Recently, on a Sunday evening walk around our neighborhood, my friend and I were catching up on each other's lives. It's our routine get-together where we share information about our families, our current relationships or in some cases non-existent relationships. You know, girl talk.
This Sunday our conversation was centered on this one question, "Why do men take advantage of some women?"
Sounds like a horrible question, right? It is an awful thing, but it is, unfortunately, a reality many women face every day. Emotional imbalances, poor communication and a fear of walking away can lead women to stay or fall into relationships where their interests and actions are easily taken advantage of.
Though this list does not comprise all the ways women set themselves up to be taken advantage of, below are five common things women do.
(As a caveat, I do not raise this question in a sexual or physical sense; instead, I propose this question in an emotional sense. Although this article is directed to women, men can experience several of these things as well.)
1. Desire to please others
Women who are consistently taken advantage of in relationships are often kindhearted individuals looking to please everyone. Their obvious desire to make everyone happy and feel appreciated is often seen as a weakness or a soft spot. Your vulnerability is taken as weakness and men often capitalize on this trait to bend your relationship to his benefit.
2. Belief you do not deserve anything better
Strength comes from a woman that knows what she deserves and is not willing to settle for anything less than the best. Settling in a relationship that does not have your best interest at heart sets you up for inevitable trials down the road.
3. Comfort zone is your only zone
Beware of settling into a relationship that is toxic. Do not allow a relationship teeming with unsettled feelings and anxiety begin to feel like your comfort zone. As the time increases and you become more aware of the needs of your partner, do not allow the ease of having a daily routine scare you from breaking free and discovering better opportunities for yourself.
4. Believe a relationship has a scorecard
When women believe a relationship has a scorecard, they are more easily taken advantage of. True love should encourage you to do things for the other person out of want, not out of need. Scorecards that dictate, "You should do this for me, because I did this for you," are not healthy and create unhealthy expectations.
Passive aggressive comments are not to be taken lightly or tolerated in any relationship. Their subtle jabs at your self-confidence can harm your view of your own self-worth and belittle you over time.
"Most chronically passive-aggressive individuals have four common characteristics: They're unreasonable to deal with, they're uncomfortable to experience, they rarely express their hostility directly and they repeat their subterfuge behavior over time," said psychologist Preston Ni.
Beware of allowing passive-aggressive behaviors to leak into your relationships and remain a toxic cloud ever looming over both of your heads.
We asked the hard question, "Why do men take advantage of some women?"
The answer is messy and undeniably complicated on all levels. But if there is one thing I hope you take away from this article, I hope it is this: Never allow anyone to take advantage of you or dictate your own happiness. You have it in you to change the world you live in.