Is being taken for granted taking more than just your time?



There is only one reason someone will take you for granted and that is because you let them.

You are the nicest person anyone could ever wish to know, you have a heart of gold and would do anything for anyone because you are so kind, honest and enjoy seeing others happy.

Treating others with respect and if they need you for something you will always be there for them no matter who they are or how they have impacted your life in the past and present.

If the above sounds like you then you are also an easy target for those who want to take advantage of you whether it be with or without intent. Most often it’s the people who are closest to us in our lives that get accustomed to your good nature and think that you will do something all of the time with nothing in return.

We are all created the same way but the way we think, feel and act are all learned in my opinion and we become the person that we are because it’s what we were trained to do or it’s the way we handle situations that make us feel good inside.

The biggest problem with doing what makes us feel good inside all of the time is that we allow others to take advantage of us. What ends up happening is that we create the problem in others because that is what we trained them to do.

It’s great having friends with benefits as we all love to have people we can rely on for a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on but if you are always giving and no one is giving back to you then they are now conditioned to believe they can always take and never give back.

I think the same thing rings true if you are raising a child. If a child always ‘wants’ something and from a young age instead of doing the right thing and educating the child about where money comes from and is earned you just give in then you teach them how to get what they want without fail.

This can turn into a costly venture especially since your kids typically stick around until at least the age of 18 even worse if they expect it and are still living at home in their 20’s and 30’s.




I know someone who is that guy and is always being taken advantage of or feels like he has to be the one to save the day. He is one of the nicest guys that I know and he always puts others before him.

He is a man whose personality is so laid back and with that comes a man who always wants to see people happy and he doesn’t want to be the cause of negative emotions in others.

In a way I believe he feels guilty if he upsets someone or doesn’t give into their manipulations or wants and even in social situations will jump in and be the one to sort out any issues just to be a nice guy.

When I was thinking about this blog post the title of how to get screwed out of money by being a nice guy came to mind only because that is what happens to my best friend who also lacks a bit of self-esteem.

I’m not talking about his looks either I’m talking about assertiveness and how stepping outside of his comfort zone to say what he really wants to might help him overcome his constant need to make people happy or keep situations low-key without problems or arguments.


Build self-confidence


He needs to learn how to build self-confidence in his ability to take control of social situations so he doesn’t keep getting taken for granted.  My best advice is to smile, look people in the eye, use their name if you know it and tell them what you want and get straight to the point.

I believe assertiveness training is a great way to help those that struggle to say no or to help them stop feeling guilty if they don’t help someone who they care about. Using an assertive communication style balanced with pleasant words not only gets your point across it shows that you have confidence and you know what you want without coming across as a self-centered jerk.

I’m sure many of you can relate to being in situations where money is involved and it was your wallet that was opened or it may be time that you gave up or give up often for others with nothing in return.

There comes a time where enough is enough and we have to learn to build up confidence with-in and start to say ‘no’ to people without feeling that guilt inside. Sometimes it’s nice to get something in return if you are always the giver even if it is simply an ear to listen or shoulder to cry on.

It’s also nice when someone does something special for you especially when you don’t expect it or where you feel no one really cares or has done something out of the blue for you.

It’s these small moments when a giver is taken aback and feels emotion because they are not the giver but they may also feel they are not worthy which is simply a learned behaviour in my opinion because they are so used to giving and being a nice person.

What happens is over time the giver will start to feel resentful for having to always give whether it be with time or money that comes out of his or her pocket. The key to happiness would be to start taking back the power you have given to people who take you for granted by wanting ‘favours’ or just thinking that you won’t care or will hand over cash when it’s needed.

This can be a tough road to conquer but for your own sanity it may be the best route to go even if that means losing people who are your so-called friends or just to improve the person you are inside without losing that ‘nice guy’ or ‘nice girl’ personality rather balancing your emotions so you can better handle social situations.

You don’t have to put up walls and set strict boundaries in order for others to stop thinking they can get what they want out of you. All you need to do is figure out what makes you as a person happy inside and what you require to feel good about yourself.

The other night while out at the bar with some friends the evening was getting later and later and the drinks kept getting ordered by a certain someone at our table but when the waitress came around he was nowhere to be found when it came time to dish out the cash for his rounds of drinks.

My best friend didn’t blink an eye and every time that this happened he pulled out cash to pay for the drinks.

He’s a far different man when it comes to handling his finances as I simply wouldn’t do that only because I didn’t order the drinks. He on the other hand felt the need to sort the situation in the moment to make it go away and everyone happy.

This can be a costly night out for the budget especially if that person who was ordering sees that the money is coming out of someone else’s pocket. This easy money target might get hit a few more times if they are not careful.

Below are some other ways that people may take advantage of your good nature and how you can learn to say no and reserve being the one always blowing your hard-earned money on what others should be paying for.

Maybe you can relate to some or all of these and if you are looking for help to try to build up confidence in your life just remember that you are the one in control and you have the power to change anything you want in your life. It’s your path after all and no one is walking it but you.


Forgot the wallet


Some other ways people may take you for granted is when you are out with them and they conveniently always forget their wallet and tell you they will pay you back and never do. Just because you are a nice person you would never ask for that money back but you know what, you should. If you don’t then they think they can continue to act this way with you just to save a few bucks of their own.

Solution: Don’t be shy to ask for the money back in a few days time or to even set a time frame when you are forking over the cash to your friend to split a bill etc.  Tell them you need the cash and when you will need it by or ask them when they will have it for you. If you continue to allow them to pull the wool over your eyes they will let you so set the payback schedule because it’s your cash that’s been put on the table up front.


Always on-call with no pay


Does your boss always seem to call you after hours requesting your time and wanting you to do things that are off the pay clock? That is my best friend who has a boss who doesn’t care what he may be doing at the time and thinks that he should drop everything for him. Just because someone is on salary if you are a boss and think that you can force people to work when they are not at work then you should give your head a shake.

Solution: No one likes to work for free all of the time but if you give up time for someone for nothing they will think you have no problem with this any time they need you. This is not right and he’s being taken advantage of from his boss and he needs to learn to tell him that he is off the clock and if would like to chat call me on my work day or pay me to take care of business after hours.


Providing a service


Do you have a skill or a trade that someone close to you always seems to want and borrow for free? If you are the guy or gal who is always providing a service whether it be renovating, moving items with your truck, cutting hair, fixing a car or even picking up kids and babysitting and not getting paid that is a problem. When you agree with someone about payment for a service that you provide and they fail to pay up thinking you won’t care then you need to speak up.

Solution: Everyone loves freebies and for some even if it’s at the expense of someone they think doesn’t need the money or they believe they can get away without paying them any money because they won’t say anything. You need to set the cost of the service you are providing and a payment schedule before providing the service. If they fail to pay you then you no longer provide the service nor do you provide any further assistance until you are paid in full. It’s your time so don’t let others believe that your time and efforts are worth nothing. Speak up.


The driver


You seem to be the only person who drives and owns a car so you are the go-to guy or gal that others rely on for you to cart them around town for free. The cost of gas is not cheap and everyone knows that.

To take a bus can also get pricey but there are monthly bus passes that can be purchased or even better walk if you are able to get from point A to point B in your city. All you pay for is your time to get up a bit earlier and to get moving.

Not everyone pushes themselves to take a bus, walk, or ride a bike or other means to get around town. Some people can be lazy and rely on others to drive them around without thinking about offering up some money for gas.

The worst part is when people like that don’t have any respect for your work day and the hours you need to rest up because you had a long day at work. They call at all hours of the day or night and expect you to jump in the car and get them where they need to go whenever they need you. This is wrong. You must stop this action before it gets out of hand.

Solution: It’s not a bad thing to ask those who you are continually giving rides to for gas money and to honour your time boundaries for contacting you for rides wherever they need to go. You know you are a good person and a good friend but it’s time for you to step up and let them know that you are human too and that your time is valuable as much as theirs.

If you have children who are working and should be able to get where they need on their own you must tell them to respect you as an adult figure in their life and to pay up a few bucks for gas. Not every parent has the luxury of money in the bank and an emergency fund, they live pay cheque to pay cheque and money doesn’t grow on trees.

Teaching children money values early will only help them to understand that working for a living is what puts food on the table, a roof over their heads and gas to fuel up the car to get around town. Nothing in life is free.


Stop being so nice


You don’t have to be nice all of the time and I’m not saying that to tell you to be rude to someone but to set boundaries so they understand that you have a life as well and that you work hard for your money.

When you are always compromising your time and money for others with nothing in return then you need to make that decision to say no and to get back that self-respect that you so willingly give away for free.

If someone has a problem with the way you handle the situation then don’t worry about if they walk away in anger because it’s their own emotions they need to deal with, not you. It’s fine to do things for free once in a while but not all the time.

Looking out for number one which is you should become your top priority and if you have a family then it becomes your family you look out for.

When it is your own children trying to take advantage that is your role as a parent to set the rules and the boundaries for the kids so they know who the adult is and that they need to pay up out of their allowance or work money if they want you to provide services to them all the time.

There is nothing wrong with teaching your kids about being kind and generous but don’t set them up for others to take advantage of them if you allow them to do it to you.

If being taken for granted is taking more than just your time than maybe it’s time to evaluate how you are approaching situations that might just allow others to take advantage of you. Being the one who always gives only means you have a heart of gold but when you feel taken for granted it starts to weigh down on your emotions and your pocket-book when all you need is someone to think about you and help you for once.


What are some ways you have been taken for granted and have set some rules to stop it from continuing to happen?

What tips do you have for those who might feel they are stuck always helping out but don’t know how to say no?



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  1. Assertiveness is that one rare trait everyone could do more of if they wish to not be taken advantage of. I didn’t grow assertive and can count numerous occassion where my kindness has been taken for weakness, but with time, experience and support I have been developing my assertivess slowly and learning to say no more often and honestly, am happier, less stressed and not guilty of feeling like I have been taken advantage of. Problem though is, with this new found authority I do tend to take a bit far 🙂

  2. I would like to know HOW to get assertiveness training. I have been looking, but can’t find anything formal. Do you have any suggestions?

  3. I used to let a lot of people take advantage of me. I was a bit of a pushover and I came to that conclusion after doing a favor (no questions asked) for a friend EVERY DAY for a few months for free, that seriously put me out time, money, and energy. She got mad at me when I couldn’t do the favor anymore. Since then I’ve tried to stop letting people take advantage of me.

  4. I know that people take advantage of my niceness at times, but to me– there is no other way. When it goes the other way, I often find myself a bit paranoid. If somebody does something nice for me, I can’t wait to return the favor.

  5. Christine Weadick says:

    Our kids were raised to know they were not going to get everything they wanted. They knew if we didn’t have the money for something and that was that. Deal with it. When all three were at home I did drive kids around, it was a way to get to know their friends as well as knowing exactly where they were going and how they were getting home. I have always been there for my kids. With our daughter living out of town I talk to her on the phone a lot, she works in a daycare and I do hear things I probably shouldn’t but when the is an occurance at the daycare and she has to deal with it I hear all about it. When the older boy was in the military I was on the phone with him most nights hearing about his day and such. I am still very close to all three kids. Both boys are at home but they help out around here a fair bit. They know when I’m having a bad day and will be free with hugs and chocolate as well as any help I need.
    My sister-in-law and her hubby will do anything to help us out and we return the favour. This appears to be more than his family will do… when he retired they didn’t do anything for him. We showed up with a card, balloons and a case of beer. He was very happy with that! Even when we go visit, our younger son with get some beer to take with us, in his uncle’s favourite kind. He might drink one or two but he leaves the rest of the case behind for his uncle’s enjoyment. If they need a hand with anything we would be right there to help as they are with us.
    Your friend sounds like a wonderful person that others freely take advantage of……The line I’ve used to avoid something like what he gets is that it isn’t in my budget…sorry. Even someone coming to the door for a charity gets the sorry it’s not in my budget at this time….Every one understands a budget, people may not use one but they understand the principal…..

  6. I consider myself to be assertive and I credit my parents for raising me to be so. I do have a strong desire to be of service and help people, which sometimes causes me to say “yes” to more projects than I probably should. 🙂 I am getting far better at pruning those obligations to the ones that I truly enjoy. Sadly, I see parents who want their kids to succeed but think that means giving them everything they want. They end up with entitled kids who are often unable to care for themselves and still rely on Mom and Dad to fund their lifestyle, even though they are more than capable of doing it themselves. I want my girls to succeed too, but I believe that means teaching them to work hard and make smart choices with their money.

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