Using People

You Don’t Call Until You Want Something

Black Man Yelling

Stop calling me only when you want something!

Do you know people who don’t call you until they want something?  Do you know people who don’t even want to have anything to do with you until they want something?  If your answer to one or both of the aforementioned queries is yes, then you know people like this can become burdensome and exhausting really fast.  You don’t have to tolerate those individuals anymore.  All you need to do is treat them like they treat you and they will flee from you.

One excuse folks like this will use when you call them out on this issue is “I stay so busy.”  However, when they need something from you, they’re able to find all of the time in the world to talk to you.  “I stay so busy” is simply a lie.  This is language people employ to attempt to camouflage the fact that they only care about what you can do for them and don’t have the slightest concern about you.  When these folks don’t need you, you’re nothing more than an afterthought and footnote.  You need to know that people like this are only using you or attempting to use you.

You may be busy but you’re not “so busy” that you cannot take a few minutes to call someone you always call when you want something

People who call you only when they need something should be more honest and transparent.  Are you afraid to let people know you’re only interested in them for what they can do for you?  Stop telling lies about being “so busy” all the time.  You can find the time to call someone just to say hello or check on them on your way to work or to the store.  Even if you let a person know you don’t have but a few minutes to talk, this will show them you’re interested in them more than just for what they can do for you.  It would seem like you would have enough sense to call folks enough so that it does not seem like you’re just using them, even if it’s really your intention to use them.

When people who only call you when they want something call you or text you, stop returning their calls and text messages.  Shut down all communication with them.  You have to do something to let them know you’re not going to accept this type of behavior from them.  If you continue to allow this type of behavior to occur, then you have to take just as much responsibility as they do.  People will do as much as you allow them.

Don’t feel guilty when you end all communication with people who call you only when they want something.  You have nothing to feel guilty about, considering they’re the individuals responsible for this termination of communication.

If you’ve never given it much thought about when people call you, I encourage you to begin to observe when people call you.  You need to begin to seriously observe if people are calling only when they want something.  Eliminate these individuals from your life and you will see how much you ameliorate your life.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Stop Being Free

One of the realities of life that you may not want to confront but you must is sometimes you have to give people exactly what they want.  Along the same lines, you must sometimes ask people for exactly what you want.  From time to time, it’s vital to show people that you will stop doing things for them when they are unwilling to do things for you.  People will want you to go all out the way for them, but when you ask them to do something for you, there are always excuses and artificial justifications for why they cannot do exactly what you ask of them.

Let people know that you will withhold your giving to them when they are never willing to do exactly what you ask of them.  Don’t be afraid to ask people for exactly what you want.  Stop sugarcoating your requests—just ask for what you want, how you want it, and when you want it!

People need to know that you are made of something.  Stop just letting them get all of you for free.  If you truly believe that you are valuable, then, from time to time, start getting something in exchange for the things you do for people.  In no way am I suggesting that you should ask people for something in return for everything you do for them.  What I am saying, however, is to occasionally request people to do something for you in return for what you do for them.  Please know that you are not being selfish when you occasionally request for people to do something in return for what you do for them.

You have to learn to be fairer to yourself.

If people try to give you a significant amount of resistance to your requests for them to do something in return for what you do for them, then simply don’t do what they want you to do for them.  Sometimes people learn the most from tough love.  Tough love can cause people to do the critical self-examinations they so desperately need to do.

The bible informs us that people are worthy of their service.  Therefore, think about this each time you ask someone to do something for you.

Of course, we need more people across the world to become more selfless.  This does not mean that we need more people across the world to be more foolish in their giving, however.  When people love and respect you enough, they will know (without being told) that they need to honor your requests for them to do something in return for what they request you to do.

Sometimes you have to let people suffer before they will realize that they need to treat you better.  As the bible evinces, suffering brings about correction.  We are surrounded by so many people who need correction.  Far too many people are too consumed with what they want and need that they never consider the desires and needs of other people.  Don’t love yourself so much that you cannot use your eyes and heart to discern what you can do to meet the longings and needs of others.

Stop being free!  Put a price tag on yourself sometimes.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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

Don’t Be a Leech

You should not always have your hands stuck out begging. At some point, you should have something to offer to someone else. When people give to you, learn how to give back to them. People will start to hate seeing you come around them because they know you will have something that you want them to do for you. Do you have people in your life who only call, email, text, and/or visit you when they want something from you and you never hear from them until they want something? Today, I want to let you know they are leeches. If you continue to feed leeches, they will zap all of the blood out of you. You may not understand what’s going on with how you feel,  why things are not going right in your life, why it seems that you don’t have enough time in the day, and/or why you are not able to meet your daily responsibilities. You need to check for leeches in your life. Leeches could be the very reason you are not progressing, improving, and/or feeling the way that you long to feel.

Don’t be so compassionate that you allow people to crumble your foundation. You have to be wise in your giving. Always examine your giving and make sure that you are giving to the right people and places. You are not the savior of the world, so don’t attempt to help too many people because you will be denying yourself from the great things that you need to enjoy for yourself. Helping too many people on your own is simply not healthy and not wise. You will physically, mentally, and emotionally weigh yourself down with stress when you are trying to help everyone. When you need some help, watch how many of those people who you helped will be there for you.

People will hang around you and contact you just to get benefits from you. Now, this can be expected from the complete strangers you may help or the random people you meet, but it’s those friends and family members you have to be more alert about being leeches. Leeches are not always easy to detect. We allow friends and family members to occupy certain spaces in our life that we don’t allow others to occupy. This is the reason why we have to have on more protective clothing when we are around our friends and family—they could be the greatest leeches we have on us. If you are always thoroughly examining yourself, then you will know if your friends and family members are leeches.

We often make ourselves too vulnerable to people who we believe love us and have our best interest in mind. You need to understand that you need to constantly assess those who you make yourself vulnerable to in some way. It can be the venomous people around you who are killing you and pushing you off of your road to greatness. The people who you love and trust can be the very people who are simply using you for what they can get from you. You cannot sit there and allow folks to suck all of the blood out of you and not have enough left for yourself.

I know that it might be difficult to think about your loved ones being leeches, but you have to be willing to examine them as potential leeches. Guard yourself in wise ways. Build necessary walls with certain people in your life. We hear a significant amount of discourse about tearing down walls, but there needs to be more discussion about building necessary walls. Walls exist for a purpose: to make sure that not just anyone can enter.

Beware of the leeches out there—they might be some people you least expect! If you are consciously a leech, stop being one today!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison