1. You are uneasy around them.
You should not feel uneasy in the presence of someone who is supposed to love or care for you.
A good relationship, whether romantic, friendship, or familial, should be comfortable and easy to be in, so if that isn’t the case, consider it a red flag.
But keep in mind that there are a variety of reasons you might feel uneasy around someone, and it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being used on its own, but that kind of unease can stem from an imbalance in a relationship, so it’s a warning sign that you should probably try to figure out why you’re feeling uneasy.
Even if you are not being used, it is still a good idea to identify and address such discomfort for the long-term health of any relationship.
2. They’re an All-Season Friend
The phrase “fair weather friend” refers to someone who shows up when things are going well or when you have something you can help them with, but never when you need help or want a favor.
This is a huge red flag.
It can mean anything from an immature and selfish person who isn’t aware of what they’re doing to someone who is purposefully using you to their advantage and doesn’t care about your feelings as long as they get what they want.
If you notice this happening, consider having a serious conversation with this person and/or starting to remove them from your life, if possible.
3. They do small favors for you and guilt trip you over them
Many times, users will do seemingly insignificant things for you and act as if they are huge.
They’ll bring up these insignificant “favors” whenever you try to say “no” to them and refuse to give them what they want.
If the words “but think about how much I’ve done for you!” sound familiar, especially after you’ve politely declined and explained you’re not up to helping them with their latest “emergency,” you might want to sit down and consider how important those little favors actually were, or whether they did them out of genuine concern for you or just to guilt trip you later when you refuse to help them.
4. You Hate Them
If you find yourself feeling generalized resentment towards someone who is supposed to be your partner/friend/etc., this is another red flag to be aware of.
This feeling can appear out of nowhere with no indication of where it is coming from, but there is always a reason for it.
Most of our feelings come from somewhere, even if we aren’t aware of it.
If you find yourself resenting someone you’re supposed to be close to for no apparent reason, it’s worth pausing to consider why.
When you notice a feeling, reflect on it and try to trace it back to its source. If necessary, discuss it with a therapist.
Just don’t let it fester indefinitely without taking a closer look.
5. They are unconcerned about what you require.
Do you ever have the impression that your partner, friend, or family member is only concerned with what they want or need?
That when you try to discuss your own needs and desires, they stonewall you, change the subject, or somehow twist the conversation back to them?
This is a big sign that someone isn’t really with you because they care about you, but because they stand to gain something from it.
When you’re no longer “useful” to this type of person, they’ll toss you out like last week’s trash.
Do yourself a favor and confront this type of behavior if you notice it, and if necessary, get rid of them before they seriously harm you, if they haven’t already.
6. They Always Talk About Themselves
In a similar vein, but slightly different, keep an eye out for people who are only interested in talking about themselves.
They are always eager to tell you about their day or their plans for the coming week, but if you try to talk about yourself, they become instantly bored.
This does not necessarily imply that you are being used or manipulated, and someone who does this may still care deeply about you.
But, at the very least, it’s an immature and selfish habit, and you should point it out to them as soon as possible and request that they try to correct the behavior.
7. They Don’t Actually Know Much About You Have you ever realized that a loved one doesn’t know much about you—your likes, dislikes, hopes, dreams, personality, and so on—and keeps forgetting things you know you’ve mentioned a million times?
Perhaps they always forget your favorite color, despite the fact that it’s practically all you ever wear, or they give you gifts or treats that everyone knows you don’t like, but they seem genuinely surprised, even dismissive, and don’t seem to feel the need to apologize for forgetting?
This could be a personality flaw or an indication of someone who is a little scattered, but it could also mean they don’t care about you and haven’t made the effort to get to know you as a result.
8. They’re Evasive
When you confront them with a serious question, you know the type of people who just sort of change the subject, twist the conversation around, or simply refuse to give you a straight answer?
Some people are like this despite being perfectly kind and caring people on the outside, but it can also be a red flag for manipulative behavior.
If you’ve tried to confront someone about any of the other behaviors on this list and they’ve been evasive in this way, you should be concerned.
9. The Relationship Is Completely One-Way
Last but not least, the biggest, worst, most incriminating sign that you’re being used is when a relationship feels completely one-sided.
As if you’re the only one who ever bothers to keep it up.
As if you’re always apologizing for their mistakes and rushing to their aid when they won’t even give you the time of day unless they need something from you.
Or they do just enough to appear to be holding up their end of the bargain in order to keep roping you back in again and again.
But it’s never that much, and it’s never because they genuinely care about you or want the best for you.