For some reason, I seem to always be the person that people turn to when they need a favor. It is more than likely due to my laid back nature and reluctance to tell people no. It's funny, because at work and with people who don't know me, I often come off as a bitch, or "mean." However, with *some of* my family and the few friends I have, I am often willing to help them in just about any situation, and I've noticed over the years that some people take advantage of that.
I have a friend that is stationed in Virginia on the same ship as I am. I'll call her Minnie. We've both been on the ship for more than four years, but we never actually started talking to each other until a few months before our first deployment. Most of our time was spent trying to find things to do to stay off of the ship as long as possible (we had given up our respective apartments to prepare for the upcoming deployment). As time went on though, I began to notice that Minnie was one of those people that always needed....something. Not in the aspect of things with monetary value, but just favors in general. Things like wanting to split a hotel room, or a ride somewhere, or to use your discount card at a certain store, etc.
When our deployment got pushed back, Minnie decided to purchase a new car and asked me to accompany her back home, where she would purchase the car and then help her drive back to Virginia. I obliged. Another time, she brought her daughter to Virginia with her to visit for a couple weeks. Her parents have custody of her daughter due to her being a single parent, and they had made plans to drive and meet her at a halfway point in North (or South? I forget) Carolina where she would drop her daughter off with them. Once again she asked me to come along with her to help with the drive and once again, I said yes.
Things of this nature have happened quite frequently since my dealings with Minnie, and I often find myself thinking that the foundation of our friendship is built off of the convenience of me doing things for her. Minnie is also the type of person that whines and attempts to use manipulation to get people to do what she wants. She'll often make a phone call or send a seemingly harmless text that starts with her asking what I've been up to or how I've been, and then quickly segues into whatever favor it is that she needs. She'll often start her sentence off with something like, "Don't you want to help me with...x, y, z?" Any time I tell her that I might have something else to do, or if I simply don't feel like doing whatever it is, she hits me with the "Awww, come onnnnnn!" and tries to convince me of reasons why I should. Although I clearly have seen through her manipulation, I suppose I still allow myself to get sucked into helping her because it's just how I am. Like Minnie, I don't have any friends or family in Virginia so I know that it's shitty to literally have to do EVERYTHING on your own, but it's also draining to always have to be "the one" to come through in the clutch, or have to deal with being guilt tripped.
This is part of why I have often had to take breaks from, and at times cut off all communication with, Minnie. She seems to equate being a friend with doing everything she needs when she needs it, and any time I don't, she tries to play the "you're being mean" card. And honestly, I could give a damn if she thinks I'm being mean. It's just annoying to deal with, and it piles a lot of negative vibes on my life that I don't need right now. I hadn't spoken to Minnie for a couple months because I needed a breather from all the neediness and negativity. She approached me a few weeks ago and was asking why I hadn't talked to her in so long and I told her exactly that; I needed a break. She is one of those people that I have to deal with in doses, because constantly being around her makes me want to gouge my eyes out.
Which brings me to my present Minnie situation. We are both currently on leave before going on another deployment. I haven't spoken to her in about two weeks, but today I get a text from her saying hello and asking how I'm enjoying my time at home. There's the usual chit chat, and then, surprise! The next text reads: "Do you want to do something nice?" My immediate response is "No." Then she starts with all the "I'm always the first to text you, blah, blah" talk, and I tell her that whenever she contacts me first, it's because she needs something. She says that's not true, and although I still have not agreed to whatever it is that she wants from me, she proceeds to tell me that she wants me to ride with her to North Carolina the weekend after next, so that she can drop her car off and pick up a rental car. She claims that she doesn't "really need" me, but she wants the company and also wants to explore the area. I tell her I'll think about it, and as usual, she starts with the verbal nudging. "Don't you want to hang out with me and see a different state?" I tell her that I could just want to spend that time at home in my bed, which she says I do every day. This is true, and it's also my choice to continue to do that every day if I please and I tell her as much. She then says that it's "sad" that I'm the only person she can ask, and I tell her it is sad that I seem to be nothing more than a default friend, which of course she denies.
So. As of now, I'm leaning towards saying no. I don't have any plans, but that's besides the point. As I said earlier, I am always that go-to person for people whenever they don't have anyone else and honestly, it's exhausting. I don't want to sound like an asshole but I have had (and still have) a few predicaments that I had to navigate through myself, so I don't feel that I need to be the savior for people who for whatever reason, don't know how to, or don't try, to navigate through situations and handle their business without the help of someone else. I have plenty of things I need to get arranged for myself before I leave for deployment, so I honestly think it's selfish of Minnie to ask me to spend a whole Saturday during one of my last few weekends on land to run all over North Carolina with her. And I'm over this "do you want to be nice" shit. I don't know what it is that makes people think they are the final authority on what constitutes being nice. I don't define being nice as jumping to do things for someone whenever they ask. If that's what it takes to be nice, I guess I'll never be that.