Get What You Deserve

Always find yourself settling for less? Here's how to fight for your rights—while playing it nice.
by Anj Santos   |  Mar 27, 2010
photo by Dakila Angeles
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We all know how good it feels to make other people happy, but what if they always insist on having their way? When people demand too much from you, or don't give you the credit that's due, you can feel like you're on the losing end. But don't be upset. It sucks to be treated unfairly, but there's no need to put on those boxing gloves just yet. Here are better, more peaceful ways of turning your sticky state into a win-win situation!

When a friend turns user-friendly

The Plot: Do you always find yourself shelling out money for a friend's lunch, and while she promises to pay you back, she never does? Or maybe you've been losing too much sleep from working on that project alone-because your partner is missing in action. It sure feels good to help your friends, but know that there's a fine line between being a friend and being a doormat.

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Think Win-Win: Don't give your friend or partner the silent treatment. It's actually the most ineffective way to get what you want. If you're very sure that your friend hasn't simply forgotten what she owes you, maybe it's time to have a heart-to-heart talk.

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Your Game Plan: Gently explain to her how her actions affect you, like how it's been hard for you to save money for your mom's birthday present because you used your allowance to cover for her, or how you haven't been able to study because you've been working on the project alone. Being honest about your feelings works best because if she's a true friend, she wouldn't want you to suffer from her actions.

When mom and dad have you parent-trapped

The Plot: It's Friday night, and as usual, you're having a hard time getting your parents' permission to join your barkada for a movie. They tell you that you can go to your best friend's party next week-but when the night finally comes, they tell you to stay home instead! All this while your teenage brother is free to go out and take the car with him.

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Think Win-Win: You've heard it a gazillion times-your parents only want what's best for you. There's just one reason why parents do this, and it's that they want to keep you safe from all the bad guys out there. Find out the reason why they always keep you at home, then try to negotiate.

Your Game Plan: Is it a matter of safety? Try arranging a reasonable curfew and make sure that someone your parents know and trust will take you home. Or could it be a matter of trust? Parties don't have to be outrageous to be fun. Make a promise to your parents that you will avoid places where sex, drugs, smoking, and drinking take place-and keep it. When your parents realize they can trust you, they might even give you a later curfew!

When a teacher's expectations just can't be reached

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The Plot: It's your resolution to do better in school and you're definitely working on it. Extra hours at the lib? Check. Meticulous note taking? Check. Active participation in class discussions? Check. So when you get an F for the paper you gave up your usual weekend movie for, you really think your teacher's got it all wrong.

Think Win-Win: Try to be as objective as you can about the situation, because for every teacher, there's a certain level of expectation. It will help to get an idea of what a teacher expects from you, so you can deliver better results next time.

Your Game Plan: If your teacher already gave out your graded papers and you feel you deserve a higher grade, then go ahead and consult with her-just do it with utmost respect. Explain the effort you put in, and ask what aspects you could improve on the next time. Clarify things about the lesson that aren't clear to you. Consulting with a teacher will give you a better idea on what to focus on, not to mention give you brownie points for wanting to do better.

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When your guy becomes no good

The Plot: So you have a boyfriend. For the first few months, it seemed like heaven-the marathon phone calls, the movie dates, and the kilig you feel when he texts you sweet nothings. But lately, he doesn't seem to be that guy anymore. He's been texting you less, not returning your calls, or worse, still refuses to meet your parents even after you've dated for a year.

Think Win-Win: As guys would always say, they aren't mind readers. Girls aren't, either. Although intuition does count, your best bet in knowing why he's suddenly behaving that way is to hear it straight from his mouth. Maybe he's been too busy, or maybe he simply wants out-whatever the reason is, you deserve an explanation.

Your Game Plan: In this case, it will work to make the first move, so try to reach out to him. Just don't use the "we need to talk" tactic, or he'll run in the opposite direction. When you do get to sit down with him, wait till he's at ease-then ask why he's been acting differently these days. An honest sharing of your feelings should make him want to make up for lost time with you. If he still neglects you, then maybe it's about time you found yourself a better guy.

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Out of Bounds
Sometimes, you've just got to back down and admit you're not right.

The Sitch: Your friend still owes you money for a movie ticket-and she's been ditching your barkada movie nights all of a sudden.
The Glitch:
Her family is going through financial troubles.

The Sitch: Your parents kept you grounded at home-with no gimmicks and no phone.
The Glitch:
You've missed one too many curfews, and went out without permission.

The Sitch: You failed a test you pulled an all-nighter for.
The Glitch:
You missed class several times and tried to study by yourself.

The Sitch: Your boyfriend hasn't called or spent time with you today.
The Glitch:
Your guy's got other things to attend to-a family gathering, final exams, and yes, his own bunch of friends.

REAX!
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About the author
Anj Santos
Council of Cool 7
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