Are you that person some people call when they are bored or when they have no one to talk to?
Are you used to last minute cancellations?
Do you often get missed out on invitations on events?
Chances are you are a disposable friend. Yes, a term exists for such people.
In this blog post, we talk about how not to be a disposable friend. You don’t deserve to be discredited, discarded, trashed or put in a corner. You are not a person who gets used and then forgotten about.
What is a disposable friend?
Simply put, a person who provides a short term benefit to a group or person.
I was once a disposable friend to a person I used to work with. It wasn’t until later that I realized how I was just being used as a friend. She was the one always making the plans, my plans always got ignored. Or there was one excuse or another for not following them. I was always available for her but she was hardly ever there for me. I was contacted when others were busy for her. She would make plans and cancel at will, sometimes even at an hours notice. It left me wondering. Why cancel without explanations?
People make time for what is valuable for them. If someone doesn’t have time for you, you are not as valuable to them as they are for you. You can’t continue making excuses for other people just to put them in a good space in your mind.
Believe me it’s a painful space to be.
Take a minute to think about people in your life and how they treat you. Just pause and take a trip in your mind.
It’s almost like dating someone only for sex. I know it sucks. So, be aware of these three signs that clearly put you in the disposable friend zone:
- They call you when they are bored.
- They cancel last minute.
- They don’t invite you for events.
Steps to get out of the disposable friend zone
Before we get into the steps, think about this. In all your relationships, enter with respect and value. In you enter into a relationship where the other person doesn’t value or respect you right in the beginning, the chances of getting that somewhere down the line are very slim. It is hard to change comfortability. This is how people become complacent.
When someone gets comfortable abusing people, it’s hard to impossible to change them. Bear in mind, most people are hardly aware of the fact that they are abusers.
It is your responsibility to establish value and respect in every relationship. This is the only way you establish a healthy relationship.
I’d rather you dislike me for who I am than like me for who I am not. It feels better to be liked but not at the expense of your emotional health.
You need to educate people right in the start. Don’t expect people to change once they get used to stuff.
People can’t like you based on your level of tolerating bullshit.
Teach people how to treat you. Let’s jump into steps to stop being the disposable friend.
Step #1 Acknowledge
You need to acknowledge that you have been in that zone. This might leave a bitter taste in your mouth for a while but it’s important.
Step #2 Prepare a Conversation
If you want to keep a friend and at the same time stop being disposable for them, you will have to prepare a conversation for them.
Let them know how you want the friendship dynamics to change. But at the same time, bear in mind, the conversation can go left or it can go right. They have the right to say no. They might not want the dynamics of your relationship to change.
Step #3 Plan an Exit
If they say no to your request, plan an exit strategy. How do you end the relationship if your conversation goes south.
Step #4 Have the Conversation
Once you have a background and you are clear on what you want, you have your speech ready and you even have your exit strategy in place, you are ready to actually have that conversation with them.
You can not tell them what to do, you can only request.
Now, the following steps take place if your conversation goes to the left.
Step #5 Stop Calling them
Do not call them. Stop it right there. You need people in your life who value, appreciate and respect you. If someone can not agree to do that, what good are they as your friend.
I once had a friend who I kept calling and she never called me back. It was always about her and hardly ever about me. But I so wanted to be her friend and continue to do so. Out of the blue, one day I went to her and asked her why am I the only one calling you? How come you never ever call me even when we are friends?
Her answer blew me. She said, ‘It’s either going to be this way or I have many other friends and I don’t care.’
Even though I was baffled, I still made excuses for her in my mind. I told myself she is a busy woman and it’s okay if she doesn’t have time for me. I let it be that way but chose her over quitting the relationship. This only brought more hurt my way. She became the person who slept with my man. She did it without an ounce of remorse. Girl, with relationships like these, where two people are not putting equal amount of effort, you can not expect things to go right.
See what happens when you are in a broken state? You accept stuff that is really bad for your soul.
Step #6 Mental Shift
Go from broken to blissful and pain to purpose. That friend is no longer going to be a part of your life. Accept that. Value yourself and start the process of giving yourself the best.
It’s okay. Once you let go you will make space for people who actually care about you. Be a friend to yourself first. Before you expect people to give respect, love and care to you, you need to give it to yourself. Only then will you know what a healthy friend looks like.
If you are toxic to yourself, you will only attract people who deal you that way. Be good to yourself first. If not, don’t expect it to come from places.
Change your thought process.
Step #7 Stick to your Plans
Don’t call. Don’t continue to maintain the friendship. Make the mental shift and stick with it. Believe and trust in yourself to give yourself the best. It’s going to be hard and comfortable but it’s important.
I hope these 7 steps get you going to be the best version of yourself. If you have any experience to share, comment below.