How To Stop Being Taken For Granted

One Powerful Way To Stop Being Taken For Granted

Do you sometimes feel taken for granted? It can be a painful experience to be overlooked and feel unimportant. 

It can leave you feeling that you can't trust in a relationship because you don't know where you stand. So you spend a lot of time and energy trying to figure out why they would treat you so badly, whether you should say something about it - and if so what?

But it doesn't have to be this way. With one simple change you can very easily become more valued and respected in your relationships. The following is one of the many stories from How Kind People Get Tough. See if you relate, and read on to find out how you too can stop being taken for granted.

Paula 35

There I was, waiting at the restaurant, and they'd never even told me they'd changed plans. It was like they'd forgotten all about me!'

Paula was fed up with people always taking her for granted. Her friends just didn't seem to consider that she was a person with feelings. They'd let her down at the last minute or be rude to her without even realising what they were saying.

It was the same with her romantic relationships. At first, the men in her life would be very attentive, giving her lots of consideration and respect, but soon they'd start to take her for granted or cancel dates at the last minute.

To Paula, it seemed like everyone she met ended up treating her with disregard and disrespect. At thirty-five, Paula was beginning to question if she was simply meeting the wrong people or if it was something to do with how she herself was behaving in these relationships.

Stop Saying 'Oh, I Don't Mind!'

Paula told me that she was always quite laid-back when she went out with friends and on dates. She enjoyed lots of different activities and was content to go along with what others wanted to do.

She certainly didn't want to be high maintenance, she told me—that was a turn-off—and it just wasn't in her nature to be picky anyway.

It's quite common for people to just go along with what others want, sometimes because they don't want to come across as fussy, and sometimes because they simply don't have a preference.

So, when someone asks them to choose, they say:

'Oh, I don't mind, whatever you like.'

If this is you, maybe you genuinely don't mind. Perhaps you're a laid-back, easy-going person who is just happy to be enjoying people's company, and you really aren't that fussed about what the activity is, or the choice of restaurant, or the film, and so on.

But what message does this convey?

Could it be telling people that they don't have to stop to consider your choices because, well, you don't really make any? You don't really care?

And in time, how does that message grow in their subconscious? Are you signalling to them that you don't really care about other things either, such as if they are late or forget to contact you?

Even the kindest, most thoughtful person can quite innocently forget about your needs because you've been giving out a message that they don't need to put you front of mind.

Paula hadn't realised that by being so laid-back, she was actually sending out the wrong signals. It was easy to blame people for forgetting about her needs when she herself wasn't taking responsibility to get them met.

Once Paula decided to be more intentional, she began to feel more empowered. She began to have fun with this; she'd pick small things and be very clear about what she liked and didn't like. 'It makes me feel really confident,' she told me.

Within a couple of weeks, her friends began to pay her more attention. They no longer took her for granted; they made sure to contact her and asked for her opinion about things. It was amazing how this one small change made such a huge difference in her relationships.

Here's How To Stop Being Taken For Granted

The next time someone offers you options, pick one! It's that easy. Even if you really don't mind if you see film A, B, or C, select one. State clearly, 'I would like to watch film A,' or 'I would like to watch film B,' or 'I would like to watch film C.'

This is so powerful because it:

  • Gives a clear message to your subconscious that you're worthy and deserving of having your desires met.
  • Signals to the other person that you expect to be given attention and respect.

This is not being picky—it's learning to set a clear boundary about what you want and communicating it in an easy and friendly way.

Being more intentional about your choices is one very powerful method of setting a clear boundary about what you want, and communicating that boundary to others.

As you start communicating your boundaries, you’ll quickly find that people stop taking you for granted and value you more. You can relax and enjoy your time with people because you won't have a head full of stress and worry about where you stand and what's going on.  

Imagine living on your own terms, free from the shadow of others' opinions and judgments. Where people-pleasing is a thing of the past and self-love is your natural way of being. 

If this is the life you want, start here ...

Discover Your People-Pleaser Profile

Which of these are your patterns?

  • Rescuing
  • Over-Giving
  • Fixing
  • Conflict Avoiding
  • Adapting

Take this quiz to find out your scores, and I'll send you tips and strategies to help you break the people-pleasing habit.

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