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Clingy “New” Friend


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

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Old 19th February 2016, 4:20 PM   #1
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Cool Clingy “New” Friend

I just met a lady in a ladies group on this past Tuesday night. As part of a ice breaker/ socializer they asked the women to put their name and # on a slip of paper. This was placed in a basket and then at the end of the night the basket was pasted back around for us to take one of the names out to “pray for the person” and think about them during the week.

Well, I got a call one night and thought that was real nice. Then I found out that this person was going to be a event I was attending and she wanted to maybe get a drink of coffee to meet after and so we could get to know each other. I am always happy to meet new people so I agreed. So this is on Friday we met again in person and had an early “lunch” together and chatted for an hour or so.

During our talk when we were almost finished and we had a nice discussion but she did share a lot of deep “secrets” (she has mental illness/etc.) that she said she has never shared with anyone else but felt comfortable to tell me, she says something weird about not wanting me to hurt her and that she hopes I stay her friend. I thought it was a little odd but I told her of course I would never try to hurt her.

I drove her back to her car and we parted ways. On my way home I stopped by a store to shop and this woman happens to to “coincidently” be shopping at the same store. But the odd thing is she kept lingering around me and getting in my personal space. She didn’t really talk but just hung there like a child would if she was waiting with you while you shopped. So I tried to make some conversation but it started to feel weird. She tried on one or two things and said she would pay for hers go put them in the car, and come back in to be with me.

When I went in to try on my clothes, I literally thought about running out of the store into the parking lot and leaving the stuff in the fitting room but I thought she might spot me running away in the parking lot. So I finished and she came back and stood with me side by side in line.

Thankfully my daughter (18) called to see where I was and I was so happy to loudly make it clear that I was coming home right away.

Now I am really creeped out that this lady is going to be one of those creepy friend people that doesn’t now how to be friends so they can’t make friends and when they try to they suffocate the person, hence, why she warned me not to hurt her and to stay her friend earlier.

Help!!! I know I will see her again but I don’t want to have a new appendage in my life. I love people and making friends but I can’t handle someone that will suck the life out of me. How do I not hurt her but make sure she stays a distance from me?

I joked with my daughter and wondered if she put a gps in my car or followed me home. I almost dread going out thinking she is going to pop up where ever I go.
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Old 19th February 2016, 4:57 PM   #2
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So, sounds like day one of friendship was interesting?

Enlarge the circle and go for coffee as group instead of one-to-one. I think she really needs mentoring on this matter of boundaries but, it would require a group of people willing to engage her to avoid her locking solo with the clingy behavior you describe.
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Old 19th February 2016, 5:27 PM   #3
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Excellent Recommendation

I am so impressed with your excellent recommendation. I will do this. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RRM321 View Post
So, sounds like day one of friendship was interesting?

Enlarge the circle and go for coffee as group instead of one-to-one. I think she really needs mentoring on this matter of boundaries but, it would require a group of people willing to engage her to avoid her locking solo with the clingy behavior you describe.
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Old 19th February 2016, 5:31 PM   #4
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You can't let her get started. You have to set the boundary now, and if that means not socializing with her at all, then that's that. Tell her you like to spend all your free time with family. Yes, she probably gets pushed back a lot, but it's unfair for her to try to extract a promise not to do so up front! You should refuse all outside contact and try to avoid her when you do have to run into her and be talking to someone else or leave. The fact she seemed to follow to the store is a very bad sign on first encounter!!
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Old 19th February 2016, 6:24 PM   #5
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You can't let her get started. You have to set the boundary now, and if that means not socializing with her at all, then that's that.
Given that they met in a ladies group, I've assumed that social supportive is part of what that's all about?

I do think however, that the kind of support this person needs regarding their emotional and social skills is beyond the reasonable ability of ANY single "friend." I think the group setting is a good way to enforce personal boundaries and still be a mentor to someone coping with a deficiency in these skills. Perhaps, Limit your time together to instances where at least 2 other people with enough patience and compassion agree to participate?
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Old 19th February 2016, 7:27 PM   #6
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Yes set strong boundaries and do let her know that you have kids (well she knows you have a daughter) and are busy so your time is limited. Once or twice a month if that is good enough to get together. Keep it short too, not a whole afternoon, an hour for coffee or to window shop etc.
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Old 20th February 2016, 1:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RRM321 View Post
Given that they met in a ladies group, I've assumed that social supportive is part of what that's all about?

I do think however, that the kind of support this person needs regarding their emotional and social skills is beyond the reasonable ability of ANY single "friend." I think the group setting is a good way to enforce personal boundaries and still be a mentor to someone coping with a deficiency in these skills. Perhaps, Limit your time together to instances where at least 2 other people with enough patience and compassion agree to participate?
I thought ladies group was just a group of people looking for ladies to hang out with, but you may be right. Either way, it's beyond her comfort level, so there's no obligation to let it go beyond the group or ever to put up with someone following you.
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Old 21st February 2016, 4:10 AM   #8
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I get that you were caught off-guard by her showing up and that it was weird and awkward and you didn't really know how to handle it, but I find your reaction (wanting to run out of the store and leave all your stuff behind and "I was so happy to loudly make it clear that I was coming home right away") to be a bit extreme. It was kind of mean. And you don't seem like a mean person. You could try to be a little more compassionate - she has mental health issues and is just trying to make friends, which she clearly does not know how to do.

I don't mean to say that you have to be friends with her or let her hang out with you if she happens to be at the same place. You're under no obligation to do that.

If you do want to try being friends with her, you're going to have to get better at expressing your boundaries, like others mentioned. Have some phrases in your arsenal to kindly shut her down. "I'm actually looking forward to shopping alone today, so I'll see you later! " Or, "Oops, you're standing really close to me! I'm big on personal space, so could you back up a little? " I think you can be pretty straightforward and direct with her as long as you're still nice about it. You may be able to help her learn how to get along with people better. Again, you're under no obligation to do this. You can also just say, "I actually only have time to meet up with the ladies group once a week so I'll just have to see you there from now on. "
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Old 22nd February 2016, 3:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by healingsoul View Post
I literally thought about running out of the store into the parking lot and leaving the stuff in the fitting room but I thought she might spot me running away in the parking lot.
If you felt that then that was instinct.

Her comments about not hurting her and staying her friend would also put me on alert.

I recently read Wolf in Sheep's Clothing related to someone I have been having problems with. (I posted a thread about her and what I have done) I believe the woman I was experiencing the issue with has a disordered personality and in the book it states that it's a lot easier to put the brakes on these people when they just start rolling rather than when they have reached full speed.
You need to set some very defined boundaries if you are feeling uncomfortable around this lady.
The book helps you on how to do it.
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