Well, I came across a question on Quora recently, which read something like this:
“Should I stop letting people take advantage of me?
I usually try to live by helping everyone when they ask. Literally anytime as long as I’m not busy helping somebody else. It’s cool, fun but takes up a lot of time. Sometimes I do feel lonely and stupid, probably I’m lacking self-respect in that manner. What should I do?”
I am sure you too have felt this way sometime or the other in your life. I have too, innumerable times. I had figured out a solution when I had finally decided to ask myself this question, after a lot of procrastinating and overthinking. Well, I was glad I did it. Hence, one glance at it and I knew I had to answer it. So, everyone out there who has had the same question pop up in their heads, here’s my take on it.
“Now, I can understand it feels nice to help people. And you know why you like to do it? Because, it gives you all the attention you need. No, don’t mistake me that I am calling you an attention seeker. Not at all. Rather, it is normal human behavior. We all like to feel that we are important to people. What we fail to realize is that not everyone we meet in our lives is true to us.
So first things first, learn to identify what people actually want from you. Are they the types who always ask you for help yet would not actually help you at times when you need them? Or are they those people who will be polite and genuine enough to lend a helping hand to you too?
Also remember one thing forever. There is a thin line between helping people and letting them take advantage of you. Always. Always know set your boundaries correct, and be honest enough to let your boundaries be known to those who turn to you for regular help.
Yes, be honest. You might agree with me that there are times when it is a little frustrating for you to realize that people are very superficial. So, start learning to tell them a NO. Don’t be rude. That never helps. Be polite, but be stern enough for them to realize that you value yourself as a person and your time. Let people around you be aware of the fact that yes, they can turn to you for any help needed, provided they are genuinely in need of help.
As a result, you will start noticing two things. One, some people will soon start being distant from you and avoiding you. Honestly, let them go. And yet there will be some who will choose to respect you a lot more than they did previously.
I know it will be difficult at first, but believe me, the relief you will experience after having shut out a few unwanted people from your life will actually help you value the ones who are still by your side. Remember, the number of people in your life doesn’t matter. What matters is, if you can bare your heart to the ones around you yet never feel judged. Yes, these people are the ones who truly deserve to be helped.
Keep spreading the love. But, love yourself first!”