Hi everyone! This video is going to be about if it’s possible to be too nice, and how this can lead to being taken advantage of. Being nice, doing favors for others, and just getting along well with people is generally something we all strive to be. We like people who are kind and treat us nicely, so why not do the same to others. But, what would happen if someone was too nice? Helping others too much, not dedicating enough time to themselves, and just seeming as though they are too understanding and can relate to everything?
Being taken advantage of doesn’t just apply to being overly nice. Perhaps someone doesn’t have respect for themselves and lets people use them. They don’t want to help themselves so others take advantage of them. This too has some common ground with being too nice, in that the person is not dedicating time to themselves and is too involved helping others and is involved in other’s affairs. That core concept is similar, but how it is approached and viewed is different, in that the person that doesn’t respect themselves may not appear like an overly nice person, but could still easily be taken advantage of.
Being too nice leads to being taken advantage of. People see someone that can do things for them and asks for nothing in return. While this is an excellent trait to have, going to the point of neglecting yourself and your own happiness can lead to people taking advantage of you. This is something I’ve personally dealt with which I will also be talking about in this video. Basically what happened with me is that I would be nice to others and sacrifice my own time and happiness so I could help someone else. I wouldn’t necessarily go out of my way, but when someone would ask for help, I would sacrifice my own time. I didn’t know how to say ‘no.’ In addition, I never really showed my negative side to people and always appeared happy, which essentially was me masking how things truly made me feel.
What made me realize I was being taken advantage of was when I had people in my life that I considered friends and then they would stop talking to me for a while. A month or so went by and they were like, “Oh, I’m sorry I forgot to reply. I’ve been super busy with things and forgot we were talking.” Hearing that and I instantly knew that they forgot because I wasn’t important to them. If I was important, then they would not forget. Especially also since I could see them doing other things, talking with other people on Facebook, yet had no time to reply to me, or at least let me know what was going on. This was all thoughts in my mind. I knew they didn’t really care at that point, or rather simply didn’t have much interest in talking with me. So, instead of actually opening up about how I truly felt and saying, “I don’t feel important to you anymore. You’ve upset me by not taking an interest in our friendship,” I instead would say, “Oh, it’s ok that it took that long. I understand busy schedules and how hard you must be working.” I completely denied within myself what I observed from their behavior. After that, another month goes by and same thing, and me saying the same thing. There were even times that I would only receive a reply from them when they needed something. When they needed help doing something, I come to mind and they message me. I would reply back with my help and another month goes by and nothing. Every single one of my friends, people that were friends, that I considered friends, behaved this way, or rather, I let them treat me like that, like I was inferior and I would feel used.
All this, and seeing them interact on Facebook, view my message several weeks prior but no response, and yet not have enough time for me, ultimately led me to deactivating my Facebook account. I needed to get away from it all. I took a week off Facebook, came back, nothing was different. Nobody noticed. I gave it another month or so and decided I was done. I sent a message saying goodbye, telling them that I was no longer going to be using that Facebook account, and let them know that I valued their friendship while it lasted. I deactivated shortly thereafter, and thought, “Maybe they will contact me. Maybe they will be concerned and contact me through another means.” And I immediately took that back and realized, “No wait, if they truly cared, it wouldn’t have gotten to this stage.” I felt I was being taken advantage of. I let them take advantage, so I can only blame myself for what happened and associating with people who would do that, as well as me not opening up to them about how their actions truly made me feel. It made me question the people I allow in my life. I was so hesitant to allow anyone close due to the intense fears of abandonment and betrayal. Yet, here these people were, close to me, and yet, doing the exact thing I feared for so long. Yes, it hurt, but I got through it and it certainly isn’t the end of any and all connections I can make. But, it made me question the kind of people I’ve considered friends. And, it allowed me to learn to not hide how other people make me feel.
Maybe this is a story you can relate to in some way. If so, how can you avoid being taken advantage of? Something I’ve learned after I distanced myself from the people I felt were taking advantage of me. I’ll discuss that now.
Avoid Being Taken Advantage Of
In order to avoid being taken advantage of is to first realize why people are taking advantage of you. This can be easier said than done. What makes you feel as though people are taking what you do for them for granted? How does it make you feel? Let’s say someone is continuously asking you to watch their kids while they go out with friends and have fun. You always agree to watch them, but are not always thrilled about it. It gets to the point that they expect you to do it each weekend, and you plan on it each weekend. Do you feel as though they are using you? Do you get any appreciation in return? What is your reward for watching them each and every week? How is it benefiting you? These are all questions to ask. While it may be fine if they appreciate what you do for them each and every week, what happens when they expect it, get angry at you for not being able to do it one week, and/or don’t show you any appreciation? This is when you can realize you are being taken advantage of. When you realize that, then you can learn to recognize why they are taking advantage of you. In this particular case it’s because you always agree to watching their kids. It’s that you fear upsetting them by not being able to tend to their needs. That you feel even obligated because you are their friend.
This brings us to the next point, learning to say ‘no.’ For some of us, saying ‘no’ to something we don’t really want to do is difficult, if not even impossible. We may feel obligated or responsible to agree to helping other people with their own tasks. This can lead to us continuously agreeing to do things for others that we neglect ourselves. We may not want to say ‘no’ because we fear disappointing the other person, or perhaps please them so they love and accept us, so we agree without much thought or consideration just to avoid telling them that we object. So, learn to realize that you are not responsible and you should always put your own happiness first. This is different from being selfish. Putting yourself first is doing the things that make you happy and bettering yourself. There will be things you don’t like, but it’s different from being selfish. Being selfish is when you only think of yourself and do not care about other people’s wishes. We are all selfish, but true selfishness in my eyes comes from a place of negativity and thinking one is superior to others. While putting yourself first is when you do care, but do what is of your best interest that can benefit yourself and perhaps anyone else involved.
With that being said, saying ‘no’ to someone is possible even if you are use to saying ‘yes’ and agreeing to everything. When someone asks you to do something for them, give it some time. Actually think about the event and if you really want to do it. You don’t have to give them an answer on the spot, but think about the situation and see if it is something you truly want to do. Then, when you are ready to get back and tell them that you are not willing, instead of just flat out saying ‘no,’ which may certainly sound hurtful to the other person and make it seem like we don’t care, instead focus on what you think is good about the situation, followed by telling them that you are unable to make a commitment. For instance, with the example of watching children, when they ask you if you can watch their kids, instead of instantly saying ‘yes,’ you would give it some time to actually think about if you truly want to. If you are doing it to make them happy or because you don’t want to disappoint them, then think through the situation a bit better. When you have your answer you can respond with something like, “It sounds like you and your friends will certainly have a lot of fun. But unfortunately, I will be unable to watch them this week because I need some time to myself. I’m sure you can find someone to watch them this week for you.” Be honest with them and share what you truly feel would be good about the situation and your reasoning for not being able to do it.
Next, learn to be assertive. Being assertive shows you have confidence in yourself and your opinions. This goes hand in hand with being able to say ‘no.’ With the example earlier, when you feel your friend has taken advantage of you and it really affects you, instead of covering that up, manipulating your own image so you don’t hurt them, my personal example from earlier in this video, say to them how it truly makes you feel. Understand that it is difficult opening up how you truly feel because you may fear being rejected and having people criticize your vulnerabilities. But it is what must be done if you want to get through to the person and be able to do what makes you happy. Communicating how you truly feel is important. If you don’t enjoy watching their kids, then openly talk with your friend about the issues you are having, as well as how you felt about them taking advantage of you and expected things from you. Be assertive and stand by how you truly feel. A good friend will always hear you out and be understanding.
And lastly, the true step of all this is to do what is best for you. As was mentioned earlier, doing what is best for you, saying ‘no’ and not letting other people manipulate you and take advantage of you, is not the same as being selfish. If the things people want you to continuously do hurts you, then are you not depriving yourself for not allowing yourself to be happy? You don’t have to accept other people’s wishes if it hurts you. By not dedicating time to yourself and what makes you happy, you are sacrificing your own happiness to make someone else happy, or even worse, trying to not disappoint them so they like you, trying to manipulate your own image and how they view you, which simply will not work out, which is even more selfish. So, learn to realize when you are neglecting your own happiness and trying to please others. Your life doesn’t revolve around doing favors for others, and especially not if people are taking advantage of you.
So in conclusion, being too nice, as in doing too many favors for others and not dedicating enough time for yourself, is an easy way for people to take advantage of you. We like people who are kind and treat us nicely, and try to show the same to others. But, there comes a point where you begin to take on too many responsibilities of others that you neglect yourself. Learning to reconnect with yourself and what you truly want, as well as appropriately saying ‘no’ to others when we really don’t want to participate, is a way to stand up for yourself to be more assertive and not let people take advantage of you. I hope this video was informative and helpful. Thanks for watching!