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Is there such a thing as clingy/needy friends?


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Old 26th June 2011, 9:01 PM   #1
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Is there such a thing as clingy/needy friends?

I know friendship is about needing, helping and being there for your friends, but sometimes when you have a friend who always wants to hang out, it can be exhausting.

I'm the type of person who needs alone time to just relax, do my own thing, read, do yoga, ect., but I have a friend who always wants to hang out on the days when I'm not working. Often times I'm up for going out with him (I'm a girl but it's a purely platonic relationship), but sometimes after a week of work, I just want to use that free day to decompress, read a good book, clean my house, do errands or just do nothing, and I don't know how to say that without sounding like a dork.

It's because he's the type who always has to be around people, while I'm the total opposite.

One time, there was a period where he would want to hang out with me almost everyday, and when I said no once, saying something like, "I don't feel like it today", I could tell I hurt his feelings.

Am I being unreasonable to not always want to go out with my friend, or am I being a bad friend by just wanting time alone to myself sometimes?

(Also, I mentioned to him that I'm planning a solo trip abroad, and he basically invited himself along.)
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Old 26th June 2011, 9:09 PM   #2
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nope, you've got to set your boundaries with friends who are emotional vampires, unless you want to be stuck catering to his needs and mentally exhausting yourself just please him ...
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Old 26th June 2011, 9:38 PM   #3
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Well, I was speaking to someone about this, and I was told that I might end up alienating him, or distancing myself too much and end up losing his friendship. It's not that I never want to go out with him, just not all the time. No matter how I say it, it'll just come across as me rejecting him. The only person I see that much is my mom!
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Old 26th June 2011, 9:54 PM   #4
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if he can't get it through his head that you need space, it's on him to deal with, not you. Harsh ... maybe, but your sanity is the most important thing in this equation!
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Old 27th June 2011, 10:21 AM   #5
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Tell him what you need for yourself to be happy, and if he doesn't listen to you it's obviously all about his wants/needs/insecurities and it isn't a true friendship.
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Old 27th June 2011, 6:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeasiknowit View Post
Well, I was speaking to someone about this, and I was told that I might end up alienating him, or distancing myself too much and end up losing his friendship. It's not that I never want to go out with him, just not all the time. No matter how I say it, it'll just come across as me rejecting him.
Anything less than sincerity on your part will do this. Don't make lame excuses or dodge him, or he'll pick up on it & be even more insecure (I know: I was that guy just recently). As long as you show him you care about his feelings & make an effort, he'll deal with it. If not, he's manipulating you.
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Old 28th June 2011, 12:42 AM   #7
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To give you a clearer picture of the situation:

He usually wants to get together at least once a week (whenever I have a day available), texts or phones me during the week in between meetings, and when I told him about my plans to travel ALONE to Europe since graduating college, he basically said he'd come along with me assuming I'd be alright with it. I've traveled with family and friends abroad before, and this time I want to do it alone.

I know he doesn't have feelings for me, but it is kind of strange that he always wants my company. I think he just always needs to be around people.
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Old 28th June 2011, 12:52 AM   #8
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I had a female friend (I'm a female as well)- that couldn't handle me ever saying no to hanging out. It would turn into a struggle, and eventually a fight. I'd work 12 hours sometimes, come home, and tell her I wasn't up to hanging out. It would become an epic battle "come out, come out, you're being a bad friend"...

Honestly, it's all about them being needy.

Does this guy have a crush on you?
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Old 28th June 2011, 1:46 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by D-Lish View Post
I had a female friend (I'm a female as well)- that couldn't handle me ever saying no to hanging out. It would turn into a struggle, and eventually a fight. I'd work 12 hours sometimes, come home, and tell her I wasn't up to hanging out. It would become an epic battle "come out, come out, you're being a bad friend"...

Honestly, it's all about them being needy.

Does this guy have a crush on you?
I don't think he likes me that way, because he has another female friend he's close to. They've done a lot of things together, but I'm just not like that. I enjoy the occasional alone time, and the one time I said no to him, he told me I wasn't being nice about it, and was clearly hurt.

Basically it would be him asking, "So... what are you doing tomorrow (or this week, or when are you free)." Most of the time I'm up for hanging out, but on some days I just want to veg out alone, and the one time I said, "Well, I have no plans, but I don't feel like it (whatever "it" is he wants to do), he was hurt. That was when he wanted to hang out almost everyday. Now it's more like once a week.

I think after that, he had a better sense of what I was feeling, but he still seems really needy.
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Old 28th June 2011, 11:22 AM   #10
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The best thing you can with someone like this is try and encourage them to develop additional friendships. This will usually help reduce the pressure on you if they have alternative folks to hang with. What causes the drama is when a close friend is stuck home alone with no one to spend time with, and if you are their primary option, they get upset when you turn them down.
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Old 5th July 2011, 5:43 PM   #11
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Yes, there is and your friend sounds like one. I've come to be wary of people who say they always have to be around people or doing some sort of group activity. It's like they can't be happy with their own company, and that's never good. I like to keep busy too, but like yourself, I really need that alone time to just be in my own company for awhile. I think it's healthy.

I have/had a friend that sounds like your one. Always wanting to hang out and do things together. Would never take ''no'' for answer, at least not without getting butthurt about it. At first it seems flattering , but then it gets to the point wherer you wonder, "Do they want to actually spend time with me or do they just want to spend time with someone ?" With my friend, I think it was the latter.

That doesn't make them bad people, necessarily, unless they start guilting you and making you feel bad about needs which are completely natural. Be firm, set your boundaries and don't let him guilt you. I think you are handling it right just by saying "I don't really feel like it today, I just have some stuff do on my own." You don't owe anybody anything so don't let him make you feel bad. It took me a long time to figure that out.
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