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No one calls unless they need a "FAVOR"- is this you also?


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I am a caregiver professionally- so I live my life helping others. I have always thought that is our duty in life. However I feel like some people take advantage of it.

Has anyone else ever had a life of being used by both family and friends? I cut ties with my half sister and half brother as over the years they have both managed to take advantage of my good nature and letting myself be put in very precarious situations with them. Now later in life (55 years) I am still finding that people take advantage of me. I don't hear from anyone unless they have a favor to ask. For example. I have a neighbor friend that is in her 60's that has moved out of state and now rents her house out. She has asked me if I could help the tenant with things if she should need anything SMALL. First time was to help her work the stove as she couldn't remember how to work the stove in the house (owners stove she left behind) so I helped her with that. Now I don't hear from my neighbor/friend at all since she has moved away. She doesn't call to say hi or to ask how I am doing or to chat at all. HOWEVER she does call to ask me favors and I can't help but to feel disappointed. She called me a couple weeks ago to ask if I could pick up her prescription and hold on to it until she comes back to the city from Mexico. Each time she calls I always hope she is calling just to chat but its never the case. Now she has called me again yesterday asking if I can go over to the house and help her tenant with the front door lock that is preventing the front door to close properly. 

I didn't respond right away like I usually do. I waited a few hours and responded back with a message that we were not at home and probably wouldn't be back in a reasonable time to assist with the door (my partner and I were out for the day hiking) and asked her to perhaps ask the OTHER NEIGHBORS HUSBAND to see if he could possibly be of assistance? 

I don't recall us having any agreement that I would be a "handy" person for her tenant. She doesn't pay me anything at all and just assumes I can pop over and help out. 

During the transition of her new tenant moving in she had asked me to keep an eye on her cats (she didn't take them with her) and to make sure they are fed and watered and so on during the tenants movie in- so I did. I went over there ever day and did so until the tenant was all settled in which took WEELS. I reveiced not a thanks. 

Perhaps I am wrong in calling her a "friend"? We have had many great times together (we like hiking and kayaking together when she still lived here) so I assumed we were friends but maybe we are just neighbors. 

I can't help but to feel that she is a little out of line by expecting me to keep assisting with her tenants issues. Yes they are small but I am a little offended by calling only to ask to help. 

Whats going on here? What am I not seeing? I said no this time but an questioning myself about it sometimes. 

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Maybe you were friends at one point but it doesn't sound like much right now. Sometimes people have no idea they're being rude and selfish. 

Friendships are meant to be reciprocal. If you're not sensing like there's enough of a balance or give/take, this isn't a friendship. She's using you. Not receiving a thanks or token of appreciation is just rude overall and poor manners. 

I'd remain polite and cordial and neighbourly but let her know that you have a lot on your plate at the moment. There's no reason to be rude back to her but distance yourself and mind your own business. Don't poke into hers or ask her too many questions about her ongoings. It leaves you open to doing favours for her that go unappreciated. It's intrusive to you. Focus more on your own home and things you can do for yourself.

Find new friends who are actually your friends, who will call you up or ask you to hang out and do things not because they want something out of you but because they genuinely enjoy your company. 

 

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Exactly. How sad. This seems to be my life story. Its so hard making friends in your 50's. Although I am perfectly happy in my own house with my life partner it just saddens me sometimes. I just always double check myself to make sure I am not out of line or over reacting and maybe I am missing something.. Thank  you so much for your response!!

 

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It is sad. Especially if it's someone you've known for a long time. I agree with you because I think true friends will take time to get to know you even if it's bit harder to get you out of your shell. If you're one of those people who holds it in (your own issues) and lets others talk endlessly, you're a good listener but I think you should come out of your shell more often too. Don't let others talk over you or mute you. There was a good thread somewhere, relatively recent, about people or friends talking over you either consciously or unconsciously. It had some great tips about how to be more assertive and polite at the same time while carrying on a two-way conversation. 

I think this works the same way especially if you're feeling a bit used or taken forgranted. If she is a long time friend, don't be afraid to speak up next time about things that are going on with your life (leave out the details). There's a chance she too might not have a clue how busy you are with your own ongoings. 

Edited by Rose Mosse
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Your friendship, or a perceived friendship, once worked for you. Now things have changed and she's very rude to ask these regular favors from you that a property manager would get paid 10 percent of what the renters pay per month.

For a decade, I had a friend who had a lot of good qualities, but I could see that she manipulated people to do things for her. I don't mind doing favors for friends now and then, but in the last year we were friends, she only called me 3 times and every one of those times she wanted a favor. When I failed to do those favors the last two times, I never heard from her again. The previous year I had invited her to a dinner around Christmastime which she rejected, and I always leave the ball in a friends court to make sure the interest is mutual. Obviously, she no longer valued the friendship, and that's okay because friendships often change for better or worse over one's lifetime.

As far as she is concerned, when she asks for another favor, I'd say something like: I'm no longer comfortable helping out with your rental. I suggest a property manager.

Don't worry about her response. She was rude not giving you a gift card as well as a thank you for taking care of the cats. And you might even block her number after that, because she's no longer a friend and should now be in your past. 

When safe to do so, you can make new friends in Meetup.com, a book discussion group, pottery classes, volunteer work. Take care.

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I think the longer you live, the more you realize how self absorbed people can be. Some people are very considerate and appreciative. But as cynical as this sounds, I do think people in general have lost a lot of that old humanity.

Everyone wants help but doesn't give help. It bums me out that I feel this way but it is what it is.  which is also a phrase that bums me out.

I think you have to start setting boundaries... Stop saying yes every time. And this might be hard for you,  but you also have to stop explaining yourself. 

It takes practice and you have to live through some awkward silence, when you say, "no, I can't you help you this time.  Have you considered hiring a property manager or looking into something like Angie's list for handy work?"

I have gotten better at boundaries and there has been some guilt, but people do get the hint pretty fast. And they stop calling all together. 

I have found telling a person the truth is something not everyone can handle. 

When I told a friend (when they asked) if anything was wrong. Their response was, "well as much as you tell me I'm a bad friend,  I wonder why you want to be my friend."

My response was,  "that is what I'm telling you, Mary. There's a real problem in our friendship. you are saying I'm not your friend.  I'm saying your not being one to me"

Nothing has really been fixed. I just continue to pull away.  let more and more time pass before I respond.... I don't want to be rude and it's not my place to police people.  but it is my responsibility to decide how I spend my time. 

Don't be a martyr.  You're allowed to live your own life. 

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25 minutes ago, Willowgirl55 said:

Exactly. How sad. This seems to be my life story. Its so hard making friends in your 50's. Although I am perfectly happy in my own house with my life partner it just saddens me sometimes. I just always double check myself to make sure I am not out of line or over reacting and maybe I am missing something.. Thank  you so much for your response!!

 

I am 54.  Yes I check myself too. I get it!!  I'm sorry she is taking advantage.  I agree with the others.  I am wondering lately if this is covid related- I have a friend for the last 8 years or so -our age - and she has been wayyyy more self centered lately.  She also has a lot going on in her life -crises that are made worse by this pandemic.  So I try to cut her a lot of slack.  But I'll share two things that have worked for me to have healthy boundaries.  I've told her a number of times please not to call before 10 because my husband sleeps in and the phone could wake him.  She still does so now I have to shut the ringer off.  And I never pick up at that time and I've decided to stop texting her when I see it's her because she should know I'm not available at that time. 

Second, she'll call and I'll return the call within a few minutes or less and it goes to VM.  This is because, she said, she calls from her downstairs office and has poor reception.  On a few separate days this resulted in my calling her about 7-8 times because she would call back when I wasn't available or I'd miss picking up the phone, call back, get VM.  So now if I get VM I say on her message that I cannot call again till tomorrow or something like that.  I suggest you do the same -come up with -in advance -concrete ways you're going to have healthier boundaries.  And do it.  This person was there for me a lot in the past so yes cutting her slack but I was really starting to resent how often she was calling, how often it was all about her, etc.  

It is harder to make friends after we're in college etc surrounded by people -how I have in my 40s and 50s:  volunteer work, work, religious organizations and my neighbors (especially when our fitness room was safe to go to -not right now because of covid).

I'm sorry you're in this frustrating situation. 

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Yeah, some people don't realize they are over expecting too much of others - self absorbed (as mentioned).

Good on you to speak up and say no.  She had to try then to look at reaching out to someone else :) 

You DO have a life of your own.  No, you should not feel obligated to tend to her needs- while she is away.

She really should have someone to help this person out.  But not expect you to do this.

I agree, back off and stop responding and acting on HER requests.

If you feel she is not a 'true friend', keep your distance and don't expect anything more with her.  By sounds of it, you two were decent at one time.. but things have changed.

I rid of someone just over a yr ago- who seemed delighted to be around me.. BUT I knew she wasn't all there.. either way, I tried.  But, over time, with my 'being so kind'- tending to her dog- walks, grabbing her groceries cause she had a migraine.. even gave her son a bus ticket I had- to make things easier at her end- eventually her attitude changed towards me I figure she was majorly jealous that I hung around a mutual 'male friend'.. and her attitude re: some things just became too much for me 😞 

I was not doing anything!  Yet, was made to feel unsure and defensive- I finally approached her via email, as I just stopped talking to her- but sent an email explaining HER moods which was getting to me - she responded a few days later, at first appologizing- then a few days later (before i could respond), I got another email where she was turning it all onto me!  At that point, I had enough.  Never spoke with her again.. was just emotionally draining and I didn't need or deserve it.

So, sometimes, we need to see what's affecting us in a negative and deal with it.  

Good for you for reacting and not tending to her requests.. In time, she'll realize you are NOT always available for her.

 

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2 hours ago, Willowgirl55 said:

I have a neighbor friend that is in her 60's that has moved out of state and now rents her house out.

She can hire people for this. The tenant should be communicating with her directly and the landlord should have repair people, cat sitters, etc. on file to send over. This landlord should also have homeowner's insurance.

Realtors also handle these types of things.  Simply tell her you're unable to do this and recommend she use home advisor/angie's list type service to find people to service her home while she rents it out. It's a huge liability for you to take this on. Just say no.

Do not do favors for people for services that are normally paid for and particularly that leave you with liabilities. You don't even know if this rental is legal. Do not  help this tenant or do this landlord favors. Refer them to each other or local professionals.

Edited by Wiseman2
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Kindness and giving always has to be tempered with healthy boundaries and limits, along with clear communication. In this case, "dear friend, I can take care of x for you this once, but I cannot do that on an ongoing basis. Please be sure to find other means of help." Remember that you teach people how to treat you.

Above aside, it's common for friendships to drift when people move. It's hard to maintain something long distance. Also, you keep saying that she never reaches out just to chat.....but how many times have you reached out to her as just a friend, just to see how she is doing? Be sure that you aren't expecting from her what you aren't doing yourself. If you are reaching out, but she is no longer reciprocating....well....sadly this friendship has drifted apart. Not much you can do about that. Best to move on, maybe join some hobby groups like hiking or camping groups, meetup groups once this covid stuff is over so you can meet and make friends with some like minded couples who are into the same things you are.

The worst thing that you can do to yourself is continue to be of service while slowly boiling with growing resentment. She isn't doing this to you, you are doing this to yourself by failing to assert and communicate YOUR boundaries.

 

Edited by DancingFool
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WOW thank you all for our responses I was not expecting all of these! There are some very valid points made here especially the BOUNDARIES issue! and yes the idea of suggesting property manager I think is a good idea. She is also going to be coming back in the spring (depending on Covid) to stay back in the house for a couple weeks so it might be an opportunity to suggest an alternative to me me being her property manager. She manages to get a few hours with me before she goes back to Mexico for the rest of the year so we will have a chat about things I am sure. Thank  you for the MEET UP idea! I will look into that!!!!!!

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3 hours ago, Willowgirl55 said:

I am a caregiver professionally- so I live my life helping others. I have always thought that is our duty in life. However I feel like some people take advantage of it.

Has anyone else ever had a life of being used by both family and friends? I cut ties with my half sister and half brother as over the years they have both managed to take advantage of my good nature and letting myself be put in very precarious situations with them. Now later in life (55 years) I am still finding that people take advantage of me. I don't hear from anyone unless they have a favor to ask. For example. I have a neighbor friend that is in her 60's that has moved out of state and now rents her house out. She has asked me if I could help the tenant with things if she should need anything SMALL. First time was to help her work the stove as she couldn't remember how to work the stove in the house (owners stove she left behind) so I helped her with that. Now I don't hear from my neighbor/friend at all since she has moved away. She doesn't call to say hi or to ask how I am doing or to chat at all. HOWEVER she does call to ask me favors and I can't help but to feel disappointed. She called me a couple weeks ago to ask if I could pick up her prescription and hold on to it until she comes back to the city from Mexico. Each time she calls I always hope she is calling just to chat but its never the case. Now she has called me again yesterday asking if I can go over to the house and help her tenant with the front door lock that is preventing the front door to close properly. 

I didn't respond right away like I usually do. I waited a few hours and responded back with a message that we were not at home and probably wouldn't be back in a reasonable time to assist with the door (my partner and I were out for the day hiking) and asked her to perhaps ask the OTHER NEIGHBORS HUSBAND to see if he could possibly be of assistance? 

I don't recall us having any agreement that I would be a "handy" person for her tenant. She doesn't pay me anything at all and just assumes I can pop over and help out. 

During the transition of her new tenant moving in she had asked me to keep an eye on her cats (she didn't take them with her) and to make sure they are fed and watered and so on during the tenants movie in- so I did. I went over there ever day and did so until the tenant was all settled in which took WEEKS. I received not a thanks. 

Perhaps I am wrong in calling her a "friend"? We have had many great times together (we like hiking and kayaking together when she still lived here) so I assumed we were friends but maybe we are just neighbors. 

I can't help but to feel that she is a little out of line by expecting me to keep assisting with her tenants issues. Yes they are small but I am a little offended by calling only to ask to help. 

Whats going on here? What am I not seeing? I said no this time but an questioning myself about it sometimes. 

 

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No one calls unless they need a "FAVOR"- is this you also?

Uhm... hell, no.

I've found it liberating to notice that the more I screen users OUT, the more attractive I've become to real, genuine, caring people. And I enjOy them.

It was most helpful to lean into my fears of what would happen if I dropped pleasing others and started becoming more of a jerk.

Hah! Well, okay, not a jerk, exactly, but more of an enforcer of what's acceptable to me.

It was fascinating! When I raised my own bar, anyone who would end up mattering had no qualms about meeting that place, and anyone who would have otherwise just used me faded away.

And I don't miss them.

So? Figure out what's in it for you to be used by people who don't care about you, and then make a better decision.

Practice saying, "No, that doesn't work for me. Maybe you can hire a professional to do that..." until it feels natural. Then you can just repeat it to anyone who offers you zero in exchange for asking a ridiculous favor.

Be brave enough to learn over time what this doesn't NOT rob from you.

You will thank yourself later, and so will the people who come into your life out of respect for your unique value.

Head high.

 

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You need to get tough by learning to say, "NO,"  Willowgirl55.  Your duty in life is NOT to help others when they disrespect you meaning when they don't treat you the way you would treat them. 

(I help my friends, family and neighbors in an event of an emergency which is reasonable.  However, I'm not at anyone's disposal.  NEVER.) 

I've been in your situation countless times during my lifetime. 

My brother gets used by my sister because he never declines.  She uses him to move from one house to the next house during countless moves over several decades.  She has moved over a dozen times in 10 years.  She never pays him, never feeds him; just continues to use him.  My sister's husband, my brother's brother-in-law (BIL) always uses my brother to do very heavy lifting; never mind my brother has bad knees and knee surgeries.  My sister had my brother install her flooring and never paid him a cent; just said, "Thanks" and uses him at her disposal.  It's my brother's fault because he doesn't say, "NO" to her.  He's a nice guy and other people use him, too for his "free moving services," his pick up truck, never gets paid for gas for his truck and he's used for other heavy physical labor.  It's his fault because he doesn't have enough backbone to say, "NO." 

I was the same way.  My alcoholic neighbor took advantage of my niceness and I couldn't say, "NO" to her requests for me to house sit (her house), pick up her daughters from school, chauffeur them home, run errands, etc.  I finally got up the nerve and started to consistently decline.  She decided I wasn't "her friend" anymore so as you can see, our so-called "friendship" was NOT unconditional; there were strings attached.  I said, "Good riddance!"

My mother would often ask my husband (her son-in-law) to repair her cars, change the oil, do routine car maintenance, front and back yard work (mow lawns), house repairs, house maintenance, handyman errands and handyman type work.  My husband was a good sport for few years and at her beck and call until one day, I began declining her requests.  After driving a long way and working weekends at my mother's house, we had difficulty functioning bright and early Monday mornings for work and long commutes.  We were exhausted and bleary eyed.  I began to say, "NO" to her.  She suddenly gave us the cold shoulder because she couldn't use our free services anymore. 

Learn to say "NO" to your neighbor friend.  It's not your job to do small jobs for her tenant nor your responsibility.  "If you give an inch, they'll take a mile" means if you help some people, they'll take advantage of your kindness and ask you for more and more and more favors as time marches on.  Whenever you say, "YES," you're perceived as a sucker and a doormat. 

You're not responsible for her cats.  Have her figure out how to take care of her cats, call someone else and it's NOT your problem.  She needs to hire a pet sitter. 

None of these users are your "friends."  They're merely using you for "YOUR FREE SERVICES."  Your neighbor is getting quite the bargain!  She's too cheap to hire a property management employee. 

I have a best friend whom I've known ever since we were children and fortunately, we are local.  She and I never use each other.  We never burden one another.  We don't bother each other.  We're never an imposition toward one another.  We are mindful and extremely considerate.  We respect each other very much.  This is how a friend should behave.  Know the difference.  We chat on the phone several times a month and give each other moral support.  During difficult times in our lives, each of us delivered home cooked meals to each other's doorsteps.  Pre-pandemic, we would shop, dine out and catch up.  No strings attached.  There was never a catch.  We never impose.  It is mutual common sense. 

People who use you, don't have "emotional intelligence."  Google "emotional intelligence."  They lack empathy, too because they don't consider your feelings at all. 

At least these people who use you, are direct and you realize what they're doing to you which is to your advantage. 

What's scary is a sociopath.  They're very nice to you, do you a lot of favors for you, extend their "warm" hospitality to you or for your loved ones under the disguise of something more sinister.  They eventually entrap you into feeling obliged, indebted and beholden as their so-called favors were never intended to be free nor unconditional so beware.  Often times, by the time you realize you were cast under their spell, it's too late and you're entrapped in their tangled web of constantly owing them.  Anytime a person is over zealous with their niceness toward you, know there is a sinister motive.  They're manipulating the relationship in order to have power over you.  Fortunately, that's happened to me only once and I got rid of this sociopath.  And, never out a sociopath otherwise they'll threaten you because their number one fear is discovery.  They're a sneaky lot and they're successful at it.  Just permanently cut it off with them for your own safety and / or your loved ones' safety.  Sociopaths are masters at deception.

Edited by Cherylyn
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  • 2 weeks later...

I can relate totally to your situation.  Your gut feeling is telling you something is off about your friendship with her.  Good on you and listen because you need to get out of it.  Make excuses, don't be available, cut it off.

I thought a woman and I were good friends for 7 years.  We used to work together.  She does not have a car and for the longest time, looking back now, she hit me up to drive her to the Dr.,  shopping, physiotherapy, errands and anything else in between. We would have coffee or go to a concert as well.  I thought we were friends for a long time.  The relationship was unbalanced in that she never did favors for me.  Not that I ever asked for much, mind you.  

The last year I noticed her criticizing my hair, make up, choices about certain lifestyles like health foods, acupuncture, yoga, meditation.  She literally always sent articles to debunk my choices in life surrounding those.  Like she didn't accept me at all & wanted to change me at all costs.  When I politely declined her recommendations, she stuck her nose WAY up in the air in disdain.

Come to think of it, she criticized other people in her life to me, behind their backs.  

You sound like such a warm, giving person which is wonderful.  Unfortunately we get targeted by narcissistic people in this world. I think you recognize now how imbalanced your relationships have been.

The key is to set up boundaries and say no.  I hated saying no for fear of not being liked.  Perhaps you do also?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, LoreliFinn said:

I can relate totally to your situation.  Your gut feeling is telling you something is off about your friendship with her.  Good on you and listen because you need to get out of it.  Make excuses, don't be available, cut it off.

I thought a woman and I were good friends for 7 years.  We used to work together.  She does not have a car and for the longest time, looking back now, she hit me up to drive her to the Dr.,  shopping, physiotherapy, errands and anything else in between. We would have coffee or go to a concert as well.  I thought we were friends for a long time.  The relationship was unbalanced in that she never did favors for me.  Not that I ever asked for much, mind you.  

The last year I noticed her criticizing my hair, make up, choices about certain lifestyles like health foods, acupuncture, yoga, meditation.  She literally always sent articles to debunk my choices in life surrounding those.  Like she didn't accept me at all & wanted to change me at all costs.  When I politely declined her recommendations, she stuck her nose WAY up in the air in disdain.

Come to think of it, she criticized other people in her life to me, behind their backs.  

You sound like such a warm, giving person which is wonderful.  Unfortunately we get targeted by narcissistic people in this world. I think you recognize now how imbalanced your relationships have been.

The key is to set up boundaries and say no.  I hated saying no for fear of not being liked.  Perhaps you do also?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for your kind words.  You sound like a very generous person.  I commend you for it. 

Unfortunately, nice people are targeted as vulnerable and easy prey.  This is why I'm not too nice anymore.  Nice people get taken advantage of as you can attest.

Users are predators and some are con artists.  The real evil ones are sociopaths.   

I agree, enforcing boundaries is hard sometimes.  Saying "no" is unpleasant but it has to be done otherwise you become a doormat all over again. 

Your woman friend based her friendship with you on conditions.  You had a conditional friendship with her.  What made it worse was she bit the hand that fed her.  People who use others aren't supposed to do that and they push the giver too far as she did with you. 

Once upon a time, I was sweet, innocent and super kind.  People took advantage of my generosity.  I was very generous with my time, labor and money.  I burned out.  Also, I didn't enjoy feeling used and these "arrangements" became a deal breaker for me.  These types of friendships felt shallow, superficial and I was merely a service or commodity; no more, no less.  Eventually, I smartened up and spoke up.  I began bravely declining.  I was very polite, well mannered, respectful yet FIRM.  As soon as users realize they can no longer use you nor benefit from your free services, they dump you.  I say, "Good riddance!"  I'm free.  It's very empowering when you put it into practice.  You learn discernment and you learn to divide good and bad people in this world.  You become a better judge of character and most of all, you command respect for yourself. 

I prefer to have a few very select, high quality, very moral people in my life than a bunch of users and "Good Time Charlies" in my life. 

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