It’s tough to say “no” to people. What makes it even more tougher is when the other person is nice/has done nice things for you. Sometimes, this ‘niceness’ makes us vulnerable to manipulation or abuse. One example is the concept of ‘friendzone’. Some men believe that just because they are nice to women, the ladies owe them sex.
It’s of course important to remember the nice things that people have done for us and if possible, we must try to repay them. But the problem occurs when people alternate between good and abusive behaviour. Of course, no human being can be always nice but when it comes to manipulation, niceness becomes a strategy for abuse.
It’s important to remember that ‘good deeds’ of the past cannot be used to justify abuse in the present. Even if a person has *genuinely* done something nice for you, it doesn’t mean he/she will use it to do bad things.
There are people who do mean things and say they are doing it for your good or for society’s good or for God or whoever. These people are arrogant enough to believe that they know what’s good for you. But the point here is that even if they are correct, they don’t have the right to abuse you. For example: your parents might have told you that that the man you love is an asshole. They may be right but in case you marry him and he is indeed a jerk, then you parents shouldn’t use it to shame you or look down on you. This is an important point, which Dr. Robin Stern talks about in her book on gaslighting (see my previous posts).