10 Ways to Know if Others are Taking Advantage of You

tolerance 3Do others take advantage of you? It may sound harsh, but it may be your own fault. Click to Tweet

I know that may be a tough pill to swallow, but once when you accept the responsibility to take care of yourself, it will set you free.

In my past, when I recognized that often I was to blame for allowing others to take advantage of me, I was liberated by another revelation: If I allowed it, I could also put a stop to it. Just by saying, “No!”

It’s a hard thing to admit that we allow others to take advantage of us, but once we do, we can set boundaries in place to take care of ourselves and prevent others from stomping all over our property. The most spiritual word I ever learned was how to say “no” AND not feel guilty. Click to Tweet

We teach others how to treat us by what we tolerate. Click to Tweet.


10 ways to know if you are responsible for allowing others to take advantage of you: Tweet this

  1. You say yes when you mean no.
  2. You say yes without considering the request because you want to be “kind”.
  3. You think saying yes is the Christian thing to do.
  4. You say no, but others pester you until you relent.
  5. Your schedule is so crammed, you can’t possibly fulfill the request you just committed yourself to.
  6. You expect others to know what you mean without actually expressing it.
  7. You have no boundaries.
  8. You don’t know what boundaries are.
  9. You think others are more worthy than you.
  10. You think boundaries are unspiritual. (Consider Proverbs 4:23. “Guard your heart for out of it flow the issues of life.”) If you don’t know how to put boundaries around your heart, people will walk all over you and you’ll have plenty of issues.

If other people’s behavior stresses you out, quit letting them! If you respect yourself first, you’ll have less conflict in relationships because resentment will not stand in the way.

Here’s two tips to help you decide whether you should say yes or no. First, when someone asks you for a favor take a moment to consider the request. Just because someone asks you to do something doesn’t mean you have to give an immediate response. We often say yes without even considering the request. Instead say, “Let me think about that a moment.” Next consider how it will make you feel if you say yes. Will you feel frustrated, irritated or obligated? If so, say no! Doing something to help someone else, but ultimately making a big ole mess on your own property is self-defeating. Plus, it often deteriorates relationships because our frustration eventually comes out in the way we treat others. Saying yes may feel like a spiritual thing, but when it causes us to walk in unforgiveness, saying yes when we mean no is a sin we commit against ourselves. Tweet this

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17 Responses to 10 Ways to Know if Others are Taking Advantage of You

  1. Judy Walker September 11, 2014 at 9:28 am #

    Christy this hit right on today. Feeling guilty because I couldn’t do something I thought I ought to do but knew I didn’t have the time or energy to do that plus what I needed to do for my family and for my body. It was just something that would have been nice to participate in. I chose to stay put and tend to my family life but still felt guilty. No more thanks to your wise words. You are continually a blessing. “mom Judy”

    • Christy Johnson September 11, 2014 at 11:20 am #

      No guilt! Yeah! Glad your “daughter” could give her “mama” wisdom:)

    • Stephanie M September 11, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

      Like most of the what-nots that pile up in my email, I wanted to delete this article, without even reading it. However, after reading the heading of it, I decided to save it for later…some down time. Well when do I ever get that down-time when I am always at someone else’s disposal. This article really hit home. As simple as it sounds, saying no has been the most difficult concept for me to grasp. I often feel that I owe it to that person whatever/whenever they ask me to do; I would make myself available for others at the drop of a hat; I constantly felt the need to be needed by others. But…..as you so eloquently put it…I owe it to myself to say no. Not to be rude but I can’t take on EVERYTHING that EVERYONE asks me to do EVERYTIME!!!!! So now I’m just flowing the issues of my heart as a result of the frustrations from continuously saying yes to peoples’ demands, requests, questions.
      The root of this problem is the internal need to be perfect, to have it all together, with all my problems solved, every question answered, and every request granted. This must stop…. and I must relinquish over to the Savior. Because I am going to go crazy and be of no help to not even myself if I continue another season of this behavior. Please pray my strength and guilt-free spirit as I muster up the courage to send this text message to someone that I said yes to but really meant to say no.
      Thank you for the encouragement and “light” shed upon the Word of God…For His thoughts are not my thoughts, His ways are not my ways.


  2. Christy Johnson September 11, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    Wow Stephanie! Sooo glad this ministered to you! TRUTH sets us free!

  3. Manda February 15, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

    And if saying yes when you mean no – only because you know that it didn’t matter what you said, it was gonna happen. Or doing all of this because you know if you don’t, you’ll have a hell of a price to pay… All that is still my fault? I let others take advantage of me?

    • Darren Reed April 18, 2018 at 1:03 pm #

      It’s not your fault, your only human. But you must push yourself to say no!!! If people that take advantage you don’t like it, too bad. The more you say no, the better you feel.

  4. Christy Johnson February 15, 2015 at 7:11 pm #

    Unfortunately, when we first begin to implement boundaries, they will be resisted. Often fiercely at first. The one who takes advantage is used to getting their way and they will use intimidation and power to prevent the change. The “price to pay” is worth it in the end if we are determined not to back down. Now…this all changes when abuse is involved. If the “price to pay” is abuse, wisdom says to play along until you safely plan your escape. No one deserves abuse. If that is your situation, get counsel to find a place of safety.

  5. Truth Be Known November 22, 2015 at 1:32 am #

    You are NOT following Biblical teachings.

    “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet, 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve,” (1 Tim. 2:12-13).

    • Stephanie M December 3, 2015 at 11:23 pm #

      To truth be known,

      Yes there are times when a woman is to be quiet as her place is not to teach a man how to be a man or how to study his word or how to praise the Lord with talents, time, and treasure. A Godly man should already have equipped himself with these things but if he is not then yes it’s better for her to be quiet than to correct Him as the Holy Spirit will bring about the conviction and correction to all men in due time. However, nun this blog, Christy is referring to the perpetual surrendering of yourself to someone else’s agenda without considering the bearings it has on you and your relationship with the Lord. To continuously “plant shade trees” for yourself “busies” your time, talents, and treasures , away from the will of God. And creates a barrier that continues to grow the more you place on your agenda with out considering the outcome, results , your time and resources.

      • Pavelo July 30, 2018 at 3:45 pm #

        Disgusting. Until you stop being mind-slaves to this authoritarian religion, you will not know freedom.

    • donna April 9, 2019 at 12:55 pm #

      That scripture is indicated for spiritual matters and. family responsibilities. All women are due respect from all. males, especially if a woman is in a position of. authority. Try to disrespect a female. judge. or. a female police. officer and see how well. you do with that. God did not make women inferior to men or to be their lackies. We. are all equal in the. eyes of God.

  6. susie March 18, 2016 at 10:27 am #

    Thank you for sharing your exodus, in Norman. It really helps to hear solutions to the struggle. Praying since July for health & some kind of job solution. After 30 years as a RN, its a rude jolt, to have to change jobs. Surgery without a cancer dx was such a relief. Gratitude to God & praising His name is how I start every day. But now what? No more 4,000$ a month job. I have become totally dependent on my husband. He never noticed I paid all the bills & house payment every month. But he makes me ask every time, for money to pay the bills now. After 35 years of marriage, the whole balance is out of kilter.
    I’m trying a Girl Friday job now, organizing, transport, & helping people in my community. 4 clients so far on a weekly basis, but I struggle with my self worth. My husband verbally abuses me on the weekends, when he drinks. Its been getting worse, so I try to work in the yard & stay out of his way. I pray for both of us daily & try to be a good wife, but he hates me. I tried talking to him , but he thinks I’m just lazy. I am unable to do 12 hour shifts , due to physical problems. Doctors offices & home health hire LPN’s mostly. Maybe I worry too much. I have gained weight & am just down at present. Trying to start my own business is not easy, but I pray daily for the way to become clear. You are an inspiration, thanks for your message & encouragement. In Christ, susan

  7. Christy Johnson March 21, 2016 at 11:28 am #

    Oh, Susan, so sorry for what you are going through. No one deserves verbal abuse. Often that is the hardest to identify because we have no bruises to prove we’ve been hurt. I lived with verbal abuse for 10 years, so I’m not saying this as a text book response, but as someone who God redeemed in the midst of difficulty. Sometimes God delivers us out of abuse and sometimes God delivers us in the midst of abuse. Stay close to Him and He will sustain you either way. His grace is sufficient!

  8. Sherry December 29, 2016 at 9:08 pm #

    This was definitely what I needed to read, I meet a guy on line as a friend it all started nice to be able to talk to him then he started asking for money as a good Christian I wanted to give freely then when I sayed no I can’t do it anymore “he put the guilt trip on, o you gave so much no point in stopping !is my life, so I gave in over and over its hard to say no I wasn’t taking care of me or my family, it wasn’t fare for my family to suffer, I was yelling at my family for what was happening to me I just couldn’t say no. After reading this I know now I just need to stop conversation with him and block him completely from my life he just want stop asking even when I say no in a firm voice.

    • Christy Johnson December 29, 2016 at 9:21 pm #

      So glad the article helped!

  9. Mariam September 14, 2018 at 10:04 pm #

    I have such a difficult time saying no to a few specific people and even when i say yes I know they aren’t even grateful and that hurts my heart I’m still trying to get this ‘no’ word into my vocabulary but I know that through God all things are possible and I pray every day for him who strengthens me!

    • Christy Johnson September 15, 2018 at 8:41 am #

      If certain people are difficult to say no to, try to practice in smaller ways to strengthen your confidence. Ask the Lord to give you daily opportunities to say no, like to telemarketers, perfume kiosks at the mall or favors from friends. If you never say no, your ability to say no to “specific people” will never happen.

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