How to avoid being taken advantage of


I have had enough of being taken advantage of by people. Being so vulnerable, being good, and all. Letting them just use me the way they want to. I usually only fight for myself whenever I’m already at my breaking point. Right now I just want people to stop looking at me like I’m someone they can use. 


This is a huge issue for lots of people, and particularly for good, kind, honorable people.  You have values and want to live up to them, and find that you’re still getting treated awfully by those around you.

So there are two reasons this might be happening (and both could be true at the same time).  In one case, you’re just unlucky, and live in rough circumstances. For example, let’s say you were a slave, or a victim of kidnapping, or a prisoner of war.  In these cases, through no fault of your own, you’re being treated horribly and denied even your most basic human rights.  Or, at a lesser level, you are treated worse than others because of your skin color or gender or some other irrational prejudice.  In these cases, if there are solutions, they are complex and difficult, and I don’t have the brains to help (There’s a new movie coming out about Harriet Tubman, for example, who led a phenomenal system to help American slaves escape their tormentors.  I don’t have the brilliance to tell you how to do what she did!).

But there’s another situation, where the person being treated badly actually does do something (unintentionally, unconsciously) that brings bad behavior on.  Maybe it’s the woman who picks one abusive boyfriend after another; maybe it’s the guy who can’t keep himself from showing off his intellect and knowledge in ways that anger everyone around him; maybe it’s the child who has that “special something” that makes other kids want to bully them.  In these cases, yes, there is something you can do about it.  But I’d have to

know what specifically was going on with you – something you yourself might not even know.

For example, with that woman, I’d want her to sit down and write out detailed descriptions of all her exes, and in particular what they have in common, and what they first did to show her their abusive sides.  My guess is that she’d realize they showed their true natures pretty early, but that she was so happy with other aspects of them that she trusted them anyway.  So I’d tell her then to create a list of “red flags,” reasons to break up with a guy early on (Here’s a great one – cruelty to animals.  A guy who’d hurt a dog is almost certainly going to be okay with hurting women and children as well).

Or that man who alienates others with his blabbing.  I’d suggest that he start learning to watch people’s reactions to him more.  Like, with every sentence he says.  And then, when he sees people showing annoyance or boredom, that he either changes the subject or simply stops talking.

Or that kid who seems to invite bullying?  Maybe they could dress in a different way, or take some classes in martial arts so that even if kids wanted to harass them, they’d show the others that that’s an unhealthy lifestyle choice!

The biggest part of all these is to look very deeply (and often painfully) at yourself, to see your part in something very harmful to yourself.  You might even consider hiring a therapist to help you with it.  But the possible improvements in your life are just fantastic if it works.

Let me know if I can help in any way.

All my very best,


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