Today’s society gives credence to Julius Nyerere’s assertion that Kenya is a ‘man-eat-man’ society. The youth especially have fallen victims of this phenomenon as politicians, family or employers use them as a means to an end. This article tells you how to take charge of your life and say no to exploitation.

Know your value:
Understanding your value is the first step towards freedom. The moment you show people that you know who you are they will automatically respect you. In other words, you need to put a price tag on yourself. As they say, you only live once. Don’t be a people pleaser. Let your ‘yes’ be a yes and your ‘no’ be no. Doing otherwise will make you susceptible to the whims of others.

Set the example: You are the person to show others how you want them to treat you. Your response to someone’s behaviour teaches them what is and isn’t acceptable. Remember, people will always do what works for them and they assume it also works for others. But this usually isn’t the case. If someone is treating you badly, you need to tell them in a gentle and firm way from the onset.

Be confident: Don’t shy from speaking your mind especially when you know you are right. Being shy will only set you up for exploitation. Most of the times people are undervalued because they undervalue themselves. If you want to be accepted, accept yourself first. Give yourself credit for your achievements and accept correction when it is given. Focus on the people who care for you and put those who don’t in the back burner. Physically care for yourself too because a healthy body makes a healthy mind.

Keep boundaries: As the adage goes, ‘familiarity breeds contempt’. When it comes to being exploited, people who exploit you are those who know you more and thus take you for granted. You therefore need to take caution on which kind of people you let in your inner circle. Lock out those who don’t add value to your life and those who need you only when they need something. Time is the most valuable resource we have and if utilised well, we can do more. Hence you need to decide on what to do with it, as having a lot of free time gives room for others to use you.

Share with somebody about it: If you feel somebody is taking advantage of you, seek support. Talking to someone you trust about what’s happening is not only a great way to off load a little, but you might also find a solution to working your way out of it. The person might also act as a mediator who will help you face the person exploiting you.