6 Ways to Respond When Someone Takes Advantage of You

Several months ago, I moved into a new house. During the inspection of my old house, I was expecting to receive my whole security deposit back.

I didn’t. The landlady took advantage of the situation and withheld part of my deposit.

She charged me the price of cleaning the whole house even though I was only renting a room in the house. And she charged for me something that was already damaged when I moved in, falsely claiming that I was the one who damaged the item.

There really wasn’t much I could do. The amount of money she was keeping wasn’t enough to make legal action worthwhile. Nor, obviously, could I force her to give me the money.

What made the situation even worse is that I had repeatedly gone out of my way to help the landlady. Whenever she asked me for a simple favor, I did my best to oblige.

The truth is that I considered her a friend. Yet in the end, all she cared about was money.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a calm, easy-going person. It takes a lot to get me upset.

This got me upset. I ranted. I raved. I yelled. All to no avail.

I was completely powerless to change the situation, which is probably what caused me to react the way I did.

I’m not proud of how I acted in this situation. I obviously felt quite frustrated and my feeling of powerlessness fueled my anger.

At the same time, I know that I could have handled the situation better, that I could have behaved in a more mature way.

Since this happened several months ago, I’ve had plenty of time and emotional distance to think through what I could have done differently.

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