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How to handle a friend who is clearly using you

It’s not easy to realize that someone you thought was a friend has another agenda. When you see the signs a friend is using you, it’s going to hurt.How to handle a friend who is clearly using you 

You might even try and pretend that it’s not really happening. But, it’s important to be honest with yourself. You need to cut this person out of your life and look toward your real friends for support.

Who wants to accept that people have been using them? No one. But once you find out, take action! Don’t let them continue walking all over you. Things need to change.

1. Ask yourself how you feel

However you found out, you now know that your friend is using you. We know, it’s not a pleasant feeling, but it’s better you found out sooner rather than later.

Now you need to figure out what you want to do next. Are you going to completely ditch them? Confront them? Decide what you want to do with your friendship.

2. Are you sure they’re using you?

Before you jump to conclusions, make sure you know they’ve actually used you. Sometimes, other people can get involved just to create drama.

You need to be sure in yourself that this person has been taking advantage of you. If you feel they’ve been using you and something isn’t right, you’re right.

3. Explore your intuition

Before you make any moves, what is your gut telling you? If you feel you’re being used, then you probably are.

We often ignore those feelings, but those are the ones you should pay attention to and follow. If your gut says these people aren’t good, then listen to it.

4. Question whether they have a history of using people

If they have a history of using people, they’re going to do it again. That means you’re possibly one of their newest victims.

For sure, having a history isn’t necessarily one of the signs a friend is using you, but it doesn’t bode well, does it? After all, a leopard rarely changes its spots.

5. Identify what they’re using you for

If they’re using you, figure out what they’re using you for. Is it for money? Accommodation? Status? Before you confront them or make a big decision, figure out what they’re taking from you. That way, you confirm your gut instinct and take the next step forward.

6. Decrease how much you share with them

If they’re someone you would share personal information with, it’s time to limit it. As of now, they’ve used this information to manipulate and take advantage of you.

You can chat with them, but be careful about what you share with them. That also means anything else you share, such as money, opportunities, etc.

7. Don’t let them get the best of you

These situations can easily make you feel resentment and sadness. But once you see these signs a friend is using you, don’t let this person get the best of you.

Yes, they’re using you, but there are plenty of other people who care about you. This is just a bad egg.

8. Learn to say “no”

You need to start saying “no” as soon as possible. If they ask you for money, say “no.” When they ask you to buy them dinner, say “no.” It’s time to create those boundaries so they get the picture you’re not someone they can use anymore.

9. Don’t give in to guilt

If they’re using you, they won’t be happy when they feel it’s ending. Whatever they’re getting from you is important to them, so they’re going to try to keep everything in line.

Expect them to throw some guilt your way. The best thing you can do is dodge it. Don’t feel guilty because you recognized their poor behavior.

10. Detach yourself from them

You’re going to need to make some space between you and your friend. Since you’ve found out they’ve been using you, detach yourself from them and start keeping your distance from them.

This doesn’t mean you should ghost them, but you clearly need some space from them until you decide what to do next.

11. You need to talk to them

Whether you want to work on the relationship or end it, you’re going to need to talk to them.

We know you want to pay them back for how they’ve treated you, but you need to respect yourself and act with maturity. If you’re going to end the friendship, end it the right way.

12. Meet up with them face-to-face

Don’t talk to them via text. You need to do this the right way. Just because they weren’t nice to you, doesn’t mean you should act like a child.

So, if you want to talk to them, you should meet up with them. Choose a place where you can sit down and not get distracted by loud noises or other people talking.

13. Be direct

When you talk with them, don’t beat around the bush. It’s not going to get you anywhere. You made a courageous step forward in asking them to meet up with you, but you can’t stop now.

When you’re speaking with them, be as direct as possible. Tell them about what you’ve noticed or what happened.

14. Don’t freak out

It’s easy to become emotional and freak out when you realize your friend has been using you. But that’s the one thing you can’t do.

In these cases, you need to stay completely calm and collected. Of course, you should be guarded when around them, but don’t be defensive. This will only escalate things into a fight.

15. Stick up for yourself

If they’ve been using you, it’s clear they don’t respect you. So, when you talk to them, they may try to manipulate the situation and switch things around, pointing the finger at you.

Don’t let them get away with that crap. Stick up for yourself and make sure they see where the line is drawn.

16. Spend time with other people

Instead of hanging out with this friend who uses you, spend time with other friends and family.

This doesn’t mean you cut them out immediately as soon as you see the signs a friend is using you, but hang out with people you trust and make you feel safe and secure. You’ll see the situation better once you step back.

17. Know the consequences

It’s one thing to call out someone for their manipulation, but you should show them the consequences of their actions. Of course, it depends on what you want to happen.

If you want to give them another chance, they’ll need to see they’ve violated your personal boundaries. If you want to end the relationship, that’s a consequence within itself.

18. Accept that it’s going to be a process

Losing a friend is no easy task. We know it may sound easy, you’re probably thinking you just cut them off, but there’s much more that goes into it than just that.

You’re losing a friend, someone you’ve had an emotional connection with. So, it’s going to take time. There will be moments when you’ll want to call them, but you will have to have to be strong.

19. Understand that they weren’t really a friend

At the end of everything, you need to understand this person wasn’t a true friend to you. Hopefully, you use this situation as an example for the new people you’ll meet, that way, you’ll know what to look out for to make sure you don’t get hurt.

The good thing is now you can move forward without this toxic person in your life.

20. Don’t let this stop you from meeting new people

Sure, you may be a little more guarded when meeting new people. That’s understandable.

But don’t cut yourself off from making new friends. You ran into some bad people, that’s life. There are countless kind and warm-hearted people who would make great friends. Don’t stop until you find them.

How to handle a friend who is clearly using you
How to handle a friend who is clearly using you

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