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Clingy friend - how to get rid of, without hurting her?

(28 Posts)
Winstonsma Wed 07-Oct-15 14:22:29

Hi. I'm usually nice, but have got myself into a situation where someone who was once a casual acquaintance is now my 'best friend' *her words and seems to see my as a huge part in her life.

She is fab, but we are very different and I just don't like seeing her anymore. I am a cow, obvs! It started off very casual - we'd meet every few weeks - or months even - then about 2 years ago she started telling me I was like her sister, that she loves me and i'm her best friend which really freaked me out (again, my issues not her!). Everytime I see her she buys me stuff and i'm a total coward can't tell her I don't want to be friends (I'm her only friend it seems). she's even sometimes cried when we leave each other after meeting for lunch.

I tried to embrace it all, I thought perhaps I could get over my commitment phobia lol, but it's backfired massively.

she recently moved quite far away but is coming back (staying with her folks) every few weeks to SEE ME (argh) and even claims to have bought a bigger house so I can come and stay.

She is soooo generous but also needy and I don't know how to walk away without really upsetting her. I've told her I find the 'love' and constant compliments talk very awkward and the tactile stuff too but she hasn't stopped it (she is naturally very forward this way)...

If I receive one more poem about how wonderful I am, I think i'm going to have to fake my own death!

Winstonsma Wed 07-Oct-15 14:23:27

p.s: I quite often move/cancel meet-ups but doesn't seem to be a deterrent...

shutupanddance Wed 07-Oct-15 14:24:43

She dounds nice but OTT.

FrozenPonds Wed 07-Oct-15 14:27:16

Poetry shock grin

If you really don't want anything to do with her, just drop her.

Don't meet up, don't reply to anything, just cut her off.

She clearly isn't going to change.

Winstonsma Wed 07-Oct-15 14:43:37

thank you, I know that's what I have to do, I just needed to hear someone else say it. I'm too much of a cynic for her nice but OTT ways!

Completely cutting her off will be hard, but necessary... I'll be up at night with guilt - wish she had more mates so it wouldn't feel so mean.

off to grow a backbone :D

JaniceJoplin Wed 07-Oct-15 14:46:27

Wow the only person who treated me like that was actually a lesbian trying it on. Seriously.

flanjabelle Wed 07-Oct-15 14:47:08

I think you should give her one chance to sort it out. Tell her clearly and firmly that it is too much. You are finding her smothering and it is making you uncomfortable. What have you got to lose? You will just end the friendship anyway. I think she sounds like she means well but is getting it wrong. I think be brutally honest.

RickOShay Wed 07-Oct-15 14:53:14

This has happened to me. Complete cut off is the only way forward. Feel for you as it so hard. Good luck flowers

squidzin Wed 07-Oct-15 15:02:13

Unfortunately I had a disastrous "friend" just like that through my degree. She'd follow me everywhere, copy my work, copy my dress sense, talk continually at me all through lectures while I was trying to listen to the lecturer, I couldn't ditch her completely because I had to see her frequently for 4 years!

I just had to basically be a bitch. It was unfortunate and other people thought I was a bitch too sad but she was driving me insane.

dsaaa Wed 07-Oct-15 15:23:35

If you really want to end the friendship then you have to be blunt: tell her it's over and then go no contact. I've been that clingy friend, at the time I was suffering from some mental health issues which really clouded my thinking and with hindsight I can see that the friend in question tried to gently pull away but at the time I just didn't get it. Even when we had a row in which she told me I'd spent the past 6 months pissing her off by being too clingy, I still blundered on and tried to show that I could be an unclingy friend. Any little sign that she still liked me, such as a blunt reply to an email, kept me hanging on to the hope that I could sort things out.

If you haven't reached the 'had enough' point yet and want to be friends with a less clingy version of her then you need to be honest and give her one last chance to change her ways. If you haven't been upfront and told her that you are fed up and have just let the resentment silently build up then, in my opinion, you should be fair and give her the chance to change.

Northernpowerhouse Wed 07-Oct-15 15:28:24

Yes I've had this happen too. It's really difficult if you don't like hurting others feelings.

What i can't understand is how can they not know! It must be obvious from body language/ being busy etc.

When the boot has been on the other foot so to speak(twice for me) I very quickly picked up that the friendship was over, dusted myself off and moved on. Such that if I do bump into them now there is no awkwardness.

springydaffs Wed 07-Oct-15 16:21:06

It's not about you, if that makes it any easier (no), it's about her. She has used 'you' as a hook to hang something on, something entirely to do with her.

So if you want to feel better about it (not likely), she is using you. She wants the fantasy of bestest bestest friends and she's not considering AT ALL how you feel about it. Bcs it's about her and her needs, and she is forcing her needs onto, basically, an inanimate object.

Of course it's more complicated than that but that's a big part of it. I don't envy you but if you can be absolutely brutally straight with her - we are not close, I like you as a friend but the rest is made up - she will collapse in a heap at least have a clear heads up about where she's going wrong. And, as she has not considered your feelings at all, you don't need to feel guilty (but you will).

If you can do it kindly that would help - but it's a very hard thing to do so no one would blame you if you couldn't quite pull off kind.

NumbBlaseCold Wed 07-Oct-15 17:45:31

She sounds very intense and like someone who would over-analyse, beat herself up and keep persisting you with asking "why" if you just went NC.

Cutting her off may be best for both of you.

I would write her an email to explain why though so she doesn't persist with questions as much as she would without any explanation.

WhoAteMyToast Wed 07-Oct-15 18:06:54

Wow, I'd go for faking your own death OP grin

RickOShay Fri 09-Oct-15 07:35:50

Springy, that is really interesting, and helpful. What need is it answering in the clingy friend?

dsaaa Fri 09-Oct-15 08:24:58

Rick: I'm not sure what Springy is thinking of but when I was being clingy and needy my self-esteem was shot to pieces and imagining that I had a really good friend who trusted me and who, in my mind, was closer to me than anyone else, made me feel less bad about myself. Also admitting to myself that I used to have a good friend but we were no friends made me feel like I had failed. That's what ultimately made me cling on when I should have let go.

Also OP says clingy friend doesn't seem to have any other friends. I was also in this position and when you don't see how other friends are with each other then you don't have a model for how to interact or where normal boundaries should be.

dsaaa Fri 09-Oct-15 08:25:41

*no longer friends

RickOShay Fri 09-Oct-15 10:19:46

Thanks dsaaa. I hope you feel better about yourself now. flowers

Norest Fri 09-Oct-15 11:43:20

Agressively 'nice' boundary tramplers are still boundary tramplers. I've had this...with the worshipful, 'I love you sooo much' apparent 'friend', and it was never about me, but about their self-esteem issues.

Because they are being so 'nice' then it feels like you can't say no, or tell them to stop in an assertive way. But the point is..if they were truly 'nice' they would not hear what you said about crossing boundaries and making you uncomfortable and carry on regardless would they?

Last person who pulled this shit on me threatened to kill themselves if my support didn't carry on to the same level as they were demanding. They began all 'nice' as well, constant compliments, constant declarations of how lovely and amazing our friendship was blah blah blah. I avoid these types like the plague now..they are just the 'friend' version on 'Mr Nice Guy' who expects their lovebomobing will get them what they want. Will often get really nasty as well when you cut them off.

So basically I would not worry too much about being 'mean' have attempted to assert your boundaries and she wasn't interested so now you have to get tough.

Winstonsma Sat 31-Oct-15 22:33:34

Thanks everyone. I am desperate not to hurt her as she does have mental health issues dsaa and don't want to leave her with no one to talk to. Told her that I'm just too busy at the moment to meet up - which is partially true and she's gone quiet-ish... confusedvi just realised the other day that I have a few things belonging to her so def have to see her again. Trying to make meets less and less frequent and hoping she meets other people. Particularly in her new town.

It's her bday at some point this past month - she buys me so much I feel like I should get her something... Blurgh!!!

PaddingtonStareBare Sat 31-Oct-15 23:51:34

Her birthday is in a few months ? Perfect.

Don't buy her ANYTHING. You can use this as a time of pulling away.

AlwaysHope1 Sun 01-Nov-15 00:15:06

The thing is because she's so intense and doesn't really understand boundaries, she's probably going to take this very personally. She will probably be very offended, you end up feeling guilty and just becomes awkward. Think maybe stick to keeping a distance but not totally cutting her out.

AddToBasket Sun 01-Nov-15 00:31:46

This is so hard, OP.

I'm not a 'brutal honesty' person so I can't recommend that approach. I'd go for avoidance. I'd just keep being too busy to meet up. Send a proportionately sized birthday card and small item (nail varnish?) but stop answering calls and texts. I guess I'd aim to reassure her that she had me as a friend, she just didn't have all the access to me that she imagined.

I'd make sure that I stopped being the person she talked to. I'd pull back on that role whatever else.

bodenbiscuit Sun 01-Nov-15 00:35:03

Single white female shock

ThomasRichard Sun 01-Nov-15 00:41:11

shock Send her things back by post and move house! Completely changing your appearance and all your family's names by deed poll would also be advisable.

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