I Have A Super Clingy Friend. Help!

Clingy Friend

Got a friend who won’t leave you alone? | Source: ShutterStock

Hi Heather,

So, I have this friend who is honestly a really nice person. But lately she has been getting on my nerves. I’m with her almost every day, because we go to the same school and take dance together. We also just recently got a job at the same place, so now we work together. She follows me around at work when I know she could be finding something else to do. She’s always asking me to hang out more.

I keep lying and telling her I can’t because I’m not allowed out. But really, after school, dance and work, I just want to relax and spend some time with myself or my other friends who I’m closer to. It feels wrong to keep blowing her off like this, but I don’t want to hurt her feelings. Is there a polite way to say no? Or should I just tell her the truth?

I don’t blame you for being annoyed with your friend. Clingy friends are just as irritating as a clingy boyfriend can be. Every girl needs some time to herself or time to spend with other people – hanging with one person every day isn’t healthy for anyone, so you don’t have to feel guilty about not wanting to be with her all the time.

That being said, you should realize that this girl obviously thinks you’re super awesome and it sounds like she considers you a really good friend, even if you don’t feel exactly the same way. It sounds like you still want to be her friend, you just want her to back off a little bit. Since she seems to like you so much, be gentle but firm when you’re trying to get your point across. You should also talk to her sooner rather than later – otherwise, you might just snap one day and give her a nasty remark that will really hurt her feelings.

Two girls fighting

Say something before it comes to this. | Source: ShutterStock

A little white lie about being busy isn’t a big deal when you do it once in a while, but if you’re lying to this girl every day, that’s taking the easy way out. Not only is it probably exhausting for you to keep up with these fibs, but if she finds out you lied, she’s going to get really upset. When she asks you to hang out after work, dance or school, be honest with her. If you have other plans with other friends, say that. If you just want to go home and watch a movie, say that. And if she asks to join, either explain that you’re tired and want to relax on your own, or that you need some time to catch up with your other friends.

If she keeps pushing you, maybe try distancing yourself from her a little bit. If she follows you around at work, suggest that she find something more productive to do, or talk to your boss about it. And if she’s really still bothering you after a while, you need to be totally honest and tell her she needs to back off a little because you’re feeling smothered. Explain that you like spending time with her at school, dance and work, but you have a lot of other things going on, and you can’t always be there for her.

It might be hard to be honest in this way, but in the end, it’s the right thing to do. Lying and blowing her off isn’t going to to solve anything – but by being truthful, you’re showing her respect. Believe it or not, that’s nicer then making up excuses.

take care,
Heather

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  • Cheyenne

    I need to keep looking on this website! Maybe I’ll bookmark it…

  • Zayn Malik’s wife

    There is this girl at school who has been following my at school and watching me dress out in the locker rooms! She has been soo annoying and thought she was my friend,me and my friends wanted her to stop bothering us.at first she seemed friendly but now she is soo clingy on us! I thought she was a lesbian or whore.we all got impatient and all of us of us told her about how we felt and she finally left us alone!

    • afshin

      you did a very good thing.being honest is the best.maybe i have to do that

      • Karla

        Absolutely… I have a tendency to feel easily smothered by people, because in my childhood I had a mother who was very controlling and had boundary issues. I instantly get anxiety when I feel someone is clinging to me, that I am their main social outlet, or the source of their happiness. Their expectations are smothering to me, and I also have tended to feel a lot of guilt when saying “no” and establishing my boundaries/needs — though I am getting better and better at this as time goes by. It’s never comfortable to deny someone something that they want, but it is extremely important to be honest and empathic if you want the relationship to survive. If not, your resentments will build and build until you feel angry and imprisoned and run away.

        You must always communicate your needs, they’re yours and there is nothing wrong with them. When starting to feel resentful feelings, I find it helpful to reframe the “clingy/needy” friend in my mind and understand where they are coming from. This needy friend also did not get her needs met in childhood, and probably had a parent that pushed him/her away… so they have a fear of abandonment, rejection, and being unloved. The problem is, by never saying no to this person, you are enabling them to never explore their solitude. “Needy” people need to embrace their alone time, and seek from themselves the comfort they are always seeking from you and others.

        You are doing your friend a great service by telling her/him “No” (gently!). You are conveying a respect for yourself, your friend, and not enabling any co-dependency. Sorry for the long response, but this subject is near and dear to my heart and something I’ve struggled with all my life.