Figuring out you have been used leaves a greasy feeling in the pit of your stomach and bludgeons your self-esteem. Getting over it will take some time and effort. You will need to rebuild self-confidence and learn to spot users in the future. It is not the easiest process but there is a good chance you will come out stronger on the other side.
Learn From It
Christina Marchant from Your Tango warns against only hearing what you want to hear and working too hard for his attention. You can probably look back on the relationship and see the warning signs now that it is over. Be objective and viciously honest with yourself about what it was you refused to see when it was happening. This is the most effective way to avoid a repeat. That way when you encounter it again, you recognize it and shut it down before it starts.
Allow Yourself To Be Angry
Anger is a useful weapon in your getting-over-it arsenal. Jen Kim, in a Psychology Today article, recommends swearing. "Say it, whisper it, scream it – let it all out. Not only do you end up soothing the pain, you are also telling yourself that you are not going to be a victim." Be angry. Get it out of your system. It's liberating, not to mention he deserves whatever you call him whether he hears it or not. Then, like any other tool, put it away until you need it again.
Something rarely taught about forgiveness is that it is not always for the person who has wronged you. Being able to forgive the one who used you, regardless of whether he deserves it, is healing. MayoClinic.com says forgiveness leads to "healthier relationships" and "greater spiritual and psychological well-being." Harboring resentment or carrying a grudge ties you inextricably to the negative situation, which is as horrible as it sounds. Forgiveness cuts those strings and lets you move on, making you stronger. The stronger you are, the less likely you are to be used again.
Set Your Standards Higher
Now that you know what being used looks and feels like, do not let it happen again. Set the bar higher. Settle for nothing less than being valued and respected. In her article for Psychology Today, Jen Kim goes on to say, "You will meet someone else who will treat you well, be kind to you, love you..." Learning to say "no" is your first step. You are through being taken advantage of.
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