You know the type. The friend that calls you up and always seems to have a problem. They want you to “do a favor” for them, but this isn’t the first time they’ve asked. The “favor” always benefits them, but sometimes it’s not worth your time, especially when you have other things to do. They’re constantly sucking you dry with their issues, running up your phone bill, asking you to drive them places, and basically just using you to their benefit. However, whenever you need to talk or need them to help you out with something, they’re conveniently busy or just keep discussing their own life. Being friends with this person is a drain on your life, but it’s sometimes hard to recognize that you’re being manipulated, especially if you’re really close to them. It’s a cycle that’s hard to break, but you need to know what to look for before you know if it’s happening to you.
Here are some general traits of manipulators and how you can stop this from happening in your life:
1. They constantly have to reassure you that “you’re the best!” or that you’re “saving their life!” If this doesn’t happen very often and you legitimately are doing them a decent favor, than that’s fine. However, if this happens all the time, you’re getting walked all over because the favors are not going to stop. If you like doing favors, then that’s okay for you, but if you’re constantly being guilt-tripped into doing it because you’ve helped them out before, then that’s the kiss of death.
2. They guilt-trip you. Like I said before, if you’ve helped them out before and that’s the only reason they want you to help over and over again, then this isn’t a healthy system. You should be helping people because you like them and want to do good by them, not because the other party is expecting you to be the “helpful friend” 24/7. For instance, if they ask you to drop everything and give them a ride somewhere just because you have a car and have driven them around before, then make you feel bad for not being available – that’s a guilt trip and they don’t want you for you. They want you for your car and that’s not something you want to become a precedent.
3. They only talk to you when they need to vent or want something. The rest of the time, they aren’t listening, even if you’ve had a good day and wanted to share that with them. The friendship isn’t very balanced since they especially aren’t around if you’re having a bad time and need to vent, as well. It’s kind of like you’re their therapist and person to dump things on, not their friend to share the good and the bad like in a healthy relationship. You should be able to be happy or sad and they’re willing to chat, not one or the other. If you’re spending your time listening to them, but they’re not for you, then your friendship is very one-sided.
4. They bad-mouth you to others when they don’t get their way. Maybe you couldn’t drive them somewhere or you couldn’t make it to their party, but they weren’t happy about that and for example, they could accuse you of lying to them. When your back is turned, a manipulator decides to get others on her side and turn people against you. She makes you out to be the “bad guy,” while she comes out the victim because that’s how the story was turned. However, once everything blows over, she could have destroyed other possible friendships for you, but you might never know why. In this case, the “friend” is sneaky and not really worth your time, since they have a “high-school-drama” streak and just want to come out the winner.
5. They try to steal your friends and/or your man. Maybe this scenario in #4 happens and she’s told all of YOUR friends that you’re the “bad guy.” It’s possible that she could try to turn your friends against you for her gain, since she seems to have twisted a story around in her favor. Maybe she’s decided to bad-mouth you in front of your boyfriend and he believes her manipulations – this could be the end to a good relationship just because she ushered her way into your other relationships. This “friend” is not trustworthy and is one to take advantage of your weaknesses for her gain. This is a dangerous situation, so it’s best to be wary with secrets around this sister.
While not all “manipulators” do this sort of thing, these are just some examples of how one or more “friends” could take advantage of you unnecessarily. How do you deal with a girl that’s this out to get you?
1. Don’t let them get the best of you. She’s good at playing games, therefore, don’t let yourself get entangled in them. If she really cared about your friendship, she wouldn’t be using you like she is. Just be wary of her act and be careful of what you say around her. It might be like walking on eggshells, but it’s best to take care with the situations you’re in with her. She’ll take advantage of your weaknesses if you’re not watching out for yourself, so you have to be on your guard.
2. Be careful of how much you share. These types of girls are vicious in gossip and telling others your stories. They can sometimes twist the stories to make it sound like you’re not a good person or that you’ve done them wrong. Maybe you both had something to do with the issues the occurred, but do you want everyone knowing your friendship drama? Perhaps they have always been this way, but you’ve never realized it until one of your friends tells you something you never told them personally. If you don’t want the whole world to know about your relationships or any of your bad habits, don’t trust them so readily and be wary of how much you tell them.
3. Be straight with her and tell her when you can’t help her out. If she’s pushing you to drive her somewhere, just put her in her place. Tell her that you’re always willing to help her out, but that you’re busy on that particular day. If she continues to bug you and makes you feel guilty, just stand your ground. Don’t give into her demands if it means giving into her guilt-trip. Manipulators are good at wearing down their victims, so be the strong one, not the one that tries to keep the peace in this regard.
4. Spend time with other friends. If you show you have other friends and are busy with others, too, you can both gain other alliances. This will help #5 go smoother if you’ve decided that the friendship is too much for you to deal with. Having other groups of friends assures that you have people who have your back if the “difficult” friend decides to bother you and guilt you into to doing something for her. The “difficult” one might still be a fair-weather friend, but if you have consistent friends who don’t want things from you, then you will have healthier relationships overall.
5. Slowly back away from their friendship. I know this seems obvious – is she really a friend is she uses you? Not everyone can spot the manipulative types, however, and easily get caught in their games again and again. Plus, even the people are the sweetest and most caring at times can also have the most brutal mood swings and behaviors. Sometimes, you have the weigh their good and bad traits to truly see that they might be using you. Once that’s done, however, and you think it’s not worth the drama anymore, slowly moving away from their friendship is the best way to remove yourself from the situation. Manipulative friends are toxic and permeate every aspect of your life if they’re given leverage. Knowing when to move on from the guilt-trips and games is the first step in securing your life as your own, not something someone can step on.
Becoming a “Soul Sister” – “Soul sisters” are linked through experience, understanding, and a true sense of womanhood that transcends the mere “acquaintance.” Whether they’re a friend from the start or someone who came in during your mid-life crisis, all friendships bring something special to the table. They’re just different in the way they met you and how much time they’ve been around you. It’s not the quantity of the the time they’ve known you, but the quality of the time you’ve spent together. Some of my best friends are people who I’ve known only two years, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know them well. We’ve spent quality time together, therefore, the friendship has become more important to me as the months and years have gone by.
Strong female friendships can be hard to come by sometimes due to drama, man issues, or anything that makes trust become a problem, so it’s important to keep your sisters close! Learn to love all your friends, despite how long you’ve known them – it’s the bond that counts.
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Do you have a beautiful friendship in your life? Have you experienced a friendship with another woman that has influenced your life in a positive way? Transformed you emotionally or spiritually or intellectually, helped you through a challenging situation, or just been plain fun?
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