Saturday, December 21, 2013

Some of Them Want to Use You

Allowing yourself to be exploited is a tragedy. It hurts you in more ways than you realize. It damages your heart, kills your self esteem and sucks away precious energy that could be better used moving you forward. You are not an object, though being used makes you feel like one. If you've ever felt like people take advantage of you, then read this article. I think it may help you stop the destructive relationship patterns and choices that leave you feeling devalued.

When I say "exploited," I'm talking about allowing yourself to be treated in a manner that is undignified in any way by any person, group or entity. Undignified treatment is that which strips you of your dignity, devalues you, disrespects your feelings, your time, your resources or worse.

You know the song, "Sweet Dreams" by the Eurythmics?

Some of them want to use you.
Some of them want to get used by you.
Some of them want to abuse you.
Some of them want to be abused.

If you were subjected to devaluing treatment growing up, then you were likely made vulnerable to abusers by being starved for emotional connection at home. 

Exploitation has parts

1. Lack of Self
2. Lack of Awareness
3. Lack of Validation
4. Lack of Assertion
5. Lack of Ability

These 5 Lacks

Exploitation occurs in the area of lack of the one being exploited. 

1. Lack of Self
Without a strong sense of self, it is difficult to know how you feel. If you don't know how you feel, your wires are crossed. You may feel upset about poor treatment, but not be able to express your feelings moderately. You may project your feelings, repress, deny or ignore what's really going on, all the while walking as a lamb to slaughter into the hands of a wolf in sheep's clothing.

2. Lack of Awareness 
You are unaware of the warning signs of abuse or mistreatment. Maybe devaluation is comfortable for you. Maybe you were devalued as a child. Maybe you continue to devalue yourself today with the help of your inner critic? Whatever the reason, when someone abuses you, you may not notice it as abuse, setting yourself up for further abuse. 

3. Lack of Validation
If you were not validated properly as a child, then you are probably not validating yourself properly now. Validation is very important, although many families are wholly invalidating. An atmosphere of invalidation of ones feelings and reality leads to a sense of worthlessness.

4. Lack of Assertion
If you were not validated and taught your value as a child, then you will not have the ability to stand up for yourself as an adult. You may not know your rights as a person and you may not even know how you feel. In order to prevent yourself from being used, you must set boundaries that are firm and certain. You must enforce consequences to those who do not respect your limitations.

5. Lack of Power
If you lack the ability to know how to get your needs met, you will end up being needy. A needy person is excellent prey for the exploitative person who wants to use you. The truth is that you don't have to be needy. You have the ability to get your needs met; you may just not realize that you do. If you feel you have needs that you cannot seem to get met on your own, go to a therapist and talk this out. Do whatever you have to do to come to terms with your own power.

You do not deserve to be used. You are a person who is valuable and worthy of respect. You deserve to be treated well. You are worthy of honor, and you owe it to yourself to keep your dignity and not allow yourself to be used and exploited for any reason. Take time to work on yourself. Take time to learn why it is that you're attracted to unscrupulous people (if you are), and get out of the cycle of abuse with mean people. You are beautiful--it's your time to shine.

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