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How To Tell If Someone Is Using You Emotionally! (8 Shocking Signs)

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signs someone is using you emotionally

Being used emotionally is a violation of your feelings and dignity. That’s a bitter pill to swallow, but it’s necessary to identify and remove someone who is a user from your life. In this article, I’m going to explain what you need to know about how to tell if someone is using you emotionally. 

First of all, how do you feel around this person and after spending time with them?

Believe me, your gut instinct will let you know if someone is using you emotionally.

You’ll often feel empty and depressed after interacting with this person. 

Being around them will simply exhaust you, and there’s absolutely nothing of benefit to show for it. 

If you are even considering the possibility that someone is using you, then, to some degree, they are. It could be intentional or unintentional. But, you need to address it and save yourself from being exploited. 

Let’s take a quick look at how to tell if someone is using you emotionally:

  • They only contact you when they have a problem.
  • All they talk about is themselves.
  • They constantly fish for compliments and validation.
  • They don’t spend time with you under normal circumstances.
  • They won’t commit to you.
  • They disappear after dumping their problems on you.
  • They don’t offer you support in exchange.
  • They get butt-hurt when you are unavailable.

Let’s discuss each of these things in more detail.

You need to read this article: 5 Reasons why people use you!

Signs Someone Is Emotionally Using You

how to tell if someone is using you

1. They only contact you when they have a problem.

The most common sign someone is using you emotionally is if they only reach out to you when they have a problem.

As soon as something goes wrong in their life, you’ll hear from or see them. 

You’ll spend your time counseling this person, providing assistance and a shoulder to cry on.

As soon as the tears dry up and they get some clarity, they’re gone.

At best, they’ll reach out to thank you. They may even hover around for a day or two. But, they’ll be gone soon, and you won’t hear from them until they have another problem.

It’s like that friend who always shows up when they are going through a breakup or relationship issues.

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But, when things are okay with their partner, you won’t hear from them, and they won’t be available to take your calls or return your texts. 

2. All they talk about is themselves.

When someone truly cares about you, they will make an effort to understand how you feel and think. 

The conversation will flow smoothly, and there will be an equal distribution of air time for both of you to speak.

But, when someone is using you emotionally, all they focus on is themselves.

Their primary interest in you is what they can get out of you.

In this case, they want some kind of emotional support or high from you. 

They don’t care about how you feel.


They care about how you make them feel and how you can influence their feelings.

3. They constantly fish for compliments and validation.

We need to bust the myth that people only need emotional support when they are upset.

There are plenty of instances when someone is not in a deplorable or upsetting state.

They feel fine.

But, they are bored or insecure.

They’re not actually looking to be involved with you or close to you.

Instead, they just want you to feed their ego with validation or to entertain them while they are bored.

Once they get their dose of entertainment and validation, they’ll disappear or put no effort into communicating.

4. They don’t spend time with you under normal circumstances.

When everything is going well in their life or when you just want to hang out for fun, you’ll notice that this person is never available.

If they ever see you normally, it’s upon their request, and there’s always something or another that they need from you.

That’s how you know that someone is using you.

A friendship or relationship is a two-way street. It takes effort from two willing participants who are proactive and sincere. 

When this is missing from a friendship or relationship, it really is just a waste of time. 

Be around people who show up normally and uplift your life in the same way that you do for theirs.

You need to read this article: How to get revenge on an ex who used you!

5. They won’t commit to you.

Someone who is using you emotionally will never truly commit to you.

They’ll have some excuse or another for why they can’t be with you.

In fact, they’ll use their emotional problems as an excuse for why it isn’t a good idea for them to be committed right now.

You’ll go around in circles without ever getting anywhere serious with them.

Dealing with an emotional user only drains you of energy, love, and happiness without providing any benefit to you.

Believe me, if someone truly wanted to be with you, they would.

If they don’t, you’ll only hear excuses from them.

Recognizing the evasion of commitment is the best way to tell if someone is using you emotionally.

6. They disappear after dumping their problems on you.

Another telltale sign that someone is using you is if they drop off the face of the earth after offloading all their problems onto you.

They’ll pop up, send you a barrage of messages, call you, or even meet you.

It will feel as if they are excited to be around you, but they will quickly begin to drop their baggage on your head.

When they are done, they’ll appear elated and peaceful.

Then, you won’t hear from them until the next problem.

They won’t open your message, they won’t call you back, and they’ll appear to be super busy.

7. They don’t offer you support in exchange.

To some degree, every friendship and relationship requires effort.

At some point, it’s really kind, considerate, and genuine of you to provide emotional support to the people in your life.

I’m sure that you want to be present for them during good and bad times. 

Your feelings and investment are real. But, it has to be a mutual exchange of support.

If someone only takes from you without ever truly giving back to you, then they are a user.

If you call up this person with a problem and they seem disinterested, busy, or uncaring, then it’s obvious that they don’t care enough, or that they are too self absorbed.

They’re okay with using you emotionally, but they’re not okay with you ever needing to lean on them in any way. 

8. They get butt-hurt when you are unavailable.

Try turning this person away once and observing their reaction.

Be polite and apologetic, but observe whether they become rude, annoyed, or simply cold towards you.

Do they reach out to you again? If so, are they kind and normal?

If you try to contact them after turning them away, do they take your call or reply to your text?

Of course, it’s normal to feel a little bummed out about being turned down. 

But, if you have a history of helping them and this single incident results in cold and dismissive behavior, then it usually indicates that this person prioritizes what they can get from you over the friendship and relationship itself. 

You need to read this article: How to deal with people who use you without fighting!

Final Thoughts

To some degree, I’m sure that you enjoy being useful.

I spent a significant period of my life being used by people because I thought that it was my duty to give to them without expecting anything in return.

But, having standards is instrumental in attracting higher quality friends and partners into your life.

You should not be used or exploited by someone who masquerades as your friend, family member, business partner, or lover.

Demand better from the people in your life and learn how to say no politely.

I promise you that the users will leave when they realize that they can’t use you.

The people who genuinely care will stick around. Those are the people who deserve your effort and time. Spoil them and not these users. 

With that being said, I hope you found this article on how to tell if someone is using you emotionally helpful and eye-opening. Please let me know your thoughts or experience dealing with users in the comment section below.

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