How to End Being Taken for Granted by Your Family

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We all have this problem from time to time and that is, because we try to be the nice guy.

It is OK to be the nice guy until you’re turned into the door mat.  You know the feeling; it is like you have lost control and you find yourself doing everything for everybody without any help from all those loving family members you treasure.  But for some reason they think you are their servant!

It hurts and you want it to stop.  Well, this can sometimes take desperate measures and you have to be up to the task.  If you are at your ropes end, have had enough and tired of the foot prints on your back side use these tips and stop the traffic down your spine and grow a spine.  Only you can stop this.

Start by letting everyone know what goes and what doesn’t.

1.   Thank You:  Every time you do something for that family member, look at them and say, “Thank you is nice and I am waiting for mine.”  Don’t move until they say “thank you.”  If they start walking away say, “Excuse me you forgot the “Thank You.” 

2.  Stop picking up after everyone:  Family members get use to this and you are not teaching them anything when you are always picking up after them.  They have 2 hand and feet, just as you do.

3.  When it comes to the little ones and their toys: get a box or garbage bag out and start putting their stuff in the box or bag. Tell them, “You want your stuff back you will do something for me.” End of story!

4.  As for older kids and hubby: If it is eating and they don’t take their dirty plate or glass out and put them in the dish washer start buying paper plates and plastic utensils.  Let them know that you will start using the real thing again when they grow up and start placing them where they belong when they are through.  (You may have to box up the real thing, so they can’t help themselves to them)

I know you are saying that they will just leave the paper and plastic sitting around; good go get some fake ants, roaches, or spiders and start placing them in those area.  Let them know you are through picking up after them and this is what is going to happen if they don’t start. (Might want to throw a few fake bugs in their bed just for the fun of it.)

5.  Clothes and kids bedrooms:  If the clothes aren’t in the laundry basket they don’t get washed.  Never make the bed that is there job. If it never gets made throw in a few of the fake critters you bought.  Don’t forget to unscrew the light bulb and close the door.  This way if a visitor opens the door in the evening; they can’t see the mess.

6.  Cooking:  Teach the kids how to cook and clean after the meal.  Someday their spouses will love you for it.  Pick a night every week when that person will help you cook.  This will help them and you and be fun at the same time.  They will learn to appreciate what you do.

Cleaning:  Everyone is responsible their space.

Now for Dad going to work:  I know that your hard work during the day can be overlooked.  If you are being taken for granted, cut off the funds, to the kids or even little lady if she is taken you for grant, that nice dress she has been wanting, she may not get.

This door does swing both ways.  We have to appreciate all the wonderful people in our family.

Never take anyone for granted, because tomorrow they may not be there for one reason or another.

One last thing if all of these ideas aren’t working, you can always go on strike. Just sit around and do your own thing like everyone else in the family. 




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  1. Nancy Shields says:

    Hello Debbie,

    We are not door mats and we allow these things to happen to us. So yes, having accountability and responsibility is one way to make everyone responsible for their own actions.

    Not taking anyone for granted is key – that is key to any relationship – we sometimes fail to see that each of our relationships should be gifts…

    In gratitude to your insight,
    Nancy Shields recently posted…ACCOUNTABILITY AND RESPONSIBILITY …..My Profile

    • Hi Nancy,

      Yes, relationships are gift and we should tend to them like we would a beautiful flower garden. Sometimes we get so busy and caught up with life that we turn a blind eye on what and who are important.
      You are right, when we do become someones door mate it is because we have let it happen. the best think to do is sit down and talk to them about how you are feeling. If that does not work, then it is time to get tough. LOL
      thank you Nancy for sharing your thought. I always appreciate it.
      Blessing to you,

  2. Hi Debbie,
    Love your tips. Give & take has got to be mandatory, being a doormat is not an option.
    Thankyou & be good to yourself

  3. essay writing services says:

    Really great post! Thanks.

    • You really want me to believe you can write when all you say it “Really great post. Thanks” Let us be honest here, you just want the link. Well, i am giving it to you, just so people learn that maybe your not the one they want writing for them or teaching them. I know you are a good person, so let us try to play the link game nice. Put a little more effort in it.
      Good Luck James and remember we are all here to help teach each other, so you might want to get real here!!! (GOOD comment to pay off)

  4. Hiiiiiiiii,,,,nice tips……… really going to work if we apply it in our life. these things are also a part of descipline. You made it so easy to…
    Great article………….
    Prakash recently posted…”Sky Go” For Android SoonMy Profile

    • Hi Prakash,

      Thank you. We do have to be a little careful with you being the nice guy, or other do take us for granted. I always make sure that i don’t do it to others. and yes, it does take discipline.
      thank you for sharing and blessing to you always,

  5. Dear Debbie –

    Some very imaginative tips. I like the one about the bugs.

    You forgot the most important one.

    Never put your kids names on any of your credit cards!

    That always ends up to be trouble. And you end up being a bank.
    Corinne Edwards recently posted…A WOMAN WITHOUT A MAN – In Paperback and on KindleMy Profile

    • Hi Corinne,

      You are right, I have been there and the bank got maxed out. Have to say I am getting paid back little at a time. Thanks for reminding everyone on the credit cards! Love it when my readers pick up the slack for me when I miss something. It is COOL!!!
      Blessing to you Corinne,

  6. An attitude of gratitude – is the key to riches, in family relationships, too. I notice that people who don’t appreciate others and, therefore, take others for granted are most likely to be taken for granted in turn. The taken for granted/doormat treatment also happens often to people who insist they do the things they do out of love for doing them, when in reality they do them wishing for something in return. Manipulators at heart, these people are completely clueless as to how much they’re missing out of life. You are so right in your writing – rather than wait for others to change, be the change you hope to see in others. You’ll be the first one to benefit, too :-]
    Beat Schindler recently posted…Dream A Little Dream For YouMy Profile

    • Hi Beat,
      Like that, “An attitude of gratitude” Yes, this is the key! Words of wisdom here, Beat and thank you for adding to the post. Many people do for others in hopes of getting something in return.

      I have found that when i feel like my family is taking me for granted, I just talk to them and things change. Many times just letting others know how you feel, makes all the difference.
      Thanks again Beat have a wonderful day.
      Blessing to you,

  7. As always some great advice and tips for now and the future. I guess I’ll be referring back to your posts for years to come!

    • Hi Joel,

      Thank you Joel for the kind words. You won’t have to refer back to it if you teach them at a young age. When my girls were little I did use the box trick to get them to pick up there toys. At the end of the day if they didn’t want to pick them up they all went into a box. I refused to fight with them about it. Then if they wanted something out of the box they had to do something for me, like fold up towels after they were washed and dried. (Some toys never made it out of the box LOL)

      I did have one that did not like to keep her room clean. Before she learned she had to wear dirty clothes, because she ran out of clean ones. As for her room, I kept the door closed, because i didn’t know how she made it out of the room alive, because of the mess.

      There was one time that 2 girls were in the same bedroom, they were 4 and 6. Room was a mess and they would not pick it up, so I said fine you want a mess, let me help you. Dumped out toys, throw clothes on the floor, messed up beds. They stood there with there mouths open. Than I told them that sense I help make the mess, I would help them clean it up. We got the room clean and from then on (Until the one was a teenage) I never had a problem with them straightening up there room.

      Kids are wonderful, they just have to be taught and in the end they will always respect and love you for it.

      Thank you for the nice words and blessing to you always,

  8. Debbie,

    I do think as parents…many of us are taken for granted.

    But a little ‘tough love’ can go a long way. In the end they will thank you for it but it’s getting through the ‘pain’ times first.

    Loved you comment reply to James above – I get those type of comments and just ‘spam’ them!


    P.S. Teaching the kids how to cook has to be a must.

    • Hi Andrew,

      As parents our kids sometimes do not understand that when we have to use that tough love, it hurts us to have to use it. Tough love can go a long way, you are right.

      Some comments like James i do spam, but then there are times I just throw a little humor in there just for the fun. He has sent me many more that I throw into spam. Being a so called writer, you would think he would do better.

      My oldest never wanted to learn to cook, but now she is probably a better cook than me. It really surprised me. Steve know how to cook if it is spaghetti with the jar sauce, so when I don’t want to cook, he does take me out.
      thanks for sharing Andrew and hug and blessing to you,

  9. Hi Debbie,

    When I was younger I used to suffer from the ‘nice guy syndrome’ 🙂

    I think with me, it was because I had such low self-esteem, I was being nice to everyone as a way to get accepted.

    The more I worked on my confidence, the more my assertiveness grew, and the more I was able to say ‘No’ and not feel bad about it.

    These days I like to help as much as I can, but I do it out of desire to really help, rather than a need to accepted.

    Thanks for your post Debbie.
    Hiten recently posted…If you know ‘why’ then will you focus on ‘how’?My Profile

    • Hi Hiten,
      Thank you for adding to the post, “These days I like to help as much as I can, but I do it out of desire to really help, rather than a need to accepted.”

      This is a very good point! It does make a difference when we have self-confidence. I can really identify with what you are saying. At one time i walked in those same shoes. Hopefully we can help others throw away those old shoes. The self-confident shoes are much more comfortable.
      thanks again and blessing to you,

  10. Hi Debbie,

    Many of us suffered from this. If we want to stop being taken for granted, then we have to change how we view such situations and put an end to these. I like the examples and solutions you have provided. Usually, the more we work on increasing our self confidence, the easier it will be to end being taken for granted by our family and friends. 😉 Thank you for sharing my friend

    • Hi Dia,

      You are right when you say, the more we work on increasing our self confidence the easier it will be to end being taken for granted. Self confidence and self esteem play a big part it being taken for granted.
      Thank you Dia, for bring that out.
      Blessing to you always,

  11. hello debbie
    how are you?
    apologies for being absent on your blog. i’ve been working on a project which took up my time but things are getting better.
    this is a very touchy subject but the truth is, it needs to be addressed so that all parties concerned can be happy.
    your tips will certainly(hopefully) end up teaching manners, gratitude and some responsibility
    it’s important we appreciate the kind gestures done to us by family members to prevent the thoughts of one going on strike amongst many other things laugh!!
    take care and enjoy the rest of the day.

    • Hi Ayo,

      Great to hear from you! i am doing just fine, and how about yourself?
      Yes, going on strike would be a last resort, but it sure could solve the problem. LOL
      I have even thought of doing that at times. When we are being taken for granted we do become a victim if you don’t find a solution. And we all know that is no fun!

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this granted subject. I always like hearing others thoughts.
      Blessing to you and wishing you the best on your new project.

  12. Debbie
    I think we need to incorporate expressing how we feel as well as taking actions as you describe. Being assertive won’t always get results – especially if dealing with kids! – but is more effective in other areas of life (such as work).
    David Rogers recently posted…Any Parting Regrets You’d Like to Share?My Profile

    • Hi David,

      I don’t know i always had good luck with my girls when they had a choice of picking up toys or them going in a box. Even when it came to needing clean clothing and they hadn’t put the dirty ones where they needed to be.

      To me it teaches them that there is a price to pay if you don’t want to follow the rules and do your share.

      As for work, I have always done a great job and work when I worked in the corporate world, I just wouldn’t play there political games. That doesn’t work to well.
      Thank you for sharing your thought, they are always appreciate.
      Blessing to you David,

  13. LOL. It’s so funny to read. You’re indeed a happy maker. Thanks for the great tips. I’ll go for cutting the fund. You made my day.

    • Hi Raymond,

      You made me LOL! You’ll go for cutting the funds. You know as a woman we are always wanting thanks for the things we do, but when it comes to the guy, ladies can just assume he is going to go to work everyday, because that is what he is suppose to do. I believe the door swings both ways. i am very grateful that hubby goes to work in the morning and I do let him know. Otherwise I may not get that dress I really want. LOL

      Thanks Raymond for the smile and laughter.
      Blessing to you,

  14. Great post! I immediately thougtht about a summer several years ago when my kids seemed very picky about what I was cooking every day. So one day at dinner, when they were being especially critical, I said Fine, let me know when dinner is ready tomorrow. They stopped and gaped at me. I reminded them where the cookbooks were and left them to it. I didn’t cook again for the rest of the summer. Now both girls are great cooks and really enjoy it!

    • Hi Galen,
      That is great Galen. You did stop them in there tracks. GOOD JOB! Bet they learned not to complain about other things too, for fear of having to do them.
      Thank you for sharing your story. Love it!
      Blessing to you,

      I wanted to make a comment on your site, but could not find where I could. Love the post on lawyers.
      And i just keep learning new things about you every day. Thanks

  15. Door mats! It happens so quickly, if we’re not careful. Good advice, Debbie.

  16. Hi Debbie,

    I think growing up I took my Mom for granted and I feel bad now after reading this post. She still has a tendency to be taken for granted.

    I can see now how these points could help people like her. They work too hard to not get the appreciation they deserve.

    Great read.

    Bryce Christiansen recently posted…Special Sneak Preview of the People Profiler (A Tool That Will Change The Way You Communicate)My Profile

    • Hi Bryce,

      Don’t feel to bad, because i think I did the same at times when it came to my mother. By stopping someone from taking them for granted you are really doing them a great service. thank you for sharing with us. And I am sure your mother would not want you to feel bad and neither do I, So STOP THAT!
      Blessing to you,

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