Why do People Treat Me Badly?

It’s often that I get asked this question! ‘Why do people treat me badly or like shit even though I am very humble and polite in nature?‘. Brace yourself, as the answer may hurt a little more! But, there is good news, and there is something you can do about it!

Why people treat you bad…

Here are a few reasons why you may end up being the victim and why people might not treat you nicely. Go through the list and determine which one applies to you. Take a mental note of the (multiple) points that might be relevant to you.

You’re suffering from nice guy syndrome

Being the nice guy usually means you’ll end up being last. When you are trying to constantly please a person or many people, you may actually not be true to your self. This is being inauthentic. Your authenticity needs to be real, but when you are always being nice, your in-authenticity shows and people will either not trust you, or they’ll treat you like shit.

You’re putting people on a pedestal

Similar to number one, you’re actually putting other people ‘on a pedestal’. You’re elevating them to a higher standard for no real reason. By putting others on a pedestal, your ‘downgrading’ yourself.

You’re bending over backwards for people

This is also related to the first point because you’re trying to be nice. More often you’ll go the extra mile and literally do things for people that you don’t even want to do.

You’re available at any time for other people, on call

If a friend, colleague or anyone for that matter, calls you up for a favour – do you jump at the opportunity? But do you do it with ill feelings inside? even when you don’t want to?

By making yourself available to others any time, any where, you’re reflecting a low value personality. You’re essentially telling people that your time is not valuable.

You’re trying to fit in ‘too much’

Do you try to fit in with others, even when deep down you feel like you don’t belong there?

You’re constantly buying gifts because you’re pressured to do so, or you feel obliged, and you do not really want to


This goes for your close friends, family, even your spouse, or partner. The worse thing is once you fall into this trap you feel bad or let down now by other people. But it’s not other people’s fault. It’s yours, you’re being passive aggressive and you’re being the ‘nice guy’.

Your time and presence are the most precious commodities that exist. If you’re giving your precious time or presence to other people at any given second, on call, you’re essentially subconsciously communicating to them that your time nor your presence is really worth that much. In fact if you can’t value your time or presence, they why should they? See valuable things aren’t just given away. They’re earnt.

So others should be earning your time, presence and at that, trust.

How to stop being treated badly by others

Okay, so that you know why you’re being treated badly, it’s time to take a look and see what you can do about it! You’ll note the above reasons why people treat you badly – are coming back at you. They relate to what you do. Not what others are doing.

All that Passive Aggressiveness!

On that note, it’s time to look at yourself and face the reality. All those favors you did in the past, all those times you did the nice guy thing, what were you really after? Really think about it. Even if it means, you only did it to please people, you were still passive aggressive. See, the way that works is like this.

You do a favor for someone. You want them to do something in return. In your mind, that is the contract. But you haven’t really told them this. Instead you just expect. The other person doesn’t reciprocate – they have not obligation to do so. So you get angry. Like a little child you get upset. But you never tell them this. Instead you just harbor that feeling and the anxiety within.

But you end up doing it again. Rinse and repeat. You do it again. And again…. And again.

So, you need to ask yourself, are you being passive aggressive? Maybe it’s also time to see if you’ve been playing the victim?

Learn to say no

Get them to reciprocate any favors you do. Let them know that what you did was a favor and expect them to give back to you by communicating it explicitly. Hold them to that verbal contract, instead of being passive aggressive about it.

In fact, learn to say no. You will be surprised – it’s the opposite of you you’ve lived all your life. In fact you thought that if you did things for people they wouldn’t treat you badly! Oh, how wrong you were!

Photography of a Persons Hand With Stop Signage

This goes back to you preserving your time and presence. You can’t be going around saying yes to everything and everyone. Respect your time and get others to respect it also. How do you say no? Like this: ‘No‘. That’s it. You don’t even need to apologise for it. Although, you need to have basic level of communication skills, don’t just be blunt and say no. Tell them why. Explain that you are busy, or you have your hands full. Whatever the reason be, make sure they understand that to say yes would be to bend space and time!


Introducing frame. Frame is your little shell that you operate in. I like to visualize my frame as this clear shell around me, like an egg that surrounds me. I let in what I want into the shell. What I let in is respectful, mutual, and pleasant conversation. But most people will try to break your frame, your shell. They will criticize you, curse at you, or be ‘mean’ to you in some way shape or form. It’s up to you to strengthen your frame by not letting words effect it.

I like to visualize that if some one is saying anything crude or that I don’t like, I imagine they’re throwing pebbles or rocks at my shell. How strong is my shell? will it crack? No. I don’t want it to crack, so I make it thicker. The pebbles just bounce off. There words don’t effect your emotions unless you want them to.

If I’m getting angry or upset at other’s words, then I know my frame is cracking. I can visually see that my shell is cracking. I need to make it stronger.

Draw a Boundary

Most likely if you’re coming out of being a nice guy, you’re going to receive flak for that too. ‘Look at this hot shot’, ‘oh, too busy for us!’, ‘what do you mean you can’t do it?!’. That’s OK, you’ve got a frame now, stuff like that doesn’t impact your emotions. Learn to control that anxiety. But draw a line. If they start to disrespect you now, you need to draw your boundary.

Let them know they are crossing that boundary, it won’t be tolerated, and that there is no room for negotiation. Repeat that like a broken record. If they don’t listen, it’s time to let go. Move. Change your environment. They can’t treat your badly if you don’t hang around them!

In fact if they are a repeat offender, you really need to consider what value they provide into your life – you may have to face the inevitable. It’s time to let go of that person or they stay in your ‘ignore zone’ forever on wards.

Remove yourself from the negative people

When you’ve tried to

Is it true though?

Ask yourself if what people are saying is true though. You could be receiving critical feedback, which you’re choosing to perceive as being crude or disrespect. The other person could be trying to communicate with you, an important message! But if indeed it’s not true, don’t let it get to you- because it’s not true, right? If it is true, then they are right, you are wrong. Accept that and fix whatever it is they are critiquing you about!

So there you have it. As much as you want to be the nice person. It doesn’t automatically work that way. So to prevent your self from destroying your ego and go into self destructive mode, I suggest you read this also.


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