You’re making most of the effort. Your partner wants to see you but you end up having to travel across the city to see him, pick him up because his car’s in the garage, and plan the whole date. If you’re always the one making most of the effort to keep things going and stay connected with your partner then you’re basically a doormat. If he wants to be in your life and he values you, he’ll pull his own weight.
  10. You ignore his bad traits. He can be such a jerk sometimes, but you turn a blind eye to his flaws. By doing this, you’re basically allowing yourself to be a victim of those bad traits, whether they’re dishonesty, disloyalty, or anything else. See him for who he is. It’s better than trying to make him out to be something he’s not.
  11. You let him ghost and haunt you. He ghosted you, then came back, claiming he’d made a mistake and wanted to make things right. You gave him a chance, but this isn’t showing him how much you like him, it’s showing him that you’re so desperate to have him in your life that you’ll accept whatever he does. Don’t be surprised if he ghosts you again—and this time for good.
  12. You can’t say no. He knows that if he pushes you, eventually you’ll cave and say yes to whatever he’s trying to persuade you to do. While this might not seem like a big deal when he’s trying to convince you to hit the pub, it shows him that he can always get his way with you.
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.