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Being Taken Advantage of, or all in my Mind?


Naomi99

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Ugh. Now I'm wondering if an apology is warranted. Instead of apologizing, I'd rather just learn how to deal with avoiding these negative thoughts. It seems like I let their behavior slide one too many times hoping it won't happen again, and then it happens again and it pisses me off and I say a short mean rant.
Why not kill two birds with one stone? It's absolutely fine to apologize for an over-reaction while explaining the logical source it came from. "Hey, I'm sorry I was kind of an ass the other day with the granola bars. I just needed them for the week and when you asked for half the box, I kinda went jack@$$ mode. I'm perfectly fine with you asking and taking one to work for lunch if you need one."
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Roommates used to love me because I'd eat their ****. I'd drink a can of their pop during the day and they'd have two liters of whatever it was waiting for them when they got home.

 

This is my style too. If I take or borrow something form someone, I give back twofold. He rarely replenishes. Neither do my GFs. She's never brought any type of beverage to my house even though she comes here once a week. I tend not to arrive at someone's house empty-handed, but that's just me.

 

But it sounds like you're talking about some cheaper, menial stuff. Lay some ground rules in a polite but straight forward way. I could never see myself getting particularly upset over $2.00 of something regardless of the inconvenience.

 

Trust me, I think the stuff has added up to hundreds of dollars worth of tea/pens/food/fruit whatever the hell. Not $2.00.

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They "think" they reciprocate but not really. I mean, I think my BF has eaten so much of my food, it's insane how many times he's left me with an empty fridge. My food is super freaking expensive too. Organic walnuts are $15 a pound. All of my diary is Clover and my yogurts are 2.50 a container. Gone, gone and gone.

 

And then his idea of "replenishing" is buying me a boxed salad from Trader Joe's.

 

And of course he wants my power bars. They're the best ones with the most protein and least amount of sugar. He buys the cheap ones.

 

Okay, this is irritating me just thinking about it. Help me quit with this bad attitude I have.

 

If he's at your place so much and eating so much of your food, you need to have a conversation about contributing towards groceries (much like you would if you lived together).

 

I am too curious though, as to how much / how often he spend on your meals out and other entertainment expenses?

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No apology necessary, but proper explanation as to your reasoning and agree on a solution with him is needed.

 

I agree. I don't think you need to apologize. But sure, you can explain if you feel it would clear the air.

 

People have different styles. Me, I don't like to run out of basics, so stock up before they run out. My ex, when we were together, was not like that. If basics were running low it was not an issue. For him, the time to think about getting more would be after it runs out. He's that way about most things. (AND he's an adventurous and spontaneous person in general.)

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How often do you cook for him? Maybe you said? But this could be about imbalance in general.

 

Two, three, four times a week. Including breakfast, which can range from a full-blown bacon and cinnamon french toast and lattes or simple fluffy scrambled eggs with herbs de provence. And always tea.

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To your original question, it is not all in your head, but others taking advantage of you could be unintentional.

 

I had a friend in college who was generous and nurturing and would do things for others unasked, that was her style. (Some would call it mothering, some would call it smothering….) But when people accepted her generosity she would feel hurt and taken advantage of. Which puzzled me at the time. It seemed to me that she objected to being walked all over yet she threw herself under people's feet. She didn't ask, she didn't communicate, she pouted and dropped people completely who had been "best friends".

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But let's not make this all about him. I feel this way with some of my GFs too. Moochers. I think it's because when it comes to food, I set the bar really high and only buy the good . They benefit from that because they're too cheap to buy the good stuff, yet reap the benefits of being Naomi's friend, and to me I feel used.

 

I thought maybe I'd try to focus on the big picture; that these people offer me friendship / a shoulder to cry on, someone who has my back, and so maybe the reciprocation can be in other ways than in the form of food. But lately I feel taken advantage of..esp with the holidays. The tea girl didn't even buy me an x-mas gift, yet I bought her a dyptique candle. It cost as much as a good meal at a nice restaurant! I feel like a sucker.

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The thing is, if you are providing food for him when he's there (dinner, breakfast) and not being open about expectations, then his asking about taking the granola bars isn't out of the question, since his expectation is that you are generous with your food.
i think this is the crux of it, at least for the stealing boyfriend part. if you're virtually assuming the nourishing caretaker role with a guy by feeding him multiple "perfect, organic, fair trade, cost me a kidney and some bone marrow" meals a day, you've set up the dynamics. the fitting partner for a nourishing caretaker is a perpetually hungry gimme gimme gimme id-driven suckling who may, if you enable it, suck you dry. and when you set it up, you've bartered the right to complain. you either dote on him like a self-sacrificing martyred mothered, or you're being taken advantage of. if you play the ever giving nutritive person, then you are not being exploited. he's just going along with it. change what you do. if he becomes malicious when the tap of goodness is closed, that's what's been keeping him around. if he doesn't, he simply interpreted your generosity and the air of domesticity as permission to make himself at home.

 

i agree though that just taking something obviously not theirs is plain wrong. also wouldn't make a scene over a pen or tea or granola bars, but i'd hate having to hide stuff in my own home simply to prevent others leaving me with an empty fridge, or just without decorative shyte- as i understand that's what the pens are meant as.

 

you need to be clear whether you're generous with it and in what way. for example, the meals just boil down to whether each of you contribute about equally in the relationship (and whether that's what you want). some people enjoy spending on their partners almost sugardaddy style and never complain about it, and most would expect some reciprocity. guessing you're the latter and not saying to keep tabs on everything, but if he never contributes anything you really need to stop providing and articulate your expectations.

 

maybe i have a poor visual presentation here, but i'm trying to imagine how and where the pens and tea and stuff are that people just pick them up. is your desk in the living area? could you move it somewhere and keep stuff that's important to you someplace visitors can't just pick it up? the tea, do they just open the cabinets like at home and get their own tea? you could just put your other teas in a serving box on a serving tray so when they pick they pick from that.

 

it sounds like people roam your place like it's theirs. if you reserve nothing as private space, that's essentially a no-boundary concept and they'll act accordingly.

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To your original question, it is not all in your head, but others taking advantage of you could be unintentional.

 

I had a friend in college who was generous and nurturing and would do things for others unasked, that was her style. (Some would call it mothering, some would call it smothering….) But when people accepted her generosity she would feel hurt and taken advantage of. Which puzzled me at the time. It seemed to me that she objected to being walked all over yet she threw herself under people's feet. She didn't ask, she didn't communicate, she pouted and dropped people completely who had been "best friends".

 

Kinda sounds like me but now I'm wondering how to fix that and maintain my friendships without getting to that point. I certainly don't want to break up or lose my friends, nor do I want to go around hiding all my stuff. I need a mental exercise…something like re-directing my focus to positive or the big picture instead of making myself the victim.

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I haven't read all the responses but you are nickel and diming your friends and your boyfriend.

 

Unless your pens are expensive (think $7 a pen), I don't think it's a big deal. You've probably accidentally taken a pen before.

 

When I lend out my nice pens to classmates, I specify I want it back. And I always get them back.

 

The granola bars... man, that's like $0.25 per. I think it would be more rude if he was continually emptying out things and not telling you. But sharing salsa and chips and granola bars is so small. Especially given that he pays for more dates.

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But let's not make this all about him. I feel this way with some of my GFs too. Moochers. I think it's because when it comes to food, I set the bar really high and only buy the good . They benefit from that because they're too cheap to buy the good stuff, yet reap the benefits of being Naomi's friend, and to me I feel used.

 

I thought maybe I'd try to focus on the big picture; that these people offer me friendship / a shoulder to cry on, someone who has my back, and so maybe the reciprocation can be in other ways than in the form of food. But lately I feel taken advantage of..esp with the holidays. The tea girl didn't even buy me an x-mas gift, yet I bought her a dyptique candle. It cost as much as a good meal at a nice restaurant! I feel like a sucker.

 

How are they getting all these things from you? Do you invite them to "make themselves at home"? Do you invite them over and say "I'll cook"? There are ways to make it joint, to make it SOUND joint. "Let's eat here, can you bring salad and wine and I'll make my special casserole?"

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They "think" they reciprocate but not really. I mean, I think my BF has eaten so much of my food, it's insane how many times he's left me with an empty fridge. My food is super freaking expensive too. Organic walnuts are $15 a pound. All of my diary is Clover and my yogurts are 2.50 a container. Gone, gone and gone.

 

And then his idea of "replenishing" is buying me a boxed salad from Trader Joe's.

 

And of course he wants my power bars. They're the best ones with the most protein and least amount of sugar. He buys the cheap ones.

 

Okay, this is irritating me just thinking about it. Help me quit with this bad attitude I have.

Resentment!

 

Talk to him about chipping in for stuff and stop with the resentment. He needs to be trained and you need to relearn what it's like to have someone at your place and assuming that you're okay with them helping themselves. I seem to remember that you trekked ALL of the ingredients for a gourmet dinner to the Docs place and didn't give a hoot about that ~ only resented him because he wouldn't commit to you???

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i think this is the crux of it, at least for the stealing boyfriend part. if you're virtually assuming the nourishing caretaker role with a guy by feeding him multiple "perfect, organic, fair trade, cost me a kidney and some bone marrow" meals a day, you've set up the dynamics. the fitting partner for a nourishing caretaker is a perpetually hungry gimme gimme gimme id-driven suckling who may, if you enable it, suck you dry. and when you set it up, you've bartered the right to complain. you either dote on him like a self-sacrificing martyred mothered, or you're being taken advantage of. if you play the ever giving nutritive person, then you are not being exploited. he's just going along with it. change what you do. if he becomes malicious when the tap of goodness is closed, that's what's been keeping him around. if he doesn't, he simply interpreted your generosity and the air domesticity as permission to make himself at home.

 

i agree though that just taking something obviously not theirs is plain wrong. also wouldn't make a scene over a pen or tea or granola bars, but i'd hate having to hide stuff in my own home simply to prevent others leaving me with an empty fridge, or just without decorative shyte- as i understand that's what the pens are meant as.

 

you need to be clear whether you're generous with it and in what way. for example, the meals just boil down to whether each of you contribute about equally in the relationship (and whether that's what you want). some people enjoy spending on their partners almost sugardaddy style and never complain about it, and most would expect some reciprocity. guessing you're the latter and not saying to keep tabs on everything, but if he never contributes anything you really need to stop providing and articulate your expectations.

 

maybe i have a poor visual presentation here, but i'm trying to imagine how and where the pens and tea and stuff are that people just pick them up. is your desk in the living area? could you move it somewhere and keep stuff that's important to you someplace visitors can't just pick it up? the tea, do they just open the cabinets like at home and get their own tea? you could just put your other teas in a serving box on a serving tray so when they pick they pick from that.

 

it sounds like people roam your place like it's theirs. if you reserve nothing as private space, that's essentially a no-boundary concept and they'll act accordingly.

 

There is a beautiful porcelain vase sitting on my desk, next to my computer, in my home office. It's all tastefully done. No one sits at my desk but me. Sometimes they will come into my office to talk, or we will both be looking at my computer researching movie times or something like that. So no, it's not accessible to everyone. You must purposefully enter the area where my desk is to grab a pen.

 

The fruit is in a basket on my kitchen island and sometimes on my dining room table. I can understand those are up for grabs, but really, ripping through the entire bunch of bananas in ONE DAY???? So I have nothing left for the rest of the week? It's just really inconsiderate. I can go on and on about stuff I've found missing that I was counting on eating, but I don't want to be too petty. You all think I'm petty enough with the granola bars.

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Kinda sounds like me but now I'm wondering how to fix that and maintain my friendships without getting to that point. I certainly don't want to break up or lose my friends, nor do I want to go around hiding all my stuff. I need a mental exercise…something like re-directing my focus to positive or the big picture instead of making myself the victim.

 

First off, you don't have to "take care of" people. The friend I was talking about would make assumptions about what others needed and provide that in order to take care of them. But since they hadn't expected it or asked for it, they received it as a gift. (Because even if they didn't want it, it felt unkind to refuse her.) It's tricky territory. How to unwind expectations…

 

"Honey, it's your turn to cook/stock the pantry/fill the fruit bowl/take us out to dinner." (choose one for starters.)

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There is a beautiful porcelain vase sitting on my desk, next to my computer, in my home office. It's all tastefully done. No one sits at my desk but me. Sometimes they will come into my office to talk, or we will both be looking at my computer researching movie times or something like that. So no, it's not accessible to everyone. You must purposefully enter the area where my desk is to grab a pen.

 

The fruit is in a basket on my kitchen island and sometimes on my dining room table. I can understand those are up for grabs, but really, ripping through the entire bunch of bananas in ONE DAY???? So I have nothing left for the rest of the week? It's just really inconsiderate. I can go on and on about stuff I've found missing that I was counting on eating, but I don't want to be too petty. You all think I'm petty enough with the granola bars.

 

Don't have anyone over for a few months.

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Try 2.99.

 

Yeah.

 

Your resentment is stressing me out and I'm only experiencing it digitally.

 

Regardless of cost you are nickel and diming them. Talk to your boyfriend and tell him your groceries are expensive and you'd rather he not take them. But part of being in a relationship is, IMO, sharing your life in all capacities. If I had a SO over and he helped himself to my cabinet, I would be happy that he was so comfortable with me.

 

It may be worthwhile stocking up on stuff he likes (and likewise, he can stock up on stuff you like).

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