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What should I do about friends that take advantage of me?
Friendship / 7:39 PM - Tuesday April 07, 2009

What should I do about friends that take advantage of me?

I have a few friends that really don't care to talk to me unless they need something. I'm a push over and will bend over backwards for anyone even if I don't like them (used to anyway).

I recently got fed up with it and just started to give up on trying to stay friends. I'm not being mean or anything. I just don't call them or try too hard with them.

The last straw: On my last birthday, I took a friend to see her incarcerated bf. This was about 4-6 hours away from here. So we stayed the night at my cousin's house halfway there. I paid for everything and bought her some stuff too. (Not the first time I did this) On our way back, I figured we would stop at a mall since we live about 120 miles from the nearest one. I wanted to pick up some gifts for my kids. She complained about having to get back or her roommates would "bitch her out". She had no appreciation or gratitude for what I was doing for her. I was pretty annoyed and rushed what I wanted to do so I could just get away from her.

Since then, I have had minimal contact with her. When we do talk, it's about her and her problems. If I talk, she starts talking to other people around her like I'm not even on the phone.

This has happened with a few other friends and I've done the same backing out thing. Should I feel guilty?

- Asked by ponuwonb, A Cool Mom, Female, 29-35, Administrative

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NO!!!! You should feel cleansed of toxic, life draining people!!!

Your are setting yourself free....Friendship is give and take.....not give from one person and take from another....YOU ARE KIND....but don't be stupid or taken advantage of anymore. Find great friends that will nurture you and SHARE with you.

- Response by zibet58, A Thinker, Female, Who Cares?, Teaching

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Guilty? For what? For not allowing people to treat you like shit anymore?

Not only should you have minial contact with these types of people, you should have ZERO contact with them. Cut them out of your life completely.

But one other thing: You must learn to do things for people *without* the expectation that they will be grateful to you. Do it becuase you want to do it. Or refuse because you do NOT want to do it. But don't do something for someone, and then expect people to behave in a particular way because of it - you will end up with ALOT of resentment in your life.

And you have to start taking some responsibility for things, and not always think people are victimizing you. YOU agreed to take your friend to see her boyfriend. YOU chose to pay for everything. YOU allowed her complaining to stop you from doing shopping at the mall. There were an awful lot of places here, where you could have made different choices. But YOU did what you did, and then you're mad at HER for "making" you do things. No. YOU did them. YOU chose to do them. YOU are a push-over. If you lay down like a door-mat, don't get angry when people wipe their feet on you. YOU invited it.

- Response by justpassingthru, A Thinker, Female, 56-65, Financial / Banking

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Should you feel guilty? HELL NO!!!! At the mall you should have stood up for yourself and said to her, look I did you a favor to drive you to see your boyfriend and you have the odacity to rush me to do what I need to too. You are just going to wait. Plus, your so called friend, knew to come to you to drive over to see her bf. So honey, you are done being a pushover, so good for you to not to talk to them. You don't need them.
Right now, you have to work on in getting your self confidence back and see your worth. It looks like you are a good friend, but people take advantaqe of you. You remind me of my sister. I used to call her out on the people she once called friends. Next time if they ever called you for any help, say NO!!. The first NO is the hardest, then it gets easier. You don't have to be bitter but you need to let people know that you cannot be taken advantage. If you feel that you are worth it then stand up for yourself. No one limits you. You limit yourself. Good Luck

- Response by womanv, A Career Woman, Female, 36-45, New York, Self-Employed

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noooooooooooooooooooooo o do not feel guilty. When these situations arise you need to say how you feel...not to be mean or have an attitude, but say it as an adult. And let them know that it isn't going to happen again.

- Response by lasttrueromantic, A Creative, Female, 36-45, Teaching

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It sounds as though you are ready to grow and meet people who are not so inconsiderate
I have been and can be like you. I am always there for others I just can not help it . I help people I dont even know because it is hard for me to turn my back on people.
I am just presently really re-evaluating my own way of living
people will take what you give...time ,,,money ...
I have experienced the selfishness you describe a lot. so I am looking at how to create boundries. I am a care taker by nature
I am left handed by design and a care taker..and It can and has been to my own demise.
I have friends that are truely considerate and caring and my stance is at this time family and friends...not the users but those that do not take and take .
Once you see aproblem ask for help to learn how to change inside

All of the people who have taken till I have no more , stolen when I would not give ,,,they are still the same. Watch people
help when it will not hurt you.

- Response by morningdust, A Creative, Female, 56-65, Self-Employed

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I used to be just like you, always accomodating the underdogs.
Do not feel guilty at all....these people are energy vampires, and will drain the heck out of you. Pick and choose who you want to help. And do not feel compelled to help everyone, and understand some people are not going to give back. :)

- Response by travelchic, A Creative, Female, 29-35, Self-Employed

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These "friends" of yours are not friends. They are just using you. It is obvious that all they care about is themselves. You should consider distancing yourself from them. When they call and ask for favors, and they will, you can tell them truth and then refuse their request. If you are direct they will probably be angry, but in reality it doesn't matter. They don't care about you. In the long run you will be much better off. No one will take care of you if you don't care for yourself.

- Response by ooleetoo, A Father Figure, Male, 56-65, Science / Engineering

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In my opinion, it is only time to cut the cord if you want to call this person a "friend" then let me tell you this type of "friend" is one you do not want in your life. They will bring you down. If you decide to put some distance between you then do not feel guilty.

- Response by ravalox, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 36-45, Regina, Transportation

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guilty???? come on!!! you just did the greatest thing you could do to yourself (and those pepople as well, as they need to change their attitude towrad friendship, and for that they may need to feel rejected for their actions)
I could say I´ve found myself on that same trend lately with some ungrateful people and I´ve been practicing exactly those same principles...I didn´t even need to tell them off, I simply decided to relax and not make any efforts on their behalf..very simple (just gotta be firm though since some of them can get quite manipulative if you don´t act "cold")

I actually feel WAY relieved !!!

- Response by lalithalinda, A Thinker, Female, 66 or older

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