This has been a trying year, and for whatever reason, some people don’t feel the need to be perfectly honest. They give off the energy of using you…and you feel like you might be picking up on it, but you aren’t sure. Did they just tell you they were busy, but had time to look at your story? Had time to post 3 photos out somewhere and pretend they weren’t near their phone? Had time to text you they were busy, but not answer the actual question? Had time to make a Reel, a photo collage, and a poll? What the what?? People are losing their minds this year and the masks are coming off.
So today I did a very good class << over here, around the energy of staying calm, and protecting yourself from flowing into the anger energy that others might be projecting during difficult times, and this feeling of being used, and/or played was on my mind for a while. So much energy around the signs of being used has come up lately for people in my life.
Exploitation means to use for profits or selfish utilization. I want you to close your eyes for a minute and bring to mind the person you think is doing this very thing to you. Now read the article without feeling anger about them. Just read as one doing research. At the end you will have to decide what to do about it, but again, think about it in terms of detachment. It is very difficult to come to terms with this and often this behavior persists because you think the person really cares for you, but honestly, think about it. Do you care more for them and are you just a convenience? It is hard to admit this out loud, but some people are incapable of real friendship. They have been using you, you have done your research, now what? So here’s how to work on it:
- You ALWAYS make the first move. You scroll back through your texts, messages or whatever, and you see a pattern. They are not sending a “Hey, just checking on you” message. If they do initiate, it is because they have a problem they need your help with. They want to know if you have a quick minute because they have to ask you something. The something is whatever involves their stuff, and you spend the entire time talking about that, until you mention some things you want to talk about, and then they have to go.
- You try to recall what help they have given you, but you can’t remember anything. They view the friendship as a profit and loss type thing…you just weren’t aware of that. You pay for things and they say “I’ll get you next time” but there is no next time. They mention they need someone to hang out with because they are lonely, so you drive there…but every time because of x,y, z they can’t drive to your house. They chat and build back the feeling of love, friendship, etc, but then ask you to do something for them. The biggest problem with this is that when you ask for help, there are crickets from them. If they helped you when you needed them, that would be one thing, but they view it as what are they getting in return.
- Your friend doesn’t know anything important about you…or seem to think about you at all. You know their sign, favorite color, song on the radio that they love, things they eat, and what makes their eyes light up when they talk. They don’t actually ask you about yourself now that you think about it. They haven’t really tried to get to know you, and your friend doesn’t seem to pay attention to what you say. If you had a birthday, it’s possible they know, but it’s just as likely they don’t think things like “Oh, it’s your birthday month!”. Do they want to go to your favorite restaurant or do they know what it is? It actually is the little things that count like knowing what you like and simply tagging you in something saying “I thought about you when I saw this.”
- If X applies, and the following people are not available, then they will hang out with you. This one stings, but you are definitely last on the list of people they call. You don’t know that at first, but you start to realize it when you see them posting photos of themselves out at places you like, but you never get invited. If it’s a party friend, they only want to go out with you for certain reasons. Social status, people you know, connections, etc. What if you did something different like called them to go for coffee if they always want to get cocktails? Or if you happen to have a boat and it’s not summer, do they call you? What can you do that is different to hang out and see what happens?
- They get manipulative, throw a fit, push you around or talk down to you if you don’t give them what they want. Big. Giant. Red. Flag. Radio silence. Days. Weeks. Then you are ready to move on and oh hey. Do you have this thing I want? I was looking for this and I thought you might have it? Do you have a red sweater because I really need to borrow one for this Christmas work event and I don’t have one. Those types of things…you know how it goes. It could even be a job, a friend they want to get to know, or something else that makes you feel uncomfortable, but they keep pushing and then when you say no, you feel their anger or their silence as a form of emotional manipulation.
- The friend has said they like to be right, in charge, and have been known to manipulate others before. I knew someone who bragged to me about the number of ways he could manipulate people. Like it was a badge of freaking honor. What in the world. If they have used those words about others, trust me, they will use that toxic mind game on you. They will pretend they are apologizing to you in some cases to get you to be okay with their game. And remember, it is a game to them. If they are not making an effort to change, they are used to doing this, saying I am sorry, and getting away with it.
- The user will push your buttons…and/or twist your heart. Once upon a time, they might have cared for you. A little. Over time though, you got wind of the game and now they know it, so they use some of your behaviors against you. Guilt. Empathy. Love. Being a mentor. All to gather data, then file it away to use it when the time comes. Don’t lose your cool with them. Learn when to let them win at their own game and then walk away. They didn’t actually win if you walk away, but they think they did and they also think they got one over on you. You knew all along that they wanted something.
Now what to do about all of this?
I prefer to call the person out on their BS myself. I gather the things together that are bothering me and I talk about it. It can go one of two ways. They love and care for me as a friend enough to work on it (this has worked only 1 time and that was a very long friendship) OR they will deny any of this happened and move on from you. Either way, I have said what needed to be said. It is very possible that NO is a complete sentence and you are tired of being treated like this. You can delete them << check out that article as well. You can make clear boundaries. You can evolve. And you can move on.
Read more here:
- Your Tribe Evolves…and that is okay.
- Removing the Anchors from Your Life.
- The Friend Who Cried Wolf.
Not everyone is your friend I have said before and it’s a hard lesson. If you have confronted them, they aren’t interested in learning about how you feel or changing, and are ghosting you, I think you might know it’s time to move on and that’s okay. Any real friend would see the value you provide. A friendship is based on mutual love and respect. It cannot be one sided my friends. A friend is not going to insult you (unless that is your thing you do together), make you feel bad or worthless, and lie to you in order to gain trust. Learn to see your worth and value. I know it’s hard, but use this lesson to write out what qualities you want in a friendship or relationship and what lines you don’t want crossed ever again. It’s time to heal.