12 Ways To Know If Your Friend Is Taking You For Granted

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signs you're being taken advantage of in a friendship

Friendships are always hard. They are hard to make in the first place. They are hard to maintain. They are hard to keep.

You have to find that one person who "gets" you, likes the same things you do, and can put up with you when you’re being dramatic or are overthinking things with your love life.

You have to find someone who is willing to put as much effort into your friendship as you are. They have to be willing to make sacrifices for you. They have to defend you even when it’s hard or embarrassing. They have to choose you over a relationship.

Unfortunately, sometimes you end up with a friend who takes advantage of you or takes your friendship for granted.

You might think you’ve found a best friend, but they turn out not to be. They end up not being able to handle your "drama." Or, they prefer to have a one-sided friendship and don't put in the needed effort.

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​When this happens, it’s up to you to figure out that they may not be who you thought they were. And that might mean there’s nothing you can do other than moving on.

What does it mean to be taken for granted?

Being taken for granted means you aren't being appreciated for your kindness and generosity. It means that you are, in the most basic of terms, being used.

Being taken for granted in a friendship often means you are giving more than you are receiving. Your friend relies too heavily on you for things they need, but won't reciprocate when the time comes.

There are several reasons why someone would take a friend for granted, but the main one is the psychological phenomenon of "familiarity breeds contempt." That is, the more familiar we are with someone, the more likely we are to treat them with less respect and appreciation.

If you’re in one of these toxic friendships and need to address it to fix it, or just break up with your friend, know that you absolutely deserve better.

Here are 12 ways to know your friend is taking you for granted.

1. You're always the one making the plans.

You find yourself constantly inviting your friends to do things, and coming up with all the ideas for what to do together and when to do it. You have to instigate and make sure it’s something that they’ll be interested in doing or else it won’t happen.

2. They don't invite you to hang out with their other friends.

They hang out with their other friends and do things without inviting you, even though you made it clear that you wanted to hang out with them. They’ll only hang out with you or invite you when they don’t have any other options and are bored.

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3. They make everything about them.

They are constantly talking about their issues and problems and how hard it is for them to cope with everything. They love hearing and taking your advice and words of wisdom.

But as soon as you want to confide in them, they seem like they’re half-listening and give you half-hearted responses that aren’t very helpful. If it’s not about them, they don’t want to talk about it.

4. They steal your friends.

You introduce them to your other friends so that you can all hang out together and enjoy each other’s company. But text thing you know, they’re hanging out with your friends without you.

They don’t even consider inviting you unless they need or want something from you. You’ve been officially cut out of their lives or, at this point, your own life.


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5. They're too busy for you.

If your friend seems to always be busy when you need them, this is a surefire way to know you are being taken advantage of. Especially if you drop everything to help them out.

Do you give them a pass when they're too busy to come to your party, but they'll hang out next week? It's probably a bad move, because they don't show up for you and that is being a bad friend.

6. They don't care about your world.

You have a life outside of this friend, but do they ever ask about it? If your friend doesn't seem inclined to know what is going on in your world, whether it's your latest romance or a promotion at work, they are taking advantage of you.

Friendships are supposed to be a two-way street, but when one friend only cares about what is going on in their own life, things get sticky. You shouldn't have to fight to bring up that you had an awesome date or that you switched jobs. In fact, they should be asking you about it.

7. They violate boundaries.

Your boundaries mean very little to them. When a friend crosses a set boundary, red flashing lights should be going off in your head. This shows that they don't care about your feelings and are only looking after themselves.

Boundaries are important in establishing a healthy relationship, whether it's romantic or platonic. When someone violates them, it breaks trust.

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8. They expect you to listen to them, but won't do the same for you.

You don't feel like your friend listens to you when you talk, but they always seem to want you to listen to them. In fact, they get offended when you don't.

They go on for hours about their problems and what they think should be done, but won't let you have a single moment of their time listening to your troubles. That is a sign of being taken advantage of. They are relying on and draining you emotionally.

9. They constantly ask you for favors.

You're the one this friend goes to for every single favor they need. And you give it to them. But heaven forbid you need one from them.

If your friend seems to always need you to do a favor for them, it can be a potential sign of a toxic friendship and that you are being taken for granted.

10. You always pay when the bill comes.

There's a difference between taking your friend out, and paying for the friendship. If you seem to constantly be the one paying when you go out, it could be a sign they are taking advantage of you.

You could test this theory by "leaving your wallet" next time and see how your friend reacts. Do they roll their eyes? Do they get upset? Or do they laugh it off and say it's fine?

11. They use you to get ahead.

One glaring sign you are being taken advantage of is if your friend uses you to get ahead. They could use you to get to someone you know or get in with your job.

If it feels like they only became friends with you to get something out of it, you need to face the reality of the situation.

12. You feel like you can't be yourself around them.

In a friendship, you should always be able to be yourself, fully and authentically. If you ever feel like they are ashamed of the person you are or make fun of you for your likes and interests, they are not the type of person you need in your life.

You deserve the absolute best in a friend. They should love and adore you for who you are, just like you do for them.

Everyone has flaws and everyone makes mistakes. That's not to say that you should write people off for every little thing, as everyone deserves forgiveness, but if your friend does any of these things mentioned above, those aren't little issues — they matter and they need to be addressed.

What To Do When A Friend Is Taking You For Granted

If your friend refuses to acknowledge the pain or hurt you're feeling from their actions and choices, it might be time to let them go and find better friends who will treat you the way you deserve to be treated.

When a friend is taking you for granted or is taking advantage of your kindness, the most effective way to handle the situation is to communicate with your friend. Tell them how you're feeling and what your needs are. Explain what you need going forward for your friendship to continue.

You will also need to be honest with yourself and your friends about your priorities. Don't be accusatory and try to stick to "I" statements. For example, instead of saying, "You don't appreciate me," you can say, "I don't feel appreciated in this friendship. I need you to do this more often."

Hopefully, being straightforward and honest in your communication will establish a healthier friendship. And, if not, be grateful you can remove this toxic person from your life.

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Hayley Small is an author and writer with a passion for covering topics about pop culture, religion, lifestyle, and relationships.