Don’t Take Someone For Granted

If there is a person you know who cares for you, and they are putting in effort to make you a better person, you don’t want to take them for granted.  It’s not good to do.  This message is about folks outside of your family.  You can build up a sense in your mind that you are worth so much that the individual and their caring is not a big deal to you, or that you are entitled to their concern, but this is not true in either sense.  In that case, you are taking them for granted.

Are You Taking Someone For Granted?

Think about if there is someone or multiple people like this for you.  Is there someone who is giving you energy on a regular basis, who you are getting the sense will always be there?  Is there someone who is giving you honest feedback, to help you out directly, when others are too afraid or unconcerned to do the same?  Do you know someone who you might be hurting, who is letting you get away with more than you deserve?

Accept Any Errors You Have Made

You have to accept the effects of what you may have done, or how you may have treated or viewed this person.  One good way to understand this is to put yourself in their place.  If I was trying my best to provide value and care for a person, and they did things that showed that they didn’t completely recognize this, it would leave me wondering about what they were thinking.  “Why are they not recognizing the good intent I had in mind?” would be the thought taking place.

Recognize What You Can

Once you have put yourself in their shoes, you can go back into your own mind, and see what you have.  Right now, you may have a person that fits this concept, and the opportunity is still there to tell them and show them that you appreciate their concern by reciprocating it.  This could range from someone who you are very close with to an acquaintance who helps you in minor ways.  Regardless of who the person is, they are a person just like you, and not recognizing and appreciating their selves and efforts speaks poorly about who you are.

Imagine Only You And The Person

One way to see this concept in a new light is to imagine that you are alone in a room with the person, and you are the only two people around.  How are things different now?  Do you now see them as the person they are, who  is caring and helpful, when you are not distracted by others?  Here are two pictures to help with this imagining:

Imagine what it is like seeing that person as the only person around
Then imagine what it would be like if that person left the room

There might be 20 other people in the “room” with you, but sometimes there is only one person in the “room” who is giving you a big benefit of the doubt, and who you are not showing appreciation for through your behavior.  Remember that the room will feel empty without this person, even with the other 19 in it.  It is up to you to take note of your current relational situations, because being left alone in the “room” is not something you want to experience.

Give others a bigger benefit of the doubt than they give you, and you should be fine.

33 thoughts on “Don’t Take Someone For Granted”

  1. Simple message, timeless advice Armen, just what I expect a dose of from you here. Its mighty true though as well, its very easy to let the distractions in life keep us from realizing and especially from sharing what we appreciate and are grateful for.

    It only takes a moment to stop and add thoughts thoughts to brighten someone else’s take. And BTW, the most important part: I appreciate the simplicity of not only this articles with the simple diagrams but the clarity and precision you have in all your writing. You have a very appropriately named blog and you continue to make me a happy ready. Thanks!
    .-= Mike King´s last blog ..Bring On the Passion! =-.

    1. Hi Mike.

      Thanks there. This is true. We get distracted by this or that, and then we lose sight on what a person is doing for us.

      You are right about the moment concept. It doesn’t take long to brighten someone’s day, so it is not something to leave out of our doings.

      I liked making the pictures as I saw them in my head. The message gets sent much better with them. Thanks regarding them and the site title matching well. I ran through quite a few ideas before picking something that fit my desired content.

    1. Hi Sid.

      I think I will continue to make diagrams at select times. They are enjoyable to make, and express what is in my mind. I like drawing and making tables and such. I hear you about finding the perfect image. The time it can take can be ridiculous.

      I will keep this in mind about generating my own images at times.

  2. Armen, in this case i was the person who was taken for granted and recently that person cut me off from their life. It really sucks especially after I was their for this person even after a life threatening accident that almost took their life. Oh well, sometimes we become victims of others who have taken us for granted. However, it really…it’s really their loss.

    1. Hi El Capitan.

      This is a pretty substantial case. I hear you there about you were there for this person after their big accident. They might not have realized what you were providing as support. The accident also may have changed their perspective on life, but it would still be good to recognize you for being there. Being there can have such large benefits that are often unnoticed until it is not occurring anymore.

      1. You what Armen, I agree in that being has it’s rewards. Here’s how. People eventually get tired of hype, the eventually will get tired of what’s fake. They will eventually get tired of being let down by people. There is so much hype and lack of substance that people crave meaningful connection. Hopefully, they realize in all this that those that they neglected were meaningful additions in their lives. I’m not hoping for this person to come back however it has happened to me in the past. Take care Armen. Next time we gotta get together and perform a hip hop cypher.
        .-= El Capitan´s last blog .. =-.

        1. That is true. We almost have a hype filter built in. A certain amount of hype about anything is okay, but after a while, there has to be substance in place.

          I have had times where there was potential to ignore lots of people, but during those times, I did not, and so I don’t regret how I treated the situations.

          That makes sense about your person.

          I would only perform such a cypher if I was able to enjoy your salsa afterward. I can’t just release my material with no reward~

  3. Hey Armen – It seems to be so easy to forget how important someone is to us these days when we spend more time communicating with them online and spending less time with them in person. Imagining ourselves in a room with certain people is a good tool for reminding ourselves how much we should appreciate those close to us. It can be a sobering thought to spend some time thinking about what our lives would be like without them.
    .-= Earl´s last blog ..How I Learned Spanish By Doing Nothing =-.

    1. Hi Earl.

      That’s a good point. There is a lot we are not able to recognize about a person online, and so we can forget all the aspects of the person we are dealing with. That ‘imagining’ concept puts them right back into a visual presence for us, and then we have the opportunity to treat them better as such.

      That sobering thought is just what we need sometimes, so we don’t start feeling entitled to their presence.

  4. Hi Armen,

    Wisely and humbly you have written the article.
    I like to cherish the 1 person 🙂 It is a good relationship and we need to invest in it and not take the 1 person for granted.
    I feel we do understand the importance of the 1 person in our lives but somehow we just mess it up and it turns out to be our loss. As the 1 person brings a lot of difference into our well being and is missed but the Ego comes ahead and we just don’t tend to apologize for our wrong doing. Deep down we do realize that it is our fault but just don’t take the action to correct the mistake. We end up loosing the 1 person forever.

    Cheryl Paris Blog

    1. Hi Cheryl.

      I have to keep my writing humble in some respects, or else I am not so glad about it. Thanks for noticing as well.

      That sure is a potential way it can occur. The ego is not so great in this regard. Apologizing is a big way to negate the ego, and it contains appreciation in it as well. There are times that can leave us wondering how we got such a big head.

  5. Hey Armen.

    You may have noticed that some people never apologise. Perhaps they were born without the apology gene. Or perhaps their ego won’t let them. And while they are not particularly pleasant to be around, the person they will hurt the most is themselves. Their arrogance, their insecurity and their fear (which won’t allow them to say sorry), will stop them from evolving beyond a point. Emotionally, intellectually, professionally, sociologically and even spiritually their development will be stunted until they find some humility, honesty and self-awareness. They will stagnate (if not go backwards) until they can learn to empathise with and respect the thoughts, beliefs, values and ideas of others. Note that “respecting” doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing with or embracing. In some instances saying sorry can be relationship-saving, life-changing and completely cathartic. It has the ability to create an instant shift in dynamics, atmosphere, culture, productivity and even emotional state. A humble and heart-felt apology can open the door to healing, harmony and happiness. Pity we don’t do it more often.

    1. Hi Craig.

      That is very true. Lacking the understanding to apologize leads to problems. There was a time long ago that I didn’t see the meaning or value in apologizing. I thought it would just make me look bad, and thought that that couldn’t be good in any way. We learn things, and the sooner we learn something, the better.

      All those details you pointed out there about the effects of not apologizing are worth reading for anyone else checking up on these comments. It is like running into a wall, in terms of social growth. There are certainly many items I have not yet learned, but apologizing when I feel that I’ve erred is one thing I aim to do.

  6. Armen,

    Showing an appreciation for another person; such an important element of building strong relationships. I like your idea of visualisation to help develop more appreciation of that person. I think a similar exercised is used with NLP is slightly different settings.

    Thank you for sharing this.


    .-= Paul´s last blog ..When the time is right! =-.

    1. Hi Paul.

      It sure is an important element. They are a person just like us. To forget that is to forget a part of ourselves.

      We all, including me, could benefit from that visualization portion.

      Good to hear from you.

  7. Armen, thanks for another helpful post. “To take note of your current relational situations” require empathic skills. This is in turn requires that we care enough about other people in our lives to desire to develop empathy in the first place. Empathy allows us to understand or even to experience what another is feeling. If we could all do this well, we would be much more caring in our attitudes and behavior.

    And to Craig I would like to say that your point about a humble and heart-felt apology is really important. In Japan the art of the insincere, for outward-show-only apology has been developed to a fine art. Such apologies may smooth social situations, but they leave deep wounds that do not heal.

    Warm wishes again from the mountains, Armen. Please stop by if you feel like enjoying a breath of springtime on my latest blog post from Japan – Catrien Ross.
    .-= Catrien Ross´s last blog ..Catrien Ross on Reviving Your Passion and Purpose in Spring Vibrations from Japan =-.

    1. Hi Catrien.

      I appreciate that about the article. Caring about others sure is relevant. If that concern isn’t there, any efforts we make in relation to them don’t have an impact. Empathy keeps us in line with their interests, so we don’t start to think they are confused or something, and see them as people just like us.

      Fake apologies sure are noticed as fake by everyone involved. There isn’t any value to them.

      I will be enjoying a breath of springtime over at your destination“

  8. I have always been guilty of taking for granted the people who truly cares for me. I don’t know why I have this attitude by default. Perhaps I should be more appreciative of those people in my life. Thanks for reminding me. 🙂

    1. Hi Walter.

      I have done the same. I know some others feel this way as well. It can be backwards how we take for granted those who really care for us, and then think positively of those who don’t.

      I think we realize this sooner or later, but sooner saves some lost relationship potential.

  9. Today I come across a word that seems related to this topic, “co-inherence”. The definition of the word is “Things that exist in essential relationship with another, as innate components of the other.”
    I took this to mean our own happiness is dependant on the happiness of others. What I think this means, is to be happy, we need to make others happy. To be cared for we need to care others.
    Sometime the best way to help yourself is by helping others.

    Thanks Armen.
    .-= Martin´s last blog ..The Source of Faith =-.

    1. Hi Martin.

      That is a good way to take it. I’d say it is true. Being happy without making others happy is quite difficult. We feel like our happiness is in a vacuum in that regard.

      My best times have been when I have done or created good things for many.

      I dedicate this response to your term – co-inherence.

    1. Hi Jörgen.

      Thanks about the illustrations. I will do similar when illustration thoughts come to my mind later.

      I will check on that for TweetMeme. I sure like any suggestions like that.

    1. Hi Tess.

      Thanks about the diagrams. I must make more later.

      It is sometimes too late, but sometimes we are just in time to save what we have. Learning is not lost, though, once it is gained, so that is always a plus.

  10. Hey Armen, very nice article.

    I’ve noticed that it’s been awhile since you last posted, but I need some advise from you. I had a friend, long distant friend, she lives 3,000 miles away. We connected right away. We’ve had few arguments and issues b/w us but we got passed it after talking it out. Recently, I was going through a bad time with finding jobs and being rejected she was there for me to help me get past all the rejection.

    Couple of days ago she needed my help b/c she was feeling down about going to a college and living by herself. She was having a hard time b/c she couldn’t make friends as easily and I was trying to help her. In the end, I took her for granted put my needs first instead of being there in her bad times and helping her with her issues.

    I tried apologizing and owning my mistakes but its not getting me anywhere. Any advise on how I should approach this?

    1. Hi Harsh.

      This is a bit of a tough one. Were your apologies full apologies or very quick ones to try and cancel out how you didn’t support her so much at her time of need? A sincere apology that points out what you learned from your error will go a long way. Maybe you could write her a piece about how she did a lot for you and how you appreciate it, and that you would like her to give you a chance to talk with her again when she is ready. There is not much more than this that you can do at this time. Let her let you know when she wants to talk with you again.

  11. Hi Armen,
    People very often take their spouse for granted and this isn’t good for any relationship. We should take care of our beloved and appreciate them.

    Thanks a lot for this reminder!!!

  12. Hi Armen.

    I was one of these people. I took my girlfriend for granted all the time, finally she got tired and ended the relationship. She doesn´t want to know anything about me anymore. I was too stupid and immature to realize who I was losing, all she did was caring about me and trying to make me a better person, exactly what you said in this article. Do you think it’s possible for someone to forgive after they see the other person has changed? Or should I just let her go. I don’t know what to do, please help me.
    Thank you, this article was an eye-opener.

    1. Hey Ruben.

      This is what happens at times. It’s a pretty good learning experience. It is not really likely someone will forgive much in this type of instance. It could be the case after years of relationship, but most likely you should let the person go. Don’t think that you lost out on something. People tend to do this, but all you need to do is figure out what you learned for next time.

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