It really hurts to realize that a friend is using you for their own purposes. And, although, to the last, we may not believe in it, until we deeply look at the behavior of our friend. But even if you start noticing that he or she is behaving inappropriately, you shouldn’t be upset. Some people are simply incapable of true friendship. They know nothing else but how to use people for their own benefit. Therefore, if you suspect that one of your friends fits this description, then take a look at the signs below, as well as what you need to do in this situation.
How can you tell if a friend is using you for their own purposes?
1. He only calls when he needs something
If a friend is using you, then the most striking sign is that he only calls or comes in when he needs something. This may not be obvious at first. Because he will hide his intentions. For example, he calls just to chat. You talk for a long time, and during the conversation he mentions his problem. Perhaps his car broke down, or there is not enough money to pay for the apartment. That is, if he does not need anything, then he does not even remember about you.
He is not inclined to call during the holidays, does not give gifts, and does not offer to just meet and take a walk. You are not on his priority list, and he hardly ever thinks of you, unless he needs help. There is nothing wrong with doing a favor to your friends – it’s part of friendship! The problem arises when he does it only for his own benefit.
Your own well-being should be the top priority in any relationship. And recognizing the signs of a potentially unhealthy friendship doesn’t make you a bad person.
2. He doesn’t reciprocate
When a friend uses you for his own purposes, the whole point of this “friendship” is that he gets more out of it than you do. First, pay attention to how often he offers his help. The strongest friendships are built on helping each other, even if it’s uncomfortable at times. At the same time, you do not have to ask for something. Just see how often he offers his help. If he is constantly busy, or does not pay attention to your problems, then this is a bad sign.
3. He knows little about you
Another sign that a friend is using you for his own purposes is that he has little interest in your life. If he does not pay much attention to what you say, forgets important things about your friendship, then it is obvious that he is there for other reasons. And this has nothing to do with forgetfulness or inattention.
4. He spreads gossip about you
It is true that many people simply cannot live without gossip. It’s like any other addiction. But, if a loved one says bad things behind your back, then there is nothing to do with friendship. That is, he absolutely does not pay attention to both his reputation and yours. And it’s better to stay away from such people.
5. He’s never there if you need something
Perhaps a difficult situation has arisen in your life and you need support. And sometimes we are not even talking about money or resources, but we just want to talk to someone, so that we can simply be listened to and supported psychologically. It’s one thing if a person constantly complains and negative. This behavior will alienate anyone. But if you are a positive enough person, then you should feel support from loved ones.
6. You only communicate under certain circumstances
Sometimes the fact that a friend is using you for their own purposes can be hidden by circumstances. For example, you meet when you go to a nightclub. In this situation, he can use you to improve his social status, because you are popular in social circles and you are respected. See if your buddy wants to do something that is completely different from what you usually do together. After all, real friends are just happy to spend time with each other, and it doesn’t matter under what conditions and circumstances.
7. He becomes assertive or manipulative.
True friends always know boundaries, unlike those who want to use us only for profit. Manipulative people can often get offended and angry. They may try to manipulate with guilt when you say no and say something like, “I thought we were friends!” Beware of this kind of controlling behavior. True friends respect the free will of loved ones, and will be sympathetic to our decisions.
8. He said it himself
This may seem overly obvious, but quite often the person who uses others disguises their confession as an apology. He may say something like, “I know that I often ask you for help, and I rarely call just to chat. But I am now having a difficult period. Sorry! ” But if he says this, and does not make any effort to change the approach to your friendship, then he is deliberately using you.
9. He is not interested in your point of view
A friend’s unwillingness to “put aside his point of view” for a moment to hear yours is a common pattern of behavior for a person who wants nothing but benefits. Such people usually do not listen to the opinions of others, even if they are presented with a logical explanation why they should do differently.
10. He knows all your weaknesses and exploits them.
Do not be surprised if a person uses your weaknesses or other information against you. Emotional manipulators are well versed in human emotions and quickly use them against us.
How to confront a manipulative friend
1. Keep Calm
Anger prevents a person from thinking and reasoning. Plus, it could be part of his plan. Therefore, try not to be nervous once again and not to attract his attention. For example, instead of calling him a “liar,” say that you simply disagree with his position.
2. Be honest
You should not close your eyes to those situations when a friend uses you for his own purposes. Say you noticed his manipulative behavior. But give him the opportunity to speak out on this matter. At the same time, be firm, trust your intuition, and don’t apologize.
3. Tell us about the consequences
It may be necessary to talk about the consequences of his actions, in the event that he does not stop bending his line. Effective communication of possible consequences can lead to positive changes in human behavior.
4. Don’t be afraid to say no
Sometimes people start using someone who is responsive and dependable. They just got used to hearing you say yes all the time. Therefore, they constantly ask for help, and over time they even stop paying attention to it. In certain situations, it takes courage to say no. But as a result, you will start to feel better if you do this. Being able to say no firmly will build self-confidence and keep you from being used in the future.
Break off relations with him
If you have determined that a friend is using you for his own purposes, while he does not want to change his position, then it is better to part with him. It may not be easy. But such a relationship destroys us psychologically. Break off the relationship directly. Seriously ask him not to mess with you anymore. There is no need to argue or feel guilty. Avoiding these toxic relationships is the norm. And you deserve to have loyal and true friends around.
How to identify a manipulative person in advance
- He intimidates or insults other people;
- He is not telling the truth;
- Often depicts an innocent person;
- Blames other people often;
- He sees no personal boundaries.
The basic principle to remember is that a fake friend who wants to use you will only focus on their own gains. Everything in your friendship will serve as a means to achieve his goals, and you will find that you do not get satisfaction from this friendship.
Therefore, we need to carefully approach the choice of people whom we let into our lives. No need to waste time with people who only want benefits. This time is best spent making real connections with people who love and respect us.