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How Not To Be Taken Advantage Of

Updated on May 19, 2014
donotfear profile image

Annette Sharp holds a BAAS in Behavioral Science from Texas A&M. She is a counselor and motivator with an empathetic heart.


Can't Say No? You're Not Alone!

Sometimes it's just hard to say no. Even if it's something we know is bad for us. So what's the deal? Do you think we're just too nice to say no? Maybe we subconsciously desire the very thing that pushes against our personal boundaries.

Okay, I've said it. We really want the bad thing. Now what?

As humans, some of us find it hard to maintain the strength to suppport our personal boundaries to protect us from potentially harmful situations or people. Some individuals will beg to differ with me on this theory, claiming that we all have the strength within ourselves to say no to what is latently harmful, which is true. But the question is: Do we really want it or not?

What if it's a negative control tactic pushing against our boundary, complete with obvious warning signs, flashing lights, and loud ringing, used to gain direction of our feelings while we're in a vulnerable state? The problem is, our feelings and emotions blind us to the obvious danger. When we see it coming, but subconsciously allow it to climb over the perimeter and into our space, we become unprotected, thus setting ourselves up for crisis. Sound Familiar?

It's not something that's pleasant to talk about, it's simply a reality that's present in everyday life. So what can we do to protect ourselves when we feel vulnerable and powerless to say no to something that's possibly threatening our boundaries, either emotional or physical? I came up with a few of my own boundary limit rules so as not to continually beat myself up over real or imagined coercive strategies to push my limits.

Rule 1: We Own Our Values.

Make these statements to yourself daily:

I own my feelings. They are unique to my divine character.

Feelings are not right or wrong; actions are.

My values are mine, my feelings are mine, and they aren’t wrong for me.

I profess there is no right or wrong level of intensity to each emotion I feel.

Rule 2: The 'Will Nots'.

Rules to follow for personal protection.

* I will not make an impulsive decision when I feel indecisive

* I will not lash out in anger inappropriately when crossed, but will allow myself to express my anger positively.

* I will not commit to something until I am satisfied with the circumstances or have an explanation that I deserve and feel comfortable with.

* I will not plan my day or night around "possibilities".


Rule 3: Your Rights.

Make these statements daily:

I have a right to feel indecisive.

I have a right to my feelings.

I have a right to question motives.

I have a right to explanations.

I have a right to be suspicious.

Is it time to apply some control to our personal boundaries?

Just a thought for some, not all. If you feel someone may be using a negative control tactic to push you into a place you don't really need to go, perhaps you can apply the rules for controlling your personal boundaries. If you feel your life may be out of control in some areas, maybe it's time to enforce some limits on your boundaries. We struggle through adversity for a reason. I don't think I've heard it described better than the statement below:

 "What may seem hurtful to our flesh now, will create growth in our spirit later."

 As said by Pastor Josh Lee, Cornerstone Assembly.

Suggested Reading.

Hey, how about we talk a bit about our personal boundaries!

Let's Talk About Boundaries <Click here.

“Who the heck do you think you are?! Get outta my space! You’re pushing my boundaries and I’m too nice to say no.”

Learn how to close the door on past relationships.

Closure is important because it gives one a chance to tie up emotional loose ends with an official ending. "

What to do when someone disappears from your life.

Closure <Click here to learn you aren't alone.


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    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      8 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Pool of thoughts: Why, thank you very much! You are absolutely right know, my own words in response to the scripture you mention would be: If I have offended you, allow me to apologize; if not, then let me defend myself. It's so much easier to say the words, I forgive you, than to actually feel it in your heart because we humans are wired that way with that ole sin nature of unforgiveness.

      I totally stand behind the idea of defending myself when someone tries to run over me. There is a positive reaction and a negative one. Whatever way we choose to react reflects what is present in us at that time. wow, deep stuff...thank you for your kind comments!

    • Pool Of Thoughts profile image

      David Steffy 

      8 years ago from Southern Ohio

      I suppose another way to describe the "we really want the bad thing" would be to say that sin is beautiful and enticing. Otherwise, who would have a sin problem? Obviously it goes far deeper than that but I thought I'd just say I thought you wrote a good one here. Sometimes people think that in order to be a Christian they have to be a push-over. NOT! The scripture says if your brother offends you, rebuke him! If he repents, forgive him. Peter Cartwright led a man to the Lord by beating the stuffin' out of him...not that this is a recommended way. Just being led of the Lord will make you do things you never thought you would do though. Sorry, this is getting a little long. Nice article. Voting up and interesting!

    • Rhonda_M profile image

      Rhonda Malomet 

      8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      It never ceases to amaze me how there are so many people with poor boudaries out there who try to manipulate, who are intrusuve, who basically are shut down from themselves and push against you. It`s almost like you have to do some self inoculation, just the way you have to watch out for nasty germs ( and there are a lot of those out there).

      I have learned over time to set my boundaries and to be aware of people who have extremely poor ones...the other day I had to take a particularly tough stance against someone who was being both emotionally and physically intrusive. She was shocked probably, because she was far more successful at undermining others. I had to tell her literally..."you have bad boundaries, i dont appreciate what you are doing"--physically standing too close and touching me--emotionally she was trying to pry into my personal life under the assumption there was some problem she could help with. There wasn't.

      I also had to tell her that i didn't care to explain myself, or go further with matter, that what ever she thought was the problem was actually not any of her busines,that it was inappropriate for her to even go there.

      She has stayed away since. I felt I had to take a strong stance, otherwise, she would have just kept, flowing into me...

    • Cathi Sutton profile image

      Cathi Sutton 

      11 years ago

      Very thought provoking and insightful Hub. Thank you!

    • Michael Willis profile image

      Michael Willis 

      11 years ago from Arkansas

      Great hub.

      Everyone has boundaries I believe that are good and/or bad. Some boundaries keep people from ever really knowing others, love, friendships or life. Some boundaries allow hurt to enter our lives and some protect us and sometimes shelter us from possibilities.

      Growing up in a larger extended family and around so many people in a small closed-knit community that were easy to trust, it made it harder to learn to adjust as an adult when I moved away from that environment.

      New boundaries had to be defined to survive outside of what I had become accustomed to. That is part of "growing-up" I suppose. Lessons learned and boundaries set. At times I feel it is essential to look at one's boundaries to keep in touch with who you are as a person.

      "Are my personal boundaries allowing me to experience life or avoid it?" "Do I need to adjust my boundaries?"

      With all the pressures of life nowadays and the more people you encounter, it would be easy to forget or just lose sight of some of the boundaries you have for yourself and allow lines to be crossed intentionally or unintentionally.

      Thanks for the message in this hub!

    • frogyfish profile image


      11 years ago from Central United States of America

      This was great! I will have to follow you to remember to come back and read more of your interests. Thank you for sharing such good thoughts here.

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 

      11 years ago

      Very cool. I like your message. (HUGS) Debby

    • dreamerindanny profile image


      11 years ago from Sulphur Springs, TX

      Not so long ago I had an eye opening experience when I exploded on loved ones. It happened after a long period in life of not being able to say no to drugs. I also exploded on myself. It was definitely a time when I decided to approach life in a better way. It has been such a relief to me knowing that I finally have set new boundaries and do now see that what came from within did touch my spirit. I'm so very pleased that it did. I appreciate your hub and enjoyed it. Thanks from me.

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      11 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Thanks Teresa!

    • Teresa Laurente profile image

      Maria Teresa Rodriguez - Laurente 

      11 years ago from San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.

      I totally agree with you here donotfear. Everything is true and real. Thank you for sharing this. The poem is beautiful I tell you. The words are strong in its message and to the point as well. More power to you dear friend.

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      11 years ago from Northeast Texas

      I need to listen to my own hubs! I appreciate this one Winsome. Sure needed to hear it today. Feeling a bit defeated by my own personal boundaries! I'm feeling the hurting today!

    • Winsome profile image


      11 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      Great hub Texas kindred. I used to think that Jesus was somehow a little codependent (a coming hub) because of the "suffering servant" role. When I looked closer I saw the obvious---He never did anything without a conscious choice--even death and saying no to the Lazarus crowds' plea for speed. Like you said, the key is knowing your needs and I think also your wants. Making a decision based on healthy desires is ok---Jesus, "for the joy that was set before Him" endured the cross. Thanks for the reminders DNF.

    • shazwellyn profile image


      11 years ago from Great Britain

      Yes, it is only through pain can we truly grow. Good hub mate! x

    • Disturbia profile image


      11 years ago

      "I will not make an impulsive decision when I feel indecisive."

      I'm going to embroider that on a pillow for myself because my whole life has been one big impulsive decision.

      Thanks for the great hub!

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      11 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Thanks again Cheaptrick!!!

      I remember that quote from True Grit! It's a good one. Thanks.

    • cheaptrick profile image


      11 years ago from the bridge of sighs

      Hello Lovely D.You scared the crap out of me with your comment on my Hub!Your much better at discerning the truth than I gave credit for LOL.

      About this Hub.Beautifully presented,over coming defensive personality characteristics in a non threatening way so people will listen.I'd like to quote John Wayne from the movie"True Grit"..."A man picks a set of rules to Live buy.When it's easy that don't matter.It's when it's hard that you prove your True Grit"!Andy Garcia said"It's OK to fall down,as long as you fall Forward"

      Stay beautiful my friend


    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      11 years ago from Northeast Texas

      hear4theword: I've had good response to this Hub. Looking over the comments I now see that what I believed was a thought in my mind was really a lesson in disguise. I also had a great session in Group therapy last night that validated this whole article. We are kindrid spirits for sure.

    • heart4theword profile image


      11 years ago from hub

      I was just talking about this very thing, the last couple of days. Friends talking about what kind of people we attract unknowingly just by being nice. We were agreeing that we need to set boundaries:) I forward this to my friends! Again another great hub:) I'm starting to feel like we are hub-buddies:)

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      11 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Micky Dee: If we all had the problems 50 Caliber does, we might be living in the wilderness like he is!

      Cari Jean: Yes, it's a learning process. I can say no to most bad things except for what tugs at my emotional heartstrings or compassion! It goes with having a trusting soul.

      Art4Life: Thanks Jan, for all your encouragement. It's great to have kindrid spirits and members of the Three J Sista's (Jennifer, Jan, Judy) to keep me in line! I seem to come up with the deepest subjects when I do it spontaneously and without much thought.....just write it down!

    • Art 4 Life profile image

      Art 4 Life 

      11 years ago from in the middle of nowhere....

      I think this is one of your best hubs so far...very well written, and very deals with the human nature, and soul...the yearning that each of us have inside, ...our desires and needs, our fantasys and realities, our morals and our deepest dark thoughts.....thank you for publishing is right on! You have very good insight...and I am glad you are my friend....

      hugs to you

    • Cari Jean profile image

      Cari Jean 

      11 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      I swear I was born without knowing what boundaries are. I am such a people pleaser and have said yes even when I knew it was harmful - so as to not offend the other person. How dumb is that! I was in my 30's when I finally learned what boundaries are and that they are for my own protection. I am slowly learning.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      11 years ago

      Thank goodness I don't have the problems that 50 Caliber has. (psst 50 Caliber- forward me some of those).

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      11 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Ghost Whisper 77: Thank you so much for the acknowledgement. It means a great deal to know that what has come from within touches others spirits.

      Unchained Grace: Nonessential and counterproductive are 2 things we can live without...literally. I thank you for bringing this up to me. Reminders are heavily appreciated.

      hello,hello: Again, you have hit it on the target. Glad you got something from this.

      50 Caliber: Dude, you are right. IT's almost like we gotta just take a peek or get our feet wet a little bit, even when we know it's the dang devil!!! Remember the 'Wet Paint' sign? We just gotta reach out and touch it even though we know it will leave a print.

      sheila b: Yep, you got it. Young people have no boundaries, or so it seems.

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 

      11 years ago

      It seems to me as young people we are forming our boundaries, haven't quite figured them out yet. I remember how it was important to me to set my values, but my own grown children see no need to, it's all fluid to them.

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      11 years ago from Arizona

      donotfear, a great and timely hub! I have been reckoning with these thoughts lately. When I receive a Christian e-mail that says if I don't forward it immediately I'm doomed Unless the content is of great nature I delete it as a personal threat, otherwise I clean it up by removing the challenge before sending the information on. I used to look at my mailing list and select who I sent this type of e-mail to. I now just select all and send it, they have no problem sending me porn, why would I have a problem sending them something that may save their life? They push my boundaries with porn and I don't look this stuff up but when it is right there I sometimes peak at what I set boundaries against, because secretly I like beautiful women and have set a boundary against seeking them out. So I'm weak in this area and strive to avoid it. I guess we are all sinners and need work.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      11 years ago from London, UK

      I think that is exactly what is missing - boundaries. Youngsters don't seemed to have no limits. I personally had too many but had to and learned the hard way. Thank you fro a great read.

    • Unchained Grace profile image

      Unchained Grace 

      11 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Perhaps I was born into an interesting situation as my dad, who was a 20+year miltary veteran taught me about setting up boundaries for myself even when I was little. His best friend, a USMC Gunnery Sergeant, enhanced the importance of doing so even more. This followed into my own military career and now unto my life with Jesus.

      We know what we need to do and what should be done. Anything outside of that is classified "nonessential" or "counterproductive" and possible even harmful. So, set your perimeters and boundaries according to your own personal self and review them to make sure the end result of these boundaries will be benenficial for you and those you are responsible for and to. Stick to them.

      Thanks for a much needed Hub!

    • Ghost Whisper 77 profile image

      JG the IGNITER 

      11 years ago from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals

      Oh wowzie! Really good hub! So true to find your own boundries and stick with them. Often as humans we have temptations, so yes, sometimes we do want them, even when we know they are not good for our spiritual growth.

      Love the first picture, it cracked me up.

      I have learned throughout the years, the fine art of finding my boundries and never allowing someone to take me down their matter how much I like them. I have learned to say "NO" and have made some enemies along the way...but in the BIG picture of my spirit, I say that it is okay. I would rather be an enemy of a mortal man than and enemy of God, if that makes sense. Thanks for a great hub and many thoughts to ponder here with this one!

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      11 years ago from Northeast Texas

      zzron: Thanks. You hit the nail on the head when you said "Sometimes we make the wrong choice...." Yeah...especially when it's long-term effect could be destructive! (like get drunk tonite, face the hangover tomorrow)

      TimeHealsAll: Glad to have touched you. Amazing how the most spontaneous hubs end up drawing the most influence.

      lorlie6: Girl, I so needed to hear your response too! Maybe we need to talk....hmmm. If we could just apply this and stick to it!!

      Veronica: Wow, you are so right! Glad this little hub turned out to be such an eye opener.

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 

      11 years ago from Georgia

      I know for me, at times it's about not hurting other's feelings even if it's not going to be good for me. Once I had my kids, my priorities changed. It was as if life said, "here, it's okay to say no, especially when the safety of your kids are involved." I have often pondered this myself, why do we agree to things that are not going to be good for us. This hub is a great eyeopener. These personal affirmations you mentioned, are so vital to our emotional, physical, and spiritual success.

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 

      11 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      He,he, donotfear-you wrote this Hub just for me, right?! :) Oh boy, I am going through this big time at the moment, and I needed your words more than you know.

      Thanks so very much!

    • TimeHealsAll profile image

      Vicky Gentry 

      11 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      WOW! donotfear, I so needed to hear your healing words! I just wrote my story on a hub called "People Pleasing-How Far Will It Go?" I want to direct people to your hub for healing. It's really something how God supplies all our needs. God Bless you!

    • zzron profile image


      11 years ago from Houston, TX.

      Wonderfully written and so true. We all have free will to pick and choose our hearts desire. Sometimes we make the wrong choice but it is still our choice but I do agree that self control is always a virtue. I am adding this hub to my list of favorites :)


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