We’ve all experienced the sense that a friend, partner or co-worker might be taking advantage of us. We all need to feel appreciated, especially by our friends and loved ones, but when we don’t get that mutual respect, it could be a sign we’re being taken advantage of.
How to know if you’re being taken for granted
Ever feel like you’re being taken for granted in a relationship? Watch for these signs to help you judge if you are:
They Don’t Keep Their Commitments
A sure sign that someone is taking advantage of you is that they don’t keep their commitments. Repeatedly canceling on you, not showing up or, acting annoyed when they do show up, are tell-tale signs that the person is taking advantage. If they need something from you however, they’ll be sure to show up, since it’s all about what you can do for them.
The Relationship is One Sided
When someone consistently fails to thank you for help you’ve given or for something nice you’ve done for them, its an indicator that they don’t care about your feelings. When there is no reciprocity in the relationship — you listen to them, help them, do favors for them — but they rarely, if ever, do the same for you, it’s probable that they’re taking advantage of you.
They Take Credit for Something You Did
A true friend is more than happy to shine the light on you. When someone regularly steals your glory and fails to give credit where credit is due, it’s time to re-think the relationship. Another indicator is if they belittle your accomplishments — they may not fully take the credit, but they’ll try to diminish your accomplishments.
They Pressure You
If the other person routinely pressures you or tries to subtly cajole you into doing things you don’t want to do, they’re taking advantage. They most likely know you’re not interested, but they couldn’t care less because in their mind, it’s all about what they want and your needs are irrelevant. Another indicator is if you ask them to do something with you and they regularly tell you “no!” — that double standard is also an indicator.
Conversations Are One-Sided
You can tell if someone genuinely cares about you by observing how often they actually listen to you. In a one-sided relationship, the other person may zone out when you’re talking to them. However, they’re quick to always talk about themselves and, they expect you to listen to every word and support them no matter what.
They Lack Empathy
In a mutually healthy relationship, you’re there for each other. People who pathologically take advantage generally lack empathy for other people. They are often bad at hiding this trait, so you’ll eventually start to notice that they don’t really care about you. They take what they need from you, but when it comes to being supportive, they’re empty in the empathy department.
They Rarely Initiate Contact
The taker in a one-sided relationship will be quick to point out they haven’t heard from you…but that’s only because they need something. Point out that you haven’t heard from them and the excuses come rolling off their tongue. It’s okay if they’re “too busy,” but not for you to be. Watch for a lack of interaction, unless it somehow benefits them.
Relationships, whether they be romantic, platonic or work-related, are meant to be two-way — give and take, fairness, comradery and mutual respect are hallmarks of healthy relationships. When we find ourselves being regularly ignored, disrespected and marginalized by another person, it’s probably time to reevaluate that relationship. People who habitually take advantage of others are toxic people and they bring toxicity into our lives…and who needs that?