are your friends using you

On a long plane flight, turbulence is a terrifying event that can happen, second only to crashing. It’s the sensation of being shaken in a metal tuna can full of people, and you cannot get out.

Your trust is put into a pilot and a co-pilot you’ve never met before.

How old are the pilots?

Are one of the pilots hung over?

Is he talented and on his A game?

What experience do these people have that I’m willing to put my trust in them, without knowing who they are? To trust them to protect my life at ten thousand feet above planet earth?

What if pilot number one’s wife is cheating on him, he’s depressed, doesn’t care anymore, and wants to die taking the whole plane with him so he doesn’t go alone?

These are some thoughts you could have mid-air. Planes are uncomfortable, cramped, and genuinely take your ability to control your environment and give it to someone else.

Finally, you land. It’s over. You can take a deep breath and relax. Your journey has ended or just begun. Safely on the ground. Finally, you can walk again.

Who Are Your Real Friends?

Recently I flew on a business trip to California. Arrangements were made for a friend to pick me up from the airport a week prior to my landing. We’ll call her Kacee.

When I landed, my phone finally received signal after a long vacation away from the network. While walking outside the tarmac to greet the cold night air, notifications and texts begin to swarm my phone. One text came from Kacee, whom I expected to get drinks with after landing.

Hey, I can’t pick you up from the airport today. I’m hanging out with one of my friends right now. You can probably take an Uber or something like that though.

Disappointment and abandonment were the only feelings I had at that time. Then the anger set in. I arrived on a late night flight and needed to be up early tomorrow. This was not the way to get started.

It wasn’t that it was an issue to take an Uber or find another ride. That wasn’t what threw me off.

What tormented me was that the arrangement had been made days prior to pick me up and get drinks together. On me.

What bothered me was texting me while I was 10 thousand feet up to cancel. Knowing that when I landed I would get the message. It was a tactical delivery. Hit him when he can’t receive it, then forget about it and see if he responds.

What ended our convenient friendship was her excuse wasn’t an emergency. No one was dying, no one was sick. It was simply too inconvenient for her to follow through on her plans of picking me up, when a friend wanted her time instead.

She only wanted to be friends when it was convenient for her. When it benefited her. Free drinks were enough of an incentive to create plans for the ride. Enough of a value proposition to create a want in Kacee to assist. Do you know someone like this?

Convenience Friends | Value Vampires In Your Life

Convenient Friend

Definition: A friend who is only around you because of some intrinsic value you provide. When the value is gone, so are they. Convenient friends need a diverse portfolio of hosts to draw from, no different than a common parasite.

Convenient friends are like parasites or leeches. Leeches of value. Your value.

They are opportunists that look at how they can take the most value. When the value is gone, when times aren’t easy, they’ll leave. How Can you tell that your friends are using you?

They are survivors that would rather jump off a sinking but repairable boat, than pick up a hammer and begin plugging leaks. In their mind, a new boat is always better. Even if there may be no chance of one.

In no way does a convenient friend want to go through any hardship with you. They want the best possible life, at the expense of those around them. They may be like this with all of their friends, or only certain ones they deem as appropriate targets.

Do convenient friends realize what they’re doing? They could, but is it really worth your time for you to understand, whether or not your friends are consciously taking from you, or don’t realize they’re doing it?

Both are going to be a detriment to your life. Both kinds of these people, need to leave. Even if it requires you to push them out, or experience some emotional distress.

 

Convenient Friends Are Only There If Your Relationship Is Convenient For Them.

The moment the relationship stops being convenient, convenient friends disappear. They disappear, as if they were never there in the first place; because they weren’t. They are not there to add value to your life. Convenient friends are in your life to take. 

Hit a rough spot? No value.

Need something? No value.

Moving? No value.

Find another host.

Convenient Friends Are Those Who

Would ask for money or food in grade school. begging you, making you feel guilty until you finally give up. They would never give anything back to you.

Ask you to introduce them to new dating prospects, friends, jobs, they want you to refer them to better opportunities. When you need a reference, they unsurprisingly don’t know anyone.

Buy items from you, but don’t have money on them right now. They’ll get you next week when they get paid. Next week never comes. The phone goes silent, the excuses grow loud.

Complain. Convenient friends will complain if you reduce your generosity. If your generosity is a fountain, they want to drink. When the water pressure decreases they complain, or leave to find another fountain. They’ll say you’ve “become cheap” or “only care about yourself“.

Convenience friends can be anyone.

  • Parents
  • Spouses
  • Siblings
  • Bosses
  • Coworkers
  • Neighbors
  • Boyfriends/Girlfriends

Convenient friends are insidious. They can be anyone. What makes convenient friends difficult to detect is the allure of helping someone out. It feels good to help others. It hurts us when we’re taking advantage of.

Your convenient friends are masters of hiding how they take advantage of you. For when you find out, and you will, they know the host will no longer provide value to them.

When I arrived Home

Coming Home

When I arrived home after a comfortable Uber ride, Kacee texted me again. The timing was impeccable, as I just set my bag down.

“What are you doing?”

“Nothing, just got home from the airport.”

“Oh nice. My friend left a little while ago, now I’m watching TV. Why did it take you so long to get back?”

“I don’t know.”

“Oh okay. By the way, when can you help me move a couch tomorrow? Someone else was going to do it but they left at the last minute. I really need you to come through on this for me or I’m stuck.”

*Contact Deleted*

Don’t Allow Yourself To Be A Convenient Friend’s Target.

Fake Friends Are The Worst

Although it was okay for my ride to be busy watching television, I’m required to “come through” with Kacee or it will cause turmoil in her life. Convenient friends seek value for themselves via extraction and need to retain all the value they can.

Think of them as value vampires.

Those who are around for the value you provide, do not love you. They will create an excuse sandstorm at a moment’s notice of your needs, shading out any visibility of hope for them in your time of need.

They don’t want you. They want your value.

If you feel that you have a convenient friend in your life, start by taking an inventory of give and return scenarios.

  1. How often have you helped this person?
  2. How often have you asked for help, and been refused?
  3. Does this person only speak with you when they need something?

You may lose many of your friends when you begin to put those under the microscope who want your value and not you.

That’s fine.

You’ll have more room for people that genuinely want to spend time with you, and retain more of your happiness.

Clean up your network today. Who do you know that has been a convenient friend? Leave your response below.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Great article Vin. Damn parasites. Ever since throwing everything into developing myself and my business I’ve ruthlessly cut people left and right. Without mercy and my life has never been better.

    On one hand it’s saddening how many people have no depth and character and see everyone as a utility or resource to be exploited then discarded. But then on the other hand it really makes you value your brothers who have your back no matter what.

    At first I felt bad being ruthless. But then I looked at it like eliminating cancer cells from my body. Why the hell would I feel bad about that? Like you said they’re just vampires sucking your energy with nothing in return. They’re exploiting and using you and expecting you to be weak enough to just take the abuse.

    My time is too valuable for that. I only wish I had learned this lesson far sooner in life.

    • The only person I’ve ever had to cut ruthlessly like that from my life is my brother.

      He isn’t your regular value parasite – he’s a 40 year old alcoholic. He hasn’t had more than 30 days sober in 3 years. He used to show up at my door at random times, either drunk or hung over, and needing a place to stay. I’ve since moved and he doesn’t have my new address. I’ve blocked his number, blocked him on Facebook, I have no contact with the man.

      He is worse than just worthless, and worse than just a value parasite: He will actually drag me down and cause detriment to my family.

      Can’t have it.

    • Couldn’t have said it better myself Sledge.

      You must be ruthless with your own wellness or some monster will ruin it. It’s so important to guard your happiness from those who are parasites. It only takes one bad egg…

  2. I know quite a few people like that. I have notes on contacts in my phone, and I don’t talk to them. However, I made a point to never delete a contact out of my phone once they’re in there. Who knows at what point down the road I may need to do the same thing to that person that they did to me. Extract value from them.

    So yes, I have notes on a few people in my contact list, but one or two of them have come through for me on occasion that made them worth keeping, even if it is in the “Break Glass In Case Of Emergency” pile.

    Great post. I was so glad you finished out the Kacee story! I was itching to find out if you ever texted her back.

    • Johnny,

      I do the same thing. Also, if you delete their number, you may accidentally answer their call. it’s much easier to ignore, than to make an excuse why you have to go.

      • Vincent,
        First thing; been following your site, reading your articles, reading the comments.
        Great place! I was “red pill” ( if you will) before red pill was a thing and did not even know. Finding communities of people who write about honor was refreshing. Thank you!

        Now for more of my opinion:
        ” if you delete their number, you may accidentally answer their call. it’s much easier to ignore, than to make an excuse why you have to go.”

        I am shocked! No excuses needed! Although these matters have been handled exactly the same way your comment prescribes in the past by myself, One of the key ingredients of a clean conscience is scrubbing the skid mark after you flush, I.E…get rid of the number AND JUST TELL THEM THE TRUTH! If ones foundation for ones self is solid an angry reaction from the “erased” party should not matter. Like a bead of rain off a ducks back.

        If they call, and you answer, no shame to say the truth. You might be performing a service and in the case of it being a woman,..she more than likely NEEDS to hear strong ethical men say things like this to them with great indifference,..and maybe even tell them why. The why part is optional. It contrasts with what her Mom, girlfriends, Huff-PO, gay males are telling her.

        Anyhow, ..just my two scents. Thanks a ton for a great blog!

        • Race, thanks for your comment and taking the time to write this out. You taught me something new, and I will be taking your advice.

          Beads of water of a ducks back. Your two scents are appreciated.

  3. The problem with this mindset is that you get paranoid that they are all using you.
    Let me tell you something: You make friends with people you have something in common with, they give you something, or would you be friends with someone that does not enrich your life?

    Making friends is selfish. You have to be careful who you kick out of your life because after a while you get rid of them too quickly (at least I do sometimes).

    1 disappointment and boom, removed from my life.
    However, it depends on how hard they fucked you over.

    Some people who think they get rid of parasites are the biggest parasite themselves.

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