Don’t you just hate it when you realise someone has taken advantage of you?
You’re understanding, patient and generous with them, and then they throw it back in your face.
This happened to me this week.
And it’s quite accurate to say I am both disappointed and cranky about it.
I won’t say too much about the actual incident as I don’t want to embarrass this person too much. Mostly, I want to focus on how I felt about it. So, I will say this…..it left me feeling very much like I was treated as an opportunity to make a sale. Even though we came to an agreement, it hasn’t retracted that feeling of it was a way to make some money out of me despite how I have been sensitive and generous to their circumstances over the past 6 weeks at least.
Sadly, it’s not the first time someone has taken advantage of me. But I’m not going to stop being me because of them. Given, there will always be people out to make a dollar, or get something out of you, but not everyone out there is like that. For every person who has taken advantage of me, there are at least two people who have been very grateful of my help and haven’t asked for anything further.
Just because one person uses you, it shouldn’t mean you take that special part of who you are away from yourself. It will only make you cynical and distrusting, and could turn you into an insensitive, uncaring and unloving person towards everything. Any time an opportunity to be generous and understanding presents itself, you will have a negative view of it and believe that person is just trying to get as much as they can out of you.
Fortunately, there will always be more grateful people than those who take you for a ride.
This is not to say you should allow the same person to do it over and over again. There is a time to say no, but don’t feel guilty about it. You have a right to look after yourself.
My favourite quote is one which reminds me to not lose the traits that make me who I am – don’t throw them away because of a couple of people. It encourages me to continue doing what I do the way I do it because my intention is greater than their motives. Mother Teresa said it best and is my most treasured quote:
“People are often unreasonable and self-centred. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
~ Mother Teresa ~
I would like to add to this:
If you are generous, people may take advantage of you. Be generous anyway.
No matter what, be honest with yourself. Don’t be angry at the world when one person is horrible to you. Don’t take it out on yourself because one person took advantage of you. Don’t cheat yourself of your personality because one person lied to you. Don’t rob yourself of your uniqueness because one person let you down. Don’t let one person, ten people or a hundred people destroy you because they are selfish.
You don’t have to believe in God in order for Mother Teresa’s quote to speak to you and mean something. It is inspiring to keep true to your qualities. Your qualities make you an individual. Your qualities are your calling card. Your qualities are the impression you leave with people when they meet you. Your qualities make you special and unique. Your qualities are a part of you.
We’re not going to go through life without being scathed, hurt, let down, or taken advantage of. One of the best gifts you can give yourself is to allow yourself to be you, complete with your weaknesses and strengths. To be anything less has a high price tag greater than the possible risks there are in displaying any of your finest qualities.