When it comes to your friendships, do you always feel like you end up giving more? If so, you are not alone. In a long-term relationship, it’s likely that you will experience feelings of being taken advantage of at some point. It’s typical, and many individuals share this sentiment. It is a part of compromising. Learning how to stop being taken for granted in a friendship, though, can be very important.
Before you start working on this, you should first determine whether you are genuinely being taken for granted by your friends. There are several indicators, such as your friend not listening to you, not spending time with you, possibly continually asking you for favours, only contacting you when they need your assistance, or no longer showing any interest in you. So if that’s the case, here’s how you can stop it.
Dr Kedar Tilwe, Consultant Psychiatrist, Fortis Hospital Mulund and Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi, has suggested how to stop being taken for granted by friends.
Dr Tilwe says, “Friendship is one of the relationships we establish, in which trust is built over time. Sometimes giving leeway to friends may be necessary, but if it becomes a continuous process, it can have severe implications for our sense of self-esteem and confidence.”
So, if you think you’re being taken for granted by your friends or they are taking advantage of you, try these tips suggested by Dr Tilwe to stop it.
How to stop someone from taking you for granted:
1. Set boundaries
Speaking up for yourself and establishing appropriate give and take can be difficult when the boundaries between you and your pals are crossed. However, you should work on expressing your boundaries more precisely. “Establish clear-cut boundaries and set limits concerning the behaviour or impositions made in the friendship,” advises Dr Tilwe. Also remember, saying ‘no’ is a healthy habit, so do not feel guilty about doing it!
2. Practice assertive communication
“Assertiveness is not what you do, it’s who you are.” This is something Shakti Gawain, a well-known author, has said. Assertiveness is a method of communication that is key to making yourself heard significantly, as sometimes lines may blur over time. It can assist you in maintaining harmony between your ideas and other people’s demands and rights.
Additionally, feeling confident about yourself prevents you from being taken advantage of since the other person will hesitate before going beyond the boundaries you have set for them.
3. Give feedback
Everyone has a right to be respected and valued, and it is acceptable to desire such treatment. That’s why you should always acknowledge your sentiments that you are being taken for granted and deal with the issue at hand until the offender comes clean. “Give a constructive feedback on an unintended hurt that may have been caused by the other person and explain why it had an effect,” says Dr Tilwe. If you describe your demands in straightforward terms to your friend, perhaps they will understand you and your situation better.
4. Resolve issues
Yes, you should always try to work out problems with your friends! “Remember to patch things up as soon as possible, as, after all, you are friends,” advises Dr Tilwe. The distance between you and your friend can occasionally be minimized and resolved by spending time with them, chatting, and dealing with your problems.
6. Respect others’ opinions
This is the most crucial piece of advice that you need to remember. You should always respect the other person’s views, while being assertive and confident. Therefore, develop the ability to tolerate differences of opinion rather than engaging in conflict over taking a position, as this may not be related to the nature of your friendship.