Taking Advantage of Other People

Angry yellow and black smiley wall art against red brick wall

Leeches are people who sponge off of you and do not offer much in return. For instance, they request to borrow money but do not pay you the correct amount back in time. They may offer to help you with a project and demand recognition for their efforts, despite the fact that their help was not that great to begin with. You can tell when you are dealing with a leech by the way they interact with you and others; they’re needy, obnoxious, demanding and lose it when things don’t go their way. What you need to do is to remain cool, calm and collected and carry on. But if you find yourself taking advantage of other people, then you need to take a hard look at yourself in the mirror.

Even friends and family members often try to take advantage of you. I’m sure everyone knows a person who is nice to you, but always seems to request something from you that is just off. For instance, I have a childhood tennis friend who still keeps in touch with me. We’re on good terms but not the best of friends. He recently came on vacation to Manhattan and knew that I was leaving to Tampa and Pittsburgh for a week. He had the courage to ask me if he could sleep in my apartment for a few days while I was away. This is a friend who I talk to every 2-3 months; we barely keep in touch. The fact that he asked me that question just reinforced my take on his character; someone who wants to take advantage of a situation without considering if it’s an appropriate and respectable action to take.

Taking advantage of other people - hand holding puppet by strings

Taking Advantage of Other People is Pathetic

I think we all have the potential to take advantage of others; it’s called human nature. But you need to correct yourself when you feel like taking advantage of others. If you find yourself requesting something from someone with an uncomfortable feeling in your chest, take a step back and ask yourself why you’re doing it. If you find that the other person stands nothing to gain from your request, is your request even necessary? Classically, people with narcissistic, sociopathic and antisocial traits are notorious for taking advantage of others. They simply do not care about what happens to them, as long as they are gaining something and benefiting in the end.

Another reason people try to take advantage of others is because they don’t want to do the right thing in life. Many times, doing the right thing means putting in more work or taking the less comfortable route in life. Many people are weak-minded and don’t have the discipline or courage to do the right thing. Instead, they spot opportunities in others, regardless of whether they are harming them in some subtle way. When people take advantage of others, they are being manipulative. Manipulation is easy to spot for the trained eye. If you’re not one of those people, then I recommend you start educating yourself about common manipulative tactics, so you can protect yourself from those who take advantage.

Don’t be one of those people. Do the right thing.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Connecting With The Human Inside

Two women smiling sitting in front of bonfire near forest

People Just Want To Be Heard

What people continue to miss on a daily basis is the importance of listening to others when they speak. So many of us are inclined to express what we have to say, not really taking into consideration what others have to say. Oftentimes, we want to get in what is on our mind despite the other person trying to express themselves. It’s almost like a race of who controls the conversation first, except that no one controls it when we don’t listen well to what others have to say.

This is especially true when it comes to psychiatric patients. Many doctors are quick to dismiss what they have to say out of the sake of time. Even family members just cancel out their messages for noise, as if they are wearing noise-canceling headphones during conversations. Psychiatric patients are more fragile to begin with because of the mental illness that they are suffering from; someone speaking over them does not mix well with their emotions and thoughts.

By listening more carefully and attentively, people will appreciate your time and presence much more than if you’re just there to speak all the time. Have you ever tried just listening to someone talk, even if it means sacrificing your spotlight in the moment? It’s quite enjoyable actually when you surrender your platform and allow others to dance on it for a little while.

This is because when you listen attentively, you get to learn more about others’ thoughts, emotions and behavior. Think of it like a chess match: aggressively making moves without studying your opponent will only lead to a checkmate or at best a draw. But when you take your time to listen to the other person and understand where they’re coming from, you put yourself in a better position to connect and help them.

So don’t always be quick to control a conversation. Some of the smartest and wisest people in life are actually the best listeners; they pay attention to every small detail and only talk when necessary, not revealing too much information but just the right amount that proves to be sufficient in the conversation. If you can learn to master your listening skills, then you will be able to connect much more effectively in your daily interactions.

We need more great listeners in this world and especially in the mental health field!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Getting Good At Saying Goodbye

Young woman with pink hair standing against window saying goodbye

Saying Goodbye Hurts

Nobody likes saying goodbye to a close friend or relative; it brings upon feelings of detachment and sadness. But all good things must come to an end, at least momentarily. Rather than going through the same cycle of pain after every goodbye, you have to learn how to effectively give goodbyes and protect yourself in the process.

If you find yourself experiencing pain and detachment upon saying goodbye, then that means that you had a great time! This is the goal with every meaningful interaction. So why do we punish ourselves afterwards by feeling gloomy? The reason is because our mind has found comfort in the interaction and does not want to lose its grip on it.

Humans are very social creatures. When we become comfortable with other people, we have a tendency to want to hold on to an interaction for as long as possible. Positive relationships bring us comfort, safety and a sense of wellbeing. With the world being so competitive and cruel at times, being around people who are nice to us is like a breath of fresh air.

But rather than going through an intense session of missing someone after their departure, you have to learn how to control your emotions in a healthy way. Ignoring your feelings is not the right way and intensely missing their presence for 24-48 hours afterwards is not effective either.

It is best if you come to acceptance with their departure right before a goodbye happens. If you know that they will be leaving from your life in a day or two, mentally prepare yourself for the goodbye. Remind yourself how good of a time it has been and that everything happens for a reason; have faith in the process.

Having faith is an important step in the process of saying goodbye to someone. When you have faith, you become more confident of the outcomes and you better understand why a certain situation is unfolding the way that it is. But when you don’t have faith in the process, you become more vulnerable to experiencing lingering emotions which can impact your mental well-being.

Life has a way of bringing people back together who once shared a loving relationship. Whether that is a family member, a close friend or a significant other, it doesn’t matter; trust the process. Don’t torment yourself because life has pulled them aside for a while. Say your goodbyes, treasure the memories with all your heart and mind and go back to living a healthy and positive life.

This is how you get good at saying goodbye.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

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