Are you a giver or a receiver? If you are a giver by nature, people may think that it’s okay to take advantage of you. Many givers are making assumptions that all people are considerate, thoughtful, and sensible. We expect them to do the same for us as we do for them. Treat us the same way we treat them. And when they don’t, we feel disappointed or resentful.
We unconsciously hold onto this ideal belief that everyone is like us.
“They should know what I need.”
“They should be compassionate, kind, and giving just like I am without me having to ask.”
This is called making assumptions.
The downside of it?
Because our assumptions don’t always match reality. When we make these false assumptions, we stop being objective and miss the red flags. This is when we set false expectations without seeing people for who they are. This often causes us to give without setting proper boundaries. Or assume without communicating clearly.
“The problem with making assumptions is that we believe they are the truth. We make an assumption, we misunderstand, we take it personally, then we react…“- Don Miguel Ruiz
Making false assumptions often leads to the victim mentality. Because we make false assumptions about people or situations, we feel frustrated, resentful, and even powerless. Furthermore, if we aren’t aware enough to break the loop, we may even find ourselves running into the same situations with different people. I see this happen a lot in my clients’ work and personal lives.
For example, you feel so overwhelmed on a weekday when it seems like everyone wants a piece of you. What happens next is that you try to hold it together at work and experience sudden bursts of anger at a family member over something very small.
Another example: If you are a leader or business owner you may overlook the screening process of applicants during hiring because you really need to fill a position. You end up hiring someone who isn’t suitable for the role. Or you may take on your employees’ work and experience burnout because you believe they aren’t competent and it’s faster if you do it yourself.
Set Boundaries, Don’t Give Your Power Away
If we allow this to be our reality, it only reinforces the subconscious belief that this is just how things are, and we can’t do anything about it. It will continue to make us feel frustrated, resentful, and powerless. We will continue the silent blaming or bursts of anger.
Personally, I believe that setting boundaries isn’t just about saying no. It’s also about discerning what to take on and what to take in. It’s about seeing people and situations as they are without taking it personally.
And this IS something you CAN do. It starts with reframing the stories you tell yourself about the situation. And it starts with making fewer assumptions.
You can continue to give your power away or, you can step up, take 100% responsibility for your past choices and learn from them.
What are Your Next Steps?
The choice is always there. Whether or not you are aware of it.
If somewhere in the back of your mind you worry about losing those people who take advantage of you, please consider this:
By not exercising your power and choice, you are also not allowing your situation to change.
So why not clear up some space in 2023 for people of high integrity to enter your work and personal life? We love being a resource for our clients and match you with the right coach. Reach out and share your challenge(s), and we would be happy to help you make a shift that can transform the nature of how you show up in your business and personal life.
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