Stop putting into others more than what they put into you. Stop being readily available, eager to talk, and going out of your way to do things for your friends, family or lover when deep down you know that they won’t do the same for you. Stop saying ‘yes’ to everything and start saying ‘no’ to protect yourself. Start demanding that they give you time. Start holding your heart tightly against your chest rather than carrying it in your palms, ready to sprinkle on everyone whom you love. Start asking for care in return, for love in return, for time in return. Stop saying ‘it’s okay’ when they cancel on you again and again. Stop forgiving them when they say hurtful things because ‘deep down, I know they didn’t mean it’. Stop making excuses for others and start focusing on the reasons why you should put yourself first. Start accepting that you’re being taken for granted because you’re too nice, too giving, too loving and too hopeful that maybe they will come around and return the same level of care that you give to them. Start believing the truth – that they are getting too comfortable, too relaxed where they are because you don’t complain. Because you don’t raise your voice to tell them that you’re feeling unloved. Stop spoon-feeding love to people who won’t make half the effort with you. Stop being the one who calls them first, who texts them first, who makes the plans and goes out of their way to do things for them. Start taking a step back. Let them call you. Let them text you. Let them realise that you won’t be there forever, showering them with affection and kindness. Let them make the effort with you. Let them treat you special. Let them understand how much you mean to them because if you’re always there, readily available, they tend to forget that there might be a possibility that you won’t be anymore. Stop doing this to yourself because when someone takes you for granted, it is partly because you’ve let them become this comfortable. Take a stand. Tell them how you feel. And let them take care of you for once.