Are you one of those people who find themselves being taken for granted all the time? You may be assertive and in control of your life, but something isn’t right. Somewhere along the way, you start to realize that the people that love you are taking you for granted almost all the time.
Being loving and caring is one thing, but having that taken advantage of is quite another.
What do you do when your indulgences are taken for granted and turned into expectations? [Read: 25 memorable life lessons that can change your life forever!]
Being taken for granted is a difficult term to define. Basically, it means that someone expects something of you, without any basis for it.
For instance, if you’re kind to someone a couple of times and let them use your cellphone when their credit has finished, they may take it for granted that they can continue to do so.
It’s a favor, something you have offered them out of kindness, but it is turned into an expectation that you may feel you need to bow down to.
In a relationship, being taken for granted is a huge problem. You may do things for your partner every single day, simply because that’s what you feel you should do, you want to do, and it makes you happy. However, your partner then expects you to do all of those things. Is that fair? No!
Being taken for granted over the long term basically means that you’re not respected. Now, many people take others for granted without realizing it. So, if this happens to you, it’s not that your partner is a bad person and doesn’t care. It’s probably just that they don’t realize what they’re doing. [Read: How to build self-confidence – 16 ways to realize you’re worth it]
Perhaps you’re not sure if you’re being taken for granted or if you’re the one expecting too much of your partner. In that case, you need to look at the signs.
If you can nod along to several of these signs, you’re likely being taken for granted.
When you call or text your partner, they don’t call you back even if several hours pass by and you know they’re not that busy.
Or worse, when you confront them about it in the evening, they tell you that they completely forget about it! [Read: The right priority in your relationship – how to find and focus on it]
Your partner loses their temper very easily while trying to explain something to you. And at times, they intentionally try to explain it in a way that’s too complicated to understand just to make you feel small.
You may make plans several weeks in advance, but they keep canceling them for silly reasons all the time. But yet, each time they make plans, even at the last minute, they expect you to drop everything and be there for them. [Read: 16 signs you’re settling in an unhappy relationship]
How can you tell? They just don’t seem to care who you go out with or what you’re doing, even if you mention that you’re at a party or out with an old friend from college.
And at times, they may even make bold statements in arguments like “I know you’ll never find someone as good as me” or “you know I’m too good for you!”
They just don’t admit their mistakes even when they’re wrong. Because they have a very big ego, they just don’t ever want to see you outdo them at something.
They believe that looking small in front of you or apologizing to you is an insult to their ego. [Read: 17 questions to help you realize if you’re being abused in your relationship]
It’s been happening for so long that you don’t even think twice about it. Your partner forgets things and doesn’t really know what’s happening in your life.
They don’t take the initiative to even ask you about your day. That’s because they believe their life is so much more important than yours.
Your partner may not acknowledge this, but you know this already. You don’t feel like you’re an important part of their life, and see yourself as a second or third option at best. [Read: Should you make someone a priority when you’re only an option to them?]
Your special favors have now turned into an expectation. Even if you do something special, your partner believes it’s your responsibility to do that.
And if you don’t do something nice all the time, your partner gets angry with you or sulks like you’ve done something wrong.
You may have sacrificed many things for your lover, your happiness, your life, or even your future. But yet, your partner doesn’t respect you and still behaves like you’re such a small part of the relationship.
Another way to answer the question, “am I being taken for granted?” is if your partner is indifferent towards you.
Sometimes, they don’t answer your questions, at other times, they just give you a dark stare and walk away even if you ask them something. [Read: How your own self-respect affects the way your partner treats you]
You may treat your partner with a lot of love and affection, and you may try hard to please them all the time. But no matter what you do, it just goes unnoticed.
And on the other hand, even if you make one mistake, they make it a point to never forget it and keep bringing it up at every instance they get.
Your instincts tell you that you’re being taken for granted and that your partner doesn’t even care about you. And almost all the time, you feel like you’re just being used in the relationship to cater to the whims and fancies of your partner.
You feel this, but you’re too scared to say it. You’re too broken inside to even acknowledge that you deserve something better, even though you know you’re being wronged in the relationship. [Read: 21 big signs of emotional abuse in a relationship]
Your lover constantly forgets what you say even if you remind them about it several times. They may not be a bad person, because we all do this occasionally.
But, if this happens regularly, it just shows how low on their list of priorities you are. If they can’t even remember something you ask, it’s obvious other things are of more importance to them.
You know a happy relationship shouldn’t feel this way, yet you just endure it in the hope that they may see just how giving and loving you are.
But the harder you try, the more they take you for granted and expect more from you. No matter what you do, it’s just never enough to please them. [Read: 19 unrealistic expectations in love we want to believe but shouldn’t]
You feel used, hurt, and disrespected in the relationship. You feel like you are a strong individual around other people, but your partner has broken that pride of yours and always makes you feel useless and small in the relationship.
You don’t even think of leaving them, but you’re constantly worried about whether your partner will leave you someday. [Read: 21 critical signs of an unhealthy relationship]
It’s just common courtesy to say thank you to someone who does something nice for you. But if you are always doing things – whether it’s cooking dinner or buying a special present – and you never get thanked, question why.
You feel like they don’t even notice the nice things you do for them. It’s almost like “thank you” isn’t even in their vocabulary.
They expect you to pay for more things than they do. When you go out to dinner, they never reach for their wallet or credit card. They expect you to buy them things and take them places without ever offering to pay their share.
So, if you are feeling used because of all the money you spend on them with no appreciation, then you don’t have to wonder, “am I being taken for granted,” because you already are. [Read: How to talk about money with your partner without fighting about it]
Everyone has needs and desires that should be fulfilled by their partner in a relationship. We have emotional and physical needs. So, if you feel like you are the only one trying to help with your partner’s needs and they don’t even think about yours, then you are being taken for granted.
Empathy is the ability to put yourself into someone else’s shoes and see any situation from their perspective, and not just your own. So, people who are using others have very little ability to express or show any empathy.
They are too busy being selfish to even think about how their actions are affecting others. All of your attempts to get them to understand your point of view are unsuccessful. [Read: 20 signs of lack of empathy that show they don’t care what you think]
Birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Hanukkah, anniversaries, and more are pretty much ignored by them. It doesn’t even matter if you try to make a big deal about their special days and buy them presents. They don’t feel the need to do the same. In fact, they don’t even feel guilty when they don’t put in any effort.
They might always be on their phone, playing video games, watching sports, or doing something else that doesn’t involve you 24/7. That is a sign that you are being taken for granted.
They don’t even feel the need to spend time with you, and it almost seems like they are trying to escape from you because they never try to talk or be in the same room. [Read: 31 sad signs he doesn’t like you anymore and is losing interest in you]
Not only is there very little sex *if you’re in a romantic relationship with them*, but there is also no more emotional intimacy either.
You feel emotionally distant and that you are hardly even noticed. A good relationship of any kind has a strong bond between the people involved. [Read: A lack of affection and intimacy in a relationship – is it time to walk away?]
If trying to engage them in any type of conversation feels like pulling teeth, then that is not good either. Maybe your daily interactions are about the weather or grunting about what’s for dinner.
You might be longing for the days when you had long, interesting conversations that stimulated you. And if you are, then you and your presence in their lives are being taken for granted.
If they are making plans with their friends, and going out until the early hours of the morning without ever thinking about you, then that is not good.
They might even buy things or go away for days without telling you. It’s almost like you don’t even exist in their lives. Because they just do whatever they want, whenever they want to. [Read: Selfishness in relationships – 15 tips to do the right thing]
Ouch. If they don’t want to define the relationship, it’s because they don’t want to hold any responsibility. Once you label something, there’s a certain amount of responsibility that goes with it.
Even if you persist in asking them what your relationship is, they’ll deflect or try their best to avoid this question. A label isn’t something they can give because of their real intentions for you. [Read: When to define the relationship – 20 signs it might be right now!]
When it’s just the two of you, they’re an amazing partner. They shower you with attention, they’re funny, the sex is amazing, and everything seems to go well. They seem like the perfect too-good-to-be-true partner when you’re alone.
But they completely disregard your existence when with friends or other people. It’s as if to them, you don’t matter. There’s an instant switch when you’re with other people compared to when you’re just alone. [Read: How to spot selfish people and stop them from hurting you]
Double ouch. It shouldn’t get any more evident than this if you’re looking for signs you’re being taken for granted. Maybe it’s someone from work or a friend, but one thing is for sure, they’re not focused on you. [Read: 16 warning signs your partner is falling in love with someone else]
If your partner isn’t asking for your opinion on important topics, it’s clear they don’t respect your opinion, or they think they know what you would say.
You don’t have a voice at all in the relationship, and they don’t care about what opinions and thoughts you have to offer. This right here is already an evident sign of disrespect and that you’re being taken advantage of in a relationship. [Read: 15 signs of a lack of respect in a relationship you can’t ignore]
This isn’t the only definition of being taken for granted, but it’s a pretty big one. Regardless if you live together or not, they’re not doing their fair share. You usually get stuck with the majority of the housework and cooking. They always assume you do things for them.
In other words, you’re lifting the relationship, and everything would probably crumble without you doing the work.
When you’re not feeling like doing something, rather than respecting your wishes, they use guilt against you. This is because they’re the one calling the shots in the relationship.
Guilt is the one emotion they love using against you just to get what they want. They don’t respect you at all, and they’ll use everything against you. [Read: Guilt tripping in a relationship – what it is & how to respond to it]
Come on, you know this isn’t a good sign. If your partner is cheating on you, hell, yes, they’re taking you for granted too.
They’re taking a huge risk, yet, they feel they’re going to get away with it. If you’ve already forgiven them once and let them get away with their cheating, even better for them.
They know precisely how to manipulate you, even with something as drastic as cheating. [Read: What is cheating in a relationship? The truth most people ignore]
Just like they make decisions without you, they also make plans without you. Summer vacation is coming up, and they already booked a trip to Mexico with their friends. Oops. They forgot to let you know. They don’t care about being your partner or best friend, but they only care if they benefit something from you.
So if they don’t tend to include you in their plans, it’s a huge indicator that you’re being taken for granted. [Read: Common reasons why relationships fail so often]
You feel like your home is a hotel for them. They do whatever they feel like, whether you like it or not. They come over, maybe stay the night, maybe not. And they don’t really ask you if it’s okay.
Inconsistency is one of the obvious red flags you’re being taken for granted. You never know what to expect when it comes to them. One minute they act this way and the next, it’s the complete opposite.
They’re unreliable, inconsistent, and give all sorts of signals that confuse you further. [Read: Relationship rules – 30 must-know tips to live your best love life]
When taken for granted, it’s crazy how we strive even harder for their attention, affection, and love. You surprise them with a home-cooked meal or buy the shirt they really wanted. It’s obvious you’re being taken for granted in a relationship if you chase after them harder.
You make all these romantic gestures for them, and they never appreciate a single one. The fact that you’re trying more just proves that there’s a clear imbalance in the relationship.
It doesn’t get any more real than this, does it? The fact you feel used means you should listen to your gut and believe it. The other signs are important, but if you feel that you’re being used, well, there’s your answer. [Read: Signs of love bombing not to be confused with real love]
When someone is intentionally taking advantage of you, they bring out your worst. If you’re already suffering from low self-esteem, they’ll bring this down further until you’re on the verge of breaking.
While it’s easy to blame this on yourself, ask yourself if they ever did anything to support you or help your self-esteem.
It could be your birthday or the day you got a promotion at work, but for them, it’s just a Tuesday. Sure, they congratulate you but other than that, you’re not getting anything else.
You haven’t complained about not getting anything for your anniversary, so why would they start buying you gifts now? It’s not like you’re going to leave them. [Read: The best gifts you can give your partner]
We all have moments where we had a bad day or something traumatic happened, and we need our partner. But your crying face isn’t their thing, so you better come back to them when you feel better. If they don’t lend a hand when you need support, they don’t appreciate you. [Read: The partner checklist to know if one partner is being taken for granted]
Your partner went out last night but you found that out the next morning on Facebook. There’s no communication. Your partner assumes that you’re fine with whatever they do.
You’re an afterthought to their actions. If they appreciated you, they’d tell you beforehand what their plans are, and invite you.
No, it’s not because they’re blind. They simply don’t acknowledge your presence. You get a better “hello” from your dog than you do from your partner. That’s a problem.
You should be the first person on their mind when they think of anything. We know this sounds pretentious, but it’s not, it’s called love. [Read: How to make a guy realize he’s losing you – hints that really work]
You spend time correcting the behavior of your partner, but you don’t see much change. Maybe you ask them to help you with cleaning or you make the first move when it comes to PDA, but they’re simply not catching on.
Listen, if they really wanted to, they would. They don’t appreciate you, and that’s it. [Read: How to stop nagging your partner and let go of the partner pestering]
Now that you know the signs you’re being taken for granted, you need to look within. Why might this be happening? For sure, it could be because your partner is a terrible person, but maybe that’s not the full story.
The easiest way to judge yourself and find out if you’re someone who could be taken for granted by others is by testing your own character.
There are a few traits and characteristics of people who are vulnerable to being taken for granted. The chances are, you have a few of these traits yourself.
You have a very hard time saying “no” to people. You’d rather take on more commitments or responsibilities instead.
You may think you’re being sweet. But your inability to say no will only make others take your sacrifices for granted. [Read: How to say no – Stop pleasing people and feel awesome instead]
Everyone around you, especially your loved ones, can totally predict your behavior.
And since you’re so predictable, they subtly manipulate you and get you to do what they want. You may feel manipulated and used, but you feel helpless at the same time.
You’re a people pleaser, and you just can’t be rude to others. You convince yourself that you’re the sweet person in a bad world. But in reality, you may just be too sweet and nice, which causes others to take you for granted. [Read: 20 signs you’re a people pleaser and don’t know it]
You’d rather make excuses or postpone issues that bother you instead of dealing with them. You may think pushing decisions away is the easy option, but in fact, it’s the spineless way of dealing with your problems.
Those who understand your inability to take tough decisions may abuse that side of you and make decisions on your behalf.
If you feel like you’re being taken for granted, confront the issue. If you can’t confront the issue, you’ll end up unhappy. Your head will be filled with resentment and frustration. [Read: Types of toxic friends you need to avoid in your life]
You’re scared of people who are loud, outspoken, bossy, and confrontational. You just can’t handle them and they stress you out emotionally. You’d rather accept what they say than ever go against them.
You may think it’s the best way to deal with rude people. But, in reality, you’re setting yourself up to be used and taken for granted by these kinds of people for the rest of your life.
You lie to yourself and make excuses when someone takes you for granted. Maybe you tell yourself that the person probably took the right decision anyway and they’re not using you at all.
You’re not happy doing what you’re doing for this person, but you console yourself with false words. You tell yourself that you’re doing it out of free will when it’s clearly not the case. [Read: How to stop lying to yourself and the people around you]
Somewhere deep inside, you doubt yourself and don’t believe in your own capabilities. You find flaws within yourself and you see other people as virtuous and flawless. Maybe you feel a constant need to please others to be accepted by them. You need to wake up and realize how amazing you are!
You constantly feel the need to have someone by your side. Independence scares you and you find it easier to go out of your way to be nice to someone who treats you badly, instead of being lonely. [Read: Powerful ways to combat and break out of loneliness]
You constantly seek approval from others. When someone starts to take you for granted, without realizing it, you’ll allow them to emotionally control you. Before long, you lose your sense of judgment and you forget that it’s possible to independently make decisions for yourself.
Every time you want to do something, the voice in your head wonders if the object of your affection would like your decision.
It’s all in the hope that they’ll see just how loving and accommodating you are. You hope that they may realize just how much you’re doing for them someday. [Read: The risks of making someone a priority when you’re only an option to them]
You don’t like going against people you want to impress or win over. As a result, you accommodate anything they say. A small line of praise from them means the world to you.
You intentionally keep your expectations low around people, especially the ones you love. This is because you know what constant disappointment feels like.
But at the same time, you give far too much, in the hope that the one you love will see just how giving you are.
This person may just assume they’re perfect for you already because you’re not pointing out any flaws in them. Nor are you pointing out any of your wants or expectations from them. [Read: Are you being emotionally abused by someone you love? 17 sure signs]
It’s possible to show too much respect! you respect this person and you can’t ever think of going against them or offending them in any manner. This person is the center of your world and you know you’d do anything to keep them happy.
The people who take you for granted are usually the ones who know that they matter a lot to you. They see the love you have for them, and constantly expect more from you without even realizing it.
When you keep giving more, their expectations grow all the time, until they reach the critical stage where you feel completely taken for granted. [Read: Signs to recognize a selfish person and steps to stop them from taking you for granted]
You just don’t know when to stop giving. So, you always end up giving way too much before you even realize it. By then, it’s probably too late because the person you’re giving to may already be taking you for granted.
Even if you back away, they’ll only be upset and say you’re the one who’s changed for the worse. [Read: Signs your negative thinking is ruining your life for you]
If you’re someone who always gives more than they get in return, it’s easy to start feeling not only taken for granted but very negative too. Now you know the signs it’s happening around you and you know the main traits that may make you more susceptible to such treatment. So, what comes next?
Well, now you need to learn how to turn the tables and stop being taken for granted by those around you. You can’t change how people act, but you can make the conditions better to hopefully encourage a positive outcome.
We are not blaming you for being taken for granted. You give so much of yourself with nothing in return, barely even a thank you. So, speak up.
Next time they ask you to do something, say that last time you felt like they didn’t appreciate it. Next time you do something they should make a point to ensure you feel appreciated. [Read: The real truth behind what makes a normal relationship tick]
Sometimes we solely focus on how we feel and not how our partner feels. They may feel like you don’t appreciate them or that you take them for granted.
So make sure you thank them and let them know you appreciate them. They may see that behavior and return it to you.
Are you going out of your way without being asked? Are you quick to say yes to anything they ask? Do you ask them to do things for you?
Sure, they could be more vocal about their appreciation, but you could say no sometimes. We don’t like to say you are giving too much, but you just might be able to hold back a little. [Read: How self-respect affects you and all your relationships]
If they aren’t getting it, next time you do something for them and they don’t say thank you, say “you’re welcome.” Say it loudly.
Whether that be making dinner, taking out the trash, driving their parents to the airport, or supporting them through grad school, when you say this, it opens their eyes to the fact that they haven’t verbally thanked you.
It’s nice to put your partner first sometimes, but also care for yourself. If you want to know how to stop being taken for granted in a relationship, do what you need first.
Next time they ask something of you, don’t do it immediately. Take care of what you need and then get to it. [Read: How to pull back in a relationship when you’re giving too much
You do not need to say yes to everything. We know it can feel mean or selfish. But you are allowed to say no. If you are overwhelmed with your own stuff, you do not have to go out of your way for them. If you start saying no to their requests, they may rethink their behavior.
Sure, maybe there are some things you are totally fine doing, like picking up your partner’s dry cleaning or walking their dog. But, we will bet there are some things you hate doing. Yes, compromise is important, but don’t do it all.
Let them know your limit. Say you are happy to have lunch with their mom or go to their work events, but just aren’t willing to go to the ballet or boxing matches. [Read: How to say no, stop pleasing people and feel awesome instead]
If you have plans, don’t cancel them for your partner, especially not last minute. Sure, you might not see them for a few days otherwise, but prioritize other parts of your life too.
It might sound juvenile, but when you show them you have other plans, they will see that they are not the center of your life – you are. [Read: The signs your partner is truly supportive of your goals]
Don’t beat them to the punch. You may be able to anticipate their needs and wants and think it is faster for you just to take care of them.
Instead, let them come to you. Let them ask. When they go out of their way to ask you to do something, they acknowledge they need you, rather than expecting you to do something.
Many people who want to stop being taken for granted tend to be people pleasers and are afraid of confrontation. They fear that if they ruffle feathers by sharing how they feel, it will start a fight.
But, if you truly want to know how to stop being taken for granted, you need to let go of that fear and face how you are feeling. If you can’t communicate with your partner, how will you face bigger problems that may arise? [Read: 16 reasons why you’re always being taken for granted]
This is a big one. We often go out of our way to get time with our partner and we don’t always enjoy alone time. Instead, we do things for them so they reward us with attention or praise.
Instead, make the most of the time alone. You do not need to spend your free time with your partner or doing things for them.
Watch the show they hate. Have a movie marathon. Order the takeout they think smells like a farm. Do things you can’t do with them. [Read: How to make the absolute most of your alone time]
Do you always take your partner lunch at work or do the shopping on a set day? They may just be used to your routine and saying thank you does not even cross their mind. We know you would like them to read your mind and offer to take these errands off your hands, but that won’t happen.
Instead, tell them you are taking a vacation from housework this week. Once they get a taste of what you normally do without them noticing, they should stop taking you for granted. [Read: 15 ways to spot selfish people and stop them from hurting you]
We cannot have our self-worth dependent on praise or appreciation from our partner. Of course, it is always nice to be seen and have them be grateful for you, but if you know your worth, you may not need so much praise for your good deeds. [Read: How to draw your happiness from within]
If after all of this, you still feel like you are being taken for granted, do a deep dive. Are you asking for too much? Are you expecting more than is really feasible?
If not, you may have a selfish partner. You may have a partner that actually doesn’t appreciate you and takes you for granted on purpose. If you talked to them and their behavior hasn’t changed, they probably don’t want to.
Sometimes they may even do better for a while, but end up falling back into their old patterns. If you get to this point, it may be time to say goodbye. Even giving an ultimatum will only help temporarily.
If this relationship makes you feel not good enough or unappreciated, you deserve better even if that means being single and focusing on yourself.
[Read: 20 sure signs your relationship is oh-so-over already]
Once you understand these reasons why you’re being taken for granted, take a stand, and communicate with your loved one. After all, your life won’t get any better until you decide to stop giving other people the opportunity to take you for granted!
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