From the periodic "hey big head" text to the occasional "just checking on ya" phone call, we have all had our fair share of encounters with users. You know those opportunistic types who conveniently show up only when they need something.

Every time they reach out, this is you counting down the minutes until they hit you with the inevitable, "I was just calling to see if..."

Photo: Vevo

Don't get me wrong. Not every opportunist is a user. We have all used our personal arsenal of human resources to advance our own cause, and at different seasons in our lives, our roles will fluctuate between being really needy and super generous. That's perfectly acceptable. Giving and receiving is the hallmark of relationships. I'm not referring to these kind of reciprocal, mutually edifying exchanges. I'm talking about those people who ONLY show up when it's time to collect.

Users come in many shapes and sizes, but the one commonality they share is their unrelenting willingness to "try it."

Here are 8 kinds of opportunists, and how to spot them.

1. The StrategizerPhoto: Giphy

The strategizer doesn't come with the request on the first call. They're much smarter than that. They have strategized their plan and calculated the equation in advance. It may take several weeks before they finally get around to asking you for what they want, but once they get it, you won't see them until the next time they have a need.

2. The Entitled One Photo: Giphy

The entitled one is an unapologetic narcissist. You should feel privileged to have the opportunity to cater to their every need. You must show up to their events, support their ventures and drop everything when they call. Don't expect any reciprocation though. That's not how this works.

3. The BullyPhoto: Giphy

Her plan is to intimidate you into compliance. The bully is Ms. Popularity, but she uses her clout to control everyone around her. Dare to deny her irrational request and she's spreading rumors, disparaging your name and fabricating entire narratives about you. She usually gets away with the muckery because no one wants to be on her bad side.

4. The SneakPhoto: Giphy

The sneak is a spin master who drops subliminal hints and plays on your sympathies to get what she wants.

5. The Scammer Photo: T. Kyle

The scammer is an amalgamation of all the users. This one is in it for the long game and will study your personality, observe your patterns and root out your vulnerabilities to use them against you again and again...and again. 

6. The Benevolent One Photo: Gyfcat

The benevolent one doesn't need anything from you, he is here to present you with an opportunity. That's right! He's here to help YOU. Just do A, B, C and D, and you stand to gain E–Z. Except, it never really works out that way. They walk away with the entire alphabet while you're left with zilch!

7. The InformantPhoto: Giphy

The informant LIVES for the tea. They may look like a friend, they may even offer a supportive shoulder to lean on, but don't be fooled. They are here solely for information. Keep your funds and your favors, the informant could care less about those material things. They just want that exclusive, VIP, front row access to your struggle. This gossip thrives on being in the know. Their entire social status depends on it.

8. The Tragic One Photo: Giphy

The tragic one is a special case because their useration may or may not even be intentional. We all go through rough patches, and sometimes those tragic periods last longer than others. In those particularly needy moments, it may be necessary to lean on others for more support than usual. However, this individual lives in a perpetual state of emergency, always fighting fires and needing to be bailed out. As tempting as it may be to come to their rescue, their situational requests for support are signs of a much bigger issue, one that you're incapable of resolving. 

Everyone has encountered at least one character in this manipulative crew, but the question is: How many of these traits do you see in yourself? Be honest with yourself. No judgement. We are all just out here learning and growing, and doing our best.

Photo: Netflix

The first step to keep your karma free of these serial users is not to be one. When it comes to relationships, try to maintain an open mind, use discernment and should you start to notice these disturbing patterns, don't hesitate to dial it back. Even if you get burnt from time to time, don't let it get you down. Malicious intent always bares the consequence upon itself. 

Photo: Giphy

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