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.

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:

  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. 

Love Junkies

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

  1. Judy Walker at #

    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 at #

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

    • Stephanie M at #

      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.


    • All I can say is thank you Jesus! I have been going through alot with my daughter and husband and today it finally hit me that I needed to change as well as our situation here at home. I have been stuffing my emotions for so long that my boundaries are broken down because I see how I have allowed this to continue. For what though? To be made to look like a fool all for the sake of trying to please. This sure is right on time because I needed to hear the truth sprinkled with love. My husband tried to get me to open my eyes but I refused to listen to him so that in itself has caused strife to slither in a wreak havoc in our marriage. Wow this is really a eye opener.

      • Christy Johnson at #

        Stuffing emotions is never healthy, but often we’ve done it for so long we don’t even realize it. It’s our normal. I’m glad revelation has come, Charlotte! It’s hard to maintain the resolve to change without new understanding.

  2. Christy Johnson at #

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

  3. Manda at #

    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 at #

      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 at #

    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 at #

    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 at #

      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 at #

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

        • Vershauna Brooks at #

          So true we have to stop being slaves to others and their agendas. If we need peace we won’t have it constantly relieving others of their duties.

    • donna at #

      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.

    • Tracy Zimmerman at #

      Truth Be Unknown
      John 20: 16-19

      Jesus could have told anyone to tell the desciples he had risen. He chose and came to and told Mary Magdalene who is a woman to tell them.
      He chose her to give the greatest news. If Jesus selected a woman instead of the men I dont believe He sees her as less.
      God created man and then created a woman with a bigger heart . That does not sound like less to me it sounds like an improvement!

      • Christy Johnson at #

        It’s interesting to see how this conversation turned from how to know if others are taking advantage of us to whether or not women can teach:) I’m grateful to see how everyone has responded.

    • Sheila at #

      Abuse is never okay! Legalism and twisting the word of God is not okay either. Ask Holy Spirit to help you discern the Word

  6. susie at #

    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. 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 at #

    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 at #

      So glad the article helped!

  9. Mariam at #

    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 at #

      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.

  10. Lashaninda Nelson at #

    I recently have been having the hardest time with my adopted daughter and her biological family. Really I have been going through hell with them for 20 years since she was born and put in my custody. After hurricane Ida I allowed my daughter and her sisters live in my house.. My daughter asked can she move in . I said yes without thinking.. She moved sisters and cousins in. Without communicating with me. Long story short. I put myself in a vulnerable position. Now I want them out so bad I’m tired of calling the police they want to fight me in my house. But I thank God for this because I am now seeing .myself., and I don’t like who I see. I choose to forgive . I read that book Control last night. I bought your book on Amazon Free looks good on me. I’m listening to it. You are a blessing Christy. I’m praying that your helping me clean my heart and renewc my mind. I desire to be free from addiction , free from people and start taking care of me. I want to stop being afraid of failure once and for all.

  11. Melody at #

    This is powerful and sadly not taught. We have millions of women who have suffered abuse in the name of being godly, submissive and obedient. It has perpetuated generational curses and created co-dependency as a “norm”. God bless you beyond imagination for declaring the difference between peace-keeping and peace-making.

    That turned it around in my mind. I was only able to have good boundaries for students of mine… but not family, co-workers, friends or past marriages. I have been working on myself since 09-2018. Your book has put more pieces together than anything else. I have made strides but still had no inner confidence or compass. Now I see the foundation of scripture supporting boundaries. And the “how” for those of us raised by narcissistic parents. We simply had no template . The Christian background was used to only further enslaved us. Because this teaching was completely absent. Thank you. For the water of life in these truths.

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