End One-Way Street Relationships

I hate to be the one to tell you but you’re not going to be able to fool people forever. A person does not have to be the most intellectually sophisticated individual to recognize a pattern of being used by you. People will eventually recognize when you only communicate with them when you want something from them. Folks will start to notice that you only respond back to their text messages, Facebook messages, tweets, emails, and phone calls when you want something. In due time, people will see that you make everything about yourself. Many people who like to try to get over on people will only be upbeat around them when they are planning to ask them to do something for them.

It’s amazing how people will become your best friend when they want you to give them money and/or sex. It’s just a harsh reality that some people will be in your life just for what they can get out of you and from you. Now, I’ve written about these people who try to use you in Don’t Be A Leech!, and told you that you have to get rid of people who don’t value you in Spring Clean, but we need to explore why we continue to maintain relationships with people who just use us.

What is it about us that allows us to maintain relationships with people who use us? For the purposes of this article, when I refer to the word “relationships,” I mean relationships of all types, including friendships, marriages, intimate relationships, family relationships, business relationships, and etc. One of the dominant reasons why many of us, in my opinion, continue to maintain relationships with people who just use us is we are just selfless. This selflessness, however, can lead us to blindness for a certain period of time. The blindness that we experience for a certain period of time can cause us to intentionally or unintentionally overlook deliberate attempts by people to use us.

There’s a clear difference between people receiving from you because they are in need of your help, but that’s completely different from people who just are taking advantage of your selflessness and willingness to help them because they know the vulnerabilities of your selflessness.

When you are selflessly giving to people, make sure that you get something in return from them—that something can be as simple as a “thank you” or acts and/or words that evince gratitude.

Lately, I’ve witnessed how I will do substantial things for people and will not even receive any responses from them, not even responses that tell me “thank you” or that they received what I sent them. Some people seem to think that it’s my job to help them, and when I try to see if they received what I’ve sent them, I will not even get a reply from them via text message, email and/or telephone. Now, I want you to bear in mind that many of the substantial things that I have done for them involved me staying up all night to complete. I very much appreciate these people for giving me an education that I could have never obtained through my undergraduate and graduate training.

What I’ve learned is that you cannot allow yourself to become a blind giver. You have to be a wise giver. When you allow yourself to become a reckless giver, you open yourself to allowing others to exploit you. I’ve learned from those who have used me that you have to do a simple evaluation of everyone who you help. If these people are not giving you at least a sincere “thank you” in return for what you do for them, then please disassociate yourself from them. You don’t have to have a major altercation with them. All you need to do is don’t answer their phone calls, text messages, emails, and etc.—much in the same way that they have done to you for certain periods of time until they needed something else from you.

Don’t you just love when people try to act like they didn’t get your text message, Facebook message, direct message on Twitter, phone call, and/or email, but you see that they have tweeted several times since you contacted them and/or have updated their Facebook status after you have contacted them?

I urge you to discontinue relationships with people where they are just using you. These types of relationships simply bring you down inevitably. Don’t let your great selflessness turn into unintentional or intentional blindness. When people fail to demonstrate how appreciative they are of you when you clearly deserve appreciation, then remove these people from your life. At the end of the day, you cannot let your selflessness turn into stupidity.

For those readers who know me and you think this article is addressing you, it probably is. If I don’t tell you first, just ask me and I will let you know. I don’t do third person—never have and never will. When have you known me to hold back anything that I have to say to you and/or about you? Exactly!

Love responsibly. Give responsibly. Help responsibly. Be responsible.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison


  1. Tony!!!! Let me get my laugh out first…..lol @ “For those who know me and think this is about you…..it probably is!” Tell ’em! Lol

    Now, I will agree that some people are users, however, some of those people who are selfless have to learn how to say “no” sometimes, especially when they peep the pattern of those who they think are using them! It’s like, “don’t talk about it (the fact that you think someone is using you), BE ABOUT IT!” Just b/c you’re nice doesn’t mean that you have to be a pushover, ya know?!

    Enjoyed the article, sir! 🙂

    1. Lol! Very true, Adrienne! Once selfless people recognize that they are being used, they have got to stop being pushovers. Selfless people have to resolve that they are not going to put up with that type of behavior from people. Things will stop when selfless people determine that things need to stop. Thanks very much for stopping by, for reading, and your great response! Thank you, Adrienne!

  2. Sometimes you can’t tell if the relationship is one-sided until the end. I agree with everything you said but this is definitely a personal journey for people to come out of a realize. I wouldn’t even add the disclaimer at the end of the piece. If people are offended or feel like you are targeting them perhaps they’ll do some inner searching.

    I had to learn how not to be a “blind giver.” I could go in on this but I’m not. Great post!

    1. Thanks, Drew! I resolved that I needed to put the disclaimer in at the end because this time, unlike in past articles, this article just may be specifically targeting them. Out of frustration with the arrogance of people thinking that I’m writing something to specifically target them, I wanted them to know that this time it just may be about them and that I will have no problem entertaining questions this time about whether or not this article targets them.

      Yes, I hope that they will go and do some critical self-reflection. Yeah, sometimes we cannot tell if the relationship is one-sided but I wanted to offer in this piece a little advice about doing a little basic evaluation of how you give to everyone, which would be to see if each person gives you at least a sincere “thank you” in return for the things you do for them. I, too, had to learn not to be a blind giver, but, unfortunately, I did not complete my learning about being a blind giver until recently. Thanks for reading and your response.

  3. I’m late on this article, trying to catch up to your work but you are absolutely right. I have a generous trait, but I’m no dummy I know when people try to take advantage of me. I have 0 tolerance especially as I get older and identify with a lot of those people. Sometimes you have do some spring cleaning sort of speak and eradicate some of those folks out of your life. Very good article, as usual.

  4. I have had several one-sided “friendships” as well as with family members, and it stinks to high heaven. The WORST thus far though was my cousin. This selfish, leech of a human being although a 52 year mother of two adult daughters, and GRANDMOTHER to eight grandchildren…acts worst than a 5 year old child (including the temper tantrums and crying). She acted as if I was responsible for her life, and her happiness. She could, or should I say WOULDN’T do anything for herself if she could help it. She probably would have someone go to the “john” for her too if she could figure out a way to do it. She always wanted me to pick her up, and take her here and there (free of charge) she offered no gas money. She never had money to pay for what she ate or drank(and she did BOTH in abundance). But the real kicker, that was the last straw was when she FB texted me, and declared, “I’m ready to visit you now”, as if she was the Queen of England. I said, well, come on then…at the time she lived about 100 miles from me. I knew she wanted me to come get her. When I said what I said, it seems that she was in a state of complete shock! She expected ME to come and pick her up in order for her to “visit” ME. And of course, take her back home. She was not planning on spending one red cent of her own money to come visit me. Mine you, this was something that she wanted to do. I couldn’t care less if she came to visit me. If anything, I Didn’t want her to visit me at all, she’s too much of a mooch,and too needy. She never did come to visit…what a surprise. Needless to say, our contact is VERY, VERY limited!

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