How To Deal With People Who Take Advantage Of You

We did another video recently here about
how to not let people take advantage of you.
What if they already did? How to deal with people who take advantage of you? Unfortunately, it’s going to happen. It’s
really not if, it’s when people take advantage of you. How do you deal with
them in that relationship after that? Now, we did another video on how to prevent
that or put yourself in a position where that’s not happening too much. In this
video, let’s focus on, “Okay, now I’m there. It’s happened. Things are going on. I’m
being taken advantage of. How am I going to deal with that person now?” So, assuming
that you’re already in that relationship. There’s a movie that came out a couple
of years ago. This was 2015, Cinderella. Some of you have probably seen that
live-action. It’s not the old animated Disney version. But the live-action 2015
Cinderella. I’m acknowledging, I’m admitting I really enjoyed that movie. I
watched it with my daughter. She laughs at me because I kind of get teary at a
few points. There’s a lot of things that I really liked about this movie. And the
first thing the reason I mention it to you is because Cinderella got some
really sagely profound advice from her mother who passed away right at the
beginning of the show. It’s Cinderella, okay? No surprises. As her mother was
passing she said to Cinderella, “Have courage and be kind.” We’re going to use
that, alright? When it comes to being taken advantage of. If someone you’re in
a relationship is mistreating you’re taking advantage of you. Now, Cinderella
was in that position with her wicked stepmother, right? Her stepsisters, they
were taking advantage of her. So, it’s a pretty good example for that purpose. And
that the advice was have courage and be kind. Now courage implies
fear. So, some of the things that you’re going to need to do to take care of
yourself, you will be afraid to do. Why? Well, because it’s kind of risky. You
might be rejected. You might be overridden in some way. They might just
totally blow you off and continue to abuse you and take advantage of you.
Yeah, that could happen and that’s the fear. Courage implies fear. If you don’t
have any fear, it doesn’t require any courage does it?
Have courage implies that you feel the fear and you do it anyway. Some of the
things that you get to do to take care of yourself will be in that category. So,
be prepared to have courage. And be kind. You will need to assertively set some
boundaries and limits and that feels like it’s not nice, right? Okay,
be kind as you do this as well. So, with that in mind, with that backdrop, let’s
talk about three specific things that you could do. And the first, number 1,
practice forgiveness. This is easier when we understand what forgiveness is and
what it’s not. So, let’s start with what it’s not. Forgiveness is not saying that
what just happened to me, what you just did to me is okay. We come by this from
our childhood probably where we’re programmed to say, “Oh, it’s okay.”
Is it? Is it okay for someone to abuse you or take advantage of you? No. So, don’t
say that it’s okay. That’s not what it’s about.
Forgiveness is not pardoning someone for their crime. You don’t have that kind of
authority anyway. It’s not saying that that they’re off the hook. And it’s
certainly not continuing to let yourself be abused. So, what is forgiveness.
I think forgiveness is letting go. This is the part in Cinderella where I got a
little teary. It actually choked me up because of the powerful
nature of this particular scene. Do you remember when Cinderella was about to
leave for her happily ever after with Prince Charming, right? He came by, tried
on the slipper, no surprises it fit. Her stepmother, in her angry and tyrannical
way was threatening Cinderella. And by the end of the movie, we’re just hating
this woman, right? And she deserves every bit of it. Well, before Cinderella leaves,
her stepmother is sitting up there on the stairs. Inside the cottage. She’s
about to leave with her prince and she stops. She turns around to her stepmother
and says three words, “I forgive you.” And then she turns and leaves with her
prince. What was she saying? Was she saying, “Hey, all of that abuse you dished
out to me since my father died, Oh, that’s okay.”
No. It’s not okay for anyone to treat you or anyone else the way that she treated
Cinderella, right? That’s not what she’s saying. She’s not saying, “Oh, you’re
pardoned, you’ve you’re off the hook for anything that you’ve done.” No, she wasn’t
saying that either. I think what Cinderella was saying is, “Oh, I’m heading
off to my happily ever after. But I still got some stuff here that I don’t want to
take with me.” Boom! “I’m going to leave it here. Y’all can do whatever you want to
with that. I’m out of here.” And then she’s off with her prince. See, I
think forgiveness is letting go of this burden. It’s leaving it where it belongs
so that we can move on to our happily ever after.
Can you do that? Can you practice forgiveness and notice it’s not about
the stepmother or whatever she’s going to do with it. That doesn’t matter. That’s
totally irrelevant. Doesn’t matter. What matters is that you get to move on
without the burden. That’s what I mean by practice forgiveness. Now, with that
clarity, let’s go number 2, set appropriate boundaries
and limits. Set appropriate boundaries and limits. You get to decide how far
people can come to take advantage of you. How much you’re willing to give for
people to take advantage of you. You get to decide it. Sometimes that means you
get to say some things that you’re not completely comfortable saying. I don’t
know if you know me well enough to know I’m not a huge fan of being comfortable.
If you’re comfortable, you’re not growing, you’re not stretching. So, let’s get out
of that comfort zone to stretch it out a little bit and you go ahead and say what
you need to say to set that limit. Here’s a little tip. Stay away from the word but,
okay? For example you’re in a relationship with someone who’s taking
advantage of you. It’s okay for you to say, “I love you and I will not let you
hit me.” Oh boy, do you hear that? It’s not “but.” See, if you say, “I love you but…” That’s
like, “Forget what I just said here’s what I really mean.” It’s okay to use the word
and. In fact, that’s even more powerful. ‘I love you and I will not let you hit me.”
Can you imagine saying that to a toddler? Can you imagine saying that to your
spouse? Okay? You’re setting a limit. I will not allow this limit to be crossed,
okay? And then you come up with ways in your mind that you can enforce that
limit which is a whole other conversation probably. But setting that
limit is so important. That’s step number 2. Now let’s go on to number 3.
Number 3 is kind of a hard one because this is where you renew or
release the relationship. Renew or release. This idea came from Desmond Tutu
who wrote a beautiful book on on 4 Steps of Forgiveness. Where this is
one of his steps that you renew the relationship if it’s salvageable, if it’s
important to you, if it’s something that needs to remain in your key
relationships. It has to be renewed because the way that it was isn’t
working. Creating a whole new relationship. I’m working with people
here in the office who are doing just that.
There’s a couple for example. Where there’s been some infidelity or there’s
been other forms of abuse or taking advantage of other people. And it becomes
really clear that we’re not going to go back to what it was, ever. In fact, they
don’t want to. Because that wasn’t working. So, we’re going to renew the
relationship in a way that creates a whole new dynamic. When you’re ready to
set some limits around people taking advantage of you, to continue that
relationship means we get to redefine it and renew it. That’s what I’m talking
about with renew. Or release. Releasing the relationship is where you decide,
“This is better for all of us that this relationship gets to be set aside. It’s
become part of our past and our history and something that we can learn from and
feel grateful for and move on without.” And this works better for people who
don’t by definition of the relationship, have to remain in your life. So, it might
be a breakup with someone who has no continued interest with you. I see
divorces for example where there’s no children. They don’t have a big reason to
continue any kind of a relationship and so they can simply release that
relationship. I say simply. Simple and easy aren’t the same thing.
But this is where if you can’t renew it or if there’s not a reason to
renew it or if it’s not feasible or possible or practical, then sometimes we
get to release that relationship. It’s okay for you to set those kinds of
limits. Because when relationship gets to a point where it’s
destructive or toxic, it’s not helping either party. That’s the time sometimes
when a release is more important. We’re all about personal development here.
We’ve got a whole playlist positive personal development here at Live on
Purpose TV. Get connected to that. I’ll see you tomorrow.

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