How To Tell When You Are Being Used

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I was listening to a radio show on my way to work this morning. The cast were discussing a letter a young lady wrote to the show asking for advice. She wanted to know how to tell when someone is using you. I thought to myself, “that’s easy” and wished I could quickly get to my phone way down at the bottom of my bag to call in with my response. Of course I couldn’t because I was driving, so I just had to listen to what the other people were calling in to say. I agreed with some the various signs offered, but would like to add one of my own that no one mentioned on the show or called in to share.

Aside from the blatant actions and behaviors that are visible to others who can probably see and say, “girl, you are being used!” It’s pretty easy to know for sure if someone is using you. The biggest indicator is:

You feel that you are being used.

We can lie to ourselves, but our bodies don’t lie to us. We have something inside of us called our instincts, our guts, our intuition, our sixth sense or whatever you happen to call it. It is our God-given radar and built-in alert system. It lets us know when things are not right and signals us to do something about it before something does us harm. It doesn’t tell us what to do because that part is left up to our minds, but it does warn us that something needs to be done.

The problem is most of us don’t acknowledge these signals. In fact, similar to the experience most of us have with our alarm clock, instead of recognizing that it is there to help us, to wake us up and get us ready for action on time, we slap it down, turn it off, or simply ignore it and crawl back into bed (literally or figuratively).

This is what we do with our intuition or gut feelings. We keep hitting the snooze button. After a while, the bells stop ringing and we either need someone else to wake us up and tell us it’s time to do something about a situation or we are frighteningly awakened at the last minute by the glaring light of day shining too brightly to miss and we are force d to fly out of bed and spring into action whether we want to or not. And with our instincts, just like the situations with the alarm clock, by that time, we are running late and have wasted time that we can’t get back.

When someone is using you, you know it.

You don’t need anyone to tell you. The fact that the woman wrote in to ask “how can I tell” meant that her inner alarm was sounding and that she knew she was being used. She just didn’t want to admit it. Writing in and waiting for the answer was a way of buying more time (sleeping in a bit longer) so she wouldn’t have to deal with whomever or whatever is not right.

Her question shouldn’t have been, how do you know…it should have been how do you put an end to it? Which, by the way, is much harder to answer!

I thought it might be helpful for those us who have dulled our intuition by hitting that snooze button too often to have a list of “Tell-Tale Signs That You Are Being Used” so let’s make one up.

What are some outward behaviors or actions that we all should be on the look-out for just in case our radars are a little off? What have you experienced? Share it with us in the comment box below.




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6 Responses to “How To Tell When You Are Being Used”
  1. Tiffani K says:

    I love your alarm clock analogy and agree wholeheartedly with both of your points . You know when something is wrong…you may choose to ignore it and play ostrich but that kernel of knowledge is there.

  2. Shirley James says:

    As Tiffani says, you know when something is as I like to say “not kosher.” I however, do not leave it alone. I speak to my life coach who confirms that what I am thinking is correct. I am being used. I have strong intuition but sometimes I think my need to control situations allow me to ignore being used. I keep that in my mind before it goes too far so I can rein it in.

  3. Judy says:

    WHen anyone keeps on taking from you and not giving back there should be no doubt in your mind that person is a user and unless you’re the type that needs to feel needed, you’ll keep on putting out and continue you to aid and abet the user.

  4. Ali Chase says:

    When you actually know that you are being used, think of the feelings that it has inside of you is a positive feeling or a negative feeling, if it is not of a good effect and you feel lousy or angry about it; then nip in the bud. I say this like I did; because some people don’t mind being used, because they think, that they are helping out the person etc. Because the person being used maybe allowing themself to be used becasue of their Christian background or Christian focus,and feels that it is their act of kindness to whom ever is using them. This is my take on it because I do know when I am being used and I go long with them just to help them out. It’s no skin off my back

    • Nicolette says:

      Hmm…I think there is a difference between being “useful” and being “used.” If you are helping someone who is genuinely in need of help and appreciative of what you are doing, I don’t think that’s being used. However, if someone is taking advantage of you that is a different scenario. And we know this because it just feels wrong. It doesn’t have that good feeling attached that you mention. Even if you have a religious background, it is possible to do things for others and still be used and it’s possible to do so with an open heart and know that you are not being used. If we allow others to use us to feel good about ourselves, i would say it’s because we don’t truly feel good about ourselves. Don’t you agree?