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Arbeit: Why is it that people sometimes “like us” more when they can get something out of us? Are the Marthas good friends to Heather? Why or why not?
Sometimes people only seem to be our friends, but in reality they just want to profit from our help. Such a relationship is no friendship and all, it is just an utilitarian connection. We are only the way to achieve a goal – but in fact the people are not interested in you at all.
What causes such persons to act in this self-centered and egoistical way? The motifs are very apparently. The persons know your talents or individual strong points. Then they start asking for us to do them some favours. Of course, we agree, because it is completely clear and naturally, that friends help each other. If that happens very often and if the person is not there for your problems, you will realize that you had been utilized.
Sometimes it is very hard to realize that, because people can utilize you in a very “nice” way: In the book Heather is able to articulate her request to help her with some posters in compliments: “ So I said I have a friend who is really artistic and community-oriented and could she help with the posters?”. This is Heather's way of ingratiating and of reaching her goals. Besides she also play the pitiful girl for persuading Melinda: “…I know they'll blacklist me and then I'll never be part of any of the good groups.”
But in fact Heather has to utilize Melinda, because she is utilized by the Marthas. So I do not think that the Marthas are good friends for Heather, because they saddle her with task that she cannot fulfil on her own.