Toxic Friends

How To Know If a Friend Is Using You – Let’s Uncover the Truth

How To Know If a Friend Is Using You - 12 Helpful Signs To Know

Friendships are based on mutual trust and support. Therefore, when a friend is in need, your first thought is to help them. But how to know if a friend is using you? Are they really distressed and in need, or are they just using you for their advantage? Red flags are not only to be seen in relationships but also in friendships!

There is a thin line between being a good friend and being taken advantage of. So, how do you figure out if you are being used by a friend for their benefit? In this article, we will explore the signs your friend is using you. 

How to Know If a Friend Is Using You – Some Signs

1.      They contact you only when they need you

Wondering how to know if a friend is using you? Pay attention to this key sign of being used! If they only contact you when they need a favor and are not around when you need them, then buddy, you are being used!

They text you when they need a ride for something or want to vent out to you after a break-up or a bad day at work. But, when it’s their turn to listen to you, they are nowhere to be found, then they are using you. Their selective availability is proof of it.

2.      They don’t listen to you

They don’t actually pay attention to the things you share with them. Besides, they forget that you are allergic to peanuts and bring over a Thai salad for you! Not just this, but they forget important dates and events in your life. What kind of a friend, isn’t it?

A true friend values things important to you and pays close attention to those things. It is not expected that a friend must remember every small detail of your life, but knowing what’s important to you and keeping that in mind is necessary for a genuine friendship.

3.      The conversations are all about them

If you constantly listen to their life and drama and can’t remember the last time they asked you about you and your life, it’s definitely a red flag. If they don’t show any interest in your life and go on and on about the problems in their life, then they just see you as someone to vent out to.

4.      They never check on you

Scroll through your messages, and you’ll find that you never get a text from them asking how you are doing. Even if you don’t meet up for days, it doesn’t matter to them, and they never message you asking if there’s something wrong. A true friend will connect with you regularly, asking about your health and life.

5.      You are the one doing all the work

Are you putting in all the effort? Are you the one initiating contact with them or making plans with them? You go over to them with a pack of soup when they are unwell, and you lend them money when they need it urgently. However, these favors are rarely reciprocated, which is a sign that they are using you.

6.      They manipulate you and guilt-trip you

Do you find yourself doing things for certain friends because they manipulated you by saying things such as “If you’re my true friend, you’ll do this for me?” Do you feel guilty and give in to them? My dear friend, it means that you are being taken on guilt trips!

A real friend would never manipulate you into doing something for them; they would ask you for it directly. So, don’t give in to such sweet talks or hidden threats, and do favors for such friends.

7.      They talk behind your back

There are set boundaries in any genuine friendship. You do not share your friends’ secrets with others, and you do not say negative things behind their backs. However, if certain friends talk negatively behind your back or share confidential things about you with others, then it’s time to bid adieu to such toxic friendships!

8.      You are unable to trust them

You have tried multiple times and given them many chances, yet they constantly disappoint you. Moreover, you really needed them after a failure or a heartbreak, but they were nowhere to be seen!

If you can’t count on friends when it really matters and they are not around for you, it is a toxic friendship, and you need to let go.

9.      They spend time with you only when it’s convenient for them

If you find yourself constantly adjusting to your friend’s schedule, then it means they don’t care about your schedule and keep on wanting you to adjust. Undoubtedly, true friends find time for each other and make adjustments.

10.  They ignore you in social settings or exclude you

They don’t share any social media posts about you, and when you’re in a social setting, they stay away from you and talk to other people to the point of ignoring you. 

Besides, they seem like they don’t want to be associated with you. Rather, they exclude you by not inviting you to important events.

11.  They cancel plans at the last minute

Has your friend ditched you a bit too many times at the last moment? Then, they might be using you. They may be keeping you as a backup, but they might cancel the plans with you when something better comes up. This means that you are too low on their priority list.

12.  They are mean to you when you don’t provide them with what they want

Another classic sign of manipulative people who are using you is when they are mean to you or when they disappear when you refuse to give them what they want. 

They are not used to listening to ‘no’ as an answer, and their ego might get hurt. Or they may see that you no longer serve their purpose and might disappear for a certain period until they need something from you again.

Parting Thoughts

Now that you have read the signs of how to know if a friend is using you – pay attention to their behavior and what they say to you. Be sure to set firm boundaries in friendships and go out of the way only for people who reciprocate, ask you about your life, and consider you when they make plans.

Always remember not to make any person a priority when they treat you only as an option. Friendships should be nurturing and full of support and love for each other. They shouldn’t make you feel less worthy and take a toll on your mental health. If they do so, staying away from such friends is important.  

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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