Do you have a friend who asks you for favors a little too often? Or someone who doesn’t show up when you most need them? You could be their friend of convenience, but what does it mean to be one?
Friend of convenience definition
It is someone you maintain a friendly relationship with only because you find them convenient.
For example, you act friendly with a guy in the office because you know he can help you with a work assignment. Or you spend a Friday night with a friend just because everyone else is busy and you have no one to go out with.
Plain speaking, a friendship of convenience means pretending to be someone’s friend in order to use them for your purposes.
6 signs you are someone’s friend of convenience and don’t realize it
Now, it can be painful to realize that someone you consider to be your friend is just taking advantage of you. That’s why you need to know the red flags so that you can avoid surrounding yourself with such people.
1. They always seem to need help or advice
The most telling sign that someone uses you as a friend of convenience is that they always need something from you. It can be actual help such as money and favors or emotional support and personal advice.
It’s natural to expect support from your friend when you are dealing with a problem in your relationship or are going through a tough period in life. But it’s not natural to show up in your friend’s life only when you need their help or advice.
2. They are always in trouble
A friendship of convenience is not only about using someone for material purposes. It goes further than just borrowing money from a person who can’t say no or going out with someone because you know they will pay for the drinks.
It can also mean that you find someone convenient because they can offer you emotional support and good advice. Thus, you may be a great listener, and your supposed friend is using you as a crying shoulder.
There comes a time when you start wondering how it can be that your friend is always in trouble. Whenever they show up and want to spend time with you, they have some kind of concern or personal drama.
“What an unlucky person”, you may think. Don’t fool yourself. In reality, they want to see you only when they need emotional support because this is what you are good at.
3. They are not there when you need them
A key sign that you are just a friend of convenience to someone is that they are not available when you need their help.
All kinds of healthy relationships, including friendly ones, go both ways. If you are the only person who is willing to offer help and advice, you should think seriously about the nature of this friendship.
You are always there for your friend, and it’s great. But are they available when you need them? If someone in your circle doesn’t return your calls and doesn’t reply to your texts when you have a problem to solve, they may not be your friend at all.
4. You are not their first option when it comes to social plans
Are you their first option when they are in trouble, but they don’t think about you when they want to have fun? Do you feel like you are your friend’s last option when it comes to social plans?
For example, it’s a Saturday night, and your friend doesn’t reply to your texts. The next day, you scroll down your Facebook feed and see that the night before, he held a party at his place.
Being uninvited to your friends’ social events is a sure way to feel left out and unwanted. It’s especially painful if you always think about them when you plan a social gathering.
Of course, there can be reasons for that, but if you stay out of your friend’s social plans on a regular basis, it’s good food for thought. Maybe they just find you convenient.
5. They show no interest in your life
Another huge red flag is that your friend doesn’t show much interest in your life.
It’s natural to want to open up and share your personal problems and concerns with someone when you believe they are your friend. But when you do, they don’t pay attention. You realize that they are not listening at all.
Your friend just responds with indifferent ‘uh–huh’s and shifts the focus of the conversation to something else as soon as you finish talking. If they never show any interest in talking about you and your life, then most likely, they don’t really care about you.
6. They may disappear for long periods of time
Finally, if you are someone’s friend of convenience, they don’t care to be a part of your life. They may disappear for long periods of time and pop up again when they need something.
When they do, they may not even bother to ask how your life has been while they were absent. Instead, this kind of friend drops a meaningless “What’s up” and acts as if you spoke just yesterday.
For example, they may suddenly text you because they know you can get them a free pass to the fun social event you are attending next week.
Beware of the friendships of convenience. They are not based on a genuine connection and are just a waste of time. If someone in your social circle fits the bill, it’s a good idea to think about whether you really need them in your life.