How to stop being taken for granted
Being taken for granted is a horrible situation to be in, whether it is with your partner, friends, colleagues at work or relationships with other loved ones. Do you know why? Because there are really no immediate or quick fixes for this problem. You will need to take active steps that will create a solid platform for your personality and image. Here are steps that you can take and learn how to stop being taken for granted.
Note: Illustrative examples of how people can avoid being taken for granted, have been used to describe real life situations in this article. For the ease of explanation and readability, the name John has been used in each example.
One of the basic personality traits of people who are taken for granted is that they are unable to say no to others. If this sounds like you, it means that you are simply afraid that you may sound rude or arrogant if you say no. If you want to stop from being taken for granted, you will have to put this fear aside and put your foot down to say no should the need arise.
Example: if your friends expect you to be there every time they plan to hang out even if you are busy doing your own thing, say no for once. Your schedule and priorities should get priority over other unimportant things in life. Soon, your friends will realize that you will not shy away from not showing up and will stop taking your presence for granted.
Don't be nice all the time
Being nice to others should be the way we all behave. Unfortunately, it is often the case that people who are too nice or go overboard in being nice to other can be taken for granted. If you think that people are taking advantage of your niceness, it is time you hung up your nice boots and put on a firm attitude. Be nice, but use your discretion and firm up whenever required.
Example: If you are being nice and going out of your way to help fellow colleagues at work, they might take your niceness for granted. It might not be long before you hear "John, can you help me with this report?", "John, could you please see why my computer is not starting up" or "John, can you be a doll and help me prepare my presentation speech" all the time. Don't fall into this trap!
Face the people who take you for granted
Considered to be an effective way of dealing with being taken for granted at work, you could have a one-on-on chat with the people who you think are indulging into this nasty practice. Tell them clearly that you do not appreciate that your work and efforts in the office go unappreciated.
Example: If you think that your loving partner is unknowingly taking you for granted and the situation is getting out of hand, you can have a candid one-on-one conversation with them and say "Look John, I want to be there for you all the time. I want to help you in all possible ways that I can. But before you ask me for a favor, I'd appreciate it if you can give my schedule and work timings a quick thought" But make sure that you have a nice bottle of red wine and dim the lights before you say this!
Don't show up: Let your absence speak for itself
Whether it is work or your relationship with your partner and friends, you and your services play an integral part of things that make business or a relationship tick. If you think that you are being taken for granted, don't show up. Not literally, but the point it to make others realize how important you are in their lives or processes.
Example: If you are someone who is an integral part of the sales team, take a few days off near end of month. See how your team goes about meeting KPIs and targets. They will say "John, your absence during end of month really had a massive effect on the numbers. We now realize what a major difference your sales make to our overall performance"
Stop constantly putting yourself in other's shoes
Putting yourself in the shoes of others and having the wisdom to think how your actions are going to affect others is a rare and much appreciated talent. But are you over doing it? Many people often have the habit of asking themselves "How will they feel if I do this?" in each and every thing that they do or say. If you are one of them, you may want to cut this down because your friends or colleagues may take this very habit of yours for granted.
Make good decisions that you will stand by
The problem with making bad decisions is that you have to accept that you made a bad call if someone catches you off guard. Making good decisions, on the other hand gives you the confidence to do what you feel is right and lessens the chances of people around you to try to persuade you otherwise. Developing a habit to take good decisions will stop people from taking you for granted because they will have seen your ability to take the right call at the right time.
Example: "John, you agree that this is not going to be viable for us, don't you? Because the last time you vouched for a project that did not work out at all" Your colleagues at work may impose their views and opinions about a particular project your company is undertaking simply because you are known to not being able to come up with concrete decisions. This is as good as taking your opinion for granted, or not being counted at all.
In your battle to stop being taken for granted, you should try and look for answers to the question, "Why am I being taken for granted?" There may be peculiar characteristic traits, situational elements or simply the presence of not-so-nice people around you. Give this whole scenario a quick introspection and if necessary, pen down your thoughts. Learn how to deal with the things that have given this situation a chance to arise and move on.
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