This is a blog written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers and seniors find more joy, excitement, and satisfaction in their lives after retirement whether it be from a job, career, parenting, etc. Her memoir, available on Amazon.com, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class. Click here for the book website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com
NEWS: I was interviewed recently by two lovely ladies, Rebecca Forstadt-Olkowski and Dr. Sharone Rosen, D.C., for their Podcast: 2 Boomer Broads. Click on this link and scroll down to read the interview or click the “play” button at the top of that page to hear it: http://www.2boomerbroads.com/lee-gale-gruen/
I’ve become more and more aware of how valuable and precious my time is. I have to pick and choose what’s important to me. That brings me to today’s topic of: taking advantage. There’s usually nothing wrong with taking advantage of an opportunity within reason. We all try to do that. However, that’s not the kind of “taking advantage” I’m talking about.
Some people take advantage of the precious time of others? These are a few synonyms for that behavior: impose upon; exploit; use for one’s own sake; milk. Of course, friendships and relationships require some giving of time and energy to each other. However, the problem is when it’s taken to an extreme.
Do others take too much advantage of your precious time, or do you take too much advantage of the precious time of others? Taking advantage excessively can come in so many forms: unrealistic expectations of you; asking you to do too much and too often; dumping their problems on you, and so on. It doesn’t matter that they might do so very sweetly, maybe with apologies. They are still draining your valuable time and energy.
There reaches a point where we have to be assertive no matter how difficult it is. I know someone who has a literary skill which earns her money. A friend of hers often asks for help with various literary projects but doesn’t pay what the work is worth under the guise of “we’re friends.” That might fly once or even twice, but when is it time to call a halt to being taken advantage of, even by someone close? It’s our own responsibility to set boundaries. We must be the one to “call the halt.” If you don’t do it, you send the message that the status quo is okay with you.
How can we be assertive without damaging or ending the friendship or relationship? First, be honest with yourself. Are you tired of being taken advantage of and are starting to harbor resentment? Then, be honest with the other person. To use the aforementioned example: tell her that your time is valuable and limited and that you choose to use it on other things such as your own projects or jobs that pay you a fair wage, and that you can’t do her projects anymore.
Adapt that template to your own situation. Write out your speech so you’ll remember what you want to say. Practice it so you’ll hit your key points. It’s difficult telling others what they don’t want to hear. It’s even more difficult living with the consequences of not doing so.
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