Do you ever get the feeling you’re being used?

It’s quite common to feel overused and under appreciated. More often than not people feel like they are given less credit than they deserve. There is a way to fix that.

Going into a new relationship is always something that people take lightly. Whether it be intimate, business or platonic. People sometimes just don’t see why first impressions are important. That is the fatal error. Be assertive in your demeanor.

When people first meet you, they look at you tell them who you are and what you’re about. Be bold without being overbearing. Be confident without being self-possessed. Radiate self-worth immediately. Because the truth is, no one knows your value until you have gotten the chance to show it. Portray a weak sense of self, and you will be misused. What you give is what you’ll get.

“People like to see the ‘nicer’ or more quiet folk, as easy to manipulate or generally an easy alternative to use in certain situations.”
-Prince Layne, graduate and concept artist.

Prince believes that people have a general tendency to be self interested. This lack of concern for others drives them to manipulate and or use people, who are less vocal — to achieve a desired goal.

While this is true, I do believe people like that will know better than to abuse the benevolence of someone who has established themselves as an individual who knows their self-worth. Arrogance and self-importance aside, if you emanate a sense of pride in your very posture, it’s very difficult for someone to pass their place with you.

Prince is a born introvert who finds solace in solitude. Exerting a strong sense of self-worth might be a little less comfortable for someone who would much rather not speak. In those instances, appearance is key.

If you would rather not to speak, show people what you are worth through the way you carry yourself. I assure you, if you are a perpetually immaculate and impeccably dressed introvert, it doesn’t matter if you speak or not. Fraternizing with you becomes a privilege. Trust me at that point, whenever you do speak it will carry way more weight than the average person. People will think twice about crossing you.

“I’m too nice.”
-Christopher Meeks, senior and computer science major.

Chris is a strong, confident, self-aware young man. I know him personally, so I can attest to the fact that his aura demands respect. Generally people don’t just see him as a tool for trivial use. So when I asked Chris if he feels like people use him, I fully expected a firm, no. His answer surprised me.

“I’m a giver by nature. Over a period of time, I guess people develop a sense of entitlement,” says Chris.

As it turns out, people start off wary of overstepping boundaries with Chris, but as time progresses, they grow increasingly inconsiderate. He attributes this behavior to his inability to say ‘No.’ So in efforts to remedy this problem, Chris has decided to learn how to say ‘No,’ more often. He hopes to develop a form of callous to people who set out to take his kindness for weakness.

I think Chris has the right idea, but he might want to consider that he may have the steps reversed. Step one would be to establish self-worth which he has already done with everyone he’s been in contact with. Then, instead of making alterations to his personality, Chris could dispel personalities that have the tendency to use others from his inner circle. And since his unconditional kindness only extends to persons he truly cares about, his energy would be reciprocated.

Generally, people who love and care about you would never try to abuse the love you give to them. Then if things go awry with a person he’s close to, he could just learn to tell that person no more often. By broad brushing and making a decision — like teaching himself to be less kind, he could change the very dynamic of his self-worth.

Being used is a terrible feeling. If you are a person who incessantly uses others, understand that the person you mistreat today, can easily be your superior tomorrow. Let us all try to treat each other the way we so desperately want to be treated ourselves. Respect is earned. Not inherited.

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