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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

PureQuintessence Thu 24-Jan-13 17:24:52

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.

Birdsgottafly Thu 24-Jan-13 17:29:14

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.

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