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When People Use You: Stop Being a Doormat and Feel In Control Again

Some people are all about take, take, take, but what if you’re the one doing all the giving? When people use you, it’s time to wave goodbye.

When People Use You

When people use you for their own gains, it can be painful. You end up going over and over in your mind about how they could do it. Surely they see that it’s not right? Don’t they understand how it makes you feel? You would think so, but then people are quite selfish a lot of the time.

Wouldn’t life be far easier if everyone had the same heart as you? If everyone gave the same, took the same, acted the same, and felt the same. Wouldn’t life be much less confusing and far brighter?

Well, yes, but we don’t live in a Disney film. On far too many occasions than most of us would like to admit, we find ourselves at the mercy of other people and their negative actions.

The human race was not designed equally. We have good people, we have bad people, we have in-between people, but we don’t have anyone perfect. So, when people use you, what is the best way to deal with it? Forgive and move on may be the healthiest option on the table. [Read: Letting go of a relationship minus the bitterness]

How does it feel when people use you?

Whether from something small or huge, the feelings are very much the same. Disappointment, hurt, and anger.

For example, someone might be using you to get closer to another person. This usually happens when a crush is involved. Someone might be using you for money, to get a leg up on the social or career ladder, or for your rather impressive clothing collection.

As you can see, the examples of being used go from small-ish, to rather large. The bottom line is that when people use you, it says a lot about who they are as a person, and nothing about who you are.

So, the first rule in all of this is not to blame yourself. You cannot be expected to spot a bad apple from 100 yards away, and you cannot be held responsible if a usually well-manner, good-natured friend suddenly turns into a super-user. The only thing you can do is forgive them and move on with your life. [Read: How to start a new life and move on from the toxicity for you]

Is it possible to forgive when people use you?

Forgive? Forgive?! Yes, I really mean that. Forgiving means that you’re not holding a grudge for the rest of your days, and believe me, grudges aren’t healthy. Grudges eat away at you from the inside and turn you into a bitter, untrusting person.

The people you’re due to meet in your future don’t deserve to be punished for the actions of someone in your past, and it’s up to you to make sure that you don’t make them take responsibility for something they weren’t even around for.

Okay, so it hurts to be used, and I know because it’s happened to me far too many times. For a while I thought that maybe it was something I was doing. Maybe I was too trusting, too generous, or a little desperate to be liked, but it was none of those things.

When people use you, it reflects on them only. This is their karma, so don’t make it yours by closing yourself off to people around you and avoiding interactions with new people. Not everyone is the same as them. [Read: How to handle a friend who uses you and break the cycle]

The questions to ask yourself when people use you

When someone’s used you and hurt your feelings, it’s normal to lash out. The thing is, are they going to admit it? Probably not. When someone’s been caught, the last thing they’ll usually do is hold their hands up and say, ‘I’m sorry, I used you for your bank balance/clothing/social status’ or whatever else they saw fit to pilfer from your life.

They’ll deny it and turn it into something else, or even worse, turn it around on you. That means that getting an apology is basically useless and a total waste of your time.

Is this the first time it’s happened to you? If it’s not, and you find it a recurring theme, take some time to think about why this might be happening to you more than once. Do you trust people too easily? [Read: 16 reasons why people take you for granted so easily]

It’s a likely scenario, and I know it was for me. I didn’t take it as a bad thing because trusting easily isn’t a negative reflection. Instead, I learned from it, and that way at least something positive came out of the whole sorry experience. I haven’t loaned anyone outside of my close family money since, and do you know what? I haven’t been used for cash since that day!

It might not be money that has caused you the issue, and it could be that someone used you for your friendship, in order to attract someone or gain status. In some ways, that is more hurtful. Don’t beat yourself up for being friends with someone who didn’t deserve it. Pat yourself on the back for being a kind and open person.

What you can do however is learn to hold a little of yourself back in the future, until you’re sure the person you’re interacting with has earned a place in your life.

It’s not about beating yourself up and changing who you are, it’s not about becoming bitter, it’s about learning a lesson and not allowing the experience to make you a negative person in the future. [Read: How to meet new people and find a new crowd]

How to forgive and move on

Forgiving someone for hurting you is hard, and forgiving someone for using you is exactly the same thing. It doesn’t matter how long you knew this person for, it’s a betrayal and it stings. Forgiving this person is the only way to gain peace of mind, but it’s obviously easier said than done.

By forgiving the person you permit yourself space. You’re saying ‘okay, you hurt me, but I won’t let you hurt me anymore,’ and you’re letting it go. You learn a lesson, for sure, but you take away a positive. No grudge and no negativity eating away inside. [Read: How people emotionally manipulate you and mess with your mind]

You forgive simply by voicing your intention to do so, and you don’t need to say it to the person, you simply need to say it to yourself. In many ways, it’s not a good idea to say ‘I forgive you’ to the person doing the using. By doing so, you could communicate that it’s okay to treat people that way. That’s not really what you’re saying. You’re simply not allowing it to use up a second more of your headspace or time. Saying it to yourself is enough.

Your future self will thank you for being strong enough to walk away from this situation without resentment and bitterness. It’s certainly hard to do, but it’s entirely possibly if you keep a handle on your emotions. Give yourself time to get over it, and then walk away from the whole sorry situation, with your head held high.

[Read: How to spot selfish people and stop them from hurting you]

When people use you, it can feel like a huge stab in the back. In many ways that is what they’ve done. They’ve betrayed your character, your kind nature, and your trust. But how you handle it can define your own future.

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Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...
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