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It can happen to anyone…that feeling that you aretaken for granted being taken for granted in your relationship. It can happen at the beginning, or the middle or somewhere in between…in new relationships and in relationships that have a few years in them.

Being taken for granted can happen in relationships with parents, with children, with spouses/partners, with friends and with people that we work with.

Here are some of the warning signs that relate mostly to a spouse/partner relationship but I am sure that you can see that similar patterns can happen in those other kinds of relationships.

The 7 Warning Signs of Being Taken For Granted

  1. Never saying please or thank you or smiling at you
  2. Not responding to you when you speak
  3. Expecting you to pick up after them (clothes, dishes, etc.). You feel like the maid.
  4. No matter how much you do, it’s not enough…or appreciated…it’s just expected…
  5. There is a feeling, a very pervasive feeling, that you are being ignored or neglected
  6. Never taking the time to sit down and just talk with you, because you are important
  7. Not making birthdays or anniversaries special occasions (that doesn’t mean spending a fortune…unless you happen to be very prosperous…lol)

That feeling of being taken for granted is a very painful feeling…it hurts…and we have probably had an experience or two in our lives of some instance when we felt that way…when you are in a significant relationship and it feels that the other person is taking you for granted…it hurts how you feel about yourself.

Most human beings have an absolute and infinite capacity for taking things for granted-Aldous Huxley Tweet This!

Your self-esteem is affected and then it becomes a vicious cycle. As you feel worse about yourself, the other person seems to neglect you more…and so on…and in a way…that neglect is a form of abuse…emotional abuse…if it goes on long enough. It doesn’t mean that you need to be catered to or that if you are needy, the other person should always be at your beck and call…no…being taken for granted is deeper than that…

It’s when you have started out on a solid footing, have had great communication, and then…over time (sometimes not much time…)…the other person starts to have expectations of what you bring to the relationship…and it is more than they do…it is the inequality that is the problem.

Breaking Free of Being Taken for Granted

 

It all starts with you, doesn’t it? If you find yourself in that situation, here is what you can do:

Write out a list of the things you appreciate about your partner and invite them to do the same about you. This will open a door of communication and you will see where they are coming from. Often, it is a matter of life getting in the way (bills, work, health issues, kids, parents, etc.)…but you won’t know unless you talk about it…

This list will start the ball rolling…and the next thing that I am going to tell you might surprise you…and it might not…

You, on some level and for some reason, have accepted that behavior from your partner…and you have allowed them to take you for granted. So, start treating yourself as if you are important…because you are…take that time to do those things for yourself that you have been putting off… make time to develop yourself…take a class or read a book that will stretch your mind…

Make yourself a priority in your own life and others that you are in relationship with will start making you a priority too….we all have a need to feel significant in our lives and especially in our relationships…so if you do feel like you are being taken for granted…maybe it is time for a change…don’t you think?

“Drive your own life…you deserve to, don’t you?” Sherie Venner

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For Mothers Day, I wrote a post about my favorite mothers day quotes. As this Fathers Day approaches, my heart turns to my own dad…a wonderful man…whose greatest gift to me was this…

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.”- Jim Valvano

My dad is a quiet man who was raised in a time where men didn’t show their emotions readily. He was the one who rushed to the hospital on a bitterly, cold day when the wind whipped off of a cold Manitoba lake. He had been on the parade ground, at an Air Force base where he was stationed.

He arrived shortly after my birth and in spite of my battered and bruised appearance, loved me…right from the start…even though I had injuries from the birth, he fussed over me, carried me, fed me and nurtured both my mom and I as we both recovered.

And he believed in me and in fact, still does…and there is power in believing in someone…especially when it is your child. When you believe in your child, deep down inside, they know…even when times are tough…that someone important…someone besides themselves believes in them…

The Importance of Fathers

A good father is just as important as a good mother…neither parent is more important… they are equally important. Children need good mothers and children need good fathers, whether the parents live together or live separately…

What makes a father a good father?

An ability to listen without judging

An ability to have real fun

An ability to know when to help and when to step aside

An ability to love deeply and express that love in meaningful and appropriate ways, ways that are meaningful to his child

An ability to laugh at his own frailties and a willingness to admit them and change them

An ability to be there for his child without it being a hindrance to the child’s development (that is a fine line)

An ability to accept his child…even if the child chooses a different path than the one he would have wanted for him/her

An ability to see the magnificence in his child, that brilliant spark of life that has been put in his care

An ability to believe in your child, to see all those possibilities and do so without pressuring the child…just believe…

My other favorite Fathers Day quote is this one:

“When my father didn’t have my hand….he had my back.”- Linda Poindexter

It is critical for your child to know that you have their back…that they can come to you in a time of need…whether that need is emotional or not…can you imagine what it is like for a child to know that when they are in trouble, they can count on their father? Be there…let them know that they can always count on you…

Fathers…Don’t Be Afraid to Truly Love your Children

“I have a very strong feeling that the opposite of love is not hate – it’s apathy. It’s not giving a damn” ~Leo Buscaglia

Give a damn…let your children know that they are loved…even if it is hard for you to express it…find out what your children need in order to know that they are loved…

Do they need to be told that they are loved?

Do they need to be taken places, like the zoo or the movies or fishing or for a walk?

Do they need small gifts (usually when they are young children, this one works well)…like a small toy or a candy bar or a balloon?

Do they need a hug?

Do they need to have a story read to them at night and a reassurance that there are no monsters under the bed?

Ask them…they will let you know…and if your children are older, your role shifts in their life and they still need to know that you love them.

Your children are important and fathers are important. Be important together…and have an awesome Fathers Day…celebrate your fathers and if you are a father, celebrate being one…it is a great gift that you have been given…take care of it…thank you Dad, for believing in me and in having my back…I love you…and Happy Father’s Day!

“Drive your own life…you deserve to, don’t you?”  Sherie Venner

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Have you been plagued by relationship anxiety? Has it been a factor in your life because of your own anxiety or because of the anxiety of a partner?

Nerves and butterflies are fine – they’re a physical sign that you’re mentally ready and eager.  You have to get the butterflies to fly in formation, that’s the trick.  ~Steve Bull

butterflies_nerves_anxiety

Symptoms of Relationship Anxiety

Here is how you can tell if anxiety is a problem for you in social situations, relationships or even work related areas. You do not need to be in a romantic relationship with someone in order to have relationship anxiety. Everything is relationship.

  • Are you suspicious of another person’s behavior? Do you  make up stories in your mind about what they are thinking or doing when you are not around?
  • Are you overly needy when you are in a relationship? Do you need constant reassurance that the other person/job/friend will always be around? Do they need to prove their allegiance to you, over and over again?
  • Are you impulsive? Have you heard the story about the young woman who broke into her lover’s girlfriends house in order to see if they were both there, cheating on her? Yes, that is definitely impulsive behavior.
  • Are you bothered by mood swings? You feel up and then down with no predictor of which mood will come over you in a social , work, or relationship situation?
  • Are you an over analyzer of the relationship? Do you try and read meaning into every little word or thing?

All of these symptoms can be mild or can escalate until they make how you function in your life difficult. Some people only feel anxiety when they are in a romantic relationship. Some people feel anxious in their work related roles. Others feel anxiety when they are at different social gatherings with friends and loved ones.

What Lies Beneath Relationship Anxiety

The root cause of anxiety is fear and what is fear? Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real….that’s right…unless you are being pursued by a bear in the woods or another event where fear is appropriate. 

Fear of an event that has not happened yet is fear that you create in your mind with your imagination. You imagine that the event will turn out badly…and so, I must ask you this…”Why would you imagine a future that is less than you want?”

Think about that for a moment. Why would you? Perhaps…and this is just an idea…you have made it a habit to do so…it has become part of your automatic operating system. The grooves in your brain, the patterns that years of negative beliefs have created, are there. They are a well worn path that your mind likes to travel and so it is easy to fall into that pattern.

Steps to Feeling More Confident and Avoiding Relationship Anxiety

Use that wonderfully creative imagination of yours to visualize a happy future, one filled with ease.

Create an anchor that you can trigger when you feel distressed and full of anxiety. Click here for more instructions on that.

Set small goals for yourself, baby step goals, in your relationships and then celebrate their success. If you have anxiety over calling someone up on the phone, set a small goal to find the phone number. That is a baby step. Another baby step after that is to put the number into your cell phone as a contact…and so on, until you work up to actually being able to call.

If there is a specific event that you are creating anxiety about, imagine the event being over and that it is fifteen minutes after and you tell yourself “That worked out well”…it really helps (it works great if you are taking a test, too!).

Relationship anxiety does not need to be permanent. It can be overcome, really…and the important question is this one and worth repeating…” Why would you imagine a future that is less than you want?”…it is that simple…maybe not easy in the beginning but it will be soon…because you can use that brilliant brain of yours to imagine something different…can’t you?

“Drive your own life…you deserve to, don’t you?”  Sherie Venner


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In life, we canrainbow of hope all face a crisis…or multiple crises…and be thrown into survival mode in a matter of minutes. Life can turn on a dime and no one is immune. The moment of truth might take the form of a medical emergency, a financial devastation, the loss of a family member, a weather catastrophe, a relationship betrayal…there are so many different forms of crises.

I’ve weathered many in my life…and just recently, our family had a sudden medical emergency…a crisis that threw us all for a loop…

When faced with that kind of emergency or any other…you go into survival mode. It takes strength and courage to go beyond that…and it’s tough.

5 Essential Steps to Survive a Crisis

 

  1. First things first. Breathe. Look at your situation and prioritize. Ask yourself “In this situation, what absolutely needs to be done…right now? What is nonnegotiable? What can be put on the back burner?”
  2. Self care. Make sure you eat three meals a day. They can be small meals. In our medical crisis, the last thing that I wanted to do was eat…but it was necessary…so choose small meals that you can get quickly (and no, chips from a vending machine at the hospital don’t count.) Pick sandwiches, soup…make sure you get protein…and drink your water. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t help anyone else. Make sure you take a shower and have clean clothes. Yes…in crisis times, you might need that reminder.
  3. Get help. When your friends know that you are in trouble and offer to help, let them. We accepted rides to the grocery store, air being put into the tires of the family car, the support of friends who came over to visit…other things are letting people help you with dishes, walking the family dog, getting the mail. Small gestures count, too…phone calls, texts, messages on Facebook…all wonderful support…
  4. Sleep and rest when you can. Find a way to turn off the thoughts in your mind that are going around and around. If you need to…and you probably do…allow yourself to feel those emotions and cry…get hugs…if sleep eludes you, you might need to see a doctor for a temporary solution. Don’t let a day go by without having some sleep.
  5. Be grateful. Yes, that’s a tough one. Our crisis happened on March 7…and every day since then has been a gift. None of us have any guarantees…so be grateful for what you have…and focus on any small thing that you can…the look in the eyes of your dog when you walk through the door…the feel of a gentle breeze on your face…the gentle squeeze of your hand by a loved one. Before you go to bed at night…or even when you’re in the middle of panic…stop…and make a list…think of all those things that you can be grateful for…then feel it…just like that…

No matter what the nature of the crisis, these simple steps will help you get beyond that survival mode. They have helped me. They helped our family. We have come through the other side, stronger, more grateful, more aware…and remember these keys.

4 Essential Keys of Life Preparation, Crisis or Not

 

No one expects a crisis…yet they do happen…and the following keys are essential for everyone, crisis or not…and are critical if a crisis does happen…

  • Keep your friends and family close and have a support network.
  • Build a financial reserve.
  • Take care of your physical health and stamina.
  • Remember that all any of us really have is now…right now…

And a bonus key: If there is an area that you are worried (not panicked) about, set a timer for 10 minutes…worry about it and then when the timer is finished…stop worrying…and think about something else…because worrying never solved anything.

“Drive your own life…you deserve to, don’t you?” Sherie Venner

6 comments

We all haveovercome emotional pain to deal with emotional pain because we live. No one is immune. Happiness is wonderful but none of us are in a state of 100% happy, all of the time.

Let’s talk about Mary…she’s a friend of yours…and you see her putting up with a lot of crap in her life…and you can’t understand why. She is in a lot of pain, emotionally. She comes over for coffee and tells you how bad things are and she doesn’t seem to move past it. Her relationships with partners don’t work and her relationship with herself doesn’t work . Her money doesn’t work either and she has been drinking way too much lately. And she is in pain.

You want to help but you can’t really. You can listen…but really, Mary is the one who has the power to make the change…for the better…

Some people get used to having that kind of pain…it’s a companion…and in fact, it becomes the new normal for them. They never go to a place where they say “That’s enough, I’m done…I deserve better…I deserve some happiness”.

Until they get to that point of threshold where they draw a line in the sand or reach the last straw…and that’s a good place to be…because that is where a person can make a change…and move forward.

So what do you do when you find yourself knee deep in emotional pain and you’ve had enough of it? You didn’t seek it but there it is…in all of its mess and nastiness and you want a solution.

Now, just a little warning. This process is for emotional pain, not trauma. So if you are dealing with a trauma, this isn’t what you want to do. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. If you have trauma issues, you have to have help. Don’t go it alone.

5 Simple Steps for Overcoming that Emotional Pain

 

  • Name the feeling.
  • Claim the feeling. Own it. It’s yours anyway.
  • Feel it. Really feeeeeeellllll it. Take those barriers down, they don’t protect you anyway. Stop numbing with overeating, with overspending, with too much sex and sex with the wrong people, with too much television or exercise….all of those avoidance tactics don’t really work…that is just an illusion.
  • Let it go. Now, that might seem very simplistic…but the beauty of actually letting yourself feel is that once you do…and you’ve listened to the message behind the feeling…it doesn’t need to stick around…it just leaves…
  • Focus on what you can do…to fix whatever issue brought that feeling up…and then take action to make it so.

So here is the process…broken down.

Find a quiet place where you can be alone with your thoughts. You know, I find that for most people, if the feeling arises when you are at work or with other people, and you can’t go to a quiet place, a bathroom works very well.

  1. Take a deep breath…and let the oxygen flow through your body. Take another…and exhale…slowly…and relax….and relax even more….just let the relaxation flow…from the top of your head to the tips of your toes….
  2. Ask yourself “Where is that feeling?” Notice it…where is it in your body? Does it have a size, a shape, a color? Just look…and see what you see…that’s your feeling….
  3. Give the feeling a name…is it anger, jealousy, sadness, loneliness, fear? There are many names…give that feeling a name…
  4. Now that the feeling has a name…ask it a question…that’s right…ask it a question. “(Name of emotional pain) , what do I need to know right now to let you go?”. Listen for the answer and when a thought pops into your head, see what that message is.
  5. Look at the area where that feeling of emotional pain was…is it still there? If it is, has the shape or the color or size changed? If it’s gone, yay! If it’s not, repeat the question…and listen for that answer…because pain is always a messenger…you can also see the shape change and the color and size change and see if it that helps that emotional pain just go away….try shifting the location…just a little bit…You can repeat the process until that feeling has gone away.

Act on the message that you have been given. If you don’t, the emotional pain will come back…because that is its purpose…to let you know that something isn’t right. It will come back until you deal with whatever the issue is. Focus on creating the future that you want.

And that simple process for dealing with emotional pain does work…if you work it…and allow those negative feelings to just drift away…

“Drive your own life…you deserve to, don’t you?”  Sherie Venner

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Stressed? No sleep?In the midst of movement and chaos keep stillness inside of you
Physical hardship? Gruelling environment? Plagued by anxious thoughts and feelings?

Whether you’re a new parent, working too much in stressful situations, going through a divorce or recovering from a trauma…your life is out of control…and it doesn’t have to be.

We live in a time where we are bombarded with information…and that, in itself can be a stressor. We live in a time where there never seems to be enough time…to do [click to continue…]

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Imagine being singleThis reason relationship anxiety and wanting to be in a relationship.

That desire is so strong. In fact, it can be so strong that you ignore any misgivings or troubled thoughts and fears that you might have about being in a relationship.

And the next thing you know, you’ve taken that leap of faith and you’ve done it. You’re in a relationship.

For a while, the first headiness of love covers up all of those feelings you had. That first rush of love is powerful.

But it wears off after a while, doesn’t it…and reality starts to creep in.

Your partner might even be a perfect match for you.

Or you might have picked [click to continue…]

8 comments

When someonetoday was good today was fun comes to me and complains that they are feeling dragged out, tired and depressed, one of the questions I ask them is this.

Are you getting enough vitamin F?

Hmmm. Vitamin F? [click to continue…]

4 comments