I never understood why people talk about "taking advantage" of people like it's bad. Actually, that's a lie. I do understand. But here's why they're wrong:
1. They falsely assume something deceitful is going on.
People assume that when you "take advantage" of someone, you're doing it with complete disregard for him or her. The idea is that you are taking advantage at the cost of the other person, in a way that may hurt them. I don't think people should ever do this, but people take advantage of each other all the time, and in most cases the benefit is mutual.
2. If you get anything out of interacting with another person, you're taking advantage of them.
And that's a good thing! You do not have to receive monetary or physical gain to take advantage of someone. Even if you only get intellectual or emotional enjoyment out of interacting with someone, you're taking advantage of something you can get from him or her.
3. If you can't take advantage of someone, you shouldn't interact with him or her.
If someone has nothing to offer you in any way, you should not interact with him or her. (Keep in mind that emotional or intellectual benefits are real and should not be ignored!) By definition, if you benefit in no way from interacting a person, he or she is either a waste of your time or a detriment to your well-being.
4. If someone can't take advantage of you, you should stop interacting with him or her.
If you find that your interaction with someone does nothing to contribute to his or her well-being, get out of his or her life! If you're not benefiting someone else, you are, at best, a waste of his or her time. Most likely, you are actually making him or her unhappy.
5. Stop freaking out when you think someone's "taking advantage" of you.
Because everyone should be! And trust me, I'm not the only person who thinks this way. Immanuel Kant declared that you should never use people "merely as a means." But this doesn't mean you shouldn't be using them at all.
All it means is that when you take advantage of someone, you must consider your impact on them and refrain from acting in intentionally hurtful ways. In addition, you must make sure that the other person benefits from your interaction as well.