OT - hard choice to make...long, sorry

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-28-2009
OT - hard choice to make...long, sorry
18
Thu, 06-23-2011 - 8:10pm

Help, guys :(

I have a friend. She's been a friend for about three years.

Prob #1 - I noticed right away she was very clingy and I didn't like it. Constantly calls and texts, can't go anywhere with other friends without her asking why she wasn't invited etc. When I make plans with my other friends, I actually stress out about when she is gonna find out and how I am going to hear about it.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2010
Thu, 06-23-2011 - 8:27pm
Oy that does sound like a hard one. It may be that you are going to have to be the one who tells her the truth. It will most definitely embarrass her now, but it may help her further down the road with new friendships.

Now, me personally, I'd just back off, not answer the phone, not return phone calls, not return texts or emails, and when I saw her in person, just kind of laugh it off as "oh, I've been pretty busy" until she gets the hint ;)

What's that saying... do as I say, not as i do!!


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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-28-2009
Thu, 06-23-2011 - 8:31pm
Sorry guys it's gonna seem like I don't really want a solution here but I promise I do! :) Torie, I don't think it would work on her. Remember, she thinks we're as close as two friends can get. She will literally come over, bang on my door and ask me why I am avoiding her. Sigh...
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Registered: 03-19-2007
Thu, 06-23-2011 - 8:59pm
Chelle- I totally get it. But I agree with Torie. Just back away slowly. Today don't answer 1 call or take a while to text back. Each day make it a little longer and less answered. If she comes over, don't answer the door. If you do end up face to face or answering the phone, explain how busy you are. Just start hanging out with others. If she wants to know why she wasn't invited, tell her you're not sure, you're not the inviter. It will take a little while and you may not be able to sever ties altogether but it would greatly reduce the contact.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-24-2004
Thu, 06-23-2011 - 9:10pm

I kind of have a friend that is very much like yours.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-28-2009
Thu, 06-23-2011 - 9:18pm
Cheryl, omg she is JUST like that! Tons of compliments. She is really VERY nice and would make SOMEONE a great friend, just not me LOL :) My compliments are forced with her. In fact, acting like I care at all is hard with her. I am going to start trying to back away and although I don't really believe it will work, it's worth a try. If it doesn't work then it doesn't work and then I can be blunt. I can do that at any time, I guess I don't have to go in with that plan. It can just be a back up. At least if I have to tell her the truth 6 months from now, it won't see SO sudden for her because I will have been pulling away for months and maybe she won't be completely shocked. She would def be shocked if I did that today. Heck, I just replied to a text an hour ago and it is probably the 20th text today!
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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2010
Fri, 06-24-2011 - 9:05am

Very tough one, Michelle.

I think that a good rule of thumb for dealing with interpersonal things like this is to choose an approach that does the least harm.

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Registered: 06-27-2006
Fri, 06-24-2011 - 10:54am
I like Julia's idea. I'm not entirely sure I could pull it off completely, but I would probably take some of her ideas and use them. But, I'd probably do like some others have said about pulling back and not answering every phone call or every text. Take several days to answer e-mails (although I'm sure all my friends feel like I'm blowing them off because I almost always take several days to answer e-mails...LOL).

I would also try to make it about ME rather than her. I would totally use my busy schedule, the lack of time for extra stuff because in the midst of you doing cheer for Ry and taking her to practices and competitions and so forth, you're coming home and falling into bed exhausted, and on the days that you don't have those things going on, you're trying to catch up with this thing or that thing. I would also answer the questions of "why wasn't I invited to do xyz?" with "Someone else (and don't give a name) invited me. It wasn't my place to invite anyone else."

I definitely have a friend who is clingy, always talks about her pains, ailments, complains about anything and everything. Nothing is ever completely happy. She will often talk about something wonderful that happened, but then will tack on a "...but, [insert negative comment or put-down here]" and I just can't stand that. She's fishing for a "No, you're doing GREAT as a mom!" or "I'm sorry you had to cut that fun short because of [various ailment]." She will do the same as your friend - she would give me the shirt off her back if I needed it. She would drive way out of her way to come pick me up if I was stranded. But, you're right. I know I'd hear about how she "saved the day" too. For the longest time, I would give in to her neediness. Then, I started just giving short responses. I wouldn't feed the "oh, poor you" or "you're a great mom" comments she was fishing for. I stopped e-mailing as often. She finally found someone else to talk to and cling to who would listen to her. I still will talk to her (I see her nearly weekly, so it would be really awkward to tell her straight out what I thought of her self-deprecating attitude), but I try to make my rounds to all my friends when we have our get-togethers. Just tell her that you have other friends and that they deserve equal time with you when you do have time for socializing? Not sure if that would go over well. Just how I might handle things.

This is probably not much different than the ideas that others have. I do feel your pain, though. I'm sure most of us have "that person" in our lives. Hopefully either she'll get the hint, or you can tell her what you need her to hear without her getting too upset. But, if she DOES get really upset, at least you won't get anymore calls, texts, or e-mails from her. And if she sees you in the store, you might get a dirty look or be ignored, but maybe she'll eventually soften and see that she needs to change the way she approaches friends. Good luck! I know I'm a conflict avoider and I take things very personally when someone takes something I say the wrong way or worse than I intended them to take it. So, I understand your trepidation. Hopefully things will go better than you fear. :)
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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-28-2009
Fri, 06-24-2011 - 11:26am

Oh yeah guys – I just do NOT think I have what it takes to outright tell her how I really feel. It just feels SO cruel.

I am not going to totally ignore her texts and emails but whereas now I respond within minutes, it will slowly change to the next day, maybe then a couple days and maybe then I will ignore one every now and again. Where now I feel obligated to attend all her stupid invites for fear of hearing the riot act from her, maybe now I will decline without a big explanation. “I can’t make it sorry. Really busy.”

I know I will eventually have to cut it off with her but I think my goal for now is to kind of slowly get her used to not hearing from me a lot and then when I do have to finally end the friendship all together she will have to have seen it coming to some degree and won’t feel so blindsided by it.

I mean, right now we talk a lot throughout the day and if I were to unleash all of this on her now, I think it would feel like a total assault. If it were someone with more self esteem and I thought could handle a conversation like that, I might be more apt to do it but with her already so easily hurt and sensitive I think I need to give her some time to come to the idea on her own that maybe things are changing.

This is a perfect example of what I am talking about though…here I am consumed with her and how she will handle all this when I have my own life to deal with! This is what she DOES. She sucks life right out of you! LOL It is EXAUSTING to be friends with her! Being friends with someone should make things easier, not harder! Lord, it’s like she is holding me hostage!

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Registered: 04-03-1998
Fri, 06-24-2011 - 11:37am
Oh Boy, Michelle. This really pains me....and I'll tell you why.

My eldest daughter, who's 19, sounds very much like your friend. I mean, she wouldn't knock on someone's door or send a million texts or anything like that, but she does get pretty invested in friendships.....even ones where the person on the other side of the friendship is more of an acquaintance than a close friend. My daughter has Asperger's Syndrome...has since day one, and as a result, has a REALLY tough time with self-esteem, changes in her life, and knowing the "appropriateness" of certain friendships. She can be pretty clingy and gets very attached to people very easily, whom she thinks she can have a close relationship with. I'm not trying to make excuses for your friend, but maybe she has similar issues.

I'm not quite sure how you should handle this, but if it were my daughter in your friend's place, she would want gentle honesty. Maybe not outright telling her you don't want a friendship, because she might automatically think that it's all her fault (my dd would do that), but tell her that you just need some space for now because of your life situation (like some of the other pp's said) and gradually let the friendship wane. Not taking her calls, texts, that type of thing, might actually make it worse. She'll want a reason and that will make her more persistent in her contact with you.

My dd is super sweet and will do pretty much anything for others too and she's so desperate for people to like her....it's very painful to see her go through it. She sees a psychologist because of it.

But, like I said, Michelle....gentle honesty. That's the only way.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-1998
Fri, 06-24-2011 - 12:01pm

I'm sorry you have to be thinking about this relationship, on top of all the other things you're going through.

I think you're doing the right thing by handling the situation the way you are. My dd is also very sensitive, so an "assault" would crush her.

I'm trying to teach my dd that some people, no matter how bad you may want them to be your friends, just may not be, and she has to accept that. We don't always click with other people. It's so hard for her though because one particular girl who she was friends with, turned on her. This girl won't talk to her, look at her...nothing. That seems to be more painful for my dd. Other girls just seem to know that my dd is "different", so they shun her. And she feels it.

Anyway, just be sensitive towards your friend (which I know you will) and be honest.

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