8 Smart Ways To Successfully Deal With People Who Try To Use And Discard You
The popular quote “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me” doesn’t hold weight when it comes to kind people. One of the attributes that most humans usually take for granted is the kindness of another individual, and it gets to a certain point where you need to be discerning with your kindness and properly manage your reactions to people who try to use and discard you.
Users and abusers are people who may often misuse privileges and undermine your reactions to their misdeeds because they most likely see you as kind, forgiving, and gullible. They can be manipulative people who may have a sense of entitlement, overinflated ego, and intend to use your kindness as an edge against you.
Sadly, they have probably succeeded in the past, but must be managed to protect your integrity, respect, and resources. It may be a relative, partner, lover, or friend, but without the proper and effective strategies to manage this category of people who are users and abusers of privileges, it can get messy and become toxic later.
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It is important to identify this category of people early, manage your reactions to them, work out ways to address the issues they pose, and restrict their access to you. The good news is that when someone believes they’re using you, they may be playing themselves by exposing themselves for who they really are and risking the loss of someone good in their life. In this article, we will discuss signs and warnings that someone is attempting to use you, as well as control measures to deal with those who try to use and discard you.
1. Excessive Display of Charm or “Love”: If your intuition causes you to feel that someone is disingenuously and overwhelmingly showing charm or love in a way that seems fake, you may be correct. We as humans can almost detect when some things don’t feel right or aren’t true - it’s called having a ‘hunch.’ If someone suddenly becomes overly friendly, and charming, and claims to love you, it could be a sign that they want something from you and need to earn your trust first.
2. Emotional Manipulation: Most times, when an individual is wrong and guilty, they may end up presenting their case which makes you feel guilty and see them as the victim. They are probably triggering a mini version of Stockholm syndrome in you. Once you notice this, you need to act fast. Manage your emotions and protect your heart to avoid being taken for granted or taken advantage of.
3. Ghosting At Will: In the case that a so-called friend can disappear without notice and return to pretend like all is fine, you should consider that they do not see you as important to them but only when they need you. The most common things that usually accompany their return are a request or sob story.
4. Favors: Some real friends may ask for favors sometimes, and it’s no big deal, but constantly asking when they know you will feel obliged to give to them, is a sign that your said friend has identified a weak spot in you and probably intends to exploit it. If the said friend appears disinterested when you need favors, that is a clear sign that the relationship is reward based for him or her.
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After identifying partners, friends, lovers, or acquaintances who wish to exploit your kindness for weakness and discard you afterward, it is important to handle them in the right manner to avoid fights and messy breakups if possible. Contrary to the learned helplessness belief that you can adapt to abuse and misuse in relationships, you can do something about this issue.
You may be able to respectfully correct, manage, or even encourage changed behavior in them if you follow this guide.
Here are some examples you can follow:
1. Be Aware: Don’t assume that everyone who comes close to you has the best intentions for you. Learn to recognize and be aware of when someone is overly friendly, charming, and/or manipulative, always plays the victim, or repeatedly asks for favors. Study the patterns. It may significantly help you.
2. Respectfully Put People In Their Place: There’s no need to call everyone your friend or even name-call or raise your voice with them when addressing their behavior. It’s okay to classify people as acquaintances, associates, work buddies, and the like. By doing so, you won’t feel obligated to be available to everyone. Learn and know who you’re dealing with. Some folks may genuinely need help, while others may be out just to see what they can get from you, even if they don’t need your help.
3. Be Direct About Your Feelings: Have an assertive, respectful, and direct conversation with them about their behavior. Sometimes, users don’t see themselves as users. They may feel entitled to and come to expect what you’re giving or doing. Be clear about your relationships and the extent to which you can render help. Make it clear that you are not able to always help them. Be clear that you have personal obligations that you must work on. After you do this, the users may back off or exit stage left.
4. Avoid Co-Dependency: This is primarily about you. You can exist and be fine on your own when you put in the work and persevere. Don’t be eager for attention, love, acceptance, friends, or the need to always help someone. Show people and yourself that you have self-love and respect, and although you don’t mind helping them if genuinely needed, you are enough without having to feel dependent or rely on them and they should learn to help themselves to grow and improve.
5. Set Clear Boundaries And Limits To Giving: Create a threshold beyond which you will restrict access and charity. The limit could be your car, clothes, family, money, or even a boundary within all of these. Make it clear that you consider reciprocity and even at that you are not open to doing just anything and everything. When abusers see that you cannot be easily exploited or manipulated, they may retreat. Never expect that someone will see the errors of their ways and change their poor behavior, especially if they’re constantly benefitting from your kindness or favors.
6. Learn To Say No: Don’t be a doormat. Pull back or stop giving endless favors to them, especially when they have a track record of not being considerate, repaying, appreciating, or even offering favors. If someone owes you cash, for example, there’s no harm in asking for it and restricting access to future loans. Learn from how they treat you and respond with assertive yet firm and kind energy.
7. Be Selectively Available: You won’t die if you don’t come through for them once, and they probably won't either. Allow others to appreciate and respect your presence and absence. Give them a lot of space if they appear not to get the message after your conversation. Don’t be too present, and make sure that your presence conveys how you feel about their behavior. Make them earn your availability for events, favors, and other things, especially when they’ve abused it in the past.
8. Cut Them Off: This is the last option. And no, it is not extreme. If someone keeps exploiting you and is unwilling to change their behavior after using all the measures above, then spare yourself the stress. Put your peace and self-respect first, cease all contact, and let them stay gone when nothing else works. Don’t accept their calls, texts, or emails when nothing else works.
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Conclusively, the most important thing is to always review your relationships and reactions. Don’t allow yourself to be used, misused, and tossed aside as if your well-being and life don’t matter. Do not settle for and seek therapy for any co-dependency or learned helplessness and don’t accept when people treat you poorly in relationships.
Learn to stand up for yourself and restrict access when your mercy and grace are threatened. Don’t wait till the worst happens, and if someone ghosts you after a favor only to come back and pretend that all is well, then extend empathy or kind words, but don’t extend favors. Don’t give second or third chances to people who don’t mind endlessly using you. Learn to read signals and reciprocate respectful and firm energy to individuals who attempt to bring poor behavior into a relationship with you. Lastly, never settle for less. You are worth so much more and then some.