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Never Take Someone For Granted

I’ve seen a few posts on Facebook recently that say never take someone for granted and they seem sweet enough on the surface, but I can feel the wrongness in them when I read them. Not because there is anything wrong in being mindful with those around you, but because of the fear-based messages that came along with the reminder to “never take someone for granted”.

The first one suggested we not take anyone around us for granted because we may find that we have “lost a diamond while [we] were too busy collecting stones”.

Wow. There are so many things I find questionable about this, but maybe the first is the sense of “punishment” you get for taking someone for granted. That, rather than being in the moment and honouring what is true for you at that moment with whomever you are with, being mindful and appreciative of those who share your life in any form, you should cling on to anyone in your life because of the fear of loss.

In my reality, there is no value judgement between “a diamond” and “stones” when it comes to people and events in your life. Even those things that you might perceive as “stones” from your current point of view in life: dead ends, things that don’t work out as you expected, tangents or side paths on your journey .. all are exactly as they should be in the greater purpose of your life, there to prompt you towards living the life more closely suited to the truth of who you are and to your purpose.

I wondered if the reason some people enjoyed this post, was because people lose relationships (romantic or friendships) that were no longer right for them but spend a great deal of time looking back wistfully at the now ‘perfect’ projected version of that relationship, instead of looking within to see how they might grow from what they learned in that relationship or friendship? And to move forward with gratitude for what has been and with joyful anticipation for what is to come -that is more suited to who they now are.

If I am in any kind of relationship that doesn’t have clear enough communication channels so that the other can speak up and express that they feel taken for granted, or I am not self reflecting as to why I am choosing exits from my relationship (“stones” like other people, working long hours, watching TV or spending all my spare time on solo interests) rather than investing time and energy into nurturing this relationship, I would say that something is going to come to a head. The problem is not in “collecting stones” or in “taking someone for granted”, but in living without awareness.

And let’s even look at that “being taken for granted”. Let’s take the pointed finger away from the other person and hold up a mirror to ourselves. What does it mean? It seems to me that if we feel taken for granted, it means that we have been loving conditionally and are keeping a mental tally as to whether our partner or friend or even our child, has been doing enough of the “right” things to make the score even. That they have not paid back enough of the “love” we have given them to make us feel appreciated.

That is a hefty burden for any relationship.

It implies that we are doing things that we resent, with the expectation that others in our life appreciate them, and us, for doing them, rather than honouring our own inner guidance and boundaries and loving freely and for the simple joy of loving.

Feeling that we have been “taken for granted” means that we expect another to “reward us” for loving them conditionally, and if they don’t, they will be “punished” with loss, or, at the very least, with guilt.

Even the more innocuous post I saw today, implied that relationships are effectively business transactions.

Are you required to appreciate, give extra attention, feel responsible for someone else’s feelings because they showed you courage? Isn’t having courage to speak your truth reward in itself for the speaker? Couldn’t we, perhaps, simply be appreciative and unconditionally loving to everyone in our lives because our hearts are full and we want to share that feeling?

Instead of worrying whether someone else feels “taken for granted” and whether or not we have paid enough with our energy, our actions and our love, can’t we just liberate ourselves from relationships based on transactions and instead just give because we have it, or not if we don’t?

Maybe we could look within first when we feel fear of loss of someone in our lives.

Maybe we could fill our own emotional cups so that we don’t need others to behave in this way or that way in order to feel loved .. and in those moments when we forget and begin to feel resentful or hurt, perhaps we can look within to see what is truly calling our attention to become all that we truly are, instead of missing the opportunity by asking another to try to fix it? (hint: they can’t)

Perhaps?

Perhaps we can choose freedom in our relationships.

Comments

  1. Sophie Baulch says:

    I've noticed that the time in my life when I felt taken for granted the most was also I time when someone had made huge sacrifices for me, which I didn't appreciate at all. We were both selfish, because neither of us was taking care of ourselves and we argued about who gave the most, me or him. We both gave too little and too much or from the wrong place. Now that I don't takle myself for granted, I don't take others for granted and don't feel taken for granted by others. It all comes down to self-rejection. It's so easy to see confirmation of others' rejection of myself if I am rejecting me.

  2. Thanks for posting and trying out my new Facebook comments! 🙂

    Yes, I also see the phrase "you're taking me for granted" often meaning "you're not responding the way I expect of you, or how *I* would respond [to the fact that I have done all these things *for you*]".

    When we are coming from integrity within ourselves, doing what we do because it feels good to do it, not because of what we hope to gain from it, there just is no way that we can feel a victim to "being taken for granted".

  3. Firstly, wow. I hardly view diamonds as the "amazing" thing they seem to be to so many others. But you took it further than that and I couldn't agree more about lacking the "ability" to tell a partner that you would like something from them. Because, really, isn't that the stem of what makes a person feel unequal?

    The second one though… that one triggers me defensively. That is a common thing in my circle of Moms who parent children with early childhood trauma. I've seen this countless times and, for me, it's a perfect reminder that when my child expresses HUGE feelings to me that that took courage for him to do. That he has the option to hide his feelings and "Go with the flow" while riding an internal upheaval. So, in this circle… this picture and statement is offered to remind us that even when we're on the receiving end of the abuse from our children that we can remember that they're trusting us enough to show us. And that… is beautiful.

    Hmmm. Thought provoking, Natalie.

    • I hear what you're saying on that second one, Shannon, and my view is, what if we don't think about it as taking them for granted or not, but hold everything that is expressed to us with awe and receive all expressions to us with presence .. from that place of unconditional acceptance and love .. and not from a sense of obligation that we "should" be giving more because we owe it to the sharer, then the sharer and the receiver are both blessed and in integrity. <3

  4. Hi Natalie. I want to ask how can I fill my own cup of emotion with love by myself?

  5. Thank you for posting this. It is time to look within and set my ego aside because I feel like someone is taking me for granted.

  6. Kathy Berry says:

    I like this Natalie. And agree wholeheartedly.

  7. Great Perspective…a definite step into the unknown…I appreciate the insight.

  8. I appreciate this.

  9. Sarah Saldana says:

    I’m humbled and grateful for the information in this blog as it has proven to be very helpful. Thank you kindly.

  10. Emmanuel cobbah says:

    I love is for real m…keep it up

  11. christina says:

    When i feel taken for granted is when reciprocation is an after thought. if i choose to show an individual respect and they have agreed to show the same respect back to me, but choose not too…that is my respect being taken for granted…or disregarded…

  12. wow, wow, wow. I want to marry you!

  13. I have a question. How do you stop yourself from getting carried away and taking the person you love for granted? I love my boyfriend, and he loves me, but I am the one who causes more problems, and in the past I have found myself too selfish to change much for my family’s feelings, and I do not want to do that with him, my first serious boyfriend. I might just be worrying too much, but how can I make sure that I properly appreciate him and put him first? My biggest fear is that I will fall short and he will leave me, even though we have no problems with this whatsoever and he says that I do not need to change anything.

  14. i tend to agree with you but as we enter into relationships there are conditions and they will always be there if i am to be in the relationship. they may seem obvious but it is still a condition for example if it is a serious relationship u don’t expect someone to cheat on you. nobody will go into a serious relationship expecting to be cheated on. that is a condition. everything i guess has its rules which are its conditions if at all you are to achieve the goal that you want achieved. And once someone goes down the lane of cheating on u then it qualifies to say that the person does not value u anymore and for that matter he or she has taken you for granted.

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