People are an interesting thing to witness. I think about that often and a lot of my post are my interactions with others and interpersonal ones. Sometimes on dating. And I think a lot about it because well. What else is there in this world when strip out all the material stuff. The constant fact is there will be people in the world and they will be a pivotal point in everyday lives. However, there’s one thing I that’s been kind of bothering me lately. And partly it is my fault. Which is how it goes. You get burned and you learned. The question you have to ask yourself is what did you learn? Because that is everything. You can be angry, hurt, or whatever over a situation but the end goal is what have we learned. And sure it is easy to say never let your guard down but that is a terrible way to live. I know too many people stuck in a bitter place that they’re unable to let the chip on their shoulder go. And yeah sometimes they had nothing to do with it. Other times it’s easy for them to play the victim and pretend it is all the other person’s fault and not review what might’ve played into their situation. But I could write a post about that. Today is something different.
Lately, I’ve been feeling quite used. Like no matter what I do or try to do. I just frankly feel like it is one-sided. I will admit it is partly my fault I feel this way because I have had every instant to question it and instead I let the person have the benefit of the doubt. It was a friend you could say and that’s what makes it so much harder. For me it totally different than the corporate world or your job when you feel used, because honestly that’s going to happen. You’re going to be taken for granted it is a fact of life. People will monopolize on kindness, a skill, your abilities, or even your self-worth. Because they can’t always help it or they’re just out right selfish. Now I am not making an excuse for these people at all just stating some of my beliefs on this. However, a lot of these people have their reasons and you may never know. You can try and find a reason but honestly, you may never know. And it will kill you I know it kills me when it happens. Especially when it is a friend. Because that is one of the ultimate betrayals I feel.The false-pretense of “I’m your friend on my terms…because I need things from you.” And sometimes you can be a truly genuine and loving person and you just give. And they justify it by “You offered.”
Regardless of the situation it is toxic. And here’s why it is toxic. In the first version someone knowingly taking advantage of you. They don’t value you as a person. They could care more about a bag of garbage than you. And that’s unfair and wrong because you’re going to try your hardest believing that person does care more for you. And that they are your friend when no matter how much you try, you’re better off pounding sanding. This is such a foul and cruel thing to do to someone because the other person willingly is going to hurt them. They know what they’re doing is wrong. And they know they’re going to wrong the person. And if the person being used finds out it will hurt even more than finding out. These kinds of friendships can be hard to stop because at times the person may feel guilty. And you’ll get a glimmer of hope which more than not is false.
The other type of people are the ones that are self-interested have no intention of being anything other than that. However, justify it because you’re nice and you offered. Everyday and every moment they’ll glad take more and more from you. And not once make you feel anything more than well unworthy of their time. And it sucks because as they do it, you feel like maybe you’re getting through to them. But who the hell are we kidding? You know the truth you’re not. Again you’re better of watching the paint dry and hoping that it doesn’t need another coat. They’ll take from you and deceive for their own gain over and over again. All the while saying “well you offered to do it….” Or some iteration of it. And you may feel that nagging situation and for some reason you may not be able to break free of it. It’s an abusive cycle of manipulation and deception. I won’t claim that these are the only examples are types. I am sure there are 100x out there. Like the friend that always shows up with some new need or ask cause they know you’ll do it. It can happen anywhere and at anytime.
And you can’t make this stuff up either, I mean there are numerous studies on it because it is out there. Like Scientific America wrote an article detailing how it actually takes effort to be selfish and in some light use people. Some scientist even proved that being lonely actually makes you more selfish! This definitely an interesting read, but if you can get access to the journal here. Check this writer’s take on it here. Selfishness in relationship where one person gets used is a reality we all may face at one time or another. You’ll see information everywhere about it.
So why am I harping on this why am going over and over again about selfish people. And using people. Well I guess it’s been getting to me. Tugging at my heart strings. I’ve experienced it in dating, with friends, and just these interpersonal relationships that it finally made me feel routinely bad. And having being trying to deal with triggers and things that set me off to feel bad about myself I started thinking about it. And this is one of them right here. For me, I’m loving and caring person. I want to go out of my way for my best friend , for family, and for anyone else I care about. But what hurts the most is when you start feeling like you’re used. When I felt like I was used. I got upset and felt down, I kept thinking “I thought they actually cared about me.” But then I started replaying conversations and interactions and I started to feel bad. I started to see the writing on the wall that was so obvious written there.
And it is so easy to go off on yourself and feel like absolute rubbish. But you’re not to blame you can’t perdict other people and what they’ll do next. Why do you think we have so many sciences doing studies on it? Everything from behavioural economics to cognitive psychology and even then they still will use disclaimers that it only explains a subset of the population. I am hear to tell you don’t beat yourself up. I did it and trust me it just make the situation all the worse. You can’t control other people and I know I say this all the time. You just can and if you can would you? Don’t answer that because the answer is we don’t want to open Pandora’s box. There is one thing you can do and that is quit these people. Like a bad habit or a drug get them out of your life. There’s a poem by Edgar Albert Guest that I read once that really helped me when I thought about it. Because you ask yourself….how can I quit a friendship? It’s daunting at first but I remember the line he wrote:
How much grit do you think you’ve got?Can you quit a thing that you like a lot?You may talk of pluck; it’s an easy word,And where’er you go it is often heard;But can you tell to a jot or guessJust how much courage you now possess?
Definitely check out the rest of the poem (On Quitting) but for this part stuck out…and let me tell you why. You may enjoy this person or friend’s company and you may worry what might happen. But I will tell you two things that I know for a fact that will happen. The first is you’ll learn about yourself and the courage you do have to quit something toxic for you. The second is you’ll feel a better because this negativity will be far from you. You will no longer feel those sensations of guilt, of shame, of being lesser. What ever it is you feel when you’re being used. It won’t be easy the closer the person is to you. However, the courage you show for yourself translate to something much greater. Because you’re practicing self-care in the mist of something truly hard.
There are plenty of selfish people out that and friends or people close to us shouldn’t be one of them. But just because they are one of them doesn’t mean we have to keep them around. I am not afraid to admit it choked me up when I came to the realisation. It was hard. It was ugly. It was heart-breaking. Yet, as I always say at the end of the day there is one person we have to live the rest of our lives with. And that is and will always be you. So take care of yourself. Have courage for you. And don’t let anyone else make you feel like you’re not worth it. Because you are.