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Needy friends: A friend indeed?

February 13, 2008 | By | 780 Replies Continue Reading

Do you have needy friends? There are some friends who feel like an emotional ball and chain. They’re always in need of one thing or another: money, favors, help, coddling, praise—or simply more time than you have to give.

Like a wailing toddler, they can be so demanding that their friendship tires you and weighs you down. Who needs that kind of friend? Many women do.

  • People who like feeling needed—or once liked the feeling (even if they don’t anymore)
  • People who feel like they aren’t worthy of healthier, more balanced relationships
  • People who are stuck—either feeling angry or sorry for their needy friend—and feel unable to get out of it

But if you have begun to recognize that a female friendship is a drag, you’ve taken the first step in relieving yourself of the burden.


  • Change the nature of your friendship by learning to say “no” and setting boundaries (e.g. “Even though we are both single, I don’t want to spend every Friday night together.”)
  • Tell her that you have to tend to your own needs (or those of anyone else you can think of)
  • Slip away – Spend less time with her and add other less demanding friends to your inventory
  • Take a relationship sabbatical or hiatus from the friendship (you deserve it!)
  • If it’s that bad, simply cut loose!

Remember, the term toxic friendships refers to relationships that are consistently negative and draining. It is the pattern, not the one-time or occasional lapses in the balance of needing that occurs between good friends. If your truly needy friend has been that way for some time, the real possibilities of changing the relationship verge on hopeless.

These are people whose needs can never be satiated. No matter what you give, what you do, how much, or how often, it will never be enough. Since character tends to endure, this person probably treats other people the same way she treats you. It’s likely that many of her friends have probably already dropped out of the picture and that’s why she is so dependent on you.

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Category: Needy friends

Comments (780)

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  1. Cat says:

    Yeah my family & friends didn’t make the choices I did decades ago and so are always having money problems. I did make good choices and have enough money to get by. They still don’t manage the money they do have & I’m always the one they call to bail them out.
    It’s a rough kick. I’ve learned to say no to their request for money due to dumb choices – but my empathy won’t allow me to let them suffer, so I help when it comes to life necessities.
    My neice recently called and said she couldn’t afford to pay her taxes and needed $3000. I know she went to several high $ concerts over the past year plus vacations – and I didn’t have $3000 laying around, so I said Uncle Sam will have to wait. She was mad! This made me sad, but I realize I can’t help her learn by constantly bailing her out.
    I don’t know what to do about these constant demands for money – I’m 62 and would really like to retire in a couple years – the more I give, the longer I have to work at a really tough job.
    So I’m working on learning to say No when it isn’t for basic needs. But then I’m finding that they have figured this out and use that as a reason.
    My friends are worse than my family in this matter.
    It’s tough – I have resorted to telling them that they only like me when I’m paying. And I’m going to try to stop paying!
    Arrgh – needy friends!

  2. Lanie says:

    Needy friends seem to be a common theme for me. As an introvert, I enjoy my alone time so much that I find friendships exhausting. Because I’m an introvert, I’m a pretty good listener, and often attract people who want to talk about everything, yet have no time to listen to me. One friend, consistently talks over me any time I try to add to the conversation, so I end up having to raise my voice real loud to snap her out of her constant chatter. Even though I do this constantly, she still doesn’t get it. Lately, she’s been stopping over almost every night at dinner time and doesn’t leave while we are trying to eat. She tells my husband and I that ‘she’s bored’ and also brings her 2 year old who has constant temper tantrums and makes a mess every time he comes, which I have to clean up. I also am not a big talker on the phone and prefer texting and have made that clear to this woman, but she will consistently call me to ask me questions, because she doesn’t like texting. I’ve tried to cut the relationship off, but she still keeps coming around. The bottom line is, we have nothing in common. I love to read and am really into spirituality, while she hates reading and gets defensive whenever I talk about something I’ve read that I found interesting. I just stopped sharing with her because there was no point in it, plus, she’ll just run over me with her own interests. The sad part is, she’s my neighbor, so it’s hard to get away from her. I should know better. The last time I befriended a neighbor, she had me running errands for her all the time. While I don’t mind helping out sometimes, it’s usually never reciprocated.

  3. Morgan says:

    I have been feeling really stressed out lately. My best friend, we have been best friends for years and years, is always wanting to call or google hangout call me, to talk to me. I moved away a while back so she misses me a lot. Not to complain or anything just to talk. I really feel like she is always asking me to google hangout her to chat but I don’t always have the time. I’m really stressed out and have been doing my best to say no, but I always promise to “hangout call her later” if i cannot do it then. I have little time on my hands and as much as I love her and she is a great friend, I really need to stop giving all my time to her. I feel bad and guilty if I were to lie, and it’s really causing me anxiety. She doesn’t mean it, but I feel as though she is being a little needy or over-protective. I don’t want to lose her as a friend, she is my only one! My other sort of friend (we are not as close but still chat.) She is always getting jealous and getting mad at me when I try to hang out with other friends thinking I am replacing her, even though I would never do that. She is really needy sometimes and I feel like she needs to understand “Everyone has his/her own agenda” because she clearly does not. I really really don’t want to lose her however, we have SOOOO many happy memories and always promised to stay “bffs for life” and I want to keep it that way. I’m just so overwhelmed. Please help.

    • Morgan says:

      Oops I meant that my kind-of friend is moving so if I lose this friend, I will be alone. I just really don’t want to hangout call her every night. I have a lot of things to do including schoolwork and I /wish she could understand. I really, really don’t want to let her down and I don’t know what i’d do without her. She also just recently got upset because I left a hangout call (getting kind of annoyed and sad because she muted herself for a long time as if I had done something wrong or maybe just personal) but then would not talk to me. When I messaged her younger brother asking if he knew why, he said “I think she’s mad. at you” so I asked why and he said “she says you know” I honestly did not know and it was DEFINATELY not the first time she had gotten mad over a little thing or lack of me responding. I was beginning to get stressed out and she continued texting me 55 TIMES and later saying “please plase dont reply please!!” and I was getting really mad and stressed. I ignored her and she continued texting. She tried to call and texted “fine ignore my calls. :((” I really didn’t want to be mean, but I COULD NOT talk to her. She finally said, hangout call me. So reluctantly, I did. I was nervous of if she was going to expect me to explain or something. I had already texted her telling her the truth “I was helping my little brother dye easter eggs and being with my family” or something like that, she still kept saying how I was being rude to not reply. In the call she sounded upset and said “why weren’t you answering.” and I explained. She said “im just really mad right now.” in like, a stressed voice. Then a minute or so later, said “im just kidding” and I was really, like REALLY upset, annoyed, and mad. I was silent for a while, and silently cried and tried not to let her hear. She mustve thought I was okay because I pretended to be happy but i’m still unhappy now. It really upset me. 🙁 I’m confused and idk what to do, once again please help. Thanks

  4. Mouse says:

    I was very glad to have found this friendshipblog thread. I have a lot of friends but most are online, the ones I physically see are ALL needy. I don’t know why I am attracting needy people.

    At the moment I cannot severe ties with any of them (for reasons I’m not writing to save reading time!)

    Does anyone have good excuses for me please–

    1. Friend A always wants to skype me. How do I get out of this? it’s my fault really, because I suggested skype to him so that he could save money.

    2. Friend B likes to meet over coffee. After more than one year of agreeing to meet up for coffee (and listening to rants, complaints), I am really angry with myself. What is the best thing to say to Friend B?

    3. Friend C thinks the world of me – cannot eat or sleep without talking to me, or emailing me, checks email a couple of times to see if I have replied, sends me e-cards (which I really hate) — is there any other way I can stop this without having to say “get lost” to him. I also feel there is emotional blackmail because when he cannot find me, he becomes stressed, disorientated, and then I find myself stepping up to quickly reply emails etc. I am also angry with myself about this.

    I would appreciate suggestions on good “saying no and go away nicely” sentences.

    Since then, I have “cut down” smiling at or talking to strangers for fear of picking up new needy friends. I have really learnt my lesson in this regard. But what do I do with these current needy friends.

    thanks — from a foolish and angry (at herself) mouse

    • Kelly says:

      Sounds like you need to set some boundaries. I am a needy friend. I try my best to counteract my neediness by not reaching out every time there is something that goes wrong in my life and turn inward rather than outward. Also having a family and husband has made me less needy over time.

      I had a friend recently break up with me. She didnt tell me why I just have to guess what went wrong for her.

      I feel like with friends you are constantly making deals, example you call me about your problems and I’ll call you about my problems.

      Your coffee friend probably thinks that coffee is your thing and likely thinks the relationship is going fine. if you dont set a boundary you will likely just get fed up and break up with her.

      I say create some distance with these people, just enough for them to self reflect. Upon meeting with them again if they ask for coffee next week just say u know what I love our coffee dates but Life has changed and I dont have the kind of time I used to because Im making more time for myself these days.

      With needy people the more you give the more they expect. I say either set some boundaries or you’ll risk getting so fed up that you just end the frienships altogether.

  5. Sarah says:

    My best friend and I met about 15 or more years ago. She was always so nice and thoughtful and just a really fun, sweet and caring person throughout our teenage years. We are both in our early 20s now. She has always had a few mental hangups of which I am unsure about what they are exactly but she has always been slow to mature and understand things. Some sort of learning disabilities maybe. It has never ever bothered me and I have never thought anything of it my whole life!
    A year ago she changed drastically. She started drinking a lot. currently I would consider her an alcoholic that still is able to keep in on the down low and under control. So its mild. She became so so weird about things and couldn’t stop talking about religion and all these things that are unknown. That is when it all stared.
    She will get on these kicks where she “needs me right now” or “really needs me” and I have dropped everything several times (which was very stressful on my part) to get to her and I would just find her drunk with no apparent emergency other that she just wanted to talk…about the same things we have already gone over and over so many times.
    When all of this started happening of course I contacted her parents and talked to them about it but it didn’t help. Her sister will txt me saying occasionally “she really needs you she won’t talk to us and says your the only person she will talk to” it is VERY stressful. I have tried talking to my friend about her drinking and it seems to be better a little bit lately.
    Sometimes she will call over and over and over when I told her to not call me because I am at work. But that usually only happens when she is drunk. She is always texting me or calling out of the blue to see if I am busy or want to come over or if she can come over. I feel really trapped. I can’t just end our friendship. She does actually have real mental problems that can’t be helped I just don’t know what they are. She drives and is normal and functions in the world just fine except when it comes to money or reading comprehension stuff. I love her so much! And I just want to be happy. But when we hang out it feels like baby sitting because she acts so much younger than we are. I just took almost 2 weeks from hanging out with her and said that I was really busy and needed some time to myself. But she has some sort of attachment to me that she doesn’t have with anyone else. I don’t like hanging out with her one on one lately because it feels uncomfortable. She has said things to me before like “i really needed you and you weren’t there” “i was having a mental breakdown and i just really needed you” and it makes me feel really crappy because all the times I dropped everything to make sure she was ok. Her sister (whom I am also close with) is moving far away in a month and I feel like I’m really going to be stuck. Her sister and I have become friends and I can tell she doesn’t like it. I purposefully don’t hang out one on one with her sister because I know it will upset her but we have so much more in common.
    Back to my friend, when I am hoping for a group get together instead of being one on one she always just wants it to be me and her and no one else. She really likes “girl time”
    I really enjoy spending time with her sister and the other friends that surround us when she does actually approve of other people tagging along, but then I kind of feel like I cater to her needs a lot in social situations. I stoop down to her level pretty much. And i feel AWFULLLLL for saying this but in group settings and social stuff I have a lot more fun when she isn’t there. :((( And when I see other friends of ours hanging out one on one I can’t help but think that I wish I had that. It feels like all the people I have met through her that I really like I won’t ever get a real friendship with. Because if I did it would really upset her and make her jealous. Simply because I think she has a hard time following and relating to people. Also, when we were 8 we had the same problem but never through teenage years and now I am WAYYYY too old to be even thinking this way!! But its almost like she views me as “thats myyyyyy best friend” still to this day.
    I am really at a loss….I don’t know what to do or how to handle her. I am HORRIBLE with confrontation. I have a really hard time saying no to her for some reason. I don’t want to quit the friendship because we have a huge history. But at the same time I am typing this up because I am supposed to hang out with her for a few hours tomorrow and I am not looking forward to it.
    Its hard to leave because she doesn’t want me to and then will invite herself to whatever I am doing afterwards or something like that.
    The minute I think things between us are getting better they almost get worse when something happens. Its so awkward now to hang out because I know she can tell I am pulling away.
    It is because of her drinking and I will have to talk to her more deeply about it. But there isn’t much I can do until her parents finally decide its enough of a problem to actually force her to go somewhere and get help.
    She looks almost completely different than she did a year ago. She has lost a ton of weight and her face and eyes look different.
    Does anyone have any idea what the hell I am supposed to do or how I am supposed to keep living my life in fear of when she texts or calls. I love her a lot and I am just at such a loss. Thank you!!!

  6. Just Me says:

    When I read this, it makes me sometimes wonder if I am the needy friend or if its her. We go back over 20 calendar years, but maybe 15 actual years of actual friendship, broken up between months or years long blowouts . When we would get together, it was like a feeding frenzy of fun- always doing something or going somewhere and having a blast. Yet, we could never really engage in any kind of serious conversation, interpersonal feelings, or just “girl talk”…it would have to contain some kind of subject matter, like a class in school. Anyway, we are on our fourth fall out…and it always seems to be my fault, and it always seems to be in the winter season. So, what is happening now is that I am taking a prerequisite college course in a subject I am very weak and apologized to her ahead of time that I may not be able to do things on the weekends very much and she went on and on that she loved math and would help me. I started my class and ran into some other financial issues and didnt want to unload about and was getting through it- and neither of us are saying anything to the other. Three weeks later, I get a sms from her saying she didnt know what was going on with me , hoped i was doing well in school and let her know when i wanted to come out and play. So I responded “sure” and received a passive aggressive response that obviously I am isolating myself and to let her know when I am over whatever it was that I was mad that this time. So, I responded letting her know that I had some problems and what they were but didnt want to tell her all that because I need to get through it and commented it might have been nice to be able to say hi once in a while because it seemed she had no problems communicating with another friend on facebook, instead of receiving passive aggressive responses like that and guessed that I was just a fun friend to her. Then I was accused of being selfish and that I always have problems and she can talk to the other friend because they dont talk about their problems and they go and do fun things. Historically, if I would try to engage in a conversation to gain mutual understanding, it would turn into WW2.5, so this time I did not respond and have not spoken to her in approximately a week. This always keeps happening because it seems like I get the most “in trouble” is when I do not cater to her in some way. Everybody needs somebody to be able to talk to…and I am glad I have at least a couple, but this friend….when she does this…it really hurts. I am thinking of dropping her for good because this type of thing always seems to happen and I am the one who has to rebuild when the walls fall down. But in my heart, there is a type of bond I feel for her- almost like a sister….that I really do not hold for some of the others. At least, I am taking it better this time.

  7. Kel says:

    Yikes! Wow that’s crazy. Even a tier 1 bestfriend wouldn’t do that. She needs a hobby

  8. Lara says:

    Oh boy I have had only one freind get so needy and strange that it truly disturbed me. Started out with her contacting me and getting back in touch when we lived in different states. Then when I moved back to that state (but over an hour away) she expected to hang out ALL the time. I had graduate school to juggle with work and also other friends and to be honest, wasn’t wanting a “tier 1” bff situation like she seemed to. She started doing things like monitoring social media to try to figure out if I’d gone out and not invited her. If I didn’t want to commit to plans she’d lash out and say “bs I know your going to go out”. Started inviting herself to tag along with other friends she didn’t know who I wanted to see one on one. The clincher was when I returned from a vacation, and had just endured over 24 hours of flight delays and a car breakdown on my way home. She saw me post and called IMMEDIATELY. “Oh I see you are back what’s up”? I was still dealing with tow trucks and explained my rough trip. She still suggested we meet up later that day. When I explained I was drained and was going straight to bed once I got home, she started to yell at me and slam my character and tell me how selfish I was. At that point I said the freindship wasn’t working. She continued to try to contact me steadily for a month. Occasionally still does. That was at least 3 years ago.

  9. MacKenzie Poole says:

    Hello I’m having a problem and feel like I am the needy friend. I’m only 17 and I’ve had a lot go on in my life. I was a huge social butterfly a when I was little, and I had a lot of friends. However I became very ill and because my disease wasn’t visible no one believed me and I lost all of my friends. Not only because I became ‘the sick girl’ but because I avoided everyone about everything. I was literally dying and they’d call me a liar to my face.

    I became friends with a girl who was emotionally abusive and physically abusive to me but I was in need of a friend. And I’d take anyone. She moved away recently and I’m happier now than ever and because my condition is better I’ve been trying to get in touch with other friends. One girl kept in contact with me but we are both very different.

    She is very independent and I am now too but I am more silent. I don’t play sports and I don’t sleep around or drink or party. However she was my best friend before everything and I really want to fix my relationship with her.

    However I feel like she doesn’t want to fix anything. I hate feeling like the needy friend but I find myself desperate for anyone. I don’t want to be the last person that called if she’s looking to hang out. I don’t want her to put off times.

    Tonight she called at six and told me she’d pick me up to hang out at nine. And then she suddenly is seeing a movie with another friend. So she put off picking me up at eleven? I’m just sad and honestly the only friend I have is my dog. It’s not fun sitting at lunch alone either. She chooses to sit with people who always say mean things about people. Constantly judging. And I know she’s not always like that.

    And I come from a small town. So. There isn’t a lot of new people coming in. I hope I at least make one good friend in college.

    • Kiran says:

      MacKenzie, I’m sorry to hear about your plight! It sounds like a really tough situation. I just wanted to speak up because I lost all my friends in my senior year of high school when Youth and Family Services removed me from my mother’s house; I moved to my dad’s home an hour away, which made it hard for any of my classmates to hang out. On top of that, my ‘best friend’ said she didn’t want to be friends anymore because I’d been too stressed lately!

      Anyway, you said you hope you can meet at least one good friend in college, and I’m here to really support that hope! Despite having no friends by the end of my senior year in high school, I went into university, and my sophomore year roommate was one of the best friends I’ve ever had and undoubtedly will be a lifelong friend. I’ve even moved away for graduate school, and no less than a half-dozen of my college friends will be visiting me across the Atlantic. So, yeah, college can be an amazing opportunity!

      That said, college may not work out on the friend front immediately (I was almost as friendless my freshman year of college as I was my senior year of high school), or not at all. But there’s always more opportunities. And when you are in college, do take advantage of the student services if you’re feeling lonely or depressed. They’re there to help!

  10. Julie says:

    I am going through I similar situation. I am a disabled 36f and I have severe pain and illness due to a stroke. I keep to myself. I don’t like dumping my problems on people. It’s been 15 years since I’ve tried to be a friend.

    I met a lady 40f at a store, she admired my dog. She gave me her name and number, and I made her a Facebook friend. She started a new job by my house and I offered to take her once a week since it’s only a few miles away. It turned into me taking her for 2 or 3 hours to different stores. I also had to listen to all her problems. I listened and said very little about myself. I do not like talking about myself.

    She started calling me, saying it was an emergency. It was always a problem that she just needed to talk about, not urgent. I started to be her counselor. I told her I was so sick I couldn’t talk on the phone. She said she hated texting and found it to be rude. So I Facebook messaged her. I limited my time with her to once a week.

    Her life started getting more difficult. She started leaving me long voicemails. Over the holiday I left food at her door and wrote happy holiday. After that, my husband was injured in an accident and hospitalized for days.

    While I was sitting with my injured husband in the hospital I didn’t have a phone. I didn’t care about my phone, I thought he would die. She texted me that she was scared and had a very bad day. When I didn’t text back in a few days she left me 3 nasty voicemails. She called me a liar, bad friend, and rude. I was in shock.

    So, I called her after I got home. She didn’t ask about my husband, just talked about me lying about why I couldn’t spend more time with her. She said she was angry for months about me not being available. I took her to work and errand for 3 hours a week and it wasn’t enough. She wanted another person to dump her problems on. When I saw her next to take her to work, she criticized the things I did while driving and was passive aggressive.

    I was nice, but I am keeping my distance and limiting my time I spend being around her. I will never understand why people feel better dumping their problems on people.

    I understand what all of you are going through. It’s better to be alone or only a few good friends.

    • Julie says:

      Oh and she was mad at me for leaving food that she considered unhealthy. She said it was a slap in the face. And I texted her happy new year and she said I was rude to text. I didn’t respect her boundaries.

    • Laverne says:

      This woman sounds extremely self-centered and needy. I wouldn’t want someone that toxic in my life. It doesn’t sound like she contributes anything positive to your life. That’s not a friend.

  11. Amy Jones says:

    Hi – I’m having an increasing discpmfort level with my friend “A” of many years. She is obsessed with this guy who she’s having a long-distance relationship with, and I’ve begun to notice she barely asks me about my life, and every time when we are discussing my issues, she seems to be eager to get back to her stuff. A whole day can go by with not an inquiry into me. When I was breaking up with my (romantic) girlfriend recently and was having a real crisis, she still could not stay focused on my life for very long. I have always been a keen listener, eager and interested in my friends and their lives, but she has always been so self-centered. I love her dearly and don’t plan to just break up with her but lately I have been seting boundaries (we are long distance from each other, so the communication is all messaging) just so she won’t monopolize all my time, which she can and has done many times.

    Thanks for reading! – Amy

    • Kelli says:

      Amy I’ve had a friend like this. We were friends a long time and recently went our seperate ways. When her life was crappy she was my right hand and when she got a boyfriend she was no where to be found. I was delusional about our friendship and if I’d looked at the relationship for what it really was we probably would still be civil. Truth is: what you see is what you get. She will apologize a million times and still keep doing it because it’s who she is. If I were you I wouldn’t be emotionally dependant on her at all. You will just time to time find yourself more hurt and disappointed. There’s a selfish characteristic in your friend that will not change. As unfair as that is and as painful as it maybe, it is what it is. Don’t make excuses for her

      • Amy Jones says:

        Thanks Kelli, I’ve seen my friend recently and we’re stl fine. I think she’s not the first friend that I’ve let take advantage of my patient ear. I still love her. But it’s kind if funny that she just had to be focused on herself. Like you say it is what it is. Thanks for writing!

      • Maria says:

        Wow this sounds much like my dilemma with my buff of 25+ years . I used to love her like a sister talked her through her divorce her last boyfriend her business woes her kids issues on and on!! I just realized her friendship is a selfish one. When things are good with her I don’t hear from her we live 2hours from one another so it was phone calls for hours on end when she needed me now it’s barely text convos. I started to notice she has not made time to spend with me but has come to NY to hang out with other friends and potential boyfriends!!!When I told her how I felt she was so sorry and I’m sure she was BUT had not tried to put aside time for US unless it involves our kids but did ask if we would have her to our summer house she would love to join us this year!!! Neither I or my children are particularly interested in these plans because our kids don’t have too much in common anymore. Today she texts me how was my weekend.I answered really fun(long needed date weekend with the hubby) and then I added HBU. She never asked why my weekend was so fun but went on and on about work went to sports w her kids etc.. Then proceeded to tell me all about her sons college visits and all about that he’s still a HS junior (my daughter just chose her school she’s a senior) never asked about her once until I mentioned it and then she proceeded to ask about her schedule just so she will know what her son might have to take (he’s a percussionist she’s a vocalist) so they are both going into the music field.it was so frustrating that I answered her to my best of knowledge and stopped the convo .I noticed every time we speak I’m so annoyed and angered with her self absorbed convos that I’ve actually gotten snippy . This is not like me but I’m not interested much in our friendship we have nothing in common anymore . I don’t know how to deal with it we have been like sisters I even ended a friendship with a former mutual friend of ours that her her so bad that I stayed by her side (I noticed they are now reconciled on FB) . I don’t want to make a harsh decision I am her sons godmother .

  12. Jessie says:

    Thanks for this post…Now please forive me but I need to vent. I met a family when our two year olds were in a playgroup together. They have one child and we now have 4 under the age of 7. They have been very clingy, and at first I didn’t want to continue the friendship (their son used to hit one of my sons and was very bossy). 3 years later, we’re still friends but I’m not sure how to set boundaries and am still not comfortable with the relationship. They depend on me a lot to babysit, I am stretched thin as it is. We are homeschooling and I work from home nights so our days are full. I get frustrated she doesn’t manage her errands so that she can get things done when her son is at school. I sometimes have to miss fieldtrips or group outings so that I can get home to watch her child. Their son is pretty bossy and I know it sounds mean, but he’s spoiled. He is rough (hits when he plays, held my son underwater, is pushy/handsy), doesn’t do things for himself, brags about toys he gets, and doesn’t like it if we have other kids over at the same time. He gets what he wants, and often, I feel like my boys are what he wants so his mom always wants to get together. His mom asks me what I’m getting the kids for christmas etc. so that she can get her son the same. Or what we’re doing for holidays, and now they are showing up the same places. I feel like that’s weird. And I know he will get the few things I get my children, we’re not well off, and then 20+ more things. She expresses that they want us to go on day or weekend trips with them because it’s not fun without friends, but we don’t do expensive outings often and when we do, we enjoy the time as a family and it’s harder when we involve them. I don’t want to send them away with their family because of the behavior I see when he’s here and I know our younger song will be left out. We have other friends who are easy to see and it works. I was hoping that when their child went to school, things would change but I feel like it’s gotten worse. I’m ready to end the friendship, but if we can comfortably see eachother maybe once a month, not a few times a week, and have the understanding that we are not co-vacationers, I think that we may be able to make it work. I feel bad, I know they mean well, but it’s too much. His mom is really nice and we’ve grown close, and the boys enjoy eachother, but the whole thing makes me uncomfortable. Thanks for this piece. I’m going to try saying no more, and if we need to cut loose, we will.

    • Liz says:

      end the “friendship.” You do not “know” that these people mean well because you are not inside their heads. If, at 2, their son was a bully, there’s a reason and it lies with the parents.

      TRUST YOUR GUT. If you feel uncomfortable, that is your gut instinct sounding of the alarm. Take time for yourself to learn more about your personal needs, requirements, and boundaries so that you can choose people whom you will allow into your inner circle based upon observation rather than needs/wants.

    • myra says:

      trust your intuition this is a controling friendship ”.make bounderies saying no i dont want to”no sorry it dasn,t suit me today.maybe some other time but that some other time can be when you want to .it is suffecating you and it dasnt feel right with your kids .xx myra you can do it ”

      • Jessie says:

        Thank you Liz and Myra. I’ve been saying no more often lately, and she was sensing something was wrong. I tried to explain that I needed a little space right now and wanted to keep in touch but just was not going to be up for so much for a while as we adjust with the new baby and get into new routines here. I haven’t heard from her since, so I think she may have taken it badly. While it’s not what I would have hoped for it’s ok with me because something had to change and if she can’t understand my need for some space right now, then maybe ending the friendship is best. Thanks for your responses and advice.

    • Julie says:

      He tried to drown your son. Cut ties for your kids safety. Good luck

  13. Marie says:

    i am little stress i have a friend who is defendant personality disorder even little things in her everyday life she having difficulty to decide, she not like before,i still remember how she call me more than 10 times a day if she stress with another friend of her who dumped her, she dont have any idea why people avoiding her chating with me almost everyday just to say hi and report how her day is all about since she a friend i try to observed her attitude coz we been separated friend for about 6 years so everything she acting right now is new from me but slowly i notice she always make poor decision when it comes to guys she so clingy and so easy no one can stop her to get a boyfriend i always advice her to be hard to get and respect her self as i know her ex husband dump her and go with another woman i always gave advice and words of wisdom therefore i end up get pissed and tried and stressed she just listen but cannot apply and what worse its like every mistake she did are like she not in her self in 7 month she dated 4 guys 3 of them her while still courting. despite of all my advice she having hard time to apply it she take time to learn and understand thing a bit quirky we fight about a different guy she always introduce coz i dont trust her i also told her she so needy and desperate to get bf when she should learn to be independent she trying to change but too slow for her to understand i let her go in her life she coming back to me fail again and when i tell her the reason why and the effect of all that she did how people judge and look at her due to her stupid ness she get hurt she wanted only close the chapter and moved on agin without fully understand.what should i do i am tried as a friend. sometimes i almost want to tell her to go to Psychiatrist,
    Please help me being her friend makes me tried buy i also love her

  14. Claude says:

    i am in big need of help. I have a friend, a young trans friend at that. Who seems to be having lots of self esteem along with a multiple identity disorder. They seem to be so dependent on me, that it is getting really tiring for me. They were abused as a child, and since they came out as trans, their catholic family has ostracized them. He also has anger issues, and i do not know what to do. It seems like they are relying on me soley for coddling and care and or to calm them down when they have a mental break down. We talk every single day, and sometimes i like to just have the weekends to myself. How do i let them know i want to have some time to myself without seeming like im abandoning them?

    • Lalitah says:


      You’re in a difficult bind. Can you research any support groups for trans youth that can be a support to your friend? That can help you unload the bulk of the drain. Also, can you have a heart-to-heart with your friends that you think it’s better for them to have a therapeutic relationship with a professional rather with you since you’re not equipped to deal with their particular problems effectively? Make sure you validate their feelings because people who have suffered abuse tend to have very fragile sense of worth and it can be come across/be interpreted automatically as a rejection. I would really push the idea of the support group and even take them there and make it clear that you’re there to support them to get the best help with the people who are best equipped to help them. And then tell your friend that you’re only available on said day/time due to your own emotional issues. You have needs too.

  15. Natalie says:

    In my experience, there are some people who are clingy, but sometimes you need to watch out for the needy ones, particularly those who are manipulative or use guilt or seem to have self esteem issues under the radar.

    I’ve noticed that sometimes these needy friends actually might hate you, and often say mean or underhanded things to you about their other friends, but at the same time cannot live without them and make things look great on the surface (social media). Often, they are a loaded gun, waiting for reasons to hate you, and sometimes manipulating them out of you. It’s a lose lose situation.

  16. Pat says:

    my room plotting. I could really use some advice because he is really smart and can tell when I’m against him. I will stay near by to answer questions and reply if anyone wants to lend some advice. He’s a Taurus I think if that helps. Any advice helps

    • Natalie says:

      He may be able to tell because he’s actually looking for reasons to hate you or already does. Does that sound like a possibility? I’m also a Taurus but generally have friends of equal neediness/independence level or find myself running from someone I see as needy. Do you have more details on your situation?

  17. Pat says:

    Ok so here goes nothing, I was considering typing anything here for fear that I’m just being stupid. I’ve been business partners with a guy for about 3 years now. We first met when I was new to the business and he decided to offer me advice for a small consulting fee. I didn’t mind because he was teaching so much. I had noticed in our business partnership that he felt I was a friend also. He gave me life advice as well as business advice. Now I’ve always had a dysfunctional home life with an abusive crazy stalker father and a passive docile child abused mother. So him helping me out with my non existent love life and many internal issues such as trusting and developing real HEALTHY bonds with people including my family was needed. The more our partnership went on the more he felt he needed to be involved in every aspect of my life outside of the business. He even stopped charging me the fee. I admit, I put way too much of my life into his. I disclosed personal information but at this point (2yr mark) I had really grown to trust him. When I didn’t have money to eat and my family refused to help me because of my profession he sent me food. He has been there for me. Fast forward a bit the the third year, I’m going through extreme personal problems with my place of residence and a stalker so I needed to leave my place. He suggested I come stay with him. I felt reluctant of course. He really had to “lay out all the benefits” because I was in a bad situation but I knew I could be jumping into a worse situation. I did not go with my first mind. I left my home and went to stay with him. The problem I’m having with this friendship is that this is becoming painfully obvious that I either hate him or we were never good friend to begin with. It’s hard to go into detail about Every little thing he does, but it basically seems like if I don’t reciprocate all the things he done for me then we have these blow up arguments about me being childish, not knowing how to have a real relationship, or me just plain old being wrong. I’m always wrong when we talk, never fails, no matter what I say. I’m usually the one coming to him after an argument to try and mend things. Ive gotten to the point where I don’t even want to resolve anything. I just want to get away from him.
    Let’s not go into all of the other reasons I am now questioning all of his motives: him not wanting me to communicate with my family! Him constantly trying to “teach” me something when it’s really just his opinion on the matter, not fact! And not letting me have my own mind or opinions. No one is right but him! No one is as smart as him but God. I really think that’s how he feels. He told me once that “not everyone can teach” and he was TAUGHT the Bible so basically he’s all knowing. His arrogance and lack of consideration is literally making me feel stifled. It’s like he wants to be God in my life. Like whenever I need I come to him which is absolutely unhealthy for him and I. He had a problem with how I treated him while staying here saying that I treat him like a roommate……. IS THAT NOT WHAT TWO FRIENDS LIVING TOGETHER ARE??? ROOMMATES! I told my mother about it and she had this to say, “he wants more from you that you are not willing to give. He wants to mold you into his perfect little wife that he MADE”. I forgot to mention I’m 25 and he’s at 50 or over. I know he lies when he says 40 something. I look at him as a friend and mentor. Nothing more. I’ve been wondering why things have been so bad lately, he increasingly asking for more. Not sexually but like he wants me to treat him differently but I treat him like a friend. He makes me think I’m doing something wrong all the time and I’m done, I’m drained, I’ve even starting cutting myself because he won’t leave me alone. If I don’t want to talk about something he badgers me until I give in and talk about it. I can’t have any time to myself. I know I’m rambling but I’m about to visit my mother in another state for about a week to see my newborn brother and he even was upset about me doing that. I’m just immensely sad and all alone. No friends no family in a brand new state. I feel trapped. One last thing: I’m a smoker (weed) so I decided a couple of months ago I would quit because I just started school. Guess what…a man who was 20 years sober from a drinking/pill addiction now tells me to not quit and he will get it for me. What friend doesn’t want another friend to get rid of their drug addiction. He also blamed me for him now smoking because I’ve made him so upset lately he can’t even eat. Smh ugh. I go through this everyday. how does one who’s been sober and sponsoring other ppl for 20+ years all of a sudden start back on because of a person then have the audacity to blame that person. I just stay in my room plotting. I could really use some advice because he is really smart and can tell when I’m against him. I will stay near by to answer questions and reply if anyone wants to lend some advice. He’s a Taurus I think if that helps. Any advice helps

    • Leslie says:

      Hi Pat,

      I’m sorry about your situation, it must be really tough. I’m 24 and I may not be going through what you are dealing with but I can relate on feeling lonely with no friends for years and family that are out of state. It sounds like your friendship with this guy totally went sour and unhealthy. It seems like he’s way too needy and info greedy and wants to be too close for comfort with you and your personal life.

      While you’re away at your moms, I think it may be a good opportunity to figure out plan to move out of his place. You could go to a library if you need time to yourself and think. You could even go to a park or coffee shop. No one has the right to tell you how to live every aspect of your life especially if he’s not even your father. You should be more than welcome to see your mom and brother even if you had issues with her. There’s nothing wrong with family and forgiveness being your priority if that’s apart of what’s going on. And in the meantime perhaps you can find a new roommate, maybe even stay with your mother to help you get back up on your feet.

      To give him the benefit of the doubt maybe you make better friends than roommates and you may just need space from each other.

      As far as the smoking situation, it seems like he’s taking his issues maybe even emotional baggage out on you to justify his own bad choices. That’s not your fault of course! Let him be and do you!

      If you feel safe, you may need to have a little talk with him and tell him that this is not working for you and you could say you’re ready to be on your own and move out even if you’re not ready. You don’t have to get into details because it sounds like he’ll just talk you out of it.

      The way you describe him also sounds like he has a way with words judging by how you say he’s smart and him “laying out the benefits”. Make sure you don’t get soft and stick to what you really want to do and follow your heart. You are a grown woman.

      Also meditation and yoga helps me deal with issues and may help you as well. A pet is always helpful for coping with being alone.
      I really hope I was at least of some help. Good luck to you!

      • Pat says:

        Thank you so much for your reply and advice Leslie. It’s good to hear from someone my age with experience in this situation. I’m with my mother, step father, and little brother now, and this is the happiest I’ve been in a couple of months (the amount of time I’ve been living with him). My parents are COMPLETELY AGAINST me going back. They offered me staying with them rent free till I get back on my feet. My mother was heartbroken when I came, so much she started having complications with her heart condition (stress related. .. moms right?) But she had good reason to be worried.

        He’s now upset with me and has stopped working on our business. Mostly because I am not speaking much with him since I’ve been here and don’t plan to. He only ask what I’m talking about with my parents, never anything “friend-like”. I’m learning more and more to have things for myself outside of ANY relationship I have. My parents have decided to help me move my things next weekend.

        I needed this confirmation. For so long I only had HIS opinion. I know this isn’t healthy. I also realized my binge drinking and smoking while there with him has possibly given me gall stones. I go back in soon for the results. I wasn’t able to eat at all, nausea everytime I smelled food and had dropped 15 lbs. Luckily my mom noticed…I’m not surprised though…moms always know what’s best or at least care enough to notice.

        It’s funny you say get a pet because he says I should never get a pet unless I have an unlimited amount of money to pay vet bills (sounds impossible for anyone to have a pet then right?). No worries though, I realize now slot of things he said we’re utter rubbish. I’ve even started back working out…I just feel like myself a little more each day.

        Thank you again so much for confirming everything I was thinking, especially looking from the outside. It shows how this friendship may be toxic with us living together. I’m glad you went through what you went through, otherwise I wouldn’t know what I know now. Thank you again Leslie. I was waiting by my phone for someone who could help. Lol

      • Pat says:

        Thank you so much for your reply and advice Leslie. It’s good to hear from someone my age with experience in this situation. I’m with my mother, step father, and little brother now, and this is the happiest I’ve been in a couple of months (the amount of time I’ve been living with him). My parents are COMPLETELY AGAINST me going back. They offered me staying with them rent free till I get back on my feet. My mother was heartbroken when I came, so much she started having complications with her heart condition (stress related. .. moms right?) But she had good reason to be worried. She knew something was wrong because I hadn’t talked to her in so long.

        He’s now upset with me and has stopped working on our business. Mostly because I am not speaking much with him since I’ve been here and don’t plan to. He only ask what I’m talking about with my parents, never anything “friend-like”. I’m learning more and more to have things for myself outside of ANY relationship I have. My parents have decided to help me move my things next weekend.

        I needed this confirmation. For so long I only had HIS opinion. I know this isn’t healthy. I also realized my binge drinking and smoking while there with him has possibly given me gall stones. I go back in soon for the results. I wasn’t able to eat at all, nausea everytime I smelled food and had dropped 15 lbs. Luckily my mom noticed…I’m not surprised though…moms always know what’s best or at least care enough to notice.

        It’s funny you say get a pet because he says I should never get a pet unless I have an unlimited amount of money to pay vet bills (sounds impossible for anyone to have a pet then right?). No worries though, I realize now slot of things he said we’re utter rubbish. I’ve even started back working out…I just feel like myself a little more each day.

        Thank you again so much for confirming everything I was thinking, especially looking from the outside. It shows how this friendship may be toxic with us living together. I’m glad you went through what you went through, otherwise I wouldn’t know what I know now. Thank you again Leslie. I was waiting by my phone for someone who could help. Lol

    • Natalie says:

      hi Pat, please ignore my reply to your short comment. I read your post and have a better understanding. Your situation sounds strikingly similar to one I had, minus the cohabiting, with a same-sex friend I had. It felt like the it was ages until I could make the break. I just stopped taking calls, stopped interacting cold turkey with no explanation. I don’t believe an explanation is necessary in all cases. If you felt like you were never that good of friends, but were just manipulated into a situation by someone who thought you were closer than you were, trust your gut. It sounds like your family wants what’s best for you. I was plagued by guilt, and asked myself if I was doing something wrong for a long time until I realized what this was driving to. Preserving any friendship isn’t worth mental anguish or even confusion. Friendship should feel good, light, reciprocal. Some people like to lure others with hidden motives covered up as generosity. It sounds like you, like me, eventually wondered how you even ended up in this situation and like the other party tricked you into a relationship when there was none. I’ve grown immensely from this experience and can confidently say I’ll never end up in this situation again. My radar is spot on. Usually these people have a deep-seated hatred of others and need for control. It sounds like your family is supportive of you. Tell them what’s going on, and you can feel free to share here. Freedom will feel really good on the other end.

    • Laverne says:

      He sounds like a classic narcissist, and you sound like you may have borderline personality disorder. Narcissists and people with BPD are like peanut butter and jelly, it’s a bad combo. I would sever ties from this toxic situation, and get some help for yourself from a professional. I hope things get better for you, Pat.

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