All my life I''ve been a kind and soft spoken person and it''s Hell. I''m trying to be more demanding and aggressive, but it''s never been in my nature so it''s a real challenge. Being kind is a horrible thing and you will only ever be punished for it. I think human beings are evil by nature and if they can exploit you in any way they will. My own parents and siblings use me.
What is the public transportation like in your town, OP?
I''ve always felt sorry for the mild and milk-toast crowd.
Not necessarily evil, just gutless and selfish. Sometimes you have to try and let the shit go and stayed focused on your own gameplan.
You have some false beliefs. Work on those first.\
Why do you allow yourself to be used?
Being kind and being a doormat are not the same thing.\
Kind people are respected.\
Doormats are despised.\
OP = doormat.
I know how OP feels.
Oh, dear. We feel sorry for you.
The meek who shall inherit the Earth
Believe me R5, kind and financially challenged = no respect.
You allow yourself to be used, OP. You need to take control of your circumstances. Maybe meditation would help. Have you tried it? Focus on being a stronger person, setting boundaries, and making yourself heard. Do not lose your kindness.
I''ve been used, shit upon, and make a scapegoat on numerous occasions. I am so shocked and confused when it has happened, I am usually speechless. It is only in retrospect that I see the whole picture. Do I have a sign on my forehead? I don''t really get it...
aww r15 hugs
The world needs more shy, quiet people.
Use the setbacks as lessons and seek people who will appreciate your kindness, OP. It took me a while to learn this lesson, but the happiness I feel now was worth every second.
r15 ((((hugs)))) to you.\
I feel the same thing has often happened to me.
OP - I know this isn''t what you want to hear, but there are a lot of physical qualities that come with demanding respect. \
First of all, you have to speak with some authority and determination in your voice. Tape your voice and listen to yourself, I''ll bet you let your sentences end on a high note almost as if you''re asking a question. Speak with some purpose in your voice. Also - look people in the eye - not with a puppy look, but with focus.\
Secondly, start to work out and build some size. Lastly, stand up straight, don''t slouch - shoulders back. \
People pick up on all of these cues and will treat you like you''re weak.
Strength of character is not the same as selfishness or aggressiveness. When I''m on my deathbed, I want to look back at how I conducted myself with pride, and so I still endeavour to be kind and respectful, even if 90% of the populace don''t deserve it.
be proud OP
More advice and tricks on how to be assertive like, r21?
This helped me overcome the problem of not sticking up for myself, so maybe it will help OP.\
Instead of getting angry, just assume that the other person doesn''t realize they are being rude / inconsiderate / obnoxious.\
You''d be surprised how often people don''t mean any harm, but are really just socially inept and clueless.\
Yes it''s annoying to have to explain things to people, but it''s also irresponsible to expect them to read your mind.
State your Boundaries, Moonsong!
R18, what did you learn from your negative experiences? How did you find people that appreciate your sensitivity?
Working with the public will teach you a lot.
I say project an attitude of expectation: You expect to be treated well, you always are, and why should this moment be any diiferent? %0D\
I noticed this in a rather snooty department store, and wondered why others were served/addressed before me. I noticed it was an attitude of expectation by those people--and I strove to develop it. It works!%0D\
Additionally, I''ve worked in the public service sector--and what separated the 5% of people I really gave my best to--vesus the 95% that got my cursory service was this: They really cared--asked me how I was doing or noticed something to ask me personally-and really cared about my answer. They separated themselves from the masses--and got special treatment.%0D\
Honestly, get out of your head--and really be ''in the moment'' and remember, you expect the best--and you''ll get it!%0D\
As for your family--limit your interactions w/''em--if they use/abuse you! Life is too short!
"I''m worthy", is my mantra...
R25 here. Anyone can help by giving advice, not just R18.
I like kind, sensitive people and I don''t take advantage of them. OP is right, though, people are generally assholes. Especially when in groups.
[quote]OP - I know this isn''t what you want to hear, but there are a lot of physical qualities that come with demanding respect.\
I''m not the OP, but this is exactly the kind of things I want to hear about.
It''s hard to know whether to take OP at face value, because almost everyone, even the meanest rudest assholes, would describe themselves as "kind" and "misunderstood" (and really think that they are, too). %0D\
Now, having confidence and being aggressive vs shy is another matter.
You''re all idiots.\
People - all people - mistake kindness for weakness. And when people think they smell weakness, they go in for the kill. Especially if you have something they want, and I don''t mean money. People are desperate to be listened to. No one listens to anyone. The second they sense that you are a good listener, they will be yammering away at you incessantly, and they will not, repeat, not, return the favor: They won''t listen to you, at all. People want their needs met, and they very often couldn''t care less about your needs. And if you try to change - if you decide to be a little less available, less helpful, less caring - these selfish people will be OUTRAGED, and they will do whatever they can to punish you.\
Most people are simply not very nice.\
And some of those people, tragically, turn out to be your parents.\
OP: Cut them off, cut them all off, tell them to go fuck themselves, and do what you want, gratify yourself, without regard to any of the selfish assholes who want to use you.
I agree that no one thinks of themselves as a jerk, regardless of how many people secretly file them in the "nasty son of bitch" category. \
Habitual assholes tend to think of themselves like the OP, i.e., poor, downtrodden souls who are merely defending themselves against the naturally evil people that surround them.
I was the family doormat due to being the youngest, unwanted, with an age disparity between my older siblings and other things including my nature. When I ended up in Alanon I decided on a game plan. For six months I said NO to everything. It was my standard response. Give me a ride, NO. Lend me money NO. Lets go out for coffee, NO. I trained all the people in my life to accept the word NO from me. When they ignored my NO, I used pre-planned phrases, my favorite being, "I didn''t say, reply hazy ask again later, I said NO." \
I started standing people up, especially if they were the type who did that.This behavior stunned and confused people. After a year I had turned it around.
And what happened after that, r35? After people began thinking you were an asshole.
They learned what the word "reciprocity" meant, both good and bad. And they stopped expecting me to be a doormat and went looking for other doormats.
You''ll get it if you work on it, OP. I was the same as you, dealing with the fallout of my parents having basically raised me to be meek and compliant to their every whim. When I had enough, I went through a phase of being a real jackass to everyone because I had swung the pendulum from "nice" to "fuck you all." My therapist said that he thought that step was not only necessary, but he didn''t begrudge his clients who got TOO mean while they were working out how to be more assertive. As long as it was temporary.\
It was. I''m assertive now, not always but it definitely gets me by. I find it''s a lot easier to be a little too much of a jerk and then go back and apologize later, if necessary, give a brief explanation ("hard day at the office"). Being overly assertive is kind of like a warning shot to people, in that it lets them know you won''t take shit.\
Also, listen to R33 and R35. Don''t let the users tell you that you''re an asshole who MUST be a nice person at all times.
Put up, or Shut Up!
And assholes need to be fucked, r29.
They love it
R33 is right.
OP, it''s called survival of the fittest. It dates pre-cave-man days. You have to excel at something or you will be delegated to the slow lane for life.
Remember, the squeaky wheel runs over the bitch!
This thread frightens me.
I don''t mind being exploited by Mom, but my siblings are in for a rude shock once she''s gone.%0D
There''s a difference between being kind and being a victim. You sound very much like the latter, OP.
I''m glad I read thru this thread just for R14''s picture.
I hate to use this word, but it''s all about boundaries. Just like what R35 posted. %0D\
Before I became sober, I had no boundaries and let people walk all over me. I would become angry with others for this, but it was I who allowed it to happen. The 12-Step programs of AA and Alanon (especially Alanon) taught me how to set up boundaries and to say "no." But be forwarned: setting up boundaries with people in your life who used to walk all over you is very trying and difficult. But like R35, once you establish that you are no longer going to let people walk all over you, things will change - either people will respect your boundaries or they walk away (good riddance!).%0D\
Just remember the power of "NO."
I work with two aggressive, ill-tempered people. One is my supervisor, so I''m limited in what I can do. The other is our cunt of a graduate assistant, who does nothing--anytime she is asked to do any work she gets pissed off and argumentative; I would expect that from a 20-something but this bitch is in her 30s. She''s gone off on me more than once over projects SHE''S supposed to be working on. I''m not her supervisor so I can''t do anything but try to avoid her, but I get so mad at myself for not standing up to this bitch.
Yeah, there have to be better options than going through life as either a victim/doormat or a sociopath/asshole. \
There are confident people in the world who treat others decently and don''t take shit... I try to be like them.
OP, it seems like your kindness has strings attached. It''s best to not have expectations. Don''t be kind in hope of a particular result -- be kind for the sake of kindness. \
Being kind is good for [italic]you[/italic]. It gives you self-respect. \
Just yesterday I recalled these lines from a Smiths song:\
[quote]it takes strength to be gentle & kind\
[quote]it takes guts to be gentle & kind\
Be strong & courageous, OP.
R15 see R13. (((hugs))).
I wish I could come thru the computer to do that.
I have had similar experience to R49.\
Be prepared to lose those you say NO to.\
I lost a lot of so called "friends" once I started to say "NO I am not doing that."\
I am happier, sober and much more content by myself than with these people who just want what they can get from me...money, time and energy.\
I am no longer willing to give it to shitheads.\
I now only have a few close friends and that is it. That is all I want and I am much happier.
yes, I have been called a "sappy asshole" on many occasions.
OP, first assess who you are and work on personal growth. Set goals for yourself and then look at requests in that prism. Will doing this help me towards my goals? Say yes or no based on that.
I worked very hard on myself for 20 years. Both through a short stint in psychotherapy and then self talk. I went from judgmental, angry and controlling to confident and kind.
I'm in my 50's now and I reach out to other people. In my personal myth I am an elder and my job is to be a pillar. A strength. A good listener. I am generous and look out for young people. Especially in the workplace.
Generosity of spirit begets respect. I never feel used. And if someone tries that I kindly laugh and say, you've got to be fucking kidding me, right? It's not being egotistical, it's having the confidence and strength to really send out kindness and respect to others. I'm good enough for myself, so I don't need the biggest piece of the pie to be validated.
I think most people are nice but overworked, tired and cranky until you give them a big smile. Then they melt and respond in kind. So to the people who think most people are assholes, ask yourself what you are projecting to receive that vibe?
I heart r55 :)
R35 here. I also established and stick to, the 15 minute wait rule. You're 15 minutes late, our plans are over. Were supposed to meet to go to a movie or dinner? I go by myself to the movies or simply cancel the dinner.
And I act quickly now when I meet new people and they're testing me. We're at a restaurant and you start talking trash to me, I get up and go, pay for my meal and leave them sitting there. No drama. no recriminations, I just get up and go.
I made a new friend who had a habit of making plans and then canceling them. That person had to go. If it's someone I really like and they have other redeeming qualities I explain to them that I can't make plans with them because of this. I do it with a smile and a nice voice and explain I'm busy and can't afford to waste this kind of time.
I still have a friend who I dearly love who does all of these things but I keep it a long distance relationship, even though we live in the same town. Phone calls only. No amount of explaining can change this woman, she's a scatterbrain with much drama built in to her existence and has boundary issues of her own.
She lost a friend recently because they made plans and she showed up an hour late to a lunch arrangement. Her reasoning, "I never get to this part of town and I needed to pick some things up." She was dismayed at their reaction, I asked her, "Why didn't you pick those things up after the lunch rather than before?" She was baffled at this concept. She had never considered it. It wasn't in her makeup. She just can't organize her time intelligently.
I could have written this post op. I ty to be more assertive, but all i do is lose friends. I wish i could be an asshole.
OP, do you know how many guys on DL would love a boyfriend like you? One who is sensitive and kind and not a jerk to all they encounter?\
I''m raising my hand.
what R21 said
The people in this thread sound fat.
I am pretty fit for my age: whoever said we sound fat in this thread...R61 whoever...\
Speak for yourself dear.
Being assertive doesn''t mean being an asshole. One can be assertive and thoroughly gracious at the same time. It''s all about respect. Respecting yourself and respecting others, 51% putting yourself first and 49% taking care of others.
Calling women "fraus" and the c-word in the abusive and belittling way in which DLers use these words is a form of abuse that is just as bad as the abuse heaped on homosexuals by the people at godhatesf*gs.com.\
Stop the violence against women.\
It''s killing you.
OP - \
It''s something I''ve been trying to learn, too.\
I believe that it has something to do with what your expectations are when you interact with people. A friend of mine once gave me the advice that I should assume the worst first and be cautious - but without being overly aloof. Well, I don''t always assume the worst in people, but I always make sure that the amount of trust I give them is in proportion with how much respect and kindness they have shown me. \
And like many previous posters have said, it''s important to learn to love and respect yourself - a litte bit more every day. When you do that, it most certainly will show, which will keep some people from trying to use and/or abuse you.\
Hopefully this helps.
People can be awful. But people can be wonderful too. I'm starting a new blog which will spread happiness.
Please check it out everyone and help it go viral!
Most of my life I was so-so, kinda chubby. But smart and creative, a good writer and a resourceful attorney. Had a great career. Earned the respect of my peers and did well.
As sixty approached, I finally got serious about my health and lost 80 (!) pounds. I had a face-lift by a genius plastic surgeon that totally eliminated any flab in my face and neck and he took the liberty (bless him) of slightly augmenting my cheek bones. He is an award winning sculptor in his free time, as was his father, and it shows. 5 years later and I really look like I'm in my mid-40's (remember, he is a genius). I got in good shape and learned that weight lifting was my friend.
I got a really nice wardrobe, cute shoes, etc. None of which had been of much interest to me before.
It has totally floored me to see the difference my appearance has made in my life. I was brought up to believe what you were on the inside mattered more than anything. And that genuine talent and persistence will yield success. That's true, no question. But the amount of effort required can vary considerably. If you're beautiful, even old beautiful, life is your oyster. Doors open, opportunities arise, people cut you slack, people seek you out and you are simply given preference over others. You're actually compensated for looking nice.
Having this happen at my age has resulted in a slightly jaundiced view of humanity and part of me finds it really funny. All I have to do is just stand there and smile pleasantly and people seem to feel I've made a contribution. No legal wisdom required. Not that I'm complaining. But it is soooo easy to use my appearance to achieve my goals. It's just simply less effort. I wouldn't give up the strength, determination, resourcefulness and ability to work hard I learned the first 30 years of my career, but it is really nice to be able to take it a little easier. Its like comparing the first three days of learning to ski against the effortless flying that follows after. Who knew?
I think I prefer the order in which this has occurred. I have nothing to compare my life with now except what went before. So I am really grateful for the improvement instead of feeling increasingly invisible.
My experience has also caused me to see beautiful (young) people differently. I used to be under their spell like most people. Now I see that the extraordinary effect they have on people just may not be linked to any intrinsic value. They're just pretty. And, as a species, we seem to really love being around pretty. A whole lot.
Sorry, I posted R67 - I'm not the writer of that piece but I just wanted to show OP that appearance can contribute significantly to how you're perceived by others. A lot of us (myself included) were raised to believe that what's inside counts (and it does) but then disregard our outer shell. If you already look tip top, great, but if not, assess how you can improve your appearance (I'm ont talking plastic surgery, but other things) to make people respect you more. Couple that with more assertive behavior, and perhaps people won't give you so much shit. You sound cool and I wish you all the best.
r64, if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen--Harry S Truman. Or, when the going gets tough the tough get going--John F. Kennedy.
Actually I find that it is best to become your own personal Communist country and build an iron curtain around yourself when you deal with people you don't know or trust, something like Stalin only less neurotic. But, like him, only less neurotic again, have an inner circle you can trust, but when someone in this inner circle tries to mess with you, purge him (or her) and if that person wants to come back to you, let him walk all the way from the farthest reaches of Siberia, figuratively speaking.
Bumped from 2010!
The poster that said looks matter a lot, unfortunately - is right. I am reminded of a speech Meryl Streep gave - late 70's? at the Vassar commencement of a former co-worker of mine. She told the graduates something like, college is the last time one feels on an equal footing with each other - meaning intellect, studies, etc. She said, "...real life is a lot more like high school. Looks count. A lot."
And yes, I think a lot of us were raised to believe, "it's what's inside that counts" - but there are a lot of dicta that people are taught by their parents that turns out not be not realistic. At base, the "law of the jungle" - "survival of the fittest" prevails.
And I have read several magazine articles over the years that human beings instinctively respond more favorably to people who are good-looking; there was even a study done showing babies pictures of people - the babies smiled delightedly at the prettier people.
I am NOT making this up. But it's also true: "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". (Cannot TELL you how many trolls in big cities and mismatched couples in small town - hideously homely, beer-guts, straight guys paired with pretty girls - one sees.)
Chacun a son gout.
If people treat you like shit, then you are acting like a toilet.