i feel like i’m too clingy with my friends

dear heather,
I feel like I am too clingy with my friends. I am always looking in the halls at school for my friends, scanning faces, and waiting for them. It’s hard to explain this feeling. I am also always instant messaging them as soon as I get home, and I feel really jealous when I see my friends walking with other people. I also feel like I copy what my friends do, and sometimes I do copy them (not on purpose I just do for some reason). Please, please, please tell me what to do!

You sound pretty worried about this intense need to be close to your friends. My guess is that this need probably points to something deeper. Perhaps you’ve experienced a loss that you’re having a hard time coping with–the death of someone close to you, a break-up or the divorce of your parents, for example–and are dealing with it by clinging to those around you. Or maybe you are filling your life with constant activity because you want to avoid thinking about other difficult issues.

You might try setting aside some time to go to the park or some other place by yourself–without friends, music or magazines–for a few hours. That will give you some time to get a glimpse into what the underlying issue or issues might be.

If this seems too scary and you’d rather explore this with someone trained to help, try talking to a school counselor. He or she can get much more in-depth in examining the situation than I can.

The good news is that you’ve taken the first step. I commend you for knowing yourself so well that you can spot a problem and try to stop it before it gets worse.

take care,
heather


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