On the hot pursuit of chasing greatness, we are going to come into contact with all types of people. Maybe those people fit into the category Paulo Coelho describes in The Alchemist, someone in the universe that conspires to help you.
However, there's a whole different lot on the other end of the spectrum. Among those willing to tear you down, gossip about you, and those who try to sabotage your career, there's also someone we like to call the parasite.
There are some people who are so used to not adding value to other people's lives that all they do is take and take and take. They may look at you, think you have all your ducks in a row, and not think twice about asking for things they aren't willing to give themselves. We're talking time, money, resources, etc.
In every relationship, mutualism must be a key component of its foundation. If both parties aren't contributing value in some way, one side may feel like they've received the short end of the stick. Taken advantaged of. Used.
This post is not suggesting you don't give. Absolutely not. I believe that giving in a sincere, cheerful manner is the "secret" of a living a more fulfilling life. I believe it brings joy and peace, and it's a way for us to sow good energy into the universe.
However, there's a major difference between giving to someone because you want to versus shelving out dollars, time, and resources to people who believe you're an easy target to get what they want from.
This is why I believe we need to use caution, exercise discretion, and not feel guilty about setting clear boundaries when it comes to certain people. In order for you not to be a part of a parasitic relationship -- whether it's family members, business connections, friendships, etc. -- you must make sure mutualism is the foundation. Both parties must add value.
If you realize all someone is doing is taking from you with no shame or regard for your wholeness, then I would rethink the relationship. Establish some clear guidelines, and refrain from feeling guilty for putting your foot down.
Don't allow someone to use you up. With some people, if you give them an inch, they'll take a mile. Be selective with whom you trust your mileage.