Five Tips To Never Be Cheated or Taken Advantage Again
Being taken advantage of and being in and out of toxic relationships are very common reasons why my life coaching clients sign up to work with me. Being in a relationships with someone who does not respect, appreciate, and truly care about us, being cheated, lied to, manipulated, and taken advantage of by someone can deeply crush our self worth and self esteem. We can be left feeling like we are not worthy of love, like there is something wrong with us, like we are dum, stupid, and naive. It can also leave us with serious trust issues and effect the future relationships with other people who have no bad intentions at heart, cause us to "close" ourselves emotionally, and find it difficult to open up to new love or to building new friendships. I have also been receiving requests on Instagram lately to share more tips on increasing intuition, so I decided to write about that as well in this blog post, combining the two topics, as they are tightly connected. Our intuition always rings our "alarm system", telling us in the beginning of toxic relationship itself that person is "smoky" and something isn't right, but we tend to ignore these "bells" or we are so disconnected with our sixth sense, that we cannot interpret the "signs" correctly, end we end up paying high price for that - price of getting hurt, disappointed, betrayed, cheated, lied to, taken advantage of. In this post I will share five practices that can help you to protect yourself from toxic relationships and people who want to take advantage of you.
TOXIC RELATIONSHIP PROTECTION #1 - TRUST YOUR INTUITION
I always ask my life coaching clients, when we are discussing about the toxic relationship they've had been in, or the people who have taken advantage of them, about the intuitive signs they've had in the beginning of the relationship itself. They always remember or realise that there have been particular signs, for example - they had negative feeling about the person, person's behaviour was incongruent with their words, they had some doubts about the person, or something just felt "wrong" from the beginning.
Our intuition is like our inner wise interpreter of symbols, energies, body language, visual signs, people's behaviour patterns, dreams... that operates on a subconscious level of our brain - which is elder and therefor more "experienced" and "wiser" part of our brain when it comes to interpreting other people's body language, behavioural patterns, and congruency between their words and behaviour, and it also operates on the subtle energetic level, as we "pick up" and feel the positive or negative energy and vibes of other people. If we learn how to tap into our intuition and listen this inner wise navigation system from within our being, we will be able to correctly feel and interpret the vibes, body language signs, and intentions of the person... every single time.
If something feels wrong about the person or a situation, no matter how much person seems kind, honest, "perfect"... trust your gut and take is as inner alarm bell ringing to warn you that something is NOT right about the person or something can go WRONG.
exercises to help you boost intuition and intuitive powers
If you want to boost your intuition, here are some practices, rituals, and exercises that can help you. Take some quiet time to reflect on three to five positive and negative events from the past. For example, good business deal, toxic client, boyfriend who cheated on you, meeting your best friend forever, meeting the person who has taken advantage of you, accepting the wrong job... List them down, and under each write the intuitive feelings, signs, sensations that you've had prior to the event. Did you have any physical sensations prior to the event, certain type of pain, burning sensation, energy bursting sensation... Did you have any dreams prior to the event? Did you feel nervous, excited, elated, anxious...? Did it feel "right" or "wrong"? Did you feel person was honest or dishonest? Did you have any "inner voice" which was "telling" you (not) to do it? After you wrote everything down, analyse all the patterns and signs and write them down. You should be able to see common intuitive signs prior to positive events and people, and negative events and negative people. For example, I have very strong and different particular sensations in the abdomen prior to negative and positive events, and every time I feel those I "feel" intuitively "the outcome" of the situation. Once you realise your signs, accept them them as "alarm bells" and let them guide your throughout your life.
Listening to your inner voice can protect you from putting yourself into the situations and relationships where you may end up hurt and taken advantage of.
Another exercise that is helpful in increasing intuition is, what I like to call, the "guessing game". Before you answer to a phone call, or open the door, try to guess and "feel" who that might be. Doing it often can help you increase your intuition significantly, as you will train your brain to "feel" instead of "think" about the situation. Oracle cards are also good tool for increasing our intuitive powers, and can help us to tune into our sixth sense, as we need to intuitively pick the "right" card.
TOXIC RELATIONSHIP PROTECTION #2 - SELF LOVE
To demonstrate the importance of self love, when it comes to protecting ourselves from ending up in toxic relationships or being taken advantage of, I will share the perfect metaphoric example from the book "The Mastery of Love" by Don Miguel Ruiz.
"Imagine that you have a magical kitchen in your home. In that magical kitchen, you can have any food you want from any place in the world in any quantity. You never worry about what to eat; whatever you wish for, you can have at your table. You are very generous with your food; you give your food unconditionally to others, not because you want something in return from them. Whoever comes to your home, you feed just for the pleasure of sharing your food, and your house is always full of people who come to eat the food from your magical kitchen.
Then one day someone knocks at your door, and it’s a person with a pizza. You open the door, and the person looks at you and says, “Hey, do you see this pizza? I’ll give you this pizza if you let me control your life, if you just do whatever I want you to do. You are never going to starve because I can bring pizza every day. You just have to be good to me.”
Can you imagine your reaction? In your kitchen you can have the same pizza – even better. Yet this person comes to you and offers you food, if you just do whatever he wants you to do. You are going to laugh and say, “No, thank you! I don’t need your food; I have plenty of food. You can come into my house and eat whatever you want, and you don’t have to do anything. Don’t believe I’m going to do whatever you want me to do. No one will manipulate me with food.”
Now imagine exactly the opposite. Several weeks have gone by, and you haven’t eaten. You are starving, and you have no money in your pocket to buy food. The person comes with the pizza and says, “Hey, there’s food here. You can have this food if you just do what I want you to do.” You can smell the food, and you are starving. You decide to accept the food and do whatever that person asks of you. You eat some food, and he says, “If you want more, you can have more, but you have to keep doing what I want you to do.”
You have food today, but tomorrow you may not have food, so you agree to do whatever you can for food. You can become a slave because of food, because you need food, because you don’t have it. Then after a certain time you have doubts. You say, “What am I going to do without my pizza? I cannot live without my pizza. What if my partner decides to give the pizza to someone else – my pizza?”
Now imagine that instead of food, we are talking about love. You have an abundance of love in your heart. You have love not just for yourself, but for the whole world. You love so much that you don’t need anyone’s love. You share your love without condition; you don’t love if. You are a millionaire in love, and someone knocks on your door and says, “Hey, I have love for you here. You can have my love, if you just do whatever I want you to do.” When you are full of love, what is going to be your reaction? You will laugh and say, “Thank you, but I don’t need your love. I have the same love here in my heart, even bigger and better, and I share my love without condition.”
But what is going to happen if you are starving for love, if you don’t have that love in your heart, and someone comes and says, “You want a little love? You can have my love if you just do what I want you to do.” If you are starving for love, and you taste that love, you are going to do whatever you can for that love. You can even be so needy that you give your whole soul just for a little attention. Your heart is like that magical kitchen. If you open your heart, you already have all the love you need. There’s no need to go around the world begging for love: “Please, someone love me, to prove that I’m worthy of love.”
I love this example, as it perfectly describes how we enter in toxic relationships, sell ourselves cheap, or beg for love... if we are "love hungry", and have "self love deficit disorder".
Self love is the foundation for healthy and happy relationships in our life. Only when we love and respect ourselves enough we will not become other person's slave for some love, we will not tolerate disrespectful behaviour just to "be with someone" and not to feel lonely, we will not settle for less than we deserve, and we will not be blind for other people's behaviour and ignore all the logical and intuitive signs that person is cheating us, lying to us, manipulating us, taking advantage of us! If you need some self love boost you can read my previous blog post "Self Love - Five Tips To Love Yourself More".
TOXIC RELATIONSHIP PROTECTION #3 - SELF WORTH
I was writing in my previous blog posts that if you do not respect yourself enough to set the healthy boundaries in relationships other people won't respect you either! Low self respect will make you a magnet for people who will be taking advantage of you, toxic relationships, booty calls, verbal abuse... What is the worst in this case is that disrespectful behaviour of others will crush your self worth even more and you will end up in a very deep and dark vicious cycle:
low self respect - low self worth - disrespectful behaviour by others - crushed self worth - no self respect at all - more disrespectful behaviour by others - devastated self worth...
ONE OF THE MOST DANGEROUS CONSEQUENCES OF LOW SELF WORTH IS ATTRACTING TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS! WHEN WE DO NOT FEEL WORTHY WE WILL SETTLE FOR FOR DISRESPECTFUL BEHAVIOUR, FOR BEING TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF, FOR BEING CHEATED AND LIED TO OVER AND OVER AGAIN, FOR THE MAN WHO WE NOW IS NOT THE RIGHT GUY FOR US, OR KEEP ON HANGING WITH "FAKE" FRIENDS... BECAUSE DEEP WITHIN WE WILL NOT FEEL AND BELIEVE THAT WE DESERVE OR CAN HAVE SOMETHING OR SOMEONE BETTER!
Toxic relationships crush our self worth even further as we end up feeling even more unworthy of love, after experiencing disrespectful behaviour, infidelity, or being taken advantage of by someone we love or care about deeply. What we need to have in mind is that people are not bad in general but they will treat us badly (even those who are very close to us) if we do not set healthy boundaries in relationships (learn how to say NO, learn to put our self care and wellbeing as #1 priority, and learn to whom we should or should not trust). The most importantly what we should never forget is that by the way we treat ourselves we are indirectly and subconsciously showing to others how they should treat us. If you are struggling with low self worth, you can read my previous blog post "You Are Worthy - 7 Tips To Help You Increase Self Worth".
TOXIC RELATIONSHIP PROTECTION #4 - PRACTICING RECEIVING
In order to have healthy relationships, we need to learn how to receive as well, as genuine relationships are about mutual giving and receiving! If you are kind of person who is all the time giving, helping others, doing things for others... you are not allowing other people and opening up the space for them to show you and express how much they care about you! On the other hand, if you are the type of person who is only or mostly giving (love, attention, money, help, support, advice, gifts...) without giving others to opportunity and space to give back - you are the perfect magnet for people who will be only taking, taking, and taking from you.
Selfish and narcissistic people love being around people who are too generous with their time, love, money... because they like a parasite see them as a perfect host, from which they can suck out all the "blood".
Think for a moment that tis scenario - you go out on the street, open your wallet and offer money to all the people passing by. You keep the wallet opened and anyone who wants or needs money can take it. After your wallet is empty, you realise all those people who took the money from you are gone, some of them did not even say thanks, and some of them were laughing at you, thinking or even saying it out loud "What a fool!". You are left on the street alone, with no money in your wallet and realise that none of those people were thoughtful enough to leave you at least some money in the wallet so that you can catch a bus on the way back home or buy a lunch for the day. But, can you blame them? It was you who "generously" offered the money from your wallet to them. Now, imagine that you are wondering on the streets alone and broke, and suddenly you meet some of those people who "took" the money from you earlier that day. You ask them to give you some money for the lunch and bus ticket, as you are left with nothing. You remind them that you gave them money earlier generously. Some of they say they have spent it and they don't have anything to give, some say that you yourself offered the money to them, so they do not own you anything. Some say you are a fool, as you should have thought better when you opened your wallet!
The same thing applies in your relationships. If you open your heart to everyone, if you open your wallet to everyone, if you open your home to everyone... many people will come, take what you offered... and most of them probably leave after you're broke and empty without even appreciating it. If you are just giving in your relationships, without giving the other person a chance to invest back in the relationship, you will soon be left drained, empty, disappointed, and heart broken, alone at the times when you need help and support without anyone being around.
True, genuine, and soul level friendships and intimate relationships are based on mutual giving and receiving. We have to remember that people are not bad in general but they will treat us badly if we allow it and we do not have self respect, if we do not set healthy boundaries in relationships.
Many of my life coaching clients are very generous ladies who are giving a lot in relationships, but at the end they end up being in one toxic relationship after another, and taken advantage of many people. Giving is beautiful, noble, and virtuous, and feels good to give to others, but if we are the only person giving in the relationship we are robing the other side of the gift and joy of giving. People who genuinely care about you, love you, and respect you, they would want to support you, help you, gift you, love you, care about you... and they would feel good about themselves if you give them the space to do so!
Do not rob another person of the joy of expressing and showing how much you mean to them and how much they care about you by not accepting their help, gifts, compliments, acts of service...
Love is about selfless giving, but also about heart centred and respectful receiving. Think about for a moment how much do you resist receiving in your life? Do you accept compliments with grace and gratitude or with words of denial and making the person "wrong" for complimenting you ("Oh, I'm not actually that good. Could have been better...")? Do you accept gifts with grace and gratitude, or with resistance and lack of self worth ("You shouldn't have!", "I can't accept it!", "This is too much!", "This is too expensive! I cannot take this!")? Do you accept other's people help with grace and gratitude (when it is required) or with resistance and big ego ("I don't need any help! I can do it on my own!!!).
We need to have in mind that by resisting receiving we are robing the people who truly love and care about us of gift of giving to us and expressing their love for us, and at the same time, we are positioning ourselves as a perfect "magnet" for people who only want to take from us and take advantage of us!
TOXIC RELATIONSHIP PROTECTION #5 - HEALING THE EMOTIONAL WOUNDS
Toxic relationships are never a coincidence. We attract them on a subconscious level, if we have emotional wounds from the childhood or our past which did not heal. If we feel lack of self love and self worth, we will be unconsciously believe that we are not worthy of love, and we are not good enough for anyone to be with us, so we will be trying to "compensate" it by giving too much to others in order to "buy" or "beg" some love from them. If we were not feeling loved enough in the childhood by our parents, if we were criticised a lot by them, if we grew up seeing our parents fighting and assaulting each other... we may grow up with subconscious belief that love "hurts", we are not worthy of love, or we need to be "perfect" in order to be loved. Being cheated by person we loved can leave us with feelings of unworthiness, shame, and fear of intimacy. If we are afraid of intimacy and love, we may attract on a subconscious level people who are "unavailable" or emotionally detached, in order to avoid the true bonding with another person and "exposing ourselves" emotionally. Giving too much in relationships can also be the consequence of fear of being abandoned - by giving too much love and everything else to others we are "making sure" that they will stay with us, but unfortunately they usually leave, without ever appreciating enough what we've done for them, which increases our fear of being abandoned even more!
Narcissistic people, who are very self centred can be very cunning and make us feel special, like we are the best thing in their life, centre of their Universe... They can be very sweat talking, charismatic, make big promises, and say the most pleasant and luring things... People whom such people usually take advantage of whether sexually, emotionally, materialistically... are always those who lack self confidence, self love, and self worth because they are so hungry for love and self validation that they would do anything and give all of themselves just for little affection, appreciation, validation! Being in a relationship with narcissistic and self centred person is never a coincidence - both sides attract each other on a subconscious level and compliment each other. Narcissists have deep issues with self confidence, they are very insecure in themselves and they need someone for who will be giving attention to them constantly, and pleasing all of their needs, saving them, loving them like crazy, being obsessed with them... Person with lack of self love and self worth craves to feel special, wanted, loved, and appreciated. For some time, this kind of relationship lasts... until the narcissistic person gets bored or takes away everything from you, and leaves you suffering for them and begging them to back in your life (another form of self validation which feeds their deep insecurities). The person who was in any way, shape, or form with in a relationships with narcissistic person is left emotionally broken, hurt, used, empty, drained, sorrowed, with crushed self worth and self confidence.
If you have the pattern of having many toxic friends or intimate relationships in your life who are toxic or you happen to attract many narcissist over rand over again, that is an indicator that you there are some deep emotional wounds that you need to heal on a subconscious level, in order to restore self love, self worth, and self confidence, so that you never attract and end up with this type of person again!
If you recognise yourself in this paragraph, my life coaching program via Skype is just what you need!