By Esther: For the sake of this topic, I would like you all to stop thinking in terms of romantic relationships only. When you agree to have sex with an individual and you get pleasure of that physical activity you are not being used. They are other ways this person could be using you, but for sex is not one of the signs being discussing here.
You know you are being used by a friend or relative when the following is happening:
• You only hear from this individual when they need something- The biggest sign that indicates a fake friendship is that your friend will only contact you when he/she needs something. It can be anything, something tangible like a book, a car, or dress, or a favour like giving them a ride to work or doing something for them. Of course you should help your friends or family with things. However, if someone only calls you when he/she needs something, then perhaps it is time to say goodbye to that so called friend or have a heart to heart conversation with that family member.
• He/She makes plans with others that does not include you – If you introduced your friend to other members of your circle and that friend started making plans with them without you, it can be a sign that your selfish friend is using you in another way. If this happens once, overlook it. However, if this is happening frequently it shows the friendship is becoming toxic. Frequent plans without you may pull your other friends away from you.
• Betrayal – Trust is the most basic thing required for any relationship to flourish, friendship is no exception. If your friend is using your personal information to make personal gains it means that he/she is betraying you and is not trustworthy. For example, that person gossips about you and disclosing a major personal secret to someone that you work with. Or a family member flirts with the object of your affections.
• You are constantly told NO – We all have expectations from our friends and family and hopefully we can count on them. If you are doing everything you should do as a friend and not getting anything in return when you are in need and only hearing the word No its another sign of fake friendship. If you are getting NO from your family all the time, then they are unsupportive and perhaps even toxic.
• You are being pressurized – All relationships should be of mutual benefit. If someone is frequently pressuring you to do things they want and do not care what you want, then it’s may be time to consider severing this relationship. Everything that happens in a relationship should involve mutual consent and there should be no coercion. That is especially true when it comes to having sex with another person. Remember, if the other person forces you – it is rape and also a crime.
• Lies – If someone is lying to you even about small things like going to a movie or borrowing a book it is another indication of a toxic relationship. It is better to be honest and say something you don’t want to hear than lying and saying something that pleases us.
• You get invited at the last minute, if at all – You are asked to join them for various activities at the last minute, knowing it will be hard for you to join the invitation is just a formality. It is almost like you are an afterthought.
All the Best,