You have most likely heard every spiritual teacher (including myself) explain that a key ingredient to happiness is to provide yourself with what you are looking for from others. In human culture there is a lot of emphasis put on the idea that it is not ok to use people for our own benefit. This is why we don’t like to ask people for help. We worry that asking people for what we need and want is “using” them. The problem with this belief is that this is what we do every day. We use people. It is not possible to do anything other than this. You are using everything in your life and every one in your life as a tool to increase your happiness. For example, you are using your lover. You’re using him or her as a tool to increase your own joy and self worth. You are using your children. You are using them to feel as if your life matters. You are using your friends. You’re using them to feel a sense of security.
And so, when we ask ourselves is it ok to use people? The answer is yes. We do it all day every day. And it just so happens that using people and loving people does not have to be a contradiction in terms.