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It could be their wants, or demands or emotions. Very often it’s about protecting the feeling of a loved one while they ruthlessly manipulate you into doing what’s in Their best interest. Or it’s about you “being awarded” with the work of a lazy coworker but you don’t stand up for yourself to avoid confrontation. Remember, you can’t be there for yourself and for them at the same time. You have to choose ONLY one person to protect. And unless that other is your infant child, I’d suggest that you put yourself first in this consideration.
Each time you are pushed to do or give to someone else but you feel it’s not right, take a deep breath ans ask yourself this question: What do I want? In fact, for a change, practice wanting as often as you need until you start hearing your inner voice very clearly. For each “I want” sentence that you made up substitute the I want with “I deserve”. In my experience, you may even enjoy repeating each “I deserve” sentence like an affirmation many, many times. Until you truly believe it. You will be surprised on the miracles this will do for you.
It could be loss of approval, loss of friendship, loss of harmony in the relationship. Whatever the source of that fear – this is what fuels the power over you of the people who take advantage of you. If you didn’t care at all if they like you or not, if they will be with you or not, if they will support you or not, then it will really not matter what they say or do. BUT, you Do care, because you are a caring person. And I know what because I am like that as well. Now, here’s what to do. First, Accept that it’s okay that they will resent you if you don’t allow them to take advantage of you. After all, you ruined their game plan. Second, if they don’t want to accept that you will no longer play their game, cut them off.
In other words, you help them once and they like it. So, they ask you to help them again, and again, and again. Over time, they form the habit of depending on you. At first you may be thriving – they find you trustworthy. But then, the nightmare begins – they want to take from you more and more. This happens because you’ve learned to depend on you and to manipulate you into doing what they want you to do. So, unteach them! The very easy way to achieve that is by encouraging them with the same exact kindness that you’ve got to search for the solutions of their problems on their own.
Look into your heart of hearts and be honest with yourself: Are you giving to yourself as much as you are giving to others? Have you forgotten to count yourself to the list of people you help?