NEVER LET PEOPLE TAKE ADVANTAGE BECAUSE IF THEY GET THE OPPORTUNITY...
You never in a million years thought someone you care about, sacrificed so much for, or put up with for months or even years could be so cruel... but it happened. Unfortunately for you it will keep happening if you let it. The good news is that you have the power to protect your mind, your heart, and your energy from those toxic relationships.
Want to know how? It is all about self-love, setting boundaries and learning how to put to use the word "NO"!
I was in an on-again-off-again relationship with the same person for 12 years. There was always this feeling of being drained or empty and just hitting a wall. I was giving so much of myself to no prevail, and the other person did not see it. I began to resent the guy for not appreciating what I was doing and for not reciprocating what I brought to the table. Come to think of it... I experienced the same situation in the workplace. I thought, if I give more or work harder my value will finally be seen and I will be promoted or rewarded for my efforts. That did not happen. I was damn good at what I did, but...no wedding ring, no promotion.
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Even though it sucked that I basically got used and abused, the main problem was not those people failing to give as much back to me; it was me giving too much to them. I needed to match their contributions, match their energy. Healthy relationships are two-sided and are about giving and receiving equally. There MUST be balance. Imbalances create unhealthy environments, codependency, or toxicity. You have to remember also that just because you choose to help someone or to give yourself or your resources to someone does not mean they are obligated to do that for you...unless you have some detailed verbal or written agreement. You may be kind hearted or selfless but that does not mean others think or behave the same way you do. Understanding this fact will help you discern whether or not you want to keep giving more, in hopes of reciprocation or change, OR hold back or move on for your own sanity.
I know, I know, sometimes it is not that easy to just move on, especially if you are dealing with a family member or a spouse you have kids with. If this is your situation and you feel obligated to keep ties, check out my Practicing Guilt-Free Unselfish Self-love post where you can read on the differences between self-love and selfishness and on how to love your spouse or family member but still prioritize your health and happiness. My word of advice for the work environment situations or the unmarried love relationship cases is... if the guy or gal does not cooperate with you to create balance and abundant reciprocity then you have got to GO. It is simply not the right time, not the right job, or not the right person for you...and the universe wants you to find the right person in love and to find your tribe. So be prepared for hell if you refuse or prolong your blessings by trying and trying and trying with people who do not appreciate your worth and add little to no value to your life. You are only losing yourself and stifling your spirit in the process.
It is important to recognize also that when it becomes commonplace for you to give a lot your kind gestures are no longer special. They become the norm... Oh you know, something you "should be doing". Then when you stop doing what you "should be doing", we all know what that means....YOU become the bad guy, the guilty party who stopped "working" or"loving" when the reality is that you have been going above and beyond the rest, putting your own wants and needs to the side just to accommodate, nurture, take care of (whatever you want to call it) this other person.
#SelfLove is THE answer. You should wake up most days, if not every morning, happy and enthusiastic...not already drained and anticipating having to do something for someone else who does not appreciate it. Say "NO" when it becomes too much. You are allowed to. Screw the kicking and screaming, the other person will get over it. Allocate your "ME" time. That is crucial. Think about what makes you smile and gives you peace of mind or satisfaction. Of course you cannot evade your daily responsibilities but ALWAYS make it a point to start and end your day with something that makes you happy. It is a plus if that something relieves stress or enhances your mind, beauty, and overall well-being.
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Some Self-Love Examples Are:
-taking a walk/jog
-mediating, doing yoga and stretching
-getting a mani/pedi
-taking a nap or sleeping in
-reading your favorite blog or book
-watching a movie or show you like
-getting a massage
-making love or enjoying self pleasure
-being creative (draw, paint, sing, write, etc)
-having a fun drink!...or two
-cooking or ordering what YOU want for dinner
-getting your hair done or styling your own hair
-buying something nice for YOU (outfit, shoes, makeup, appliance, new device, etc)
***AND do not forget about those boundaries! If you have not set boundaries in your relationship from the beginning there inevitably will be resistance to you setting boundaries now...But it must be done if you want to get out of the place of feeling drained and frustrated that your efforts are being taken for granted.
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