We’ve all felt unappreciated, ignored and disrespected in our daily lives. In fact, feeling taken for granted is one of the most common interpersonal issues out there.
From thankless romantic partners to inconsiderate children, there are multitudes of situations in life where people take us for granted.
But what happens when we find that no matter WHAT we do, or how much we give to others, we are still used and devalued?
What do we do when instead of attracting caring and appreciative people, we appear to be stuck in a vicious cycle of attracting people who like to ruthlessly use and discard us?
4 Reasons Why You’re Being Taken For Granted
Being taken for granted is one of the major symptoms of the Caregiver personality.
If you find that the people in your life are not only using you but feel ENTITLED to use you, you’ve also likely got a Type 2 or 9 Enneagram Type. You can find out your personality type in our Enneagram Test and Psychological Archetype Test.
Caregivers are primarily motivated by helping others, making them altruistic, generous, but also self-sacrificing people.
If you’re stuck in the toxic cycle of being used and taken for granted, it’s important that you explore the thoughts, feelings, childhood teachings and wounds that perpetuate this issue.
Here are some common reasons why people might be taking you for granted:
1. You have poor ego-based boundaries
Establishing a strong sense of self is an important process of what psychologist Carl Jung referred to as individuation. In other words, in order to connect with our Souls we must first be able to psychologically evolve and mature.
People with poor ego-based boundaries often struggle with saying “no,” differentiating their thoughts and needs from others, and taking time to care for themselves. This results in burnout, mental illness, martyrdom and enabling behaviors.
Many people confuse the Eastern and New Age philosophy of “overcoming the ego” as meaning to completely erase the ego. But to transcend the ego doesn’t mean that it has to disappear, it means that we must become aware of it, or no longer limited by it.
To exist in this world, we must have a healthy ego. To eventually transcend the ego, we must first develop one. When I refer to “ego,” I am referring to our sense of separate self.
If people are using you, it is likely that you have a weak or underdeveloped sense of self. Your work, or medicine, involves learning to become assertive, learning to value your gifts and discovering how to take care of YOURSELF, not only others.
2. You haven’t clearly expressed your needs to others
In relationships and other interpersonal connections, we often make the mistake of believing that other people can read our minds. But it’s important to realize that not everyone thinks the same way you think. If you’re feeling taken for granted, you might benefit from simply sitting down with others and expressing your needs clearly.
Open communication is not a skill we are taught, and it can seem daunting at first. But when you learn how to voice your needs, you will feel empowered. Voicing your needs is also a good way of determining which people in your life are heathy versus unhealthy company. For example, if you open up and are met with remorse or an apology, you can be sure that the person simply wasn’t aware that they were taking you for granted. However, if you open up and are met with indifference or ridicule, you can be sure that the person doesn’t really care about you in the first place.
3. You believe that your self-worth comes from GIVING
In childhood, or throughout life, you were taught the false belief that your self-worth comes from giving to others. In other words, you believe that the measure of your self-worth is directly proportionate to how much you self-sacrifice.
Unfortunately, having this mistaken belief leads to extremely fragile self-esteem, stress and even manipulating others to feel better about yourself. In this situation, you aren’t giving from a full heart, you are giving from a wounded heart that craves recognition and praise from others. Without this recognition and praise, you feel worthless, ignored and taken for granted.
Here’s the thing: You can only be taken for granted if you believe that your worth comes from OTHERS, and is not intrinsic to who you are.
Your medicine is to realize that you don’t need to do anything to be loveable or worthy — you already ARE lovable and worthy innately. A powerful practice that can help you with this is self-love or self-compassion.
4. You attract the love you think you deserve
This is not an ethereal feel-good belief, it is a psychological fact. When you feel unworthy of genuine love deep down, you’re attracted to people who mistreat you because they support your unconscious belief of “I’m not good enough.”
Feeling taken for granted is a conscious emotional cry for help. On a conscious level you realize that you’re being mistreated, but on an unconscious level it is what you feel you “deserve.” Because you feel that you deserve to be taken for granted because “you aren’t worthy,” you become stuck in a confusing cycle of constantly attracting harmful people into your life.
What can you do? The best medicine for this issue is to explore your core beliefs and core wounds. This requires delving deep into your thought patterns and earlier life experiences that may have contributed to such a destructive belief.
What Can You Do Next?
Ask yourself “why do I feel taken for granted?” and look over these four points. Which ones do you relate to the most? Perhaps you relate to multiple points in this article, or even all of them.
Remember that every situation in life is a lesson, even the painful ones. Use the advice in this article, particularly the links I’ve provided at the end of each point, to help yourself pry open your behaviors, beliefs, and thinking patterns. You can go from there.
Tell me, has this article helped to open your eyes? Please share any experiences or insights you’ve had below that can help others with this problem as well.