We want to connect with others and feel welcomed since we are social creatures. Actually, we encounter a variety of friends of convenience and require them in order to improve our life. Sometimes it takes years of work to create enduring friendships. Other times, we naturally establish friends because we encounter them frequently, such as neighbors, coworkers, or members of a hobby class.
Nevertheless, not all of these friendships can develop into intimate friendships with people who are close by and easy to get along with. Some of these relationships may be amicable or even mutually beneficial, while others may view you as a “convenient” friend who is only willing to be kind and kind when it is not necessary for them to go out of their way to do so.
What is a convenient friend?
Famously, the great Greek scientist and philosopher Aristotle proposed that there are three different kinds of friendships that people might form: friends for pleasure, friends for utility, and friends for the greater good. Friends of the good are known to respect each other, be there for each other through good and bad times, and show a strong interest in each other’s lives, whereas friends of the pleasure connect by shared hobbies or interests. Friends of utility, sometimes known as “friends of convenience,” on the other hand, are more likely to rely on the advantages that one or both partners in the relationship can offer. If there is a disagreement or a difficult time, this type of friendship is prone to breaking down quickly, especially if there is no actual connection or respect shared. Convenience friendships typically only continue as long as the participants stay in touch.
Here are seven ways to identify that you’ve been – or continue to be – someone’s convenient friend:
1. You don’t get good vibes when together
In close connections, you should feel secure and free to be who you are. Even though I’ve come to the realization that not all friendships are created equal and similar, there are moments when I catch myself resenting the mess and personal drama that some friends keep dragging me into. Similar to this, when you’re someone’s convenient friend, you might frequently feel unheard and wonder if you’re being used or manipulated. You may need to reassess your friendship with that person if you don’t typically feel pleased or cared for when you are with them.
2. They’re always asking for help, advice or money
The easiest way to recognize a convenience buddy is if they constantly appear to require something from you, whether it’s money, a favor, your time, or your support. They can suddenly need you to pick up groceries for them, watch over their dog, lend them money for an unanticipated bill, or be there for them emotionally.
In fact, reaching out to friends for support and assistance when we are facing difficult circumstances is appropriate and even advisable. Nonetheless, you might be a useful friend for them if you believe that this relationship is largely one-sided and you are unable to count on their assistance when you need it.
3. They’re not around when you need them
The foundation of strong friendships is providing unwavering support through trying times. In fact, your buddies may insist that you help them first when they ask for your assistance. Strangely, they frequently appear unresponsive when you ask for assistance or decide it would be more convenient to stay away. You may be a buddy of convenience to someone if they let you down too frequently or if you hear them use an excuse like, “I’d do that for you/be there for you, but…”
4. You’re not a first option for social events
True friends consistently seek your company in both good and bad times and look forward to your presence. Hence, if you frequently find yourself being the person a friend turns to for assistance when they are in need yet you are the forced choice or the second-choice friend for social events or hangout arrangements, you are probably a convenient buddy for them.
An easy way to tell whether you’re someone’s friend of convenience is to watch for avoidance of invites to parties or social gatherings. That may be one of the telltale symptoms that your friend doesn’t care about you and only sees you as a handy option when things become tough if they consistently make you feel excluded and undesired during the good times while turning to you for assistance without fail.
5. They don’t value your opinion
This one really hit home for me since I was able to recognize myself as a friend of convenience. I once supported a friend who was going through a difficult time by being there for him whenever he needed to vent or some companionship because he was depressed. Yet, it became clear over time that the friend did not truly value my efforts or even my advice on how to proceed. I was merely a quick and easy alternative, or, to put it another way, a listening post.
6. They show no interest in your life
Another sign that you’re just a useful friend is if you frequently find that a friend confides in you about anything that bothers or intrigues them but seems to lose interest or shuts down when you start talking about yourself. Genuine friendships are distinguished by how well you know one other and are aware of their interests, whims, objectives, as well as new changes and events taking place in each other’s lives. Because of this, your friend’s dismissive demeanor and lack of interest in your opinions can come across as a big red flag. It may be possible to tell that the friendship is based on convenience if they have a propensity to ignore your concerns and sentiments in favor of putting the spotlight back on themselves.
7. You’re always operating around their schedule
Friends who value your utility expect you to always be there to fulfill their wishes and whims or to save them from a predicament. If someone consistently expects you to be at their beck and call and never seems to understand or appreciate your priorities, you may be a convenient buddy to them.
Despite the fact that they are never present for you when you need them, they will probably demand your time and presence whenever they like. You can start to think of these friendships as burdensome and unreasonable as a result.