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.
We teach others how to treat us by what we tolerate.
10 ways to know if you are responsible for allowing others to take advantage of you:
- You say yes when you mean no.
- You say yes without considering the request because you want to be “kind”.
- You think saying yes is the Christian thing to do.
- You say no, but others pester you until you relent.
- Your schedule is so crammed, you can’t possibly fulfill the request you just committed yourself to.
- You expect others to know what you mean without actually expressing it.
- You have no boundaries.
- You don’t know what boundaries are.
- You think others are more worthy than you.
- 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.
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