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Handling an intrusive friend

February 17, 2017 | By | 2 Replies Continue Reading
Two young girls find a third girl to be intrusive and clingy.

QUESTION

Hi,

I have a best friend I’ve been with for years. But, recently, another girl we know is trying to squeeze into our relationship. She interrupts our private conversations and turns them into interviews. She’s way too clingy. She calls us her “best friends” even when we straight up tell her no. My best friend and I are not interested in having someone else in our relationship. She always copies what we do. How can I get her to stop?

Signed, Cat

ANSWER

Hi Cat,

I can see why you’re frustrated with this girl and I think you and your BFF are doing a great job trying to let her down in a kind, compassionate manner.

This girl seems to look up to you and envy the relationship you have with your BFF. It sounds like she lacks the self-awareness and/or social skills to realize she’s unwanted, so you’ll have to be firm and direct with her. If you say something like, “Lauren and I want to talk by ourselves,” she’ll hopefully back off.

When she calls you her best friend, you can say (in private, taking pain not to embarrass her in front of others), “I’m really flattered. I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but I don’t feel as close to you. If you say the words with compassion and kindness, you can minimize any hurt she might feel.

Have you heard the saying, “Imitation is the highest form of flattery?” Nobody likes to be copied, and there’s not much you can do to stop her. If you don’t give her attention for copying you, she might stop on her own. She might not. People often do things for attention, and not feeding into that scenario is the best way to get it to stop.

Good luck in working this out.

Signed, Amy Feld


*Amy Feld, PhD, MSW has trained and worked as a child psychologist.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this or any other post is intended to substitute for medical, psychiatric or clinical diagnosis/treatment. Rather, all posts are written as the type of advice that one friend might give to another.

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Category: Child and adolescent friendships

Comments (2)

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  1. Ariane says:

    Just don’t feed into her behavior and she might go away. She is probably seeking attention and/or wanting to belong to a group. This sounds like typical high school drama. This won’t last forever.

  2. Oh God says:

    You are guys too possessive and cliquish. It is not like you guys are ‘dating’ anyway, right? Give her the benefit of the doubt. She is not causing any harms. C’mon..

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