A true friend needs nothing more than your friendship. Whether there are any benefits to it or not, that friendship is never reliant on anything other than the mutually shared bond. Much like any relationship, it’s built on mutual effort. Usually, the currency is time and attention. But, in some cases, it’s money. And that’s problematic at times. Which probably has you thinking, is my friend using me for money?
If your friend is in genuine need of money for survival and has been leaning on you for a while but is always there for you in return, then no. However, if your friend only shows up when they need money but fails to be present when you have nothing monetary to offer or through hard times, then yes, your friend is using you for money.
It’s a difficult situation to be in.
Trust me, I know.
Some people make the mistake of pegging a friend as a user when in reality, they aren’t.
The exact opposite is true as well. You may think that your friend is genuine but he or she is only there to leech off your good tidings.
Related post: How do fake friends act?
What are the signs your friends are using you for money
After researching this topic thoroughly, speaking to many people and getting the opinions of therapists, I’ve come to realize that there are a few common signs when a friend is using you for money. The signs are as follows:
- They’re only around when they can get something.
- They never pick up the bill.
- They favor the richest friends.
- They’re always borrowing money from you without paying it back.
If your friend exhibits two or more of the abovementioned signs, it’s very likely that they fall under the category of friends who use you for money.
Be that as it may, let’s take a closer look at how these signs present themselves in real-life situations.
1. They’re only around when they can get something
This sucks because you can never truly predict someone’s real intentions for spending time with you.
But it becomes abundantly clear who your real friends are during those dark days when the money isn’t rolling in.
Remove the monetary benefit from your friendship and make a note of who remains a true friend. Those who genuinely care about you will always find a way to spend time with you. Those who were only around when they could get something will drop off the face of the earth.
They will constantly have excuses for why they are never around in your time of need or to just hang out.
2. They never pick up the bill
Just because you covered the bill for all this time doesn’t make it a law in the friendship.
When times are tough or when you refuse, a good friend should be willing to pitch in, especially if they can afford to do so.
But if your friend refuses and is constantly expecting you to pay for them, it’s not fair. This is further perpetuated by a lack of effort from them in other ways.
3. They favor the richest friends
Understandably, all of us are looking for specific traits or qualities in the people we befriend.
But, when you find friends gravitating towards someone who is super rich even if that individual lacks depth and sincerity, it becomes more clear where that friend’s loyalty lies.
Not necessarily with chemistry, good morals and a bond but with financial gain.
This becomes problematic when your friend will cancel plans on you just to be with those rich friends.
4. They’re always borrowing money from you without paying it back
Borrowing money in times of need is all good and well but when you make the promise of returning it but never do, that makes you look untrustworthy.
Friends keep their word. They don’t just take without giving back unless of course, it’s a gift.
A friend who constantly borrows money from you but never actually spends any on you is a questionable friend. Their motives could be monetary because a good friend will find it difficult to take from you without paying you back in some way or another.
It’s not even about the money. It’s about the sentiment and intention.
By trying to pay you back, it shows that your friend really cares about friendship and understands the importance of being truthful.
How to test if your friend is using you for money
This is a fairly simple and straightforward test that requires you to be fair, just and honest with yourself.
In this instance, trusting your intuition is imperative. Look at the reaction of your friend on more than one occasion before coming to a conclusion.
Simply stop spending money on them. Come up with an excuse as to why you don’t have any money to lend or spend on them. Additionally, suggest doing activities that don’t require much money.
Even if it’s just hanging out at your place while catching a game or window shopping.
Don’t do this only on one occasion.
Make a note of whether your friend continues to see you a few times after cutting off the money you spend on them.
Are they acting differently towards you? Are they present in your life or have they backed off from you to be around friends who can pay for them?
Perhaps nothing has changed and your friend is perfectly okay with spending time with you in a setting that requires absolutely no investment of money from you.
I’m more than certain that about a month after this test, you’ll know exactly where you stand with your friend.
Again, I must emphasize, this should be done on more than one occasion to give your friend a fair and just opportunity to react accordingly and truthfully. Don’t be too quick to judge them.
Related post: Do my friends actually like me?
True friends will be with you through success or failure
When days are dark, friends are few. Those few were always your real friends. The people who are no longer in your life during these dark times were never your friends, to begin with.
Measure the quality of your friendships based on the influence they have on your life.
As much as I hate to admit it, toxic friendships can sometimes be unavoidable.
Being used for money is actually a sign of a toxic friendship.
The next time you’re going through a hard time, remember who sticks by your side.
And when you’re succeeding, don’t just let these new friends into your circle who try and sponge off you.
Related post: How to tell if someone is your friend
How to stop your friends from using you for money
Ideally, only make friends with people who genuinely appreciate you on a human level. In other words, friends who just want to spend time with you and watch you grow.
Thereafter, avoid buying people’s loyalty and friendship. In other words, until someone has actually proven themselves to be a friend, don’t spend ridiculous money on them.
Don’t make the basis of your friendship be about material items.
Focus primarily on making memories with your friends through shared experiences. This will build a strong connection that withstands trials and tribulations.
Lastly, set boundaries for acceptable behavior. People will always try to cross lines, sometimes even your own friends.
It may not be to intentionally use you but if it has that effect, then it is up to you to stand up for yourself.
You only get what you negotiate for in life and the best negotiation tactic is to be able to walk away and mean it.
There’s only so much you can do to avoid getting used by people for money. At which point, the only way to stop it is to walk away from those friends who take advantage of your kind and giving nature.
Being generous and kind to the friends in your life is an admirable quality and is indicative of your good nature. Don’t change that about yourself. Just develop some caution and only reward those who actually deserve and earn it.
So long as you build friendships that are based on a strong connection over material gain, you’ll rarely have to worry about your friends using you for money.
I hope you found this article to be helpful. Feel free to drop your questions or thoughts in the comment section below.