Healthy Vibes

How To Handle a Friend Who Uses You?

How To Handle a Friend Who Uses You - The Ultimate Guide

Does your friend call you only when they need you for something? Do you feel they never reciprocate your good deeds or even check up on you when you are quiet? Then, the person who you might think is your friend might turn out to be a frenemy instead! So, how to handle a friend who uses you?

Friendships are supposed to be all about love, affection, and care. Instead, if you feel used, canceled, and ignored, you might be in a toxic friendship with someone using your kindness toward them.

Unique Ways on How to Handle a Friend Who Uses You

Being there for a friend who is in need is, of course, a great thing. However, setting boundaries with people who might be taking advantage of you is very important.

Do not give in to emotional manipulation, and explore the following tips to help you handle a friend who uses you.

1.      Reflect on yourself and ask yourself how you feel

After you identify that a friend is using you, the first thing to address is to reflect and ask yourself how you feel about everything. Accepting and embracing your emotions is the first step before you confront them.

Once you are aware of your emotions and thoughts, it will put the whole thing into perspective, and you will be better prepared to talk it out with your friend. 

Pause and reflect on what aspect of your personality they are playing on. They might make you feel guilty or bad about certain things to get what they want from you. Once you analyze your behavior, you will be better equipped to work on yourself and protect yourself from further manipulation.

2.      Make sure that they are using you

Sometimes, it could be a misunderstanding that made you feel that they are using you, or a third person might be involved in creating drama in your friendship. Find out whether they have a history of using people. Also, identify how they might have used you.

So, please think twice before jumping to any conclusions and before you confront them. Follow your intuition and speak to them about it first.

3.      Talk to them and tell them how you feel

Be prepared for firm and open communication. Don’t give in if they play the victim or guilt trip you.

Communicate effectively and take full responsibility for your emotions. Express yourself and let them know how exactly you are feeling.

Use ‘I’ sentences such as ‘I feel…’ so they don’t get defensive. Don’t use extremes such as ‘always’ and ‘never.’ Show interest in what they might have to say.

4.      Set firm boundaries and reinforce them

Healthy relationships have healthy boundaries. Having personal boundaries and knowing when to say ‘no’ to someone is paramount. 

Let them know firmly that they have overstepped their boundaries, and you won’t allow it to happen again. Tell them what affected you or how they crossed your boundaries. 

For example, if a friend keeps asking you to pick them up from somewhere, even though it is not an emergency, tell them you can’t always make time for them, especially if you are stuck with some important work or an issue at home.

5.      Be careful of what you share with them

If you feel that a friend might be exploiting you and talking about you behind your back, then make sure you don’t share any important and private information with them. They might use it against you at the next chance they get.

A real friend will keep your secrets to themselves, but a toxic friend might use that information to get what they want.

6.      Try to slowly back away from the friendship

If the friendship and its toxicity are taking a toll on your daily routine and mental health, it is best to slowly back away from it. It is not easy to deal with manipulative people, and dealing with them may take too much time and energy.

It might be challenging to tackle their mood swings, ebbs and flows of their emotions, and their constant drama. Know when to move on and stay away from their drama.

7.      Start saying ‘no’ to them

‘No’ might seem like a small word, but it is very powerful. Don’t give in to their guilt trips, and don’t accept something if it doesn’t seem appropriate to you.

You are not selfish by establishing boundaries, and you are not disrespecting anyone. Don’t ponder thoughts such as ‘Will they refuse to hang out with me?’ or ‘Will they reject me if I do so?’. 

If they are being negative and not respecting your needs, they are not your real friends.

8.      Be less available to them

If they contact you only when they need something, the best way to tackle it is by being less available to them. It doesn’t mean you are being selfish; it means you are investing the same amount of time and effort as them into the friendship.

You do not need to drop things off; you can be available at their beck and call. Instead, reinvest all that energy into doing something productive and beneficial.

9.      Spend time with others

Fortunately, there are a lot of other people and friends who might be better for you. Don’t overthink about this one person and spend more time with different and better friends.

Be selective and look for friends with shared values and interests. Evaluate the person before giving them your time, energy, and attention.

10.  Remember that you deserve more

Don’t ever forget that you are worthy of love and respect. If someone is disrespecting you, it is up to you whether to continue the friendship with them or to walk away from it all.

Please don’t take everything they say or do personally. Some people are not self-aware and may not even know they are hurting you. Their preoccupation with themselves speaks more about them than about you.

11.  Be aware of the manipulation, but don’t play the victim

Know they might be manipulating you. However, you need to understand that you cannot control the way others behave with you, but you can control your reaction to them. 

Don’t allow others to use you; do not play the victim. You will be less likely to be in toxic friendships if you are self-aware and know your boundaries well.

When you find yourself in a tricky situation, think to yourself and ask yourself what you can do about this situation and what is in your control. Then, it will be easier for you to make decisions.

Parting Thoughts

Remember that if somebody is using you for their benefit, they are not your true friend. Accept this fact and walk away if needed.

So, if you ever wonder how to handle a friend who uses you? Then, be clear when expressing your feelings, and keep your distance from them until things get better. Stand up for yourself and demand the respect that you deserve.

Vishakha Naware

About Author

Vishakha Naware is a foreign language trainer, content and fiction writer and poet. Languages are not only her bread and butter, but also her passion. A former journalist by profession, she loves weaving stories and telling tales. She is also a keen observer and likes to use her observations in her writing. She is also an inquisitive traveler and a culture enthusiast who loves exploring and learning about new places and people. She loves cooking and baking, reading fiction books and binge-watching thrillers in her leisure time.

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