How would you know if someone needs you only for favors?
Sometimes you are good to people because you are a good person and feel the need to help others when in need. Can you tell if someone is taking advantage of your good nature? For example: Are they constantly asking you for financial help or other help and only visit you when in need?
It's fairly easy.
Observe how often they contact you or visit with you just to spend time engaging with you. If the only time you hear from them is to make a request it's clear they only see you as someone to be used.
Having said that if they do pay you back in a timely manner it may be they simply lack budgeting skills or have fallen on hard times.
Needless to say hitting you up for money is only a temporary solution.
They'll have to find a way to earn more money or cut way back to live within their current means. Don't become their human ATM machine.
"A Man Can't Ride You Unless Your Back Is Bent"
- Martin Luther King
In other words no one can use you unless (you) allow them to.
It may be worth adding that if times are "hard" enough a person may, no matter how much he values/cares about a friend, a) be in no mood to socialize for the sake of it, and/or b) think his "down" mood will darken his friend's doorstep if he tries.
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