Ten Common Ways Family And Friends Use You, And How To Outsmart Them
Copyright © 2007 by Lisa
has to deal with a certain give and take in life, that involves what you
are willing to do to get something else.
That something may be respect, companionship or money.
there are ways of going about this that get you something you want while
not helping the other person get anything they want.
This results in someone being used.
bet you are often a victim of this type of thing.
Someone you know calls and asks for a “simple” favor, and it
ends up taking you all day to do, or puts you in a dangerous situation.
times your built in “alarm” system is going off but yet you still
feel obligated to say yes to something that you have a feeling is not
good for you to do.
look at 10 common problem spots and devise a plan to save you from them:
Running errands or doing chores for someone
Babysitting their children or caring for their animals
Imposing on your hospitality when you want to be alone or have
Listening to them rattling on, taking up your time
Taking something from you that you want or need
Co-signing or giving a loan
Telling a lie for them, falsifying records
Stealing for them or doing something dishonest, buying beer or
another substance for them
Supporting them or letting them live in your home
Having sex with them, or putting up with too close and uncomfortable
of these things could be avoided if you put some boundaries and
safeguards in place beforehand. Some
boundaries, excuses or safeguards you could use are:
cover of your religion. If
you are a Christian, or believe in living a holy, spotless life, it
should show enough in your behavior and speech that people wouldn’t
ask you to lie, steal or buy them beer.
they haven’t gotten the message though, and do ask you to do these
things, you can say “I’m
sorry, that would be against my religious beliefs, or what I feel is
right, therefore, don’t ask me that again, please.”
sure you get the last part of that sentence in there – Don’t
ask me that again please.
matter what someone is asking, the best thing to do first is put off
giving them an answer until you can mull it over in your head, check
your calendar and your pocketbook.
to say instantly, “I can’t answer this right now.
I will call you back in a short while.”
they ask why you can’t answer now, you can either say:
always meditate on requests first
have to check your calendar to make sure you’re free
have to ask a spouse to be sure it won’t interfere with their schedule
just make up something that you are in the middle of doing right now and
must finish before you know the answer.
you’ve already decided that it’s not something you want to do, you
can either say no now, or if you are too shy to say no without a
thousand apologies along with it, you can deliver a pre-written speech,
or a written note to the asker. It helps to write it out and not
have to face the asker in person as you speak it. It would also
help to use a tape recorder, leave a message on an answering machine, or
convey the message through a trusted third party.
no should be short, to the point and not a subject for discussion.
Your reasons are private, and apologies and excuses should be
handed out sparingly. It
is counter productive for outsiders to know your business and will
defeat your “take charge” appearance if you constantly act like they
were right in asking and you’re so sorry that you can’t oblige them!
#1 and 2. Do me a favor: If they want your time or for you to care for children or animals, you can say,
“I understand your request. I am unable to do that however, and I hope you can find someone else.”
can add, “please don’t ask me that
again”, or you can tell them how busy you are and that your
time is the same as money, - that you are working on special goals and
your time must be used where it will go the furthest to achieve your
Taking up your time: If
you want to be alone and family always pops in for supper, watching TV
or just to unload on you negative thoughts, you will have to take
drastic action. This is one
of my own problems so I have a lot of experience here.
You can send a letter or email to all of your usual drop in guests, or call them and say
arrange our schedule better to suit our family, we’ve decided to limit
visits to (name a day and time)_. Please
come to see us on that day and time so I can devote my attention at all
other times to work and family obligations.
We will be turning out the lights and locking the doors at
__(name a time of evening)__ and will appreciate your understanding.
Please honor our request of privacy for any time beyond (that
a sign with this at your front door if necessary and another inside your
house where your guests usually sit.
won’t take many weeks to train them and then the signs can come down.
You can also request that they call and arrange a visit in
it seems to you that they’ll think you’re snobby or selfish,
remember that rich people and people who are going somewhere in life,
don’t have time to coddle and kiss up to everyone they meet who are
standing in their way. You
must go on around people who are stuck in “neutral” and especially
those in “reverse”!
Many busy people keep an egg timer or kitchen timer beside their
phone. They set it for 5
minutes or whatever amount you want to give to each call, and then when
it dings or gets close to going off, you can find an excuse to end the
you have a portable phone, go to your front door, open it, ring the
doorbell and announce, “Oh, there’s the
doorbell, I have to go now.”
It’s certainly not a lie!
better, get an answering machine and only
return calls at your convenience.
and 6. Taking from you
something you want or need:
One of the most frequent requests is for money and if you have a
kind heart, every bit of cash in your pocket that should be going to
your kids or your bills, is going to everyone who makes a need known.
You have to realize that your responsibility is to your family
first, and your goals.
a parent, or running a household, or being a spouse is a responsibility.
Being an adult means that you have learned how to allocate money
to pay your bills and follow that through.
You also know you have obligations of buying food, clothing, gas
for your vehicle and covering medical expenses that come up.
You EVEN have an obligation to yourself to follow through on that
planned vacation or bowling evening.
you stop all of your plans and change them so that someone else can have
your money, for however noble a cause, you’ve short-circuited
your own values and future. You
will feel miserable and hidden anger inside of you will begin to cause
behavioral problems and negative thinking that will undermine your
success in life.
can’t tell you how important it is to say no in this area.
Believe me there is more than one way and more than one person to
get a loan from. If you say no, the asker will find another way.
You can set aside a category of your allotted money towards
helping the poor, so that you’re not feeling selfish and uncaring.
your family and friends that your budget is planned and your obligations
are tight. You will help
when and if you can, but all of your needs must be met first.
On the issue of co-signing a loan, you should know that not only
do many of those loans come into default and ruin the credit of the
co-signer, but the loan companies usually go
after the co-signer FIRST to get their money, because that is
the person with the better credit and there’s a better chance of
getting it out of you.
co-sign a loan, make that an absolute NEVER in your book.
Even the Bible says it must not be done.
At least never do it unless you are perfectly willing and able to
make the loan good today.
Telling a lie for someone, or falsifying records:
Never help someone get a vehicle on the
road by putting it in your name or the insurance in your name!
There is a reason why that person is having difficulty doing it
himself and it usually means the person is not trustworthy or is
considered high risk.
know a couple who got a car on the road by the man’s mother being on
the title with him, so she could get the insurance in her name.
The young man had a minor car accident, and several months later
the other woman involved sued this young man and his mother,
winning a huge settlement that will take both the mother and the young
man the rest of their lives to pay off.
order to keep their licenses, every payment must be made to the attorney
on time. The mother is just
as responsible financially and criminally for what goes on in that
vehicle as her son is.
documents or bearing false witness:
It may seem like a harmless little white lie, that defrauds no
one but the government (such as at tax time, using someone else’s kids
on your tax return), but these are highly illegal acts.
Before you do anything like this, ask yourself this question:
Can you afford to spend time in jail,
pay an attorney several thousand dollars, lose all your possessions and
possibly have your reputation so tarnished that your friends and family
will avoid you like the plague? If
you’re willing to accept these punishments, then perhaps you can
afford to say yes to a crazy request like this.
Stealing or obtaining drugs for someone:
believe it was Einstein who figured out that for every action there is
an equal and opposite reaction. This
holds true for everything we do in life.
We are rewarded in kind for our works, or we “reap what we
sow”. If you stoop to
doing illegal acts, taking something from someone that doesn’t belong
to you, or buying beer for minors, you can be pretty sure that God or
the universe itself will demand consequences for it.
the very least, know that you are known by your actions quicker and more
surely than by your words. Your
reputation will follow you and that is one thing you can’t afford to
Supporting them, or letting them live with you: If your
problem is that everyone wants to live under your roof, then understand
right now the Biblical principal of a home.
God said a man and woman should leave
their parents and cleave together forming one flesh, and carry on as a
separate unit from the parents and from every other in law and out law
the couple has. Friends,
family and strangers have no place in your home.
It’s YOUR HOME!
you have people living off of you now, and you’re all upset over
bills, money they owe you, or privacy you don’t have, just cut it all
worry about getting the past due money, it’s likely never coming, not
even if you go to small claims court.
cut your losses and move out or have the other people removed.
Having sex with them or some compromising activity:
If sex is your problem, perhaps you missed the last 20 years or so of TV
ads and school talks about “good touch, bad touch”.
is no excuse for someone to be pressuring you to have sex with them, or
to simply be near you for the thrill it gives them, if it’s one sided.
say no, second get away.
If those two mild requests are not successful, go to the police.
DO NOT DO THIS if it is NOT a true stalking or threatening
case. Some women call
the police when they’re mad at their boyfriends, and all fraudulent
reports are serious crimes.
must however call the police when your life is threatened, or you are
being made to feel used and the person won’t back off when you ask and
demand them to.
must call the police and get all the help you can get if you are being
stalked, or your life is in danger.
think of an example. You
have a neighbor who stops in to visit and he looks at you in a way that
makes you feel creepy and afraid. You
worry that he may not remain satisfied to just look, but may begin to
get closer and assume you don’t mind since you didn’t put any
restrictions on his behavior.
are now going to put a few restrictions on him.
You write him a letter or politely tell him that his presence
makes you feel less than virtuous and you will not accept him as a
houseguest again while the two of you are alone.
ask that he understand and acknowledge that he must follow the rules of
propriety, which say men and women should not be alone together without
a chaperone. There are many
good reasons for this, one of them being the high number of reports of
rapes, even some that never really took place but someone was punished
in jail for them. BOTH
the man and woman NEED to protect their integrity.
will also need to lay your cards on the table and make it known what you
feel or don’t feel about him. Let him know that you think he’s at least mildly attracted
to you, and if you don’t feel the same,
it’s only fair to tell him so in the beginning.
use a man for money or personal gain, just because times are tight and
you need some extra rent money, unless you give something in return that
he perceives is of equal value. That
“something” is entirely between the two of you, but should be laid
out in advance in plain talk.
only include this possibility because it is happening so often, not
because I feel it is justified or should be done.
BEWARE, there will not come any good
from doing this. There are
consequences to EVERY behavior, and they can keep on popping up for
years after the event. Even
sometimes for a lifetime.
The bottom line is, if there is any opening or opportunity given to people to use you, they will! Don’t be a victim, be strong, fight back, set boundaries and rules and demand that your friends and family respect you at least enough to honor your rules.
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Lisa Tyler pastors the
Blessing Meadows Ministries Church and is a writer and artist. You
can read more of her work and devotionals at www.blessingmeadowsministries.com.
© Lisa Tyler 2007