Taking Advantage

I’ve always put this out there… friends are an interesting class of people, and it is quite clear that the term is a loose. There are friends who are part of your clan as described in the book The Chimp paradox, and they are your ride or dies, the people who understand you and you understand them; there are friends who are in a grey area and they go up and down on your likeability radar; and there are straight up associates and acquaintances that hang around in your life. This post will focus on the friends who are in that grey area and like to take advantage of your abilities, or your willingness to help people.

The word friend is a dangerous one at times because you may in fact end up being a slave to someone who becomes dependant on you, and turns small things from wants to “needs”. This person potentially could be very obsessed over you, and may even be quite territorial over you, dependant upon who is in your environment, whether it be your siblings, your romantic life partners, or your parents. They may also be perceived to be seen as someone who only focuses on number one and no one else i.e. they are selfish, hard headed and ignorant. At times they think they are one step ahead of the game, and try to play things smart around you, when the truth is you’ve become accustomed to their patterns of behaviour. If we are taking the self-responsibility chair right now it can easily be said that it is your fault for allowing someone to be like this with you in the first place. Yes they may have problems and issues, but I can guarantee they are not like this with everyone, apart from you and a few other individuals potentially. But let’s also remember you are not the only reason why they are like this with you. There obviously is a sense of compatibility between you and the other person, but we must take time out to recognise what was the defining moment that allowed someone to be a person who takes advantage of you.

Why do people like this exist? It is normally because there is hole that has not been filled in their life, there has been a piece of their life puzzle which they have ignored to explore, they have been given opportunities in life to figure out things for themselves yet due to fear of the unknown or intuitively known, they reject any form of long term “stressful” reparations in their life. The result being that they become reliant upon an individual they call a friend. That friend is more of a tool rather than a relationship in that person’s life. They don’t realise the damage they are actually committing to themselves and the potential friendship. In order to be friends with someone, there should be no sense of excessiveness that one feels from one another, there should be a sense of balance, a sense of teamwork, and a sense of support that clearly and boldly says “I’ve got your back“. But when it feels one sided, or as if you feel used and abused during particular moments in time, that’s when the friendship feels like an annoying relationship that needs to be put out quick. It becomes very draining, and requires a lot of effort. It even turns into a situation where you have to act a certain way in order for you to satisfy the “friendship”, or in other words “your sanity”.

What do you do in this situation? Carry on pretending to them that everything is ok, or tell them about it? If you do tell them about it you can do it in two main ways:

  1. Wait for them to mess up and use that opportunity to tell them about your concerns
  2. Tell them regardless and be straight and real with them from the get go

I love the second option yet there are some people you just have to deal with delicately because you know it’s more hassle than it is worth. It may not be because of the person’s characteristics and persona, but maybe more so because of the connections formed between yourselves and other people within your environments that you do not want to sabotage.

The key to this is being honest from the get go allowing both of you to have a genuine friendship, and if that doesn’t happen remember they were there for a season, not a real reason. Friends come and go, but your clan is part of your plan!

Hey there! I’m Michael Tabirade and I help Personal Brands discover, develop and deliver their expert-based business using digital marketing.

I know it’s not easy trying to start your own business and still live the life you want to live. It takes extreme sacrifice, effort and energy to do it well, whilst competing with everyone else in your industry. It can be frustrating, and even though you don’t want to lose hope, secretly behind everyone who believes in you, you do… I know exactly how this feels…

Sometimes all you need is patience, and other times it’s a lack of knowledge and direction. So after many of my friends and family were asking for Business & Leadership help, I put together a programme to do just that…

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