OK, so you have a friend you constantly find yourself thinking about, but not in a good kind of way. You're constantly thinking about ways you could help him or her, and you're doing things for this friend over and over again.
It just doesn't occur to you that maybe your friend is simply taking advantage of your kindness. Here are four ways you can tell if you're just being used:
1. You have done your friend countless favors, but it's never enough.
You are one call away whenever this person needs you. You bring your friend food right to his or her doorstep on bad days. You drive your friend wherever he or she needs to go.
Hell, you even get your friend a job so he or she can stay busy, but the gratitude lasts only for a minute. You find yourself doing your friend another favor because if you don't, he or she will talk to you about how much life sucks.
2. You simply don't feel appreciated.
No matter how much you help, you still feel helpless. Your effort is not reciprocated, and you don't expect it to be because hey, this person already has enough problems of his or her own.
Everyone has his or her low points, but if you're no longer getting anything from this friendship, what purpose does it serve in your life? Is your friend really too depressed or upset to help you with your problems?
3. You find yourself doing whatever your friend wants to because you're a "bad friend" if you don't.
You cancel your plans with your friends and your family just to make sure this person is OK. Even though you give your friend so much of your time, if you leave when you have other duties to attend to, your friend calls you "selfish."
This person wants you at his or her disposal at all times. Your friend does not consider you have a life outside of your relationship.
This person may tell you things such as, "You are my everything," with the expectation that you will view him or her the same. But if you don't, then it's an unfair friendship for this person. We wouldn't want an unfair friendship, now would we?
4. Your friend is a loner.
You eventually start to observe that this friend has lost touch with his or her family and all other friends. Your friend's behavior toward you comes off as obsessive and incredibly needy. At this point, your friend has probably come to the conclusion that he or she doesn't need anyone or anything in life but you.
This person has no job, no more studies, no family and no friends. It's just you.
This is an extremely dangerous mentality, and when you argue about the littlest of things, your friend acts as if it is the end of the world. That's because it probably is for your friend.
And it does not need to be simply physical help you provide this person with. If you find yourself mentally drained and continuously worried about your so-called "friend," it's time to respect yourself enough to walk the f*ck away.
It's always difficult ending a friendship. But staying in it merely because you feel as though you both have too much history is not a good enough reason anymore. People change, and if you feel like you are being constantly hurt by this person, then it is time to do something about it.
So, don't be dumb enough to put yourself in this situation. If you see these red flags, then do something about it before it's too late.
This is not to say this person is pretending to need your help. Your friend might actually have something wrong with him or her.
But even so, there is a limit to how much you can do. When your friend begins negatively affecting your day-to-day life, it's time to reassess your priorities. By all means, help your friend, but make it clear where this help will end.