Say No To Being Used

Stop playing the martyr—banish the user-friendly gals in your life right now!
by Jillian Gatcheco   |  Mar 21, 2010
photo by Patrick Martires
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If you're always complying with your friends' demands, you might just be giving them the license to take advantage of you. Beware, girl, there's such a thing as being too nice. Are you chums with someone who fits any of the profiles below? If yes, then you better watch out!

The Debtor

You're at a Zara sale and she asks you to make abono for a killer pair of jeans. You oblige, thinking that she'll pay you as soon as she can. Five gimmicks (and loans) later, you still haven't gotten your bucks back. Did she really forget, or is it time to collect?

Collect! Contrary to popular belief, it's not rude to ask for something rightfully yours - as long as the place and timing are right. Keep it private, and be assertive but not demanding. Say, "I hope it's okay if I ask for the money I lent you before, ‘cause I really need it right now. " It would be a lot easier if you provide an excuse for why you need it, especially if you're still uncomfortable with the whole idea of asking.


The Classic

This is the stuff teen movies are made of. Mean girls thrive because of nice people like you. They order you around, laugh at your expense, and pretend to be nice to your face, despite multiple back stabs. You're grateful you're part of their clique, but at what cost?

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Leave! If you're always stressed and on your toes, then you better quit pretending they're your girl friends. Do yourself a favor and find the friendship you deserve, one where you can be yourself.

The Psych Patient

Your girl friend can't seem to function without confiding in you. Sure, it's great that she trusts you that much, but waking you up at three in the morning for a boy problem? You better tell her you're not her love doctor.

Set limits. Constantly calling you up at ungodly hours without thinking of your condition is unfair, even between the best of friends. There's a right time for everything, and the only way to set things in perspective is honesty. If it's not life-threatening, reschedule your talk to a better time (when you're actually awake), or just say you don't think you're the right person to give her advice—instead of getting blamed later on for misguiding her.


Little Miss Can-I-Have?

The worst thing about generosity is when others abuse it. Since when did you become your seatmate's school supply provider? It's fine to give a lot, but not everything you've got!

Stash away! It's pop quiz time, and she's out of paper again. Instead of bringing the entire notepad to school, just take the right amount for yourself. That way, you can honestly say, "Sorry, I only have enough."

The Freeloader

You have another group activity, and everyone selects you as the leader. The freeloader knows you're going to do everything yourself, for the good of the team. In the end, she just goes along for the ride and benefits from all your hard work.

Delegate. You're a leader, not a slave! A good leader knows how to assign tasks, implement deadlines, and be firm. Choosing not to be teamed with your pals is also good way of encouraging new ideas. Because let's face it: always being paired with the same people could get monotonous and unproductive - especially if it's the same wavelengths all over again.


The Damsel In Distress

Are you her scapegoat or alibi when she's been a bad girl? Are you blamed for all her mistakes? That is just wrong. If she manages to get into trouble, she should know how to get herself out of it.

Quit Lying. Next time she asks you to cover up for her, simply refuse. Tell her you're tired of compromising your conscience and reputation for something you didn't do. This way, she learns to be responsible for her actions, and you cut yourself some slack.

The Bridge

We've all heard this before—he likes her, but you like him. He calls you only when it's past her curfew and even asks you for tips on how to "win" pogi points from her. Even though it breaks your heart, you give in—it's the only way you'll get close to him anyway. Sigh.


Stop torturing yourself! The right way to play matchmaker is when you don't feel miserable about what you're doing. But if you're too emotionally involved, it's time to bail out! It's also wrong of you to think that playing "bridge" is the only way you can get close to the guy you like. Build your confidence by getting out of this situation - and setting you sights on an awesome guy who doesn't make you feel like second best.

What If It's You Who's User Friendly?

Tsk, tsk. You've been a bad girl! You may not know it, but abusing your friends' goodness may lead to social and emotional repercussions. Here are tips to banish your user-friendly ways!

Acknowledge that there's a problem. If your friends act aloof or unnatural around you, don't be dense. Think back and assess the times when you became excessively demanding or difficult and own up to them to make it up to your pals.


Figure out the reason. Why ask your girl friend to lie for you, or do menial tasks that you can handle yourself? Why ask for money if you have your own allowance? Are you that big a spender? Most of the time, it's simple case of power-tripping or avoiding your own issues. Once you've figured out the problem, solve it proactively.

Skip the shortcut. As cliché as it may sound, achieving your goal will give you greater satisfaction if you know you really worked hard for it. Learn to be more independent and skip the easy way out—it's time to DIY!

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Jillian Gatcheco
Contributing Writer
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