burned 100 US dollar banknotes

Almost all of us have experience with people who use others. It’s an incredibly unpleasant experience that harshly impacts our self-esteem, self-worth and overall happiness in life. We feel incredibly disrespected, and we wonder how or why someone close to us could do that. We ask questions such as, ‘did they really care about me at all or was it so that they could get something out of me? It’s a rough thing to go through, and we usually make it worse by blaming ourselves for being foolish.

That’s why it’s important to be able to identify if you’re being used or have ‘users’ in your life. You need to learn how to protect yourself from them for your own happiness. So in this article, we are going to go over three ways to spot a user.

Look At Why They Contact You

‘Users’ generally only contact you when they need something. This is usually in the form of a favor, money, validation or emotional support. While it’s normal to reach out to friends for favors, the ‘user’ will only reach out for favors and generally nothing else. They will very rarely contact you to see how you’re doing. They also very rarely will ask questions about your life because they aren’t interested in your life.

The only exception to this is when they use another layer of manipulation in their game of ‘usery.’ They will reach out to you and lay the charm on real thick to get what they want. They might say ‘Hey, I really miss hanging out!‘, “I miss you” or “I love you, and you’re the best.” However, once they have gotten what they need, all the flattery immediately begins to disappear.

In turn, If you reach out to them for a favor, emotional support or anything similar – they often will ignore you or be unresponsive. They may even dismiss your needs entirely by using excuses such as, ‘I have my own problems, and I can’t deal with yours’ or ‘I’m not here for you to unload on.’ These statements are usually exaggerated responses to necessary requests such as communication, respect, and reciprocation.

Look At Their Other Relationships

‘Users’ have a lot of drama in their life. This is because they constantly cycle through people while ‘using’ them as deemed necessary. Once they finish with using ‘Person A’ and ‘Person A’ is no longer serving them, they quickly discard that person without remorse. They then move on to using ‘Person B’ and will do so until they require the services of ‘Person A’ again. This process of constantly switching out the people in their life ends up in a whole lotta drama for everyone involved.

‘Users’ see people as disposable commodities. They see people the same way that they would see a kitchen appliance. If they have an old microwave and that microwave is doing the job, then they will continue using it. However, if they buy a brand new microwave, then they will trash the old one without thinking a second thought about it. That is unless the new one breaks down. Then they will pull the old one out of storage and start using that one again.

The relationships in their lives are nothing more than kitchen appliances. When they discard you, they don’ think about you again until the new one is giving them problems. Don’t be mistaken in thinking that they care about you when you’re gone. That in some way they are feeling bad about how they ‘discarded you.’ Just think about it, would you feel bad for the old microwave you threw away?

Look At ‘Actions Vs. Words’

The most important way to spot a ‘user’ is to look at actions over words. Although I mentioned this in the first paragraph, it’s important to elaborate further. Manipulation works by people saying one thing and then doing the other. These manipulations usually occur WHILE you are fulfilling a need for them. They make sure to tell you everything you want to hear so that you serve their present need.

Actions Vs Words Examples 

  • They promise to pay you back, but they never do.
  • They promise to ‘be there for you’ but never are.
  • They make plans with you but never come through.
  • They make promises but frequently break them.
  • They cite their ethics and standards but never follow them.
  • They may claim to be ‘afraid of losing you’ but discard you at random.
  • They promise commitments and loyalties but always break them.

Those are just a few examples of a ‘users’ words not matching their actions. If you take the time to observe the differences between what they say and what they do – you can prevent falling into the trap of being used.

On a side note, occasionally people mess up and make mistakes in which they don’t reciprocate your actions, and that’s normal. However, if the person consistently, more often than not, fails to match their words with their actions, then they’re probably a Grade A User. 

The Big Take Away

It’s important to fill your life with people who care about you. People that want to have equitable relationships and are generally concerned with you as a person. They want to give you respect, open communication, love, support, and kindness. They need to understand that love is about giving and receiving. They need to be able to see you as a full human being and not a kitchen appliance that one day is useful and the next day isn’t. Don’t let people make you into their kitchen appliance – you won’t be happy, you won’t be fulfilled, and you WILL come up empty handed – I guarantee it.