11 Ways To Tell If You're Using Someone In A Friendship
Friendship is all about balance. In the healthiest of friendships, favors are exchanged out of good nature and trust. Friends care about each other, so they want the best for each other. If one person is in a position to help the other, they offer to help out of the goodness of their heart, and the other friend might accept with deep gratitude. But in many friendships, the flow of favors are uneven. One person is doing a lot more taking than they are giving. If you scroll through your phone, you'll probably find a few conversations that are led by your requests. Did your stomach just drop?
We're all guilty of using people from time to time — it's not always a conscious crime. But if you become aware of your behavior, it's wise to consider that the person you're using is aware of it, too. No one wants to feel used; it stirs insecurities and trust issues. But you're not a horrible person if you've just noticed that there are a few people in your life who are maybe treating you better than you treat them. The trick is catching yourself before the issue comes to a head and correcting your behavior. These are 11 ways to identify if you're using someone.
You Always Have An Agenda
Whenever you see this person, you have an objective. You've already thought about what you want from them. There are certain talking points you plan on hitting and you don't plan on leaving until you hit your marks. You're terribly disappointed if you can't complete your task, even if you had a great time with this person.
You're Guilty Of Selective Listening
It's not that you don't care what this person is saying, but you tend to pay more attention when the information serves you. You often have to tell this person to repeat a story because you have no memory of hearing it the first time. You're only focused on conversational points that revolve around you.
You Don't Include Others In Your Plans
You're always down to accept an invitation but rarely extend them. You have no problem being this person's plus one without any reciprocation. You just assume they wouldn't want to be included.
You Only Do What's Convenient For You
You're not going to go out of your way for this person, but you will do whatever works with your schedule. If they ask you do to something that's not convenient for you, you have an excuse. It's totally one-way.
You're Always Asking For Something
You might not even realize it, but every time you talk to this person, you're asking for something. Whether it's a big ask or a small favor, you always have your hand out. If you look back through your correspondence, every conversation was initiated with a request.
You're Emotionally Disconnected
You're so used to behaving this way, it's not stressful for you to ask for things. You've put distance between you and this person so that you never feel awkward asking for things. You don't care about how it makes them feel.
You Always Have An Excuse
You rarely give other people leeway, but you personally always have an excuse for your behavior. You're in a rush, so you only have time to ask for a favor, and no time to catch up. You're sick, so you just need to get straight to the point. There's always a reason for why you're asking for something without shame.
You Manipulate The Situation In Your Favor
You're always on the look out for how to spin things to your benefit. Because you're using this person, you don't want anything to get in the way of you and your goal. You have an uncanny ability to always turn the attention back to you, no matter how inappropriate it is. "Sorry your boyfriend dumped you, but could you connect me with your colorist, my roots are a serious problem."
You Have Nothing To Offer
You've convinced yourself that you have nothing of value to offer this person and that they wouldn't want anything anyway. You've thought about offering them something arbitrary to level the field, but you always end up telling yourself that they wouldn't be interested in anything you have.
You Rationalize What You Deserve
The only way for you to feel comfortable with constantly taking is to convince yourself that you deserve everything you get. You believe that you deserve the free service of others and so you shouldn't have to think twice about taking it. The world owes you.
You Feel Guilty Reading This
A part of you has always been aware of the imbalance in your friendship but you never let yourself dwell on it because you depend on that person too much. And while you don't particularly care if you're using someone, you care about being called out, which is why you might be reading this to see if your behavior is all that obvious. But if you are using a friend, it's never too late to rectify the situation and mend your friendship. Even if it doesn't seem like it, you definitely have something to offer them. And sometimes just the offer is enough.