Unfortunately, nice people are taken advantage of from time to time. When you are inclined to always say “yes” or help, others may take it as a signal that you are a good tool to utilize. Maybe this person is not so much your “friend” as they are an opportunist who sees you as a good way to give themselves a little leverage.
When a friend uses you, they are not your friend.
What I mean by using is when one person requests or accepts resources, aid, or emotional support from someone else without considering the positive and negative affects of their networking on that other person. Many of us, as friends, want to do what we can to make our friends happy, help in their success, and help them up if they fall down. Nowadays, everything is about who you know and how that relationship can get you where you need to go. Friends who understand the need for networking want to be a good business outlet as much as they want to be your go- to person for Friday night concerts. That is what friends who care about each other do; they support you through all things. What a friend shouldn’t do is be more appreciative of the things you offer them than you yourself.
Appreciation is one of the best forms of love.
Sometimes a friend might be using you and you do not even realize it. I am more often than not one of those people. Being this type of person is self- detrimental, as you often realize that you are being taken advantage of too late to salvage both yourself and your friendship. Onlookers might chalk such a false judge of character up to naïveté, but I think a person who is being used is not naïve.
You are a selfless giver and want to see the good in every person.
If and when you realize that someone you call a friend is using you, confront them about it as soon as you notice. The confrontation does not necessarily have to be confrontational, but you will need to be clear in how this person is making you feel. Own up to your own emotions and express that you feel ______. Explain the extent to which you are willing to help others, and then draw the line as to where help becomes exploitation. Do not brush it off and let the other person continue on with their inconsiderate behavior. Once you establish that boundary, stick to it.
I hate having to say that you have to stick to it, as it is not your fault that other people want to abuse your kindness.
You should not change how you are for the sake of anyone.
I am against changing positive aspects of your personality so that other people will not treat you poorly due to them. Friends who use you need to do some self- reflection. What you may need to do is be a little more aware of the fact that others may use you as a loophole to their success.
If the buddy who is using you doesn’t understand what you are saying, I hope you have the strength to mend your relationship or let it go.
More About the Author
Wandy is currently a French/ English major at St. John’s University in New York City. When she’s not rushing out of class to catch pics of the day’s sunset for her personal Insta @wandayyyyy, she can be found writing for Odyssey Online & Society19, dousing her quarter- life crisis in that third cup of coffee, or watching videos of cute dogs.
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