Question: My Friend Is Taking Advantage of Me
I don't mind doing favors for my friends, but I have one friend that seems to take advantage of me. She wants me to babysit all the time, introduce her to other friends, or find out the gossip that I know. She never seems to want to do things with me, and only calls me when she wants something. I know friendship isn't always equal but this seems out of balance. I feel like she's using me.
From what you describe it certainly seems like your friend might be taking advantage of you, but before you write off the friendship completely, you owe it to yourself to find out.
Ask Her Just to Spend Time With You
To see if she really cares, ask her to do something simple with you, like grabbing a cup of coffee or some lunch. If she turns you down, try again the following week. If she continually blows you off or changes the subject, it's a pretty good sign that she's not interested in you as a friend.
If she does agree to coffee, see if you can just change the subject when she wants you to gossip about mutual friends. If she asks you for a favor, say no in the kindest way possible. Then, gauge her future behavior. Does she blow you off when she has "no use" for you (meaning that she can't get anything out of you that she wants)? Or is she perhaps just a little clueless about how to be a friend?
Friends Who Don't Know How to Reciprocate
Sometimes friends will get used to being the ones to "take" in a friendship. They ask you to do something and since you do it, they assume you're on good terms. Reciprocity doesn't even dawn on them and they certainly don't know anything about the Golden Rule.
If your friend seems okay but just a little clueless, watch the boundaries with her but go ahead with your friendship. Maybe you can help her realize her selfish behavior and your friendship might be better for it down the line.
Another option is to ask her to do something for you. Maybe this friend enjoys the give and take of friendship but hasn't had a chance to return the favors you've done for her.