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Don't get taken in your relationships

Friends
Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

From time to time, we run into a person and develop a relationship with them, where we just wind up giving and giving and giving. We give our money and our time. We lend our ears and accept the excuses the other person is giving for the sake of remaining in our familiar place. Just to set the record straight now, these relationships don't all have to be romantic ones. In a relationship where two women or men are the best of friends on the surface, one could be feeling deep rooted resentment for the other one, because they see them as takers.

When these relationships start, they are generally wonderful for both parties. The rift comes when one has asked for one too many favors, or has not made good on a promise they made. Maybe they gossip or tell lies. Maybe one friend has presented a hint of jealousy over a success or lifestyle change another has had. Regardless of the situation, takers in relationships can sometimes be difficult to spot. This is especially the case when one is knee-deep in a relationship with another (again, regardless of the kind of relationship). Here are some tips to help you identify if that special, annoying friend you have is a taker:

  • When going out, it always seems to be you who picks up the tab.
  • The friend has a lot of problems, which they lay at your doorstep.
  • The friend relies on you to solve problems.
  • The friend acts differently when around your other associates.
  • The friend makes a lot of excuses for themself, their situation, and their options.
  • The friend never has time to listen to your dilemmas.

It's very easy to keep a relationship with your taker friend, and still keep your sanity! The first thing you can do is make yourself less available for the friend. The second thing you can do is cut short any negative energy the friend is giving you. It can be as simple as a negative conversation that they wish to have about their circumstances or someone else's. You can simply tell the person that you are otherwise engaged and that you will have to speak to them another time. Finally, you can share in a positive way how you feel about the situation. If your friend values the relationship, they will respond in a positive way. In the end, our relationships should be one of the most important things in our lives. It's up to us to make sure that we have positive and lasting connections with as many people as possible.