General Question

Glow's avatar

What do you do with a friend who only calls you when they need something?

Asked by Glow (1366points) April 14th, 2009

Well, what do you do?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

34 Answers

Likeradar's avatar

I think about how I’m contributing to the relationship. When do I call the person? Do I care enough to try to change our relationship?

Usually, I just stop answering the phone.

skfinkel's avatar

How does it make you feel? If it doesn’t feel good, maybe you need to talk with the person, in a gentle way. Maybe they don’t even realize it, maybe they treat all their friends like this, maybe they never grew up. In any case, it would seem like a conversation is in order.

DragonFace's avatar

He/she is taking advantage of you and stop answering calls.

Glow's avatar

well this is also supposing you are good friends with them and have been for a while. also, considering that in the past youve tried to contribute as much as you can, but this is how the relationship has ended up… and i know im asking this kind of weird, but it does apply to me :P

ShauneP82's avatar

If thats all they call you for I would kick them to the curb.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Do you want more of a friendship with that person and that’s why you’re upset? Then say something. Do you want that person to just leave you alone period? Then say sometheing. Either way, you have to communicate how you feel. They’ll never figure it out themselves and will continue to do what they’re doing otherwise.

Judi's avatar

I had friends like that in High School when my identity was so wrapped up in who I hung around with. Now that I’m an adult I choose friends that not only help define me, but also who contribute to the friendship and make me feel good about myself. It really doesn’t make since to keep a friend who makes you feel used and belittled.

Glow's avatar

Well, how do you tell them that they only call you when they need you, and say it nicely with out sounding like a complete jerk? I kind of do want to keep the friendship, but not if she doesnt value it…

qashqai's avatar

I usually help.

You never know, maybe someday you will need something from him/her and he won’t answer your call back.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@Glow – Something like this, maybe:

“X, recently I’ve gotten the feeling that you only call me or speak to me when you need something and not because you want to hang out with me. I don’t like this feeling and I’m bringing it up so I can be clear about things. What do you think?”

“Well, I don’t think I do that.”

“OK, I can give you the benefit of the doubt. But I’m telling you now, if I feel that you’re only talking to me so that I do you favors and whatnot, I’m going to have to reconsider our friendship.”

“Aw, why you gotta be like that?”

“Because being with your friends should make you feel good most of the time, and I don’t feel that I’m getting that from you right now.”
It’s all right to help and to ask for help from your friends, but it’s not all right to just go to someone when you want something and never to see how they are or to listen to them or hang out with them. That’s not a friend. It’s not right to use people; that’s a lack of respect. It’s not right to allow yourself to be used, that’s a lack of self-respect.

Darwin's avatar

You can always just say “No.”

However, if you want to keep this person as a friend you need to have a non-accusatory conversation with them about it and how you feel. If they are willing to make changes, then you have succeeded in reaching them. If not, then it is time to let them go as a friend.

Mr_M's avatar

“Just say NO”,.Jokingly tell her that the only time you hear from her is when she wants something. In fact, when she says “Hi! This is Gloria!” respond with “What do you need THIS time? And the answer is NO!”

Glow's avatar

i was actually thinking of saying to her, the next time she calls for something:

“So,that’s the only reason you called me?” but in a light hearted tone. I could just tell her straight up, “I feel like you dont value the friendship” but I dont want to start problems. And than there is the fact that she would be thinking that im questioning her loyalty (again, 2nd time) and she would start to back away from me, and telling people things and than people will go against me (she has more friends than me)....I’m mostly afraid of starting problems.

Oh, I should probably give examples of when she does this. Hmm, well she told me she hates driving and gets bored while she is doing it, and so, she calls me and would talk to me the whole drive… or when ever she is hanging out with this one guy, he would ask her to call me to invite me, but only because he asks she would call (she tells me he asked). And the most recent time, she came over for the FIRST time ever, and it was just to use my internet to finish her HW :/ So I dunno…

Maybe im wrong, maybe im right, maybe im crazy…

Mr_M's avatar

I don’t think you need to go to such an extent. The acid test of THIS relationship is what happens when you ALWAYS say “NO”.

mattbrowne's avatar

Tell him or her who you feel about this behavior. In a nice way.

Darwin's avatar

Sounds as if she isn’t very mature. If she calls and wants to talk because she is bored, listen as long as you want but then give an excuse and hang up when you don’t want to keep listening.

Why would this one guy want her to invite you over? If you don’t want to see him, don’t go. If you think he likes you better than he does her, then try calling him sometime when she isn’t there. Is she trying to get something going between you two?

Do you ever invite her over to just hang out? Maybe she was looking for an excuse to get together.

In any case, if you can’t do what she wants, simply tell her you can’t right now. If she stops calling then she was probably using you. If she still calls, then maybe she considers you her friend.

It sounds very high school-ish to me.

Glow's avatar

Perhaps it sounds high school-ish because we never really did develop our friendship fully in high school. It was after we graduated that we started growing closer and seeing each other more often. That guy who invites me usually does so because he likes to get group hang outs going on, so he likes to invite a lot of people to do things. According to him, I’m the only friend she has that he says even likes. He dislikes the other ones for his own various reasons. I have called her to hang out before, but when she asnwers me, she usually sounds slightly hesitant and unwanting but like she does it anyway as if she feels obliged. And while we are together, she has little to say, is very uninterested in anything, and always looks very sleepy.I’ve gone to her place to just see her before, and i’ve called her to confide in her about my boy issues or what not.

I guess you could say I do value the friendship very much, and through out my life, I have not had many. She has had quite a few friends and she doesn’t have many problems making friends like I do. So, sometimes, I feel like im just the girl who lives closest to her and thus is more convienient… I guess I could come to her about it, but im concerned that doing so would make everything turn for the worse. Saying no to her and backing away from her would mean I lose a friend, and I am afraid of that… but if its for the best, than maybe its to be done?

Jeebus, sorry about writing novels.

Judi's avatar

So why is she your friend again?

Triiiple's avatar

Stop talking to them. Thats what ive been doing and i like it a lot better.

VS's avatar

Assert yourself and simply say no to her next request. I’ve had some people like that in my life, too. It will do you no good to try and explain the reasoning behind your logic. A few no’s to whatever it is she is wanting should drive her to another’s “friend’s” door and she will eventually leave you alone.

Facade's avatar

No longer call them “friend.” Simple.

dynamicduo's avatar

Doesn’t sound like much of a friend to me.

You have the right to be honest when talking to people. If you feel uncomfortable outright saying your feelings about being “kept in the closet”, then simply say “no” next time she calls, and if she asks why, well then there’s your opportunity to say your bit.

ninjacolin's avatar

i think you need to consider this discussion

not including my comments though. :)

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

That’s an acquaintance and not a friend. You might start referring to them as an acquaintance to make it simpler not to be too affected by their contact and eventually you might choose to not engage them at all anymore.

gailcalled's avatar

Or forget both “friend” and “acquaintance” and call her a manipulator. Then examine your behavior only.

Dorkgirl's avatar

Stop thinking of this person as a friend and put some distance between you. If you are unavailable to help when she needs, then she’ll have to find someone else to suck the life out of.

galileogirl's avatar

That’s no friend, that’s your child! <;}

Glow's avatar

Lol, I understand about just saying GOOD BYE YOU NON FRIEND USER PERSON! But me and her have known each other for so long, about 4–5 years maybe? I cant just throw it away because I feel… well, used and invaluable :/ I could even be wrong… Haha, ok, I think too much, ill stop! But its nice to hear other experiences with it :0

flameboi's avatar

i normally help my friend in need but i guess I’m totally out of my mind…

ninjacolin's avatar

in general, do what you can to help those that you can.
it’s possible that your friend feels crappy about not being closer to you through it all.
if you can afford all the help you give her, i would say go out and learn how to become a better friend socially. there’s actually things you can do, ways to present yourself, that can help others to open up to you.

i mean.. it’s also possible that she’s as open as possible already and hence this question, lol.. but again if you can afford it for a while longer maybe go ahead and experiment on her. see how much you can do for her and how she responds to even more amazing, loving behaviour. and share with her what you learn about dealing with people.. try to make it rub off on her.

kheredia's avatar

It sounds to me that the friendship that you may of had sometime in the past is no longer much of a friendship. Sometimes with time people become distant of each other. There’s nothing wrong with that but in this case I believe your “friend” is taking advantage of you. If you’ve already tried to hang out with her and make your friendship grow and she has become hesitant, I think that should be enough for you to step aside and move on. Don’t feel guilty, you’ve already done everything you could have done for her as a friend. If she comes to you and wants to make your friendship work then maybe its worth trying. But you shouldn’t be the one who constantly calls her to hang out and she shouldn’t be calling you just when she needs something from you.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I would approach the friendship cautiously and take time to consider what the real motives were from the person that I was friends with. If they only called when they needed something, that would cause me to be naturally suspicious of their selfish behaviors. If the calls for favors were a common occurrence, I would certainly entertain thoughts of ending the friendship because it is a lopsided, unfair, and uncomfortable arrangement, so to speak.

Glow's avatar

Thanks to everyone, all great answers! :)

Siren's avatar

I had/have a similar experience, and the last time this friend called me she told me about her sob situation and I acted sympathetic but said nothing as far as offering my help. I was waiting for her to ask me for something like she usually does. Well, she must have detected the ice behind my silence because she tactfully did not ask me for something, for once.

I have loaned her money (she became resentful when I asked for it back and got it from her eventually), my time, my brain (helped her write several essays for her college classes), my sympathy (when she was going through a lot during her divorce and after, when lonely) and my company.

I have received her company and that’s about it! So, unless she offers me her company and doesn’t expect anything in return, that’s where this friendship will go. I have not heard back from her for over a month since her last phone call, so I’m guessing she doesn’t need anything. And frankly, since realizing the type of person she is, I have emotionally detached myself from her as a friend and consider her more of an “acquaintance” to hang out with on occasion. I think this gravy train has left the station.

I hope your friend has finally appreciated you for the generous, kind person you are and started acting like a real friend. If not, the qualities you have make you an ideal friend and I’m sure that you will quickly fill the void with friends when you decide this person is not a true friend, but just using you.

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