Dealing with someone who uses you

March 5, 2012 | Filed Under Tips 

Short answer:
Stop being used. Don’t keep giving without getting something fair in return (this principle is like all others… it doesn’t apply to your mother on her deathbed).

Long answer:
There’s a sense in which we all use each other. And if all is fair, there’s nothing wrong with using each other. I use the restaurant cook to prepare my meal. He uses some of the money I give to the restaurant to pay his mortgage. And hopefully we’re both the better off for the transaction.

However, we all know of the cases where we are feeling genuinely used. It’s something in the gut. Something just doesn’t feel right.

When I feel negative about a social relationship, I nip it in the bud by stepping back, calming myself, considering why I felt the way I did, and then asking myself what I can do to fix the situation. Not what the other person can do. 9 times out of 10, the best policy is to simply stop engaging the other person (this is especially true in business where you stop giving the other person your business). A business partner tries to take advantage of you… you cut your ties.

Same goes for relationships (friendships or romantic): if a person consistently treats you poorly, consistently undermines you, consistently takes advantage of you… you have to muster up the courage to cut ties. To move on and spend your time with people who appreciate you. I’m not saying you don’t give people 2nd chances. Not at all. But you definitely don’t give them 10th and 20th chances.


2 Responses to “Dealing with someone who uses you”

  1. Gerri on March 6th, 2012 6:46 pm

    You said something extremely important here.

    It took me a long time to realize that in almost any undesirable situation you have to look at what *you* can do differently and *not* what other people can do to make it better. I can only control me and my own actions and sitting around wishing another person would change or grow up or whatever just isn’t realistic.

  2. Nova on November 25th, 2012 12:17 pm

    I agree, I feel like came into a new city and met a group of people where one of them approached me wanting to be my friend, after several weeks it was like I finally got accepted into the group, and then she offers all this help, almost like every moment she would offer to help me, and it wasn’t genuine it was like a way to bring me down because I had things going for me, and I still do, but she didn’t. She would use those times that she helped me to get something out of it, to get what she wants, to bring me down. I realised it was then that I needed to cut the ties, if that meant everyone else who followed her hated me too then so be it. I know who my real friends are, they are not evil, they’re not leaches, and they’re not mean. I deserve great friends and I already have that. You’re right Gerri I cannot change her, she doesn’t listen, and she’s very insecure. I moved on with my life and slowly people are starting to drop her off too because they see who she really is.

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