Being selfless and kind is a fantastic way to be, but it can often cause us to be taken for granted and taken advantage of by those who are only worried about their own self interests.
Individuals who are people pleasers, hate arguing and will give in to others quite easily end up leading a miserable life because it becomes ruled by other people and they don’t have the courage to stand up for themselves and recognise their worth or right to be happy or cared for.
Learning to say no is a vital life skill, and knowing how to do it without causing offence just takes practice.
People that are the happiest and feel secure in life know the importance of noticing these red flags and doing something about it early on in the relationship, saying no comfortably, stand up for themselves and have a firm understanding of healthy boundaries.
Sometimes we don't realize that we are being taken advantage of until we are neck deep in the manipulation and narcissistic behaviors of others, and then it's incredibly difficult to get out of and then are left to clean up the mess they left behind in your life.
Learning the warning signs early and setting clear and firm boundaries from the beginning interaction with them will save you from the start.
Here are 10 signs to watch for:
1. People Who Talk About Themselves Constantly
The overuse of pronouns such as "me" and "I" may be a strong indicator that they are only out for themselves. Selfish people tend to care solely, or at least chiefly, for themselves and will steer every conversation and situation back to them and in their favor. If someone is unwilling to compromise or include you in the subject matter then the likelihood is you are being used and manipulated or will be soon enough. Watch for those who shame themselves when they do talk about themselves or others. This is a toxic behavior and a hook to reel you into the depths of drama that are nearly impossible to get out of.
2. Information Is Vague
When someone is trying to get something out of you, or are hiding something they will try to keep the details vague and unspecific. They don’t want you to have too much knowledge or information around the situation in case you wise up to the fact that you are being manipulated, lied to or used. Learn to say no to people who won’t give you the full picture and if you have any doubts, trust that they are in it for them only.
3. They Are Full Of Broken Promises
Actions speak louder than words. If a persson assure you that you matter and that you are important, but fail to show this in anything they do, they are best avoided. A manipulative person can charm and sweet talk with ease, they know what strings to pull and what buttons to press to get you to do what they want you to do. Look at how a person behaves and how they treat OTHERS or talk about how they have treated others more so than the words that come out of their mouth.
4. The Abuser
You go above and beyond to ensure they feel loved, cared for, supported, and assure them they are amazing, however when the table is turned you feel terrible, worthless, exhausted, or depressed after the association. They are quick to point out your faults, shame you for making a mistake, and sarcastically tear you to shreds. If somone makes you feel amazing one time/minute, and terrible the next that is an abuse pattern and they need to be kept at an arms distance emotionally and physically.
5. You Are Being Drained
As a rule of thumb, if you are putting more into something than you are getting out of it it is probably time to step away. If someone is taking advantage of your good nature and takes up too much of your time, undervalues you as a person and fails to put your needs first then do yourself a favour and say goodbye before you invest so much that it is harder to walk away, and the mess in your life they create is too big to clean up.
6. Assume Others Are Responsible for Their Life
The individual assumes you will help without even asking and that you will fix what they messed up. It is not normal to be constantly handed extra assignments or demands that significantly increase your workload and especially without asking you before hand if you are ok with it.
7. They Aren't Appreciative of You or Anyone; Always the Victim
Watch for how they are when others do something or give them something. Are they greatful, do they reciprocate and give back at some point or do they have an attitude of entitlement and are never happy with what is done for them. If so this is a big red flag that they will take and take, it will never be enough, and you will surely be depleated quickly. This is the person who blames everyone and everything for their problems, and does not take any responsiblity for what is happening in their situation. They will blame you too, so protect yourself and hold them accountable in ways that push them to solve their own problems.
8. Their Effort in the Relationship is a Transaction
The times they do put in the effort, it seems more like a transaction than a reflex of caring. Have you ever met those people who do things to be polite, and not because they actually want to?
There is also the person who keeps a running tally of every little thing they do for you or others because they are going to make sure you know they did something for you forever more as a way for them to feel important and good about themselves or as leverage for the next time they need something them. If this is happening it is a clear sign to set boundaries ASAP and nip it in the butt.
9. Convenience Friendly
They seem to be around most conveniently when they need a favor and that's about it. Common phrases out of them include "Could you", “Can I..”, “Will you do…”, and “Do you have…”, and that is about the only time you hear from them. The more you give, in these instances, the more those instances will start to happen.
You find yourself expected to be available to them anytime, anywhere no matter what other responsibilities or things you need to do. They have no respect for your time, space, body, or privacy.
Your best prevention is to be assertive and confident in how you handle others. Manipulators can sense weakness in others and look for it, once they know you are a pushover and easily controlled they will use this in their favour. The next best defense is to know yourself. Know what you like and don't like, what you will and will not do or help with, and that you deserve to be treated as well as you treat others.
Be strong and confident in how you present yourself and avoid using phrases such as ‘I don’t think‘ or ‘I’m not sure‘ that leave things open to them taking over and scream that you have no sense of your own self or desires and that you will give anything to anyone.
Healthy Signs to Look For
If you want to help someone in a hard spot, or struggling emotionally or mentally ensure before offering them money, to live with you or, excessive demands of your time ensure that they are someone who is:
1) Willing to take responsibility for their situation, and seeking professional help as well.
2) Speaking positively consistantly, respect others, and are working towards making active choices that will give them a different outcome.
3) Willing to accept and follow the terms/boundaries outlined to what that help looks like before it is given.
In every situation, ensure that you take care of yourself, balanced with helping others or you risk losing yourself, becoming bitter, and feel deflated at the expense of someone who really won't notice or care at the end of the day.