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to find this friend too suffocating?

(46 Posts)
jollymollie Fri 14-Oct-11 16:33:30

A few years ago when dd1 started school I got friendly with a lady who lives near me whose grandson started at the same time. She looks after him full time. We both didn't work so would go shopping together and stuff which is okay as I don't have much in the way of family and we got on relatively well. Thing is she is starting to really irritate me. She rings all the time and seems to want to spend every day when the kids are at school with me, either round at mine having coffee or shopping etc. I keep making excuses that I'm busy but she is so persistent, constantly texting and ringing. I don't mind meeting up occassionally but I'm finding myself having to make up excuses every day when we meet at school as to why I can't spend the majority of the day with her. It is driving me mad! I have started to ignore the phone but she doesn't seem to take the hint. I don't want to be mean but I really need to distance myself. Help!

HecateGoddessOfTheNight Fri 14-Oct-11 17:04:11

But you are being 'mean'. Avoiding her is also 'mean'. Worse, in fact, because it leaves her wondering what is going on. It's not nice to be on the receiving end of constant excuses. Far better to be assertive. Just tell her that you aren't available to spend every day with her. Perhaps arrange a firm date. I am free next friday to go for coffee. Or say you can meet up once a month.

If that doesn't work, then you can say that you like spending time with her, but you feel overwhelmed by constant phone calls and would prefer to have fewer calls and perhaps arrange a set date each month to get together.

You're not sparing someone's feelings by making excuses and avoiding them. You are just sparing yourself a difficult conversation.

I am not saying that to be horrible to you, but just to point out that if your intention is to spare her - you're not.

unpa1dcar3r Fri 14-Oct-11 17:16:16

Oops sorry caps lock
Suggest a date for a week or twos time and say you're incredibly busy til then and you don't know where the time gloss blah blah...
She might be wondering what she's done to upset you.

boohoobabywho Fri 14-Oct-11 18:04:28

does this mean that you were only friendly becuase you were both at home with young children, but now they have started school you want to brush her off?

jollymollie Fri 14-Oct-11 18:33:00

no of course not! We got friendly because the children were at school and we were both at home. But to have someone demanding your time constantly and ringing and texting even though I've already pointed out that I'm busy that day is hard work. If I say I've got to go shopping she'll say 'great I'll come with you!' Sometimes I just need to be on my own. I've tried to say I'm really busy and suggest meeting on a particular day but she will act as though that conversation has not taken place and still ring and text.

aldiwhore Fri 14-Oct-11 18:49:06

Okay, you and her were on the same page of the book for a while, you've changed, she still wants the same as before.

You need to meet this head on. I agree with Hecate, you're being the unreasonable one here as its YOUR situation that's changed... and situations DO change, you're not a bitch for that, you're a bit of one for not sitting her down and telling her that you value her friendship but you just don't have the time that you used to have. If you do value your friendship that is. If you don't, she will rightly feel like she's been used whilst its been convenient for you.

That happens of course, but you can avoid hurt, and that's your job.

jollymollie Fri 14-Oct-11 18:57:50

I've always been a bit uncomfortable with the amount of time she wants to spend with me from the start but I've tried to give her as much as possible as I suppose I didn't want to upset her. I'm now starting to resent that as I really value my time alone and always have tons to do.

stepawayfromtheecclescakes Fri 14-Oct-11 19:03:32

YANBU its tricky but she clearly likes your company and does not have much else to do introduce her to MN I guess the only way to deal with it assuming you are happy to spend some time with her is to be assertive and say Not today, but next Tue is good. sorry but I find all the texts a bit much TBH hard but needed, or to be passive and say, I have a new mobile ... must give you the number sometime, forgotten it for now grin

jollymollie Fri 14-Oct-11 19:03:43

I would love to have the sort of friendship where we meet up maybe once a week for a chat and catch up ... not 4 times a day!

stepawayfromtheecclescakes Fri 14-Oct-11 19:09:51

you gotta tell her, sorry... its the only way, good luck, you will feel better when its done

jollymollie Fri 14-Oct-11 19:11:53

I'm really non confrontational (wimp) so it will be really hard, but I suppose there is no other way.

ChippingIn Fri 14-Oct-11 19:14:09

Then just say that to her. Just tell her the truth, say you have lots to do, other commitments, people to see and you need time alone - but you value her friendship and would really enjoy meeting up on X afternoons for coffee before picking the kids up from school.

It might not be easy to do, but it's the kindest thing to do.

aldiwhore Fri 14-Oct-11 19:14:46

There isn't any other way. She either value YOUR friendship enough to accept it (after a bit of wound licking) or she won't... if she doesn't you're a time filler and not a friend so nothing lost on either part (apart from time filling!)

Fixture Fri 14-Oct-11 19:19:19

Agree with Hecate. Just be honest, it's much kinder than backing off and leaving the person wondering why.

stepawayfromtheecclescakes Fri 14-Oct-11 19:31:23

introduce her to MN best way to fill time, even when you don't need to IMO grin

jollymollie Fri 14-Oct-11 19:38:42

I thinks she doesn't enjoy her own company, I'm the opposite. I also don't get time away from kids unless they are at school as we don't have family who take them out etc. That time to me is valuable and I never get bored, there's always so much to do. She has recently started to pop round uninvited and I had to get out of the shower the other day as she just turned up for a coffee so I suppose I'll have to say something. We live so close and she knows when i'm in because my car's there!

TiaMariaandDietCoke Fri 14-Oct-11 19:51:04

Why not make an agreement with her about when you meet? something like, "sorry, I know I've been unavailable a lot recently - how about we meet at lunchtime on friday (or whenever suits you) - in fact, why don't we make that a regular thing, so we can both keep it free - i'm sure you're as busy as I am during the week and ad hoc arrangements just won't work for me....."

jollymollie Fri 14-Oct-11 19:55:04

That is a good idea. I think I'll try making a firm arrangement for one day and make it clear that i'm busy on the others. It is hard as she always seems to want details about what i'm doing and where I'm going and then says 'when you're back/finished i'll pop round! I'll then get the texts 'are you back yet' and so on. Once it was just 'put the kettle on i'm on my way'

PeachesMelba Fri 14-Oct-11 20:48:28

I too am a non-confrontational wimp, but I can't tolerate being suffocated so would definitely nip this in the bud by telling her. Your hints aren't working and you need to be direct. some people just don't realise they're being a nuisance.

jollymollie Sat 15-Oct-11 08:14:21

Thanks, i will try and tactfully say something soon. Just waiting for the early Saturday morning phone always comes!

JaneBirkin Sat 15-Oct-11 08:20:58

Okay she sounds as though she is very lonely.

I don't agree you're being mean. That's nonsense. You're just struggling to cope with totally unreasonable demands.

this person is clearly uncomfortable doing her own thing, on her own at any given time.

There will be a reason for this - perhaps she is trying to forget something, she doesn't sound very happy.

That doesn't make it your problem to assuage her loneliness or absolute need to be with someone at all times.

I think oyu may need to offend her, if she is that close by. you could have an honest talk but she doesn't sound like she would be receptive to that. It may get rid of her though.

I'd be angry in your position because you're being used and ignored.

Try what someone else said, suggesting a single time and day to be free regularly. Maybe invent a new job you have to do from home. I think excuses are justified in this situation.

Please don't feel guilty. It's her, not you. Good luck!

jollymollie Sat 15-Oct-11 08:37:27

Oh thanks for that JaneBirkin as I was starting to feel a bit guilty. Thing is she has got lots of friends but she doesn't seem to cling to them or maybe they are just better at saying no. She was very much like this to another friend. One day she told me that she'd rung this other friend 15 times but she was cross as the friend didn't answer the phone! This other friend never returns her calls and they no longer speak so she obviously has a bit of a history. I have just been offered a job where i'll be returning to work 3 days a week which is going to be great but I know she will try and monopolise the 2 days I am at home. I think if i do address it she will definately take offence. As the dcs are friends it would be really hard to have bad feeling between us and I would still like to see her occassionally but just not so full on.

cumbria81 Sat 15-Oct-11 08:43:13

YANBU. I have a friend like this. We meet up and then as soon as we part company she will ask when I'm next free. The thing is, I really enjoy spending time with her and she is lovely but it's the intensity of it I can't stand.

jollymollie Sat 15-Oct-11 08:45:00

It is hard work isn't it? Sometimes when the phone rings and I see her number I feel like shouting at the phone 'LEAVE ME ALONE!'

Animation Sat 15-Oct-11 08:48:54

Yes she sounds very needy and draining and that's not healthy for you.

These kind of people are hard to get distance with.

Hope you can set the boundary - and don't worry if she gets upset.

You have a RIGHT to your own independent life!

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