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Friend used me for favors


LoreliFinn

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I've known this friend for 12 yrs when we used to volunteer at the same church many years ago.

On and off (the last 5 yrs steady though) we got together for various activities.  In retrospect we would go somewhere together but she always needed me to take her somewhere in my car.  Shopping, Dr, drop off or pick up something or someone.

We really have  nothing in common as friends and often she made comments that she didn't like my hair, clothes or qwirky habits.  Being so easy going, I never got mad 😡 and let them slide.

Over the years she suddenly started being more overtly disrespectful by replying to me in passive aggressive ways.  Like waiting a week to reply to a message and saying one word.  

Once I said no in a very nice way to a very big favor she asked. It was an over the top request.  At that point, I was totally fed up with doing anything further for her.  I sacrificed my money and time for some one for years who I thought was a friend.  

I have totally cut her off.  I have a very soft and giving heart and I feel I have to change that now to avoid being taken advantage of.  

I hate to say it but I am very jaded at the prospect of being that helpful to a new friend in the future.  I have several other friends and the relationships are not like this one.

I feel like I have to be guarded around anyone who asks for favors & wonder if it will end up as disastrous as this one!

 

 

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I think this post is incredibly similar to your last one.  In both cases you're questioning your own sense of boundaries and just plain ole common sense because you're so afraid it seems of someone not approving of you or of giving up the opportunity to get attention from another person.  It's probably not because you have such a giving heart -that is part of it -it's probably because you're afraid if you stand up for yourself in an appropriate way you won't be liked.  Part of you liked being needed by this "friend" - it's easier that way - if you're the one always giving you don't have to make yourself vulnerable and ask for anything.  

I became friendly with a woman who acted flaky the first time we made an actual plan to get together. I decided to give her another chance.  We were back in touch and she asked me if I knew anyone in the publishing world as she'd written a children's book.  I happened to and I put her in touch - I spent the time to contact my connection and get the contact information to her.  As is obvious the publishing industry is highly competitive so she was very lucky to get to e-mail with someone because of what I arranged.

A week later she told me she hadn't heard yet -would I be comfortable contacting my friend to find out what was going on?  I decided to be honest with her.  Yes, I was uncomfortable. Yes, it would mean contacting my friend and this was her boss who she gave me the email for.  I thought -really?? Someone you barely know does you this favor and you think it's ok to ask that person to put herself out again within a week because you're impatient? I risked her not being in touch with me again.  I was willing to take the risk because I have standards of how I want to be treated.  She stepped over that line. 

 

This example is because you need to get very clear with yourself of what you are worth, of what kind of treatment you expect and since you kept doing favors for this person then of course she started expecting you to be at her beck and call.  You didn't really want to help but you chose her willingness to hang out with you over self respect.  I hope you choose self respect from now on

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You may be guarded for awhile but I think as long as you stick to your guns about what your boundaries are and what your limits are, this thing or issue of the past will fade into the past and no longer be part of your reality.

Keep surrounding yourself with friendships that give to you too in a more balanced way. The sourness of this will fade. Don't you worry. 

 

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You made the best decision. You need to preserve your energy and not waste it on people like that. I would say keep being your kind self but keep your guard up just a little bit. Dont keep your guard up so high that you block everyone out. Not everyone is like that "friend ". You'll know good people when you see them. 

I'm a really kind person too so I know how easy it is for people to take advantage. Just remember you have a right to say no and a right to expect reciprocity in any relationship. 

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It's okay to be guarded, at least to a certain degree. Not everyone deserves your time or your love. It makes sense to be cautious when meeting new people and wait (even for months), to see if they truly are someone you feel that you can allow yourself to become close to and that you feel they will give you the respect and friendship you deserve.

Just don't close yourself off completely to people. There still are good people out there who will give you the same love and respect as you give out. ❤️

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I will make a concerted effort to still remain open to new friends & helping them.  In this case, upon reflection the relationship should have either ended or scaled down to casual acquaintance.

We were not compatible as good friends but I hung in there since we've known each other for years.   Our interests were totally opposite, things were missing that good friends would be doing, like being supportive, inviting me to her home, getting to know each other at a deeper level.  Frankly, she wasn't someone I would share super personal things with.  She criticized other people in her life extremely harshly.  In one case, a co worker was giving her a lift home often.  On phone calls with her, she often spent the majority of our call criticising this co worker  - about things that are insignificant - habits or choice in hair colour. I was utterly shocked.

She was mean spirited and loved to carp about other people.  Unfortunately I got sucked into her victim mentality.

I just regret hanging on to it for so long.  I kick myself.  I do the odd favor for my other friends when they ask, but they don't do so often.  

 

 

 

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You've learned from your experience, so forgive yourself for hanging on so long. But just as you shouldn't carry around toxic baggage from ex-romances, you shouldn't also carry it around for friendships. Don't expect the worst, yet keep your eyes open. I very rarely ask anyone for favors and prefer the same in a friend. I did have a friend who asked others for favors too much and didn't like that trait in her. When I turned down an unreasonable request she stopped making effort in our friendship and we're no longer friends. That freed me up to give more time to others who offered friendship without the regular request of favors.

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You should not take those feelings into new friendships.  

You need to see your part in this.   You hung on while she clearly showed you what type of person she was.  You didn't get "sucked into" anything, you were an active participant.    Once you acknowledge your lack of boundaries, you will make better choices.

I see the boundary issue with the "snake plant" guy, too.  

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19 hours ago, LoreliFinn said:

I hate to say it but I am very jaded at the prospect of being that helpful to a new friend in the future.  I have several other friends and the relationships are not like this one.

 

 

These two sentences are in a happy conflict. You've observed that most of the friends that you've selected are not users.

So why would you deprive yourself of freely enjoying your soft and giving nature because one person asked a favor, and you had the spine to say, 'No.'?

Why would one miserable person impact your whole lens on ALL others?

Maybe you are angry at yourself for tolerating this person for as long as you had, and this may have shaken your confidence in your own judgment, but doesn't the part of you that stood up to an unreasonable request--rather than performing it--count as good judgment?

The one caveat here is that I wouldn't conflate the choice to turn down a favor with the choice to end a relationship. Those are two different choices.

If you view ALL relationships as being too fragile to survive turning down a favor, then that could be the fearful lens through which you're reacting to this: turning down a favor 'must' equal the end of a relationship.

Head high, and embrace your resilience as a life skill equal to your ability to draw a line should anyone else ever ask too much. You might view this experience as demonstrating your own safety net--the power to say, 'No,'--even without any 'need' to end a friendship over it.

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