Clingy friend? Here's how to cope (without hurting their feelings)
There is really no set boundary for knowing when a friend is being clingy, no set number of text messages during the day that pass from normal friend behavior to that “Can you leave me alone for two minutes?” stage. Typically, it’s pretty individual to everyone. But even if you’re someone who’s always on their phone, it can be frustrating to receive thirty texts in two minutes from the same person, followed by one last text that asks why you haven’t answered yet. Talk about annoying.
It might not even be too many texts or Snapchats or FB messages. Maybe she’s stopping by your locker every single time you’re in the hallway. Maybe she tries to hang out every day after school. Or maybe she lives around the corner and drops by your house unannounced. It’s a tough situation to be in, especially if you do like the girl. How can you somehow let her know what's going on...but still remain friends?
1. Don’t get angry at her. You don’t want to hurt your friend’s feelings by responding to her text to hang out with a snippy, “Why? I saw you this morning.” You’re a fun person, and she wants to spend more time with you. As frustrating as it can be, try not to take your irritation out on her.
2. Don’t ghost her. You know what we mean. You might have already started to do this. You don’t answer a lot of her texts, you make excuses every time you do and you lie that you have to go to class whenever she tries to have a conversation with you in the hallway. Yes, your situation is *super* frustrating, but this ghosting strategy might not even work. Your friend might actually try harder to hang out with you because she thinks you’re so busy. Or, if it does work, you’ll really hurt her feelings, and you won’t have a friend at all.
3. Introduce her to other people. A lot of times, someone is clingy because they don’t have that many other friends besides yourself. Inviting her along on group outings with your other friends or introducing her to that sweet girl in science class might take some of the pressure off you, and make your friend even happier!
4. Encourage her to hang out with those other people. If you’ve helped her branch out a bit, or if you know she has other friends she can spend time with, try to foster those relationships. If she always comes over to your place after school on Tuesdays, tell her you can’t make it this week, but Sarah in social studies mentioned to you that she didn’t really have much to do today so maybe your friend could hang out with her instead.
5. Make plans that are convenient for you. Don’t let her come to your house and spend 10 am to 11 pm in your room on Saturdays. Ask to go get lunch or to go to the mall so you can both leave separately. Spending an entire day with any person can be exhausting, so it’s perfectly okay to make plans that don’t allow this to happen.
6. Say no. Rather than not answering texts or avoiding your friend all together, you should respond in a truthful way. If you’re going to hang out with some other friends, tell her that and promise you guys will hang out next weekend. If you’re spending time with your mom, tell her that. Or if you just are watching TV alone and don’t really want to spend time with anyone, tell her that too. If she is a true friend, she needs to be able to respect your space when you ask her to.
7. Be direct and honest. As difficult as this can be, this might actually be the best way to handle the situation. If none of your other approaches have been working, you need to tell your friend that you need some time to yourself. Don’t attack her or her behavior, simply focus on the fact that you are uncomfortable and would like some space. It is a tough conversation to have, but at a certain point it needs to happen.
Have you ever had to deal with a clingy friend? Tell us about it in the comments!
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