Self Respect

I know you have a good heart and you want to help the people you care about. It’s what makes you unique and special and I admire that about you. But how much ‘giving’ do you do, before people start taking advantage of you. That’s when people start treating you like a unappreciated doormat – because you allow it.

We all reach a point in our lives when we are doing too much for other people, and not enough for ourselves. We are the ones that then pay the price.

You know exactly when you are being taken advantage of. There may be nothing concrete in their behaviour but the alarm bells are shrieking in your head.

Here are a few ways to evaluate the situation:

  • Are you putting in all the work and effort?
  • Do they only contact you when they have a problem?
  • Do they reciprocate when you are in trouble?
  • Do they show an interest in your life and your friends?
  • Do they only ever talk about themselves and their problems?
  • Do you get the sense that you are just a convenience?
  • Are you a priority in their lives?
  • Do they treat you with respect and kindness when they don’t need you?
  • Do they introduce you to their friends and family?

If some of these questions are making you feel uncomfortable about some of your relationships then you need to take a long objective look at those relationships. You may be nothing more than a doormat for them. It’s a bitter pill to swallow if that is the case and it will hurt, but you deserve more.

Here are some ideas to help you change that:

Respect yourself. You are a remarkable human being who has so much to offer the world. You do not deserve to get treated like this. Understand that people will treat you exactly the way you allow them to treat you. So if you want to be treated with respect, start by respecting yourself.

Step away. Put a little distance between yourself and those people. Don’t be so quick to respond to their phone calls, messages or emails. If you are always instantly available it becomes clear to them that you will always be available. Then they start to take you for granted. And being taken for granted is a win-lose situation with you being the loser – every time.

Respect your own time. You have people to take care of, a job, chores that have to be done and time you need to spend on yourself. By giving all your time to other people your own life could fall apart. Stop it. You are the most important person when it comes to allocating your precious time. Once you have taken care of your own stuff, then maybe you can allocate time to other people.

Ask them for help. If you have a genuine problem, ask them if they can assist you. You will notice very quickly if they jump to help you, or find a million reasons why they can’t. And if there is a deafening silence, you already know the answer. It’s No! That will hurt, but you are better off finding out now than later when you have invested too time in building up that relationship.

Say No. Don’t say yes every time. If you are busy then tell them that you would love to help them but you have other commitments. I am not talking about real emergencies here. These are people that you care about. You do not want to lose them if possible, but do not bend to their every whim. Some people will get upset with you when you do this. That’s okay. Just remember that you are the most important person in your own life. You get to make the decisions. Nobody else is allowed to make them for you so do not feel guilty.

Sometimes you have to walk away. There are some relationships in your life that will never be what you expected or hoped they would be. No amount of giving or loving will ever change that. Unless you identify those relationships and walk away from them, you will never be happy. Because you know in your heart that it is a one-sided relationship and it will break you down slowly and painfully.

Sometimes, people don’t notice the things we do for them until we stop doing it

Yes it will hurt badly. But not for long. You will soon see who considers you important in their lives when you walk away. If they want you in their lives, they will come and find you.

And if they don’t? Then you truly are better off without them. You will have freed up space for new people that actually like and respect you to come into your life. And you will be happier and more self-confident.

Diana Heuser specialises in e-Business and Publishing Resources for Authors. Connect with Diana Heuser on her business website, via Twitter @DianaHeuser or on Google+.   She has recently started a new group called Secrets To Publishing A Book that you will find interesting.