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6 Sad Reasons Why People Take Advantage Of You

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“Why do people take advantage of me?”

The answer is simple: because they can.

Now, I know that sounds like a glib answer, but I’m not saying it to undermine or disrespect what you’re going through.

I’m saying it because you need to understand that many takers have no limits. They will take everything from you if you let them.

That is why it is so important that you are the one who decides how much you want to give, instead of just opening the door so other people can take.

How do you do that?

Well, it depends on why you’re doing what you’re doing.

So, let’s look at some common reasons why people take advantage of you and the potential solutions for each.

Speak to an accredited and experienced therapist to help you understand why people take advantage of you and how to stop them from doing so. You may want to try speaking to one via for quality care at its most convenient.

1. You feel that you need to earn friendship, love, or respect.

Some people believe that friendships and relationships are transactional in nature.

That kind of belief often comes from surviving child or domestic abuse where the abuser would withhold affection unless certain conditions were met.

The person learns to associate love and affection with a particular action.

For example, they may feel that “I’m not worthy of being loved for who I am, so I need to make sure I am earning the affection I receive.”

That leaves the person open to anyone who is willing to take advantage of that trauma.

Solution: It’s going to start with therapy. Often, you will need to address that childhood trauma, develop better boundaries, and learn how healthy relationships work.

They aren’t transactional. You don’t give with an expectation of receiving affection.

In a healthy relationship, both partners give because they want to give. They give because they want to lift the other person up, not bring them down.

2. You feel that you don’t deserve equal respect.

Some people may let others take advantage of them because they don’t feel they are good enough to warrant respect.

Being treated with kindness may feel uncomfortable to them. They don’t stand up for themselves because they may feel like they deserve to be treated poorly or punished for whatever transgressions.

But often, these transgressions aren’t actually theirs. Instead, they come from the unkind words and actions of other people.

People who have survived domestic violence and emotionally abusive relationships may fall into these patterns.

Their partner may have spent years undermining their self-confidence and perception of self, making them easy to control, more willing to receive abuse, and not leave.

Solution: Again, it starts with therapy. Unmaking this kind of harm and changing these beliefs is a long-term project that will require the assistance of a professional.

You’ll need to address those incorrect beliefs and then learn to make different choices when your brain tells you that you aren’t good things.

You don’t deserve to be treated poorly. No one deserves to be treated poorly.

3. You have poor boundaries.

Some people tend to function in extremes. It’s all or nothing, black and white, completely polar opposites.

Boundaries are a limitation on those extremes. They help you define what is acceptable and unacceptable.

Sometimes boundaries are total, and rightfully so. But other times, boundaries are a middle ground where you sit because you want to be a giver.

Still, you want to ensure that other people aren’t taking so much that you are left entirely drained.

How can you tell if you have poor boundaries? Well, when was the last time you said no to a thing that totally inconvenienced you?

For example, let’s say you are totally exhausted from work this week, looking forward to that coming day off, but your friend says they need help moving. Can you say no? How would you feel if you did say no? Would you be okay with it? Would you feel incredible guilt? Or would you just say yes because you don’t want to rock the boat?

Solution: The only solution to poor boundaries is to create stronger boundaries.

That doesn’t mean that your boundaries need to be rock solid or entirely absolute. What’s important is that the decisions that you’re making aren’t coming from a sense of guilt.

4. You don’t feel comfortable standing up for yourself.

People who cannot say “no” are easy to take advantage of.

Humans are messy, emotional, sometimes irrational creatures. Conflict is inevitable as emotions boil over, people maneuver to get what they want out of life, and look to advance their own goals.

Sometimes you’ll get swept up in that behavior. Sometimes a person with less than pure intentions will see that you’re an agreeable person or that you’re trying to be good and think, “Jackpot!”

Solution: Learn how to set and enforce boundaries. Get comfortable with the discomfort of doing so (because it will feel deeply uncomfortable if it’s not something you’re used to). Use the word ‘no’ and be okay with the resulting conflict.

You will likely find that some of your friends—and I use that term loosely—start falling away when you’re no longer serving your purpose in their life.

This is normal, and it’s a good thing. It means you are no longer agreeing to be used by them.

Still, the people who genuinely care about you will want to understand your boundaries so they can treat you with respect.

5. You are too nice and agreeable.

People often mistake niceness and agreeability with kindness.

The thing is, kindness is not always nice. In fact, the type of kindness that many people need may not be nice or feel very good at all.

Kindness can look like being honest with a person about the terrible actions that they’re making, the bad way they are treating themselves, or mistakes that need to be called out.

Kindness may not be nice, but it is done with love and care for the person, even if it’s ugly. That is, so long as it’s not disrespectful.

But what about nice people? Agreeable people? Well, those with rougher personalities just look at them as doormats to be walked over because most of the time, they are.

Rougher people don’t respect others who are too nice and agreeable because they are viewed inconsequentially. Like, what are you going to do about it? Cry?

And if any of this reads like I’m a total assh0le, allow me to assure you, dear reader, I was for a very long time. It took almost two decades for me to pull my head out of my backside and realize I shouldn’t treat soft people with disrespect or avoid them altogether just because they’re soft.

That’s just how the people in my world treated each other, so that’s how I treated other people. And if you got chewed up, it was your own fault for being weak.

Solution: Learn when to be nice and agreeable and when to be an assh0le.

Never do anything for anybody with an expectation of what you can get out of it. If you’re going to do something for somebody, do it because you want to do it, not because you feel bad for them.

If a manipulative person knows they can make you feel bad, they know they can play you like an instrument and get you to do what they want you to do.

6. You look for the good in people to a fault.

“Look for the good in people” is a common piece of advice I’ve heard thrown around all of my life.

Personally, I think it’s stupid advice. Who gives a sh*t how good another person is?

Instead, I think you should look for the bad in people.

“But I believe that everyone is good, deep down inside.”

L. O. F*cking. L.

How sheltered and naive can a person possibly be?

No. Some people live purely to take advantage of other people, cause chaos, and enrich themselves at the expense of others.

They’re not just misunderstood lost souls who need a little kindness to be saved. They are people who will do irreparable harm if they are left to their own devices to act unchecked.

People who look for the good in others, blinding themselves to evil’s real nature, are the perfect patsies to take advantage of.

And if you are one of those people, it’s okay. Really.

I’m sure you probably feel attacked by what I wrote here, but that was my intention. I want you to understand how people who aren’t so good view you so that maybe, just maybe, you’ll get angry enough to be willing to tell these people to go f*ck themselves too.

Solution: Don’t look for the good in people. Strive to see people as they actually are by looking at their actions.

Words don’t do the right job. It’s easy to lie, and most people severely overestimate just how well they can read others.

Take people for what they are. If they’re doing terrible things to other people, then they’ll do terrible things to you. If they’re lying to other people, they’ll lie to you. If they’ll cheat on their partner with you, they’re capable of doing it to you too.

Can people change? Sure. But most people don’t because change is hard, requiring a lot of introspection and self-work. They could if they felt motivated to change. But they don’t.

Or, in the words of Mr. Olympia bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman, “Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but nobody wants to lift no heavy-a** weights.”

Still not sure why people take advantage of you or what you can do about it?

Speak to a therapist about it.

Why? Because they are trained to help people in situations like yours.

They can help you to create a healthier mindset toward others so that you can then set and enforce proper boundaries and not get taken advantage of. is a website where you can connect with a therapist via phone, video, or instant message.

While you may try to work through this yourself, it may be a bigger issue than self-help can address.

And if it is affecting your mental well-being, relationships, or life in general, it is a significant thing that needs to be resolved.

Too many people try to muddle through and do their best to overcome issues that they never really get to grips with. If it’s at all possible in your circumstances, therapy is 100% the best way forward.

Online therapy is actually a good option for many people. It’s more convenient than in-person therapy and is more affordable in a lot of cases.

And you get access to the same level of qualified and experienced professional.

Here’s that link again if you’d like to learn more about the service provide and the process of getting started.

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About The Author

Jack Nollan is a person who has lived with Bipolar Disorder and Bipolar-depression for almost 30 years now. Jack is a mental health writer of 10 years who pairs lived experience with evidence-based information to provide perspective from the side of the mental health consumer. With hands-on experience as the facilitator of a mental health support group, Jack has a firm grasp of the wide range of struggles people face when their mind is not in the healthiest of places. Jack is an activist who is passionate about helping disadvantaged people find a better path.