needy friend (feel guilty)

(79 Posts)
saulaboutme Thu 24-Jan-13 11:06:27

One of the mums I know has become extrememly needy to the point where I'm now making excuses to dodge her everyday. I feel really bad but she has nothing to do and sometimes I need to just run off and do my bits for the day on my own. I have 3 DC's and I help a neighbour with some chores twice a week as she is disabled which is demanding enough.

I feel like such a bitch as she is a lovely person. She has problems which I feel can only be solved by her. She is in a bad marriage, in lots of debt, unemployed and health issues one of which is she is VERY overweight. As much as I have tried to advise and help her she would rather come and sit in my house or a coffee house and while the day away til she has to collect her children from school.

I don't know what to do but I'm abit angry as she tries to emotionally blackmail me when I can't meet her. Or don't want to meet her. I have been quite upfront with her but she wants me to support her in ways that I can't and handhold her for anything that could benifit her situation getting better.

What am I going to do? AIBU to not help her more, I feel abit stifled.

TheMaskedHorror Thu 24-Jan-13 11:16:36

Can't you just say 'sorry I'm busy all week. How about Thurs at 1pm?'
That way you'll just be spending a couple of hrs with her before school pick up and she can get some support.

purplewithred Thu 24-Jan-13 11:18:43

Very very difficult situation indeed. Unfortunately she isn't going to take any gentle hints from you or pick up on generally accepted social cues. Which leaves you with the stark choice of putting up with her or telling her to bug off in a way that will upset and offend her and make you feel bad.

To be honest, she doesn't sound much like a lovely person. She sounds selfish and irresponsible. You may have to have a nasty scene to get rid of her, but it might be worth it.

katiecubs Thu 24-Jan-13 11:20:55

Stick to your guns - meet her every now and again for an hour or so on your terms.

Yakshemash Thu 24-Jan-13 11:23:25

In what way is she a 'lovely person', OP? She sounds like an utter bore.

MomaP Thu 24-Jan-13 11:47:15

I literally feel like I am reading my own article, for the second time today.

I have a friend who is the same. Our DHs are in the army, so we live on a army estate (married quarters) - she moved up a few weeks ago, and found out a week before that she is expecting her second baby.
As lovely as she is, she is far to demanding, she comes to my house crying, telling me that she needs me to sit with her every day, all day, just to get used to the move. (Her family are an hour away, whereas mine are 5 hours away) - I understand her needing to settle, but by being in my pocket every hour of every day, I am struggling. I have chores and my 5 year old DS that needs picking up, taking to school each day, plus, I don't believe she's going to settle by my constant company, she needs to explore, find her feet etc on her own, or with her DH and 2 year old DS.
In the end, the only thing I could do was to act slightly colder than I had been, just be blunter. I was never rude, but it has become much clearer she's got the hint and currently has her claws into some other poor "prey" on the army estate.

good luck, I hope you manage to sort this as its draining, I know!!

saulaboutme Thu 24-Jan-13 12:04:42

I just wrote a response and lost it somehow. Thanks for all your responses.
I know what I need to do and that is to not give in to the emotional blackmail and be more "busy".

She has manipulated me a few times to get my time. Intending to go to an appointment then cancelling so my time is wasted but then I'm with her so she tags along. That REALLY got me mad and it wasn't just one time (a fool I know)

I can't sort her life and listen everyday and she not do anything to improve it. Not very Christian but like I said...tough love...maybe.

saulaboutme Thu 24-Jan-13 12:06:36

And yes it is draining. She is a good person but it's tiresome but apart from that I can't have someone in my house all the time when they have their own house to go to. So much to do!!

saulaboutme Thu 24-Jan-13 15:16:58

Just an update. So I've told my friend this morning a fib so as not to get caught up. She calls me this afternoon and says she has been out all day on her own. Didn't want to go home and see her miserable husband, what am I doing...I lied again.

Have agreed to meet her for coffee in the morning "then I have to scidaddle". I wonder if having been on her own today has made her any more determined to get her own life. I get the feeling not...this is very sad...

MomaP Thu 24-Jan-13 15:57:42

Ahh hun, it's awful isn't it?
My son has was diagnosed with Scarlet Fever a couple of days ago, nobody can enter our house and our son isn't allowed to leave, however, she still hinted to come over with her 2 year old son.
For 1, she is happy to come round, cause a disruption to my son, with her own son who is 3 years my sons junior, so as you can imagine, my five year old just doesn't have the patience with a bratty toddler that tries to eat his Lego and disturb his game playing - usually with some kind of technology, haha!
And secondly, she is willing to bring her vulnerable (heart problems) 2 year old into a very contagious house.

People like our "friends" are often very selfish people.

MrsMangelfanciedPaulRobinson Thu 24-Jan-13 16:10:57

I have found through experience that unless it's a very good friend that's going through a needy time, the only resolution is to ditch the needy friend! I had a very needy friend for a few years who was often making demands on me, and wanting me to put her needs before mine. I tried to distance myself a little but it didn't work so I had to just end the friendship totally.

cloudpuff Thu 24-Jan-13 16:14:51

OP thi scould have been written by me, in fact I have beenw anting to but was afraid of getting flamed.

My friend is also overweight wheras I am very small, she cries and cries over this but wont do anything about no matter what suggestions is made and its always someone elses fault.

She is also has relationship problems and asks my advice but then changes nothing and a few weeks later the same issueas resurface.

Her Son is the same age as dd, and she is very keen to get them to be friends to help her son behave. DD is well behaved her DS is total opposite.

She has been given countless advice from lots of people including professionals, dietician told her weight is down to overeating not any underlying medical issue but she will still eat 6 mars bars and cant see its not healthy, just because she has cut back from 10 its still not good, school have given her advice on her sons behaviour which has been ignored which is really sad because no body wants to play him (including my dd).

Like others have said, these type of friends tend to be very selfish, i found tgis out for myself when my father passed and she only asked once how I was, then continued to moan about her own life. I have cut back a lot on the time I spend with her and I dont hear from her for days, then she will text to meet up cos she has had an argument with her dp.

saulaboutme Thu 24-Jan-13 16:38:03

MomaP and all of you, I must attract this type of person. Another friend who is a neighbour tried to invite herself once when my son had chickenpox!

Have to say my friend doesn't do anything about her weight, and she is not someone who is happy with her weight. She has difficulty walking, sleeping and part of the reason she wants to stay out all day is because it saves her climbing 6 flights of staires twice a day. And also her eating is outragious sometimes. Sorry if that sounds harsh but it's true.

Like I said at first, she can be a lovely but yes very selfish to expect me to hang out all day. I'm hoping tomorrow she won't ask to come "scidaddling" with me. It will be a flat no. I'll keep you updated.

firesidechat Thu 24-Jan-13 16:39:00

I once moved house (60 miles away) to get away from a needy friend!

Ok, that's a slight exaggeration. But it definitely played a part in the final decision. It was better than hiding behind the sofa and not answering the door (this part is true).

She was a nice person, but extremely demanding and draining. The worse part was that I was absolutely no help to her and we just went round and round in circles.

I'm not proud that I felt this way. However, despite claiming to be devastated and promising to keep in touch, she never contacted me again. She moved on to another friend quite happily.

Can you move? grin

saulaboutme Thu 24-Jan-13 16:41:26

cloudpuff and MomaP? Snap.

girlywhirly Thu 24-Jan-13 16:50:41

You can choose whether to answer her calls, although it's more difficult if she comes to your home and catches you there. I think you can devise ways of limiting the amount of time you spend with her. Choose to go to her home or somewhere out so that you can leave when you need to. If she says she'll come too on your next thing to do, be honest and say you've had a nice coffee or whatever, but now you really must get on and you'd prefer to do it alone. I don't see why you shouldn't make the boundaries clear.

I used to have a friend who had waves of neediness, and I and mutual friends used to manage it by socialising with her in groups, which diluted the situation somewhat and meant that she couldn't pin just one person down to listen to her issues. She was inclined to over dramatise situations which wasn't helpful.

valiumredhead Thu 24-Jan-13 16:51:54

Make yourself unavailable and giver her a time when you will be free and make sure it's an hour before school pick up time so she doesn't get too comfy drinking coffee in your kitchen grin

Don't feel guilty, some people just need telling!

valiumredhead Thu 24-Jan-13 16:52:11


Cherriesarelovely Thu 24-Jan-13 17:01:21

Situations like this are SO difficult. I have had similar "friends" over the years and in the end you have to be a bit blunt because people like this do not respond to subtle messages. Basically what valium said.

saulaboutme Thu 24-Jan-13 17:07:51

the guilt comes from having to do exactly that, devising plans to keep her at a distance. Like I said at the beginning, I don't want to hurt her feelings and I hope it doesn't come to having to really tell her!
I've advised and looked on the interent and listened and escorted and supported etc! She ain't movin'.
I'm going to dash away as often as I can and yes, have to do an hour before school pick up if she really can't get comfy!

pluCaChange Thu 24-Jan-13 17:19:54

At university, when people came to visit, I used to just tell them when I needed them to go, so that they could feel comfortable until I threw them out. People seemed quite happy to know where they stood. I appreciate that this won't necessarily work with an emotional blackmailer, but do try to treat her as though she's normal, and be matter-of-fact about it. Any objections, or "oh, but could I come with you?" to be met with, "Sorry, it's had enough having a DC with me; two more people are just too much," using the broken-record technique.

As for these people who want to invite themselves to unplanned, unwillingly-hosted "pox parties", they are probably thinking that they will have company for as long as the children are all ill together! hmm

Why not be blunt? Just say "Sorry Deirdre, I cant have you tagging along all day, or sit at my house all the time just because you cant be bothered climbing the stairs to your own home"

I bet she will leave you alone after that.

I have given my time up to people in a similar state, to my dextriment, when it has had to stop, they have survived, you learn to say no the hard way.

Have you ever told her straight that she needs a chat with her GP and even try to direct her to voluntary work, if she is in an emotionally stable enough place.

The weight and her health may be just a symptom of continuing to live in a bad marriage.

saulaboutme Thu 24-Jan-13 18:28:39

I've done suggesting and she wants me to go with her. If I can't she won't go, it's not just me she has done this to. Plus, I've met with her with the intension offing somewhere that's to help her and then she can't be bothered. It will have to be short doses. As for being blunt, she gets silly with emotional blackmail

Lariflete Thu 24-Jan-13 20:42:23

I had a conversation with someone today who I have helped continually for the last 6 months. I have really gone above and beyond which has been draining but I haven't minded until today when she started lashing out and saying all sorts of nasty things to and about me.
It makes me think that people like this don't want help and aren't actually bothered about who they are moaning to - they just want someone to give them endless sympathy.
If you cool it off with her OP, she will soon find someone else to attach herself to.

saulaboutme Thu 24-Jan-13 22:16:10

Yes the endless sympathy. She is grieving for family, which I understand, and she is on Prozac from her GP.
But her grief and her problems have to be worse than everyone else. My sympathy is not enough and yes I think as I back off she will find someone else. Sorry to hear you were treated so badly Lariflete.

MomaP Thu 24-Jan-13 23:46:22

Purequintessence -- Pure brilliance, but I really wouldn't have the balls!! Pmsl.

MomaP Thu 24-Jan-13 23:57:42

OP, I feel like I must have some type of stench that attracts these type of leeches - harsh words, but true.

Both ladies I have become friends with up in our Army Married Quarters have been equally demanding. I remember being on the phone to my mum and asking her whether everytime I try to make adult friends, they're going to need me to hold their hands, and have them continuously in my home, 12 hours of the day, drinking excessive amounts of tea and crying!! I am sorry, but do they not have things to do, I have only one DC, I still manage to fill most days with chores, running around and when I'm not doing that, spending time with my DS, DH or having a cuppa in peace... and if I'm really lucky, I might actually get a chance tp read one chapter into a good book.

blah blah!!

My point being, I wouldn't for even a second, mind meeting for a coffee once or twice a week, or maybe arranging playdates, once or twice a week, but common.. some people still need their bloody hands holding.
We're far to soft to be blunt, so I think myself and OP need to come up with a strategy. grin grin

girlywhirly Fri 25-Jan-13 14:43:21

MomaP, do the women just turn up at your home expecting attention? Because you can always tell them (on the doorstep) that it isn't convenient at this time. You don't need to give any reasons or excuses as to why not, but you could sugar the pill by smiling pleasantly as you say it, and possibly suggest some other time instead but without specifying a time or date. I don't see a problem with suggesting you meet only a certain number of times a week on the basis of you are not getting things done and you are sure they must have loads to do as well.

Or what about carrying on with your jobs while they are there, wash the dishes or get the ironing board out, at least you will achieve something rather than sitting wishing you could get on with stuff. It is no ruder than they are being taking up so much of your time.

Have you tried sending the one who comes round to the other one's home? They could support each other, if they weren't both so self centred.

saulaboutme Fri 25-Jan-13 14:54:59

Sigh...update for today. So my friend rings me hysterical, she is in agony, can't walk. She has gone to coffee house and would I please come and meet her. Can't belive she has not gone tho hospital but there you go. Basically I take her to the hospital and wait with her. They say she has a torn arch in her foot probably caused by her weight. My day has gone. Had to make an excuse once she was in doctors hands. Oh boy, so anyway even though she was genuinely in pain she made such a scene it was embarressing.
I know I sound like a cow but I realised today she made this situation as dramatic as she possibly could, and wanted me to be there which I was. She called to say she was home but you know what her husband can now look after her. I will keep an eye from a massive distance as I can't do anymore.

Re MomaP, I totally see where you are coming from. You don't want to be labelled or anything but sorry your house isn't a drop in centre and it's just ok to say NO. I'm doing that from now on. People don't need to know WHY it's no, it's just NO. When you have time and it's convenient. That's my strategy, these women want sympathy and attention and sorry they'll get it when it's really needed. Not everyday and excuse me they've been around for 5 minutes!

saulaboutme Fri 25-Jan-13 14:57:25

girlywirly totally agree. My DH said the same thing last night, pair up the 2 intruders! Have to make that work...

girlywhirly Fri 25-Jan-13 16:42:00

Well saulaboutme, you've done your good deed for this week. Although I expect she will want you to visit her, and possibly get a few bits from the shops, etc. At least you can drop by for half an hour and leave, and no danger of her wanting to come with you. This will be a useful break for you and you can start to put in place your 'distancing'. I guess she won't be very mobile for quite a while.

Do remember that you can still choose whether or not to answer her phone calls or texts immed

digerd Fri 25-Jan-13 17:00:04

I don't understand how anybody can say that a demanding< selfish>, person who exploits your good nature is a nice person. What exactly do you find "nice" about her. I'm bewildered.

MomaP Fri 25-Jan-13 18:07:05

I know it seems very difficult to understand. When OP posted and made it clear there was emotional blackmail used, I understood straight away, having a "friend" just like it.
It's difficult when our good nature takes the front seat and insists we help these people, otherwise we'd feel awful people.

OP, Thank you for posting this, it's definitely reasurred me that I am not being nasty by wanting to get on with my chores etc.

Coincidentally, my friend went into hospital today too, due to stomach pain. All I can say is THANK goodness, she is visiting family an hour away today. wink

saulaboutme Fri 25-Jan-13 19:09:06

digerd, she is usually a nice person, she sees the good in people is one of her main qualities. girlywirly and MomaP. Yep now's the time. We all have our lives to lead and would drop everything for a friend in need. Today I saw a side to her that was a desperate outreach for attention and sympathy. Even though she had a genuine ailment, she blew it up as high as she could.

Thanks guys, I'm glad too to realise I'm not on my own. I'll keep you updated.

Where's that bottle of wine???

DizzyZebra Fri 25-Jan-13 19:31:35

I don't think you are doing anything wrong or have anything to feel bad about. I can't deal with even the most laid back person for too long. You need a break from people sometimes.

I think you need to be firm about times - If you're busy instead of just saying you're busy say 'i'm free at X time/Xday and we'll have a nice coffee', If she 'pops round' and you can't think of anything, then keep it short, make her a coffee, 20 minute chat maybe and then just say you're going to have to get a wiggle on as you have things to do elsewhere.

sukysue Fri 25-Jan-13 19:37:19

I have one of these FRIENDS and it's physically and emotionally exhausting. She really annoys me she moans about her money men work health family and never not once do I get to speak of my worries. I am fed up with it to be honest. She's lovely but I think I have finally had enough . I am not bothering half as much as before and feel much better just gradually bother less and less but do it very gradually op. Good luck x

ItsintheBag Fri 25-Jan-13 20:15:43

Just keep backing off.Its all you can do.Even if it means making yourself really busy for a while.Have a back up of excuses too.I am never good at thinking something on the hop.
I attracted somebody like that.I moved to a new area and really don't know anyone, but met this girl.It was fine to start with but she got well a bit single white female on me.
I have got out visits down to once a week now,but she texts me all the time.I have ignored them,I used to text back but it just made her worse.
She had a family loss a few months ago and I am trying so hard to remember it but I sat opposite her in her house this week and thought,I am a good friend for her, but she really isnt for me.
She isnt happy for me if anything good happens,if I brought something for my home she either buys the sameconfused or as she would notice it kinda mocks it.Even my DH notices how she is.
But she is the only person I know.blush

saulaboutme Fri 25-Jan-13 20:19:31

It's funny as I started this post knowing what I had to do and felt like a total bitch. it's obviously a problem. She does do that as well it's not a two way conversation and trying to advise a grown woman who seems to have no intention of trying to improve her situation is exasperating. Things aren't easy but fgs TRY.

Lariflete Fri 25-Jan-13 20:56:31

Yes, yes, yes to trying! That is what makes most situations like these so frustrating when people just won't take any responsibility for themselves.
Definitely don't feel like a bitch for only wanting your own drama in your life wink

RabidCarrot Fri 25-Jan-13 21:03:25

She sounds a nightmare, and clearly is going to do nothing to help herself or make her life better.
Just tell her you are sorry but you can not deal with her any more, clean break

Cosmosim Fri 25-Jan-13 22:12:39

You sound so nice. Honestly if someone was that hysterical, I would tell them to hang up and get the cafe to call an ambulance for them. And insist she get off the phone with me so can call her emergency contact/relative because from her tone she's going to need a stretcher and aren't those brought in by ambulance given priority in a&e anyways... And dial tone.

You need to turn off / silence your phone. And if she's well enough to hobble to yours look at her puzzled in doorway and announce you're in your way out. Practice looking shocked at her rudeness when she suggests she'll only be a minute and repeat. You're too nice and she's just going to take advantage of you 100 fold now. I'm sorry but from your posts, her actions show only consideration for herself. How is that being a friend to you?

saulaboutme Tue 29-Jan-13 19:39:49

Today she called me. Quick catch up. I say can't meet am going to see a friend. She spent about 30 seconds trying to guess which friend. I was so mad. I had to say I'm not telling you who. I am not in a rush to have another catch up. she is pretty desperate to still have someone to hang out with. again keeping distance.

EldritchCleavage Tue 29-Jan-13 20:12:13

I think sometimes you have to stop advising. Just listen. And if you're asked for advice, say things like 'Well, you've been here before, haven't you. What do you think you should do?" etc. If you don't feed the constant hunger for sympathy, you may just find they seek you out less. Hard to do though.

My mother (who is lovely) can be like this with reassurance. She would get very anxious about things and wants people to reassure her that everything would be ok. But we had to keep on doing it. And it drove me mad and then I got ratty with her, then hated myself for it. And after I'd got ratty-guess what? My mother needed more reassurance.

My very nice therapist told me that you don't always do people a service when you take on the caring role. Sometimes it just feeds the need, rather than quenches it. So I stopped giving my mother reassurance. I told her the truth-I didn't know, I was worried too. I stepped out of that role, and not only do we get on a lot better, I think she polices her own anxiety better too.

saulaboutme Tue 29-Jan-13 20:48:04

Thanks it's true. But she is a negative and any suggestion and it's hand holding. I have to stop advising. And I'm so tired of having to dodge her. Really a shame and a was said earlier on, what makes her so nice when she is selfish and manipulative. She really pissed me off today

saulaboutme Thu 07-Feb-13 13:47:47

I wanted to give you another update. Have still distanced myself, many phone calls dodged and coffee requests dodged. in Monday she asked me if she had done something to offend me as we had been getting so close(?) and now she doesn't see me. I was annoyed because she ED trying to guilt me into seeing her. I told her no I'm very busy and I'd see her soon. I know I should have told her truth. I couldn't, I felt she would take it badly and the truth will hurt. She is now being very snidy and a mutual friend told me she said the same to her and about me too. She is lonely and bored and has still not found that she can't depend on me to fill her time.

valiumredhead Thu 07-Feb-13 15:12:15

Oh blimey, you did the right thing, no good would come of telling her the truth!

fromparistoberlin Thu 07-Feb-13 16:22:33

LOL at Yakshemash!!!!!

girlywhirly Thu 07-Feb-13 16:52:48

What is so ridiculous is that the woman can't see that her behaviour is the very thing that will drive people away ultimately. I can't see why you can't answer her honestly, when she complains about never seeing you, that perhaps she perceives your friendship to be closer than it is. That you have a right to have a private life and get on with it without being questioned by her about what you do and who you see. Also that bitching about you with a mutual friend isn't helping your friendship at all. She will either be contrite and apologetic and hopefully back off a bit, or get uppity, in which case you call time on the friendship.

You could also say you're sorry, but when you say you're very busy, you mean it and she must accept that she can't get you to drop everything when she calls.

What about suggesting that as she seems to have a lot of time on her hands, that she find some classes or hobby groups to join, to meet people with similar interests? (I am not hinting at diet and exercise ones!) Achieving something through these would improve her self esteem and she would actually have something positive to talk about.

valiumredhead Thu 07-Feb-13 16:55:17

Oh yeah that would go down well I'm sure " Listen, I'm really busy but you should do some classes and I'm sure you won't be so needy then!"

saulaboutme Thu 07-Feb-13 17:18:01

I bumped into her this morning and she asked if I had time for a coffee. "No sorry" she says "Gosh you are so busy" in a snidey way. I said yes I am!! I don't know why she won't fill her day with something else other than sitting around all day ( well possibly because it takes no effort)

I suppose I'm avoiding telling the truth to her because I don't want to deal with the aftermath. But I know I will have to still stick to my guns and not be hooked in. I'm also quite angry with her because she is so needy (guess that's why I'm back here updating you all) Also the attitude has to go. The bloody cheek of her!!

girlywhirly Fri 08-Feb-13 10:05:12

But valiumredhead, it depends how you word the suggestion. I have no doubt the woman would still reject it out of hand and provide a massive list of why she 'can't'. You said yourself in your post of 24th Jan that 'some people just need telling' and the OP finds this difficult.

valiumredhead Fri 08-Feb-13 10:43:39

No I meant some people just need telling that you are busy and that is that and not a long winded explanation of why you can't be at their beck and call.

If the woman is being snidey, I doubt she will be up for any sort of suggestion whatsoever and it could in fact inflame the situation.

Linoleic Fri 08-Feb-13 11:24:13

What a pickle, I think you are doing the right thing but how frustrating that she feels the need to get all snidey about it, rather than just getting on with life!

girlywhirly Fri 08-Feb-13 11:32:36

I understand, valium. It seems as though saulaboutme has managed to fend off this friend lately, and I totally agree that she shouldn't have to explain herself.

I feel sorry for the friends' DH and DC having to live with her it must be thoroughly miserable for them.

I think, saulabout me, you will have to keep going for a while longer with the avoiding tactics until this so called friend gets the message. Keep reminding yourself that her problems aren't yours to sort out and she has been dismissive of any advice or help you've given, and yet has seen fit to manipulate and emotionally blackmail you as it suits her.

What exactly would you want to keep seeing her for, when you get so little in return and it is making you miserable?

FellatioNels0n Fri 08-Feb-13 12:08:41

God, how awful for you. She is an emotional vampire. I have never understood how people end up with some other woman sitting in their house drinking tea and just sitting for hours on end, watching TV, or just passing the time while you try to go about your business. shock I have always managed to avoid friends like this but my sister used to be a sucker for them and barely had her house to herself for years on end when her children were small.

People like that use people like you as a way of escaping their own mundane or chaotic reality, and avoiding dealing with everything they are not coping with in their life. I am afraid you are just going to have to take the bull by the horns and tell her that you just cannot deal with that amount of contact, and that living in one another's pockets is really not your style and that you are starting to find it stress-inducing and claustrophobic.

Let her down gently and diplomatically if you can, but I suspect she may take it badly and go on the turn. That is a shame, but ultimately it is her issue to deal with, not yours and at least it solves the immediate problem.

saulaboutme Thu 14-Feb-13 11:27:06

Hi there, have still managed to avoid. She text on Monday and as usual asked "where are you". Anyway actually asked to come and see me, said no. Very tired, catch you soon.
The next I will see her will be when there are others there, find myself very unintersted and kind of less caring because she's zapped so much energy from me. Unfortunatley it is what it is and I obviously didn't expect to be a crutch and be used for convenience. I know she has the hump with me and it's a relief as if she says blah blah haven't seen you etc...I feel better for telling her like it is. Busy, busy, only my own mother can question why I haven't been in touch! Yes I've grown a pair ha haa!!
I tend to analyse why people are the way they are, I've always been like that. So much good advice guys thank you so much xx

Katla Thu 14-Feb-13 12:20:57

I think a bit of the truth won't hurt. If you keep making excuses not to see her then she may continue just to turn up at the door/ call all the time which I would personally find worse.

I once had to sit down with one of my neighbours and say, whilst I personally did not have a problem with her, I did not like or condone her behaviour to another mutual aquaintance (who she used to call a cow and to fuck off to her face and they would scream at each other confused grown women it was like the playground ) and I wasn't putting up with that. She then stopped doing it (at least in my company) but it also stopped her bitching about the other person as I'd made it clear. It was a hard thing to do (as I'm 30 years younger) but maintained the relationship (I'd not say she was a friend though). Otherwise I was just trying to avoid her and she text all the time to go ride our horses together. Sometimes I also just have to say 'no, I just need some space so I'm going to ride my horse alone today'. She huffs a bit as she is too afraid to ride alone but otherwise I feel resentful when she tags along and I dont want her there.

Sorry that's so long but I'd say to be honest but pleasant and see her on your terms and how much you are willing to help her. Be brave smile

Cortana Thu 14-Feb-13 13:02:18

You're doing well, you need to stick to your guns.

I had a 'friend' who would come to my house whenever she knew I was in with the intention of sitting around drinking tea, eating dinner with us. She would overstay every night often leaving in the small hours. We dropped hints that we were tired and needed to be up for work and school in the morning. We could ignore the door and she'd sit outside and wait for us to "come home". She's leave things here and if we refused a visit text over and over she needed to pick up such and such and had to come down "now".

We did an activity together twice a week. She'd turn up hours before the activity and then hang around for ages after. Eventually I stopped giving her a lift as it was the only way to get a few minutes with my family. I was then accosted by her Mother for leaving her to make her own way there and back, in the dark "late at night". Activity finished at 8pm. This a 27 year old woman.

I cut off contact. She was obviously hating living at home with her parents and wanted to be out. But hanging out at my family home, ignoring any help in terms of finding her a job and getting a place of her own wasn't helping her.

Was only then I realised how much stress this woman-child had caused me.

girlywhirly Thu 14-Feb-13 13:15:44

Meeting the friend with others in a group is the best thing. Watch how others deal with her, and also how she behaves around them. I bet there will be someone who is good at managing her when she starts on about all her problems, even if they just change the subject before she has gone on at length about them. It is isn't as easy to corner you. Depending on how well she knows the others, she may actually not moan as much as she might feel less likely to get away with it.

I think it's good that you are emotionally withdrawing from her now, as it means you will find it easier to stand up to her when she tries emotional blackmail.

ChairmanWow Thu 14-Feb-13 13:17:02

* I obviously didn't expect to be a crutch and be used for convenience*. You've hit the nail on the head there.

I had a similar 'friend' years ago when I was a student and a couple of years after. She had an eating disorder and was very insecure generally so I fell into the supportive friend role. She gradually came to rely on me more and more whilst refusing to acknowledge or seek help for her problems. She would come round or phone at all hours, usually in tears and expect me to talk to her for hours. Literally 2am phone calls because she'd had an argument with her boyfriend.

I had a bit of a breakdown in my mid-20's and couldn't cope with her demands any more. When I told her about my struggles and tried to get some support from her I didn't see her for dust. She had totally used me all those years. It's interesting but sad to hear of so many others who've had similar experiences.

Keep up the avoidance and stay strong! It's best for her as well as you.

saulaboutme Thu 14-Feb-13 13:24:48

Cortana this is it. There's a time to go isn't there? Similar to your intruder this lady won't do anything to help herself, I hope she proves me wrong! My consolation is that she doesn't like being out at night so doesn't lurke around at that time of day. You did the right thing to cut her off and it's just ok to say "!!" it's arms length isn't it? I just hate that she's taken advantage and made me not like her very much. It's a case of poor me, look at me, I'm sadder that everyone and I will not help myself or do anything progressive so I can stay know I sound like a bitch but I've had it.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Thu 14-Feb-13 13:31:25

She does sound like a nightmare but ine thing I notice is that you claim to be 'telling her like it is' - but nowhere have you indicated you have actually done that.

You've told her you're busy and practised avoidance tactics - fair enough, but tbh I can't see how things could be much worse if you did what Fellatio says - find a way to explain she's taking up too much of your time and expecting too much of you. She might turn nasty but it sounds as if she is anyway.

And she's no doubt pretty thick-skinned, so won't come to the conclusion by herself that it's not you, it's her.

You're achieving the aim of not seeing her, but do you think you'll ever feel entirely comfortable about it unless you tell her your reasons? Genuine question - you're not actually obliged to her, so maybe I'm just being precious suggesting you come clean? I'm rubbish at this sort of thing

LessMissAbs Thu 14-Feb-13 13:31:29

I think there must be some psychological reaction that is standard with the draining feeling that comes from such needy people. I felt exactly the same with my needy housemate (the one who I posted about wanting me to sit and talk with her while she sat on the toilet with period pains).

I could literally hardly bear to speak to her at the end, but she happily moved out and has moved in with her supervisor from work. I think this sort of person's idea of friendship is often based on selfishness, and once you begin to withdraw from her, she will move quite quickly onto someone else and forget about you.

saulaboutme Thu 14-Feb-13 13:33:53

To add to your replies (therapy),

"I think it's good that you are emotionally withdrawing from her now, as it means you will find it easier to stand up to her when she tries emotional blackmail."

Yes! the withdrawing had to be done, I may actually say to her, " I had my own shit going on that I didn't want to discuss with you have been too emotionally draining. So sorry if your upset that I didn't put you before me!"

Also can't stand it when new "friend" want's to know your whole ins and outs and has been in your life 5 minutes. She has got under my skin with that. My family, friends, aquaintances, other parents DH, DC's are not yours as well as well as anything about them. (breathe)....

Dahlen Thu 14-Feb-13 13:39:32

Boundaries and distance.

I attract needy people like moths to a lightbulb hmm. Fortunately, I have now honed my ability to deal with them so that they don't take over my life and allow me to spend time with non-needy friends and family and doing my own thing. This has, however, taken time and many situations where I've put myself through ridiculous hoops to help someone who really didn't deserve it.

The main thing is to be honest. You don't have to be unkind or horrible, but there is nothing wrong in pointing out that the needy person has to fix the problem themselves and that no amount of tea and sympathy is going to change anything. Try something along the lines of "I really feel for you; it's shit. Poor you. Unfortunately, while it's not your fault, only you can make it better because that's the world we live in. No one can do it for you. So what do you think you can do about it?"

Repeated a few times, I find this usually does the trick. If they have anything about them, they will start to look at the problem in terms of solutions. Sometimes, having the focus redirected on to their own behaviour is enough to make them stay away. If neither of those approaches work and they keep turning up, you have to resort to something like, "Look I sympathise, I really do, but I cannot fix this for you, you seem unwilling to make any changes yourself, and I cannot devote any more time and energy to being a shoulder to cry on unless I see you at least trying to help yourself." (at which point they either try to change or they flounce off in a spectacular strop and you never hear from them again, which is a good result in itself).

saulaboutme Thu 14-Feb-13 13:39:35

Shotgun, no I haven't told her like it is, really, really, wanted to at it's peak put just couldn't due to definitely having to deal with a meltdown. That's why I've had to stay away from her.

Come over, have a coffee, relax, chat, gossip, cry, laugh! But then please go home and yes we can do it again! But not everyday...when do things get done!

saulaboutme Thu 14-Feb-13 13:41:53

Boundaries and distance.

Has to be my new mantra huh...

fuzzpig Thu 14-Feb-13 13:44:50

It sounds like it will take a while to really get through to her. Keep going! smile

Hearing things like your OP annoys me - maybe in a way I'm jealous though. I really struggle with life (health, emotions, everything ATM!) but I am the opposite of an emotional vampire - I really try not to ask anyone for help (apart from support on MN of course because I know people here will only reply if they want to) and usually struggle on alone, and I try to be there for others even when I'm not strong myself. Maybe I'm envious that somebody else is ballsy enough to seek RL support but angry that they totally take the piss with it and in doing so give 'struggling' people a bad name.

If that makes any sense. blush

<gets coat>

saulaboutme Thu 14-Feb-13 13:51:13

Fuzzpig it makes sense. I go along on my own too. Not feeling great about my life at the moment and I know I have to sort things out. I HAVE TO DO IT.

I'm there, I'm there, I am so there for anyone who needs me. That's why I'm angry as it's made me think maybe it's not a good idea to make friends with other mums because this will happen...

saulaboutme Thu 14-Feb-13 13:56:19

On that note, I've just met DH's BF new girlfriend and she's lovely. He's just divorced from his bitch Exwife and she is making their life hell. New girlfriend has Facebooked me to arrange we go for dinner soon, totally fine. I'm cautious though as don't want to get too close or involved.
All this has made me think it's a lesson learned.

Distance and boundries.......

girlywhirly Thu 14-Feb-13 14:10:27

You don't have to get too close or involved, just keep the conversation light and fun, skirt around anything that you would rather not talk about. It's fine to say 'I'm not prepared to discuss that' pleasantly. It would be unusual to discuss anything very personal on a first meeting with someone, I think.

slatternlymother Thu 14-Feb-13 14:20:30

Hmmm, wonder if we knew the same person OP... wink

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Thu 14-Feb-13 14:27:53

Sounds fair, Saul - I wouldn't want to deal with a meltdown either.
Thanks for the invite, btw - when shall I come round?! grin

saulaboutme Thu 14-Feb-13 14:28:03

This will be our 3rd meeting. So happy he left the bitch and NewGF is lovely. Had to bite my tongue a couple of times as I thought I'm not getting into this subject and I'll keep doing it. I'm not worried but it crossed my mind to not be too into what's been going on with the loony ex, I am EX FRIENDS with her way before this.

Slatternlymother, lol, you never know...

saulaboutme Thu 14-Feb-13 14:28:49

Shotgun...made me chuckle big time xxxx

saulaboutme Fri 15-Mar-13 00:35:40

Hi again, not sure if this is the best way, adding to last message, but just am update.

I have taken all the advice, thanks guys, and been strong and stuck it out. She hasn't been in my house for a long time, but the calls keep coming...

It's so obvious she wants to plot away all day and I've pretty much gone very cool with her. She's tried and tried to suck me in with the "I really need to speak to you" messages which turn out to be nothing. a mutual friend has been off work I'll and she has spent time with her slot but now friend has gone on recovery holiday so she if lost again.

On the up side she is looking into voluntary work.

My point is (deep breath) I don't feel guilty anymore. I really don't. So much has happened since my last post and I admittedly used the mantra distance and boundaries to get her away from this habit of emotionally blackmailing me. She does try her best but it's like water off a ducks back now .

girlywhirly Fri 15-Mar-13 15:25:42

That's good to hear. Keep fending off the messages and calls.

saulaboutme Fri 15-Mar-13 19:22:15

Thanks, I bumped into her today. She asked again where was I going and then sad face as I was "busy" So she was going to sit in the coffee shop...didn't rise to the bait.

she was having a good friend over after school for kids playdate so happy for her for that.

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