I am overwhelmed by three needy friends - I don't know why at this point of my life I am attracting needy people.
Friend A = is elderly and have only learned how to use skype (and it's my fault because I taught him - now he wants to skype every week), he emails me twice a day, gets extremely anxious when I don't reply
Friend B = likes to moan over the phone (I have managed to get away by not answering the phone)
Friend C = likes to moan over coffee (and 3 out of 5 times she invites me, she will cancel at the last minute)
How do I get away from Friend A? how can I tell him the truth -- "you are needy, clingy, and our friendship is wearing me down"
Now I dread looking at my emails, and I am angry with myself for letting him into my life!!! I am angry with myself for being so stupid when I first befriended Friend A. I should have not given him my email address. I have really learnt a big lesson :-(
How do I stop feeling so angry at myself???? every morning I get back feeling so angry and so anxious, for example TODAY at 12 o'clock, Friend A is going to skype me! I have already avoided three times of skype, I don't know how I can do it today again. I have been a fool with friends.
Hi Satchi, I can sympathise as I have had a couple of friendships like this and they did not end well! One friend would call up at all times of day and want lengthy conversations about her woes. Nothing I could do would change things (I once got annoyed because she called at midnight looking for support over something quite trivial and I was grumpy with her, and she later said she was waiting for an apology from me!). In the end, I broke off contact with her, because there was nothing I could say that would change her behaviour. The last I heard, she was doing exactly the same sort of thing with other friends.
Another friend is a little bit like your Friend C,and cancels all the time. I have temporarily stopped seeing her (and told her why) because she has flaked out and cancelled arrangements so often, it doesn't feel like a two-way friendship - it goes from her needing support to her wanting to cancel because she feels bad, and never mind what's going on in my life! I will probably pick things up with her again at some point, but at the minute I've told her things are too busy and stressful for me to be in this pattern with her.
Sorry these stories are not very positive - you can try communicating with these friends and setting boundaries with them, but you may need to save your own sanity at the end of the day :)
Hi Satchi, Perhaps you over give. I've noticed your manner here can be hyper-kind, saying love and such a lot. Even with people you don't know. I've noticed in real life, this kind of approach tends to attract those who need a lot of attention/love or whatever. S'pose you'll have to let them down gently now though.
hi chickpea n Eska
thanks for your replies. actually I have always been like that (hyper-kind), it has only been the last two years that I acquired needy friends. It's probably me (being too nice), and now that I think about it, it's probably also the area that I live, because when I lived in "happier" places, none of my friends were needy.
I have only moved to this area in the past two years -- and all of my "close" friends are needy!
I feel a lot better today, thank you so much. Here are my new solutions:
Friend A = sends me emails like " I love to listen to your voice. I could sit and listen all day to you. Sorry if I became emotional, I never want to say goodbye, it hurts."
solution = only reply ONE email and only when I feel like it, there is no obligation to reply to every single email
Friend B = just don't pick up the phone, only pick up when I feel like it, most of the time, don't pick up
Friend C = stay away, but still keep my word to her, as she has told me - if I don't see her/bump into her/hear from her in days, either contact the police or her solicitor.
Friend C is worried in case she might get in trouble with the Home Office. Do you remember recently David Cameron spoke about people who live in the UK and don't speak any English? Friend C is exactly this. She can only speak very few English words, every conversation with her is a guessing game for me and we can never be without an app, obviously I can't speak Turkish. She has a horrendous life with her husband (for example makes her wash his feet EVERY night with a hot-water filled basin and towel!).
She wants to continue to live in the UK but cannot speak English and probably never will.
There is no one else here to help her.
People are nice with her and then people get tired because she can't speak English.
there's only so much I can do, and I need to stay away for my own sanity.
I have had a similar situation with a needy friend. I stopped responding to emails and calls etc, and just really let it cool down. When I did respond I emphasised how busy I'd been etc. I had to harden my heart to the guilt I was feeling (at the same time as feeling utterly irritated with the friend! - such a horrible conflict!). Anyway, we seem to have struck quite a happy balance now. The friend doesn't write me such long emails so frequently (I felt like I was being used as a diary actually), and I reply as and when I want to. I was really careful though because, although it was driving me insane, I did not want to lose the friendship.
I have had two friends like this. Friend A was needy but in a very immature way e.g. wanted ALL the attention, and would get incredibly moody and miserable if we were hanging out in a group of others where she wasn't getting all of the attention- I stopped talking to this one completely a few years ago after she ruined a social event by acting completely inappropriately. I made her aware before hand though why I was doing this.
Friend B is still my friend and is more 'needy' in the sense of how you describe one of your friends- constantly messaging, texting even when I don't respond. I basically take the approach that you have outlined in your solution- only responding when I have the time to which means not responding right away and then emphasising how busy I have been. If the messaging etc. becomes particularly intense, I respond and say that I have seen and acknowledge the messages but that I will get back to them properly when I have the time as I am very very busy. This usually elicits an apology from them and they cool off for a while.
I know this thread is a couple of days old now but I wanted to say that I have some understanding of your situation with friend A!
I live in a country that is not my native one and I am naturally a very happy introverted person (at home reading a book in bed by 9pm is heaven - I am only 33! :D) but decided to try to go out and socialise and did EXACTLY the same thing you did in your friend A situation - so much so that I could almost think it was the same person! As in your situation I had constant emails and skype - it became an interference in my life. I changed my skype profile to show I was offline (even though I wasn't) to try and avoid these calls and messages, however that meant that my friends and my mother (generally the people I wanted to talk to) always thought I was unavailable.
What I ended up doing was actually blocking the person from my skype completely after sending an email saying that this level of constantly wanting my attention was simply no longer appropriate and that I wished him well. I felt bad at first but now feel a lot more free. Sadly Satchi a lot of people simply either don't realise or will not accept that their behaviour is crossing boundaries and you must must enforce your boundaries. You always come across as a really nice person on the forum and please don't let people over step the line.
hi BevCha thanks for getting in touch.
Sounds like a nightmare but I think this depends on the sort of person you are on how you want to get out of it. Here is what my reply would be:
Friend A, thanks for the last 14 emails, I really don't have time for masses of mail currently or to answer each individually. Busy busy busy.. I'll drop you a line in a few weeks.. bye. AOE26
Then again I am not known for subtlety!
hi AOE26 thanks for the sample-reply, I intend to use it.
What is the quickest way to let down an email that says " How are you doing in you , I have been thinking of you. I would love to meet you for a coffee, and hear all your news." (from Friend D - also lives in the same area, also needy)
Can you suggest a diplomatic answer for me -
my truthful stance is that I don't mind emails from her as she writes short ones.
I don't want to have coffee with her, basically it will be hearing all HER news and I end up feeling depleted.
How do I stop being friends with people?
How about -- if I just don't reply her email (so no email, no contact, friendship STOPS) and hope to God I don't bump into her in town.
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