How to Know if a Friend is Only Using You and What to Do About It

Being used by a friend
Photo by Shi Min Teh

In life, if we are lucky, we meet people who become our friends for life. They listen to our woes, share our laughter, and help us celebrate our milestones in life. If you already have these people in your life, then keep them close and never let them go.

With that being said, there are times when we meet people who we think are our friends, but they think otherwise. It may not look like that at first but always remember that appearances can be deceiving, and we may not know it yet but those who we’re lending our shoulders to are actually the ones ready to stab us in the back.

Signs your friend is only using you

How do you know if your friend is actually your friend and not someone who’s using you? We’ve come up with five important signs to look out for:

1. You’re only her friend if she needs you.
As her friend, it’s completely normal for her to ask help from you, because that’s what friends are for, right? We help each other out in times of need. But if your so-called friend only remembers you when she has a problem, then that can be a bit suspicious.

A fake friend will not waste her precious time keeping up the friendship with you because she doesn’t see you the same way that you do, but this won’t stop her from asking for your help if the situation benefits her. You are only valuable to her if she needs something from you and the moment you give your help; she disappears as if nothing has happened. You’re nothing but a passing memory to her.

2. She talks behind your back.
You may feel that you’re not completely sure about this, because you have only heard whispers from your other friends as well. A true friend is someone who stays true even if you’re not there and will defend your honor in front of people trying to defame it. A user friend, on the other hand, will take advantage of your absence in the group.

They will spout lies, embed doubts in the minds of other people, and they will try their best to make you look bad. It may be from their own insecurities, their own flaws, who knows? The important thing is that you know that your true friends won’t believe a word of it.

ALSO READ: Fake People: How to Identify and Deal with Them

3. There’s a need to feel in charge.
If you’re hanging out with a fake and user friend, you will get a sense of need to feel in charge. She decides where to go, what you two are going to eat, and how you’re going to spend your time together. She doesn’t value your input so why ask you in the first place?

If you feel left out or if you sense that she’s making an effort for you to feel left out, then it’s better to take note of these signs right away.

4. She’s not there when you need her.
A friend is someone whom you can rely on and you know that you’re good at that. But when it comes to your so-called friend, you might say otherwise. She’s never there for you in times of crisis, she doesn’t hang out with you to catch up, and she basically doesn’t care in general.

But when it comes to her, she insists on her presence and your involvement in her problems even at times when you really can’t help. If she does this a lot, you may want to start questioning her loyalty.

5. They get upset if you don’t follow what they want.
The last major sign to look out for is if they get upset if they don’t get what they want from you. Let’s say your “friend” appear out of nowhere after several weeks, asking to borrow some money from you for a problem. You answer that you’d like to help but you’re also tight as well so you have to say no.

If she’s a true friend, she will understand and thank you for taking the time to help her, but if she’s only using you, she will not only be upset but have the audacity to make you feel guilty about not helping her in the first place.

ALSO READ: True Friends vs Fake Friends: What are the Differences?

How to deal with a selfish friend

Now that you’ve learned how to spot the signs of a fake friend, it’s time to know what to do about them. Here are some ways to guide you:

1. Confront her about it.
The first thing to do is to simply confront her about it. Sit her down one-on-one for a serious heart-to-heart talk and let her know how her actions or words are making you feel. Don’t be afraid to tell her truthfully that you feel like she’s only using you to her benefit.

She may deny this and defend herself, even turning the situation to go against you, but if she’s a true friend, she will not confirm your words, but instead will apologize and say that those were not her intentions.

2. Don’t give in and set some distance.
If you happen to have a user friend in your life, do your best to not give in. Even during times that you want to, you should tell yourself to not do it because you know it will only feed an endless cycle and that user will keep on depending on you. It’s also healthy to set some limitations and distance between you and these “friends.”

Never hesitate to choose your healthy mental state first before anything else.

3. Cut the cord off from your life.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to cut these toxic people from your life. Cut the cord off and let them go because, to be honest, you don’t need them, right? It’s as simple as that.

Once you spot the people who are only using you to their advantage, the best decision all the time is to let these people go. You may hesitate because you may consider these people as someone you’re fond of, but the weighing of the decision is up to you.

Always remember that it’s never wrong to look out for yourself and to put yourself first.

ALSO READ: 10 Awesome Signs Your Friend is Worth Keeping

Carisha Yabora
Carisha lives for writing and painting. When she’s not doing either of the two, she is most likely to be seen petting stray dogs or commuting in high fashion boots.

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