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Clingy friend


Friendship Having issues with a friend? Get it off your chest!

Old 31st March 2010, 12:58 AM   #1
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Clingy friend

This got pretty long; sorry for that!!

I met my friend "Raymond" when we were both freshmen in our university's music program and we clicked automatically. We don't have very much in common but we get along great and everything was awesome up until now. I've known Raymond was kind of clingy in the beginning, but it went to a whole other level this year.

My freshman year, Raymond and I would see each other all day in class, and get together once a week to hang out. Now, it's we'll see each other all day in class, then he wants to watch movies after class, then he wants to get dinner together, then work out together, then watch movies after that, then he wants to walk to our morning classes together the next morning, etc. It's really starting to grate on my nerves because I'm the kind of person who values me time. I started trying to tell him no, and he would get his feelings hurt and whine until I would give in so he would shut up. I know I shouldn't give in so easily but I'll hear about it all week if I say no.

I've tried to start distancing myself from Raymond this semester by hanging out with other friends more; the only problem with that is that he always wants to tag along, which wouldn't be a problem every once in a while. Like I said earlier, Raymond and I don't have much in common, so most of the things I do with other friends he doesn't like to do, and I tell him as much, but he still insists on coming. For example, I like going to a club every once in a while. Raymond hates the atmosphere of clubs and he hates dancing, so when I tell him I'm going to a club with other friends and he wants to go, I mention those facts to him. He says this time will be different so silly me brings him along. Raymond then commences to being a total party pooper. He'll sit at a table and refuse to be social and whine about what a bad time he had on the way home. It's come to the point where I have to tiptoe around him to do anything without him, because even if he knows he's going to have a bad time, he insists on going anyways.

It's not just with social situations either; when I say Raymond wants to get involved with everything I do, I mean EVERYTHING. I mention my mom and I are taking salsa classes, and he wants to come along even though he hates dancing. I'm auditioning for a musical, he wants to audition too even though he has terrible stage fright and hates singing in our aural learning class. Raymond is a super nice guy, but I'm tired of him wanting to be involved in my whole life. I would still love to be friends with him, but he gets his feelings hurt really easily and I don't want him to take anything the wrong way. So my question is this: How do I establish boundaries with someone who wants to be involved with everything I do?
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Old 4th April 2010, 4:10 AM   #2
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Wow what a terrible situation to be in. You can't give in to him when he starts whining.. let him feel hurt and just stick to your guns. It sounds like you are his only friend, but you can't let that be your problem. Maybe also try and not let him know what you are doing - if he calls don't answer etc. With the salsa classes, you should just tell him that you want to spend time with your mum, i.e. he would be in the way.
Good luck :-)
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Old 4th April 2010, 5:06 AM   #3
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The answer here is very simple:
he does this because you let him.

Look:
You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs.
The only way to drive something home to him, is to show him that you will no longer tolerate this.
Don't tell him your plans, don't talk to him, don't hang out with him, leave for classes 15 minutes earlier than you normally would, change your routine, and exclude him from everything.
If he says he wants to go to a club with you - tell him, straight up, NO!
But don't then spend all evening agonising on how guilty you feel about having told him to take a hike.
If you want to see changes - make them.
And if it means telling him "Raymond, you may not have a life, but I do - so quit bothering me so much" then that's the way you'll have to do it.

Get this:
There's no easy painless way of doing this.
If an arm needs amputating, doctors aren't going to start by clipping your nails, are they?
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Old 4th April 2010, 10:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
He says this time will be different so silly me brings him along. Raymond then commences to being a total party pooper. He'll sit at a table and refuse to be social and whine about what a bad time he had on the way home. It's come to the point where I have to tiptoe around him to do anything without him, because even if he knows he's going to have a bad time, he insists on going anyways.
Like others have said, you just need to let him go and do your own thing. He is obviously very dependent, insecure, needy, etc. and so you are his support- he isn't learning anything by clinging onto you. He will either sink or swim. When you say no and stop inviting him/letting him hang out with you, he will either find someone else to cling to or have to learn how to be independent and function on his own. This man needs to learn how to stand on his own 2 feet and survive on his own. You have done enough by being his friend, but it is out of your hands now. There is no easy way to break it to him- you need your space and he needs to find more friends to hang with.
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Old 4th April 2010, 10:50 PM   #5
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Take an assessment. Are you getting anything out of this friendship, or is it a one-sided pity oriented relationship where he's just draining you of your energy, time, and joy?

If you feel you are on equal footing and the friendship is worth keeping, then begin by establishing some distance. Don't tell him where you are, don't offer to invite him to things you are doing with other friends or family. Spend time with him doing the things you -like- to do with him. If there's nothing you really like doing with him, then end the friendship.

And if it's a one-sided pity oriented relationship, cut things off and move on.

And are you a girl (I thought so, but wasn't sure)? If so, there's a chance that Raymond is hanging around hoping to be your next love interest. Which is yet another reason to cut ties and move on.
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Old 7th April 2010, 4:10 AM   #6
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Thanks for the advice everybody! Just dropping in to let you guys know I'm officially done with Raymond. I got into a screaming match with him this morning because he was being really pissy and passive aggressive towards me because we were hanging out last night and I left early to go to bed at a decent hour. This was basically the last straw; it's not the first time he's done this to me, but not with the anger that he showed this morning, and I'm through. It also gave me a good excuse to completely cut off ties with him. Thanks again everyone
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