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Needy friends: A friend indeed?

February 13, 2008 | By | 559 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.

HOW-TO UNLOAD:

  • 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 (559)

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  1. Rupi says:

    Dude i seriously need ur.. Last year i happened to come across a girl .. She was really good initially. She is currently studying physics and cincidentally i wass too pursuing a bachelors degree in this subjct. In the courss of tym we became great friends 1 can possibly imagine. She began talking to me ovr phone and shared all her secrets and frankly speaking we even spoke till late night. I was so much tied to her that i fell for her , a thing which i had always trying to avoid till date. I thnk she got a hint of my weakness for her. One thing i would like to say that she always needed my help in her studies. I used to teach her every bit concepts of this subjct even though she studied in a reputed college nd even took coaching classes under quite fyn teachers. Actually she was aware of the fact that i receivd medals for exellence I
    . However she didnt leave it. The fact reached its peak when she was unable to come out of her home and i had travel 5 kms for her just to deliver her mt notes. Can u possibly imagine how much i have shedded my self respect. But frankly i just did it not because i liked her(maybe 20% was dere fr it)but for friendship because i prefer friendship more than any other relationship n. But as days passed by i began to feel frustrated and let down as i felt that it wasa one sided friendship. Evn though i helped her so much she used to even fight me ovr phone for various smaall reasons and i usd to keep quite . I dnt know why .. I guess i was trying to protect this strangled frienship. Anyways the thing is what should i do now. ? How to avoid her !! I think u all might possibly posssess a solution for it ? Enough is enough… If u suggest by breaking dis frienship then i would try my best to do what it takes by following ur suggestions.. I really need ur hlp.. It always distrbs me when i evn try to study. I cant even concentrate . I m not able to keep myself bsy .. Pls hlp.. Hoping for ur favourable reply ..

    • Kelly says:

      Rupi,

      I’m so sorry to hear that your friend has mistook your kindness for weakness. I am flypaper for these types and they just seem to know who to pick on for support. This woman is not capable of being a friend so you should feel no guilt at just dropping the friendship. I recently had to do this to an old work friend I ran into and we started to get together as friends. It always had to be when she wanted to and she wanted someone to listen to her problems at work. She also would get very angry at things in her life and want to vent to me which got me shook up. Then she was angry at her family and I had to listen to that tirade and I was getting really sick of it. I really wanted to be a good friend but one day I called her when I got some bad news and she yelled at me she was at work and she would call me on the weekend and hung up. That was the end of this friendship and I never took another call from her. I feel better and that is what is important. You just need to screen your calls and if it is her don’t answer. She knows the score and that she was not being a real friend to you. No friendship is worth being used or treated badly. Some people can only take and not give back in any way and that is unfair. Be good to yourself and I hope you find a real and worthy friend soon.

  2. Nabeel says:

    Even I had a friend whom I have considered as a very good friend and always thought he’ll be always there in my life. I used to always help him so much, be always there with him for everything, even lend him money when he needed urgently and no one else whom he considers as his best friends were ready to give him. I have helped him so much tht I’m sure no one would help a friend that much. But I used to always feel it as a one-sided friendship where I was doing everything and even keep in contacts but he used to only contact when he was in need of my help, wat angers me the most is he still keeps in contacts wid our mutual friends whom he always consider as best friends but have never helped him in any way. Now I really feel exhausted whether to continue our friendship or just start ignoring him so that finally he myt realize my friendship but I’m nt able to do that because I had always considered him as my very good friend and even he knows that. Btw we both are guys and I like him only as a friend and nothing more

  3. Asha says:

    the person who is too nice and goes overboard for their friends all the time becomes so caught up in the problems day to day and nonstop issues that they don’t even realize they are neglecting their own needs.

    you need to cut off people like this….let them know that they are draining you…and you need to be selfish and take care of your own needs first then worry about theirs.

    the person that is always worrying about someone else is too good and easily taken advantage of either by real users in this world or people who are just unmotivated and latch on to the positivity of the person being used…….

    • Carol says:

      Sometimes it’s niceness and naivety. We want to believe our friends can be trusted and have enough empathy to sense when they’re pushing our boundaries or draining us. Sadly, needy people in general don’t have boundaries so don’t recognise other people’s boundaries and they lack empathy because they are so focussed on their own self pity.

      I’ve been caught a few times by these type of friends, and lost very large sums of money in my naive belief that a friend would never ask for a loan with no intention of repaying, so I do have more insight into the subtle and no so subtle manipulations played out by certain types of needy people.

      I recently made friend with a work colleague who on the surface is quite cheerful and talked often about how ‘generous she is’, i.e. she’ll bring you a flower, or a cake she baked, which is quite charming and thoughtful. However, I learned fairly soon, there was a big price to pay for these gifts.
      The talk soon turned to how broke she is, every single day our lunch break was spent talking about how she has no money. She works full time, has another private source of extra income and has a boarder who in effect, pay her rent. She also has a family member who often loans her quite substantial amounts of money, yet, she claims to be broke all the time.

      She told me one day “I have to borrow $20 from you’. I was shocked, it wasn’t a request, it was a demand! I refused. She sulked. Next day, she asked me for 10cents because she was broke again. Then goes to the ATM to take money and buy a take away lunch!! She has spun her story of how broke she is so well, that numerous people lend her money, it’s unbelievable that people fall for it.

      Of course she’s in debt and, it’s not her fault, it was her ex, who abandoned her after accruing the debt, so everyone feels sorry for her.

      She lies too, if you point out that she earns a wage, plus an extra income, she’ll deny having an extra income, then tell you the following day she earned $200 for her extra income.

      There’s an incredibly subtle manipulation that goes on, they can be charming in small ways to soften you up, then hit you for a loan, you feel guilty saying no, after all they gave you that little gift, how could you be so mean.

      Apart from money, she expects me to do everything she does, and is persistent in trying to convince me to spend money on the same clothing that she has bought, not that I do, if she runs across a road with busy traffic and I refuse to do the same, she sulks. If I don’t want to take a walk in my lunch hours, she sulks.

      She told friends and family, that she had no money for food for a week, yet I’d seen her buy take away lunches every day and pointed that out to her. Her response, ‘they don’t need to know that’.

      I became so stressed after a few months of spending time with this person, that I had to put her at arm’s length, the stress of anticipating that my lunch time would be spent listening to her talk of poverty, her lies to manipulate others into giving her money. In the end, I told her, I do not borrow nor do I lend money, and guess what, that was the end of that little friendship, as she walked away with a look of bitter disappointment. It’s just mind blowing how completely transparent this type of person can be, so the sooner you say, No, the sooner you’ll be rid of the energy and money drainers.

    • These folks are desperate for some help….

  4. Brie says:

    Hey, new to the forum. Wow, lots and lots of comments from both sides. There is that saying about never judging someone until you walk in their shoes,it is true, but who really gets that opportunity? Everyone responds differently. It is up to the person to decide how they are going to respond to the situation and interact with their friends about it.

    It is not a friend’s job to be the security net for another friend’s emotional hole they like to throw themselves into. I just dealt with a situation recently, hence how I found this forum, it is very frustrating for a friend to be constantly emotionally used by another friend. It’s conflicting by nature because caring for a friend that’s an emotional siphon depletes the emotionally giving friend to the point where they must push their needy friend away, which is the exact opposite of what they really want to do. Caring friends want to help! Not be used.

    I do believe if people are alone, maybe they didn’t put themselves there, but they are keeping themselves there. Everyone has a choice. I’ve had to deal with some hard ones, some of them with no support, that is why it is important to be able to emotionally support yourself. You will feel better about yourself and you will keep more friends if you do. But feeling better about yourself is the key.

    • OwlJulie says:

      I guess an old saying applies here: the more you have, the more you can generate from that; the less you have, the less you can generate from that. To those whom alot is given, more is expected. These people who don’t know how to generate their own support, are now at a double loss when their friends leave them. Additionally they may not even have another friend. So loneliness piles on top of more loneliness in a big heap. Supporting yourself is something that is taught from parent to child. To teach yourself how to support yourself may take upwards of 10 years or even 20. There are still older women in there late 50’s who, for instance, don’t know how to set boundaries or even what a boundary is. These people who are clueless in some areas may be well read, intelligent, and have lots of wisdom. It’s just that they have not been taught or supported by a community who they could learn these things from. Learning how to support oneself after experiencing a childhood of neglect is a lifetime achievement, something that may never be reached even with full participation in a supporting community. That is because it can oy be truly learned in the arena if intimate friendship-one on one- and if those friends leave you bc they don’t feel comfortable, then you have no arena to learn and grow anymore. And from my own experience, the lack of friends feels like Im living in a lonely desert, abandoned. So I think we should rethink the idea that if someone is pulling on you for support, that we should just leave them.

      • Needy says:

        Owl Julie, I couldn’t have said it any better! I was just thinking such a thing to that other person who posted, when I read your trenchant response. I know I am a needy person… but since I have no other resources and few people in my life, how can I be otherwise? Also, I am old, sick, poor and cannot drive, for a variety of reasons. So here I am… I cannot do for myself out of what I have nothing of, in the material world, right? So I try to fall back upon spirituality, but you know, that’s often just a front: I’m really lonely. It is a vicious cycle; I thank you so much for recognizing that, and explaining that truly needy people often just don’t have a way of getting out of their problems; so people dump them, and the problem just proliferates. Thanks again.

        BTW: I imagine that a lot of it has to do with our busy, surface society. When I watch tv shows like “The Waltons”, I wonder whether people were ever that community- minded? Some of us just get lost in the shuffle. I can’t even “join” anything that much, because I can’t get there?! You think someone could give me a ride, but that’s another story… and online, it’s very surface, too. Let’s face it: we’re all selfish, at heart.

        I also read another one of your posts: I have had similar experiences with therapy, etc. I think we are alike. Let me know if you want to contact me… (not sure how, on here?)

        Thanks for your experiences and ideas.

        • Kelly says:

          Hi Needy,

          I can relate to your post because I am disabled since my 40’s and I’m still trying to get used to living on 1/3 of my old salary. I have a used car but I need it to get to doctors and my part time job.

          I used to be a very spiritual person and went to church regularly until my health went down hill. I have Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Osteo artritis and I feel like I have the flu most of the time. I fell away from church because it hurt to sit an hour on a wooden bench aching all over. So I lost my church friends. My work friends too when I went out on disability. I had quite a few friends in AA but they wanted a ride, stole from me and reminded me constantly I needed to keep going to meetings even feeling as bad as I do. I have no urge to drink and it’s been 13 years.

          Luckily I have always been a loner type and it doesnt bother me. I need a lot of space and relationships are a lot of work even when everything is going good. The only part that scares me is dying alone and no one noticing for a while. I also need surgery but I don’t have anyone to bring me or pick me up and they won’t operate without someone waiting for me. I take care of a 92 year old lady a couple hours a day running her errands and doing light housework. She is very good to me and she has a close family and she doesn’t understand how I live all alone with no one. I have a sweet Boston Terrier that loves to cuddle and is a great companion.

          If I was to get in a relationship I could never cook and do the housework and be there for him sexually and that would make me feel guilty. I dated three men since I got sick and all but one cheated on me. The one that didn’t cheat just wanted free room and board and all the benefits without conributing or working. He drained me and I had to let him go. I told him he had to pay me a hundred a week for rent and he left. The few women I have tried to be friends with mistook kindness for weakness. I would offer to give them a ride and before I knew it they wanted me to bring them to doctor and dentist visits and not even offer me 5 bucks for gas. When I told them they needed to pay for gas they found someone else to cart them around for free. I would never ask someone for a ride and not offer them gas money. Knowing me I would just take the bus…

          I just worry that if something happened to me who would take care of my dog? It’s embarassing when your filling out forms and they want a friend or family member to notify and I say there is no one. They look at me like I’m joking. My son is in prison and I’m not putting that down.

          If I had money I could pay someone to help me out and kennel my dog but that isn’t an option right now. I am too ill to try and date a man but it would be nice to have a friend to talk to or go out to eat with once in a while. My neighborhood is nice but people are not friendly except to wave to. I guess that is a good thing really because there is no drama.

          • Amy F says:

            You certainly have a lot going on. I also have the illnesses you do, and I’m single so I know meeting new people is difficult.
            One thing that jumped out at me in your message is that you sound depressed. Have you talked to your doctor or a therapist about this?
            I know being positive when you feel bad can feel impossible, but try to think of your positive qualities-things that would make people want to be your friend? How can you increase this part of your personality? Remind yourself of all the qualities that drew people to you before you got sick. If you are unable to do this a therapist can help.
            You can find low or no cost therapy through Medicare and Medicaid, through your county or town in the blue pages of the phone book, or at mental health agencies like Jewish Family Services (not religious counseling), Catholic Social Services (it’s a not religious counseling, but I don’t think they do abortion counseling, not that it would be an issue for you) and you can google free therapy, sliding scale therapy, low cost therapy with your zip code. Some private therapists also do sliding scale, but you’d have to call around and ask.

            As for surgery, the church probably has volunteers to help with things like that, even if it’s not your church, they usually help anyone. Try Catholic, Mormon, and Jewish places of worship. The other thing you can do is ask an acquaintance or neighbor who doesn’t work during the day. Lots of people are generous with their time and heart and would probably love to help out. You could even offer to pay someone to drive you. I know asking can be difficult, I’ve done the suggestions above when I had cancer and few local friends. Even though it’s hard, rather than focusing on not having anyone, try to focus on the fact you found someone to drive you.

            For me, thinking about gratitude and what I appreciate helps me stay positive, and when I feel positive, I’m happier.

            Good luck.

          • Sympathetic1 says:

            I feel for what you have said. Since I have gotten older and my life is different, I have not been trying to make new friends due to feeling that I cannot, easily. It is complicated, and again, involves finances and health. I think that unless two people can relate, and wouldn’t know until they get acquainted, I feel hesitant to open up.

            I have always remained friendly out in public and have conversations, which has led to exchanging phone numbers, though will realize that one may be in a better position and plans on a real social lifestyle or another expects to spend a lot of time together, but doesn’t like to talk on the phone. I cannot afford what others might, so it has kept me from a lot.

            As far as men go, I gave that up a while back, really due to their expectations. I am still friends with an old boyfriend, which I am grateful for, but miss having a female friend who would live nearby, but don’t need constant contact, either. Luckily, I can be alone and have a pet, but it doesn’t mean I don’t want friends. Older friends have moved out of the area or we drifted apart. Some imply they would like to be in touch, but feel inhibited about my life.

  5. barbara says:

    I am possibly a needy friend? The thing you need to remember is “needy friends” is not just some creation to annoy others, a selfish flee bag or whatever else was said here, it can be a person with quite serious emotions wounds, a person who feels overwhelmed with sadness, loneliness or self hate and needs to reach out. A person who has never had enough love and is possibly filled with self doubt and may have bigger issues like anxiety and depression. I feel so much of a burden, I hate myself, I wish I didn’t feel so needy but there is a gaping hole in me that I can’t seem to ever fill. Positive happy easy people is not realistic all the time, its such a complex issue, life and being a person and feeling okay about yourself and how you treat others and dealing with your past that may be extremely painful and damaging to how you operate as an adult. Of course people need to feel good in their friendships, loved, respected, equalled and cared about, and of course we all should have boundaries and look to ourselves for the majority of love and care but a needy person is way out of their depth. It is easier for some people not necessarily in life with all its unexpected events but to just feel okay and function well within themselves and others and much harder for others. Some of the more burdening people also have also the most burdens to bear in a very deep emotional psychological way. And its not as easy as just “getting over it” or quickly fixed by professional help, some rivers run very very deep. I don’t know how we solve these things, I don’t know how to solve my neediness and negativity, I wish it wasn’t there, I wish I was an easier happier person, I wish I didn’t fuck up every relationship but if we can remember these things
    come from somewhere! Sometimes experiences from a young legitimately needy time can be so negative and create such unfulfilled need and at such a crucial time that its your natural way to view the world and feel and you have to work very ver hard to get out of that hole. Perhaps we all just need to be more understanding, more love and take care of ourselves.

    • Lalita says:

      It’s understandable that past traumas, especially early in life, can mark a person for life and make it difficult to have a mentally/emotionally healthy outlook on life and healthy/balanced friendships. I don’t think anyone here is positing that all needy people are just a bunch of narcissist jerks just there to annoy the rest of us.

      What some people forget is the friendships, for the seemingly well-adjusted and well-balanced, are to have voluntary relationships outside of family that are to compliment them. Many of us with less than ideal families also are trying to escape painful circumstances and can’t deal with someone else’s emotional issues. That’s why it’s very difficult to have a health relationship with someone who is more needy than we might be.

      Additionally, what I think most higher-than-average-emotionally-needy people do to their detriment is to fasten and hold tight to ANYONE who remotely is nice to them without picking up on the signals that the person is capable of only so much or that the person is really interested in a deep friendship. There is an unconscious “belief”, if you will, that there is a *one* friend that is supposed to fill up the deep black hole left by trauma, depression or what have you. That’s an impossibility. It’s really an unrealistic expectation and no one is really equipped for that. We’re all imperfect humans beings, capable of only so much.

      I also observe that many people substitute friends for much-needed therapy. A friend cannot absolutely compensate for a serious mental health issue like depression, crippling anxiety, etc. And I think that’s at the root of a lot of strain in friendships and why some people consistently lose friends. That’s why having more than one friend is important when one is emotional needy or has a serious mental health problem. One person cannot be one’s sole support. One needs a team of friends, in addition to a competent and caring therapist, and in many cases, going to a support group with people who are going through the same thing helps a lot. It’s frequently there that you can “brain dump” all the negativity of the depressive thoughts and have people understand exactly what you’re going through in a judgement-free zone. Journal writing is also an excellent way of dumping out the negative emotions when no one is emotionally available.

      Barbara, I’m very sorry you’ve suffered and I wish you the best life possible. It is possible if you have the right resources and the right team with you. My very best wishes.

      • Linda says:

        Dear, dear Barbara,

        I know exactly (or at least very closely) to how you feel. I am 61. I was a very high functioning person, despite childhood abuse and neglect, until five years ago when then husband left 30-year marriage to reunite with his high school sweetheart. I was totally blindsided and deceived. All of my “friends” were married and shortly began to exclude me from get-togethers. I was somehow a reminder of the frailty of their own marriages? Who knows! My one and only child/son lived with me for three years following his dad’s breakup of our family. For past two years, having lived with father, and having a girlfriend himself, my son has estranged from me because I dared to tell him I had health problems. He felt this was over-burdening him—and he’s a paramedic. I am an only child myself, no family, no friends, except my cat who I care for with her heart condition. I have always been there for EVERYBODY, but now I have no one. People just look at the lack of friends in my life and say , Hmm, it must be her..she’s such a loser. But, they don’t see the hurting, crying woman inside, who goes to bed alone in her little apartment, mourning for a life that was shattered by a narcissistic former husband, and now by an equally self-centered son, who has pulled the ultimate punishment on his mother—estrangement. I am dying of loneliness and I could literally die at night and no one, except my cat, would know. I empathize with you tremendously, and wish we lived close by so we could bond in friendship.
        Love,
        Linda

    • OwlJulie says:

      Therapists are only paid for 50-60 minutes once a week and you can’t ever go out with them to have a cup of coffee. Try using them to get everything off your chest? Ive tried that and realized what i really needed was a therapist 3 hours a day, 7 days a week.
      I also attend 12 step groups 2-3x a week, and although it’s helpful to hear others’ stories to know that I am not the only one having my issues, there is a certain amount of things that I just cant say in front of a group of 5-15 people.
      Also I do journal and that helps a lot.
      My point is that I need friendship- real friendship in my life but I believe that I was ‘dumped’ by my last friend because I was too needy. (She didnt confirm it.) That is why I am reading this article. But how do we get friends if we are afraid of being needy- and of driving them away?

      • Cherrie says:

        Darling…. You should be allowed to be needy…. It’s part of life. I believe there are just so many selfish people, with no compassion out there for others, and this is the problem…. I’m sending you LOVE vibes and peace and understanding sprinkled with compassion…. In love…. Sherrie <3

      • Lalita says:

        OwlJulie – have you though of connecting with just one or two of the people in the group? Are they the kind of people who would welcome a more intimate friendship? Gauge if they are by asking them out for coffee and proceeding slowly, with caution so you can read if they are really in it for a deeper friendship. Focus on making more than one friend though. Do not put all your emotional eggs in one basket, so to speak.

        Have you tried Meetup and other venues to meet people in real life? That might be one avenue to make friends. Cultivating interests and hobbies helps people find friends.

        Also, be up front about your expectations in a friendship. For example: are you the type of friend who calls up people at 4 AM to vent about why they weren’t invited to a party? (Mind you, she had had personal differences with the hostess). I had a friend like that. Mind you, she was from an intact family with no abuse/neglect, no clinical mental health issues. She just had high expectations of her friends and let’s face it, imperfect people can’t be “on call” for all of life’s disappointments. She is also unemployed and collects disability for a physical injury so that made her less conscious of what a working person feels when they get woken up at 4 am. Frankly, I thought someone had died. This is only an example and not meant to project on you but it is illustrative of the issue of unspoken expectations of a friendship.

        I would also challenge the thought of defining yourself as a needy person. For example: do you have to talk to your friend various times a day *every day* without fail? If you don’t, do you feel empty or angry at the friend? Do you absolutely have to have plans with them every weekend and get angry or disappointed when they don’t fulfill that expectation? Do your friends have to help you with everyday tasks (think laundry, food shopping, etc.)? Do you have to run by your friend every decision you have to make? Do you need this person to take your calls at any time of the day or night for whatever reason, while they’re at work, at dinner with family or when they’re asleep and get angry or disappointed when they can’t drop things and attend to you emotionally? Do you expect to the person listen to you vent without end about the same issues over and over again? Do people feel refreshed after being with you or do they feel drained? That’s what is needy, in my opinion.

        A lot of people get labeled as needy because they have very high and unspoken expectations of the other person on the other end, like they are expected to fill a void the person has. One can have needs and not be needy. There is a difference.

        Another article I found helpful is this one: http://jezebel.com/5577478/what-to-do-when-youre-the-needy-friend

        All the best.

      • Poppy says:

        I realize this sounds simplistic — and maybe even impossible right now — but I think the way that we meet friends is first by being a friend to ourselves. Meeting needs is interior work, often helped by people in your exterior world (if you’re very lucky :-)

        I think the label “needy” says more about other people than it does about you. We are where we are, and we need to love ourselves and have compassion for where we are, even if it’s frustrating, uncertain and scary at times. There are plenty of people who will meet us where we are, and get something out of being with us. There is no shortage of people at every stage of the journey to emotional health! If someone can’t handle your “neediness” keep looking, but first learn to accept yourself. It will make the whole process much easier.

    • Cherrie says:

      You have every right to express yourself totally to a REAL friend and have them LOVE you and understand you… I think LOVE is wafts missing in people that are in the need to UNLOAD needy friends… We are all needy as its part of life…. I’m sending you LOVE right now and thoughts n vibes of peace and happiness….. Much love to you <3

  6. Mufrend says:

    Thanks for this timely article and sharing your stories. I have been in a similar situation and I can relate with your experiences. My friend expects me to be there all the time. She pesters me to hangout together and all that she is willing to do is sit on my couch and talk negative things. One day, she opened up to me about her personal problems. I realized she needed professional help. She was not going to therapy or getting the help she needed. I encouraged her to get professional help. She was diagnosed with depression. Every time she would abuse alcohol and get angry at me, I took it all in. In my mind, I was trying to be there for a depressed friend who was going through a rough patch.

    But now she is better with therapy and medication, stopped alcohol abuse. I have started to slowly step away from her and put my needs first. She complains about this and makes me feel guilty about not being there. I am just tired of this friendship and guilty at the same time. Hope I can slip away.

  7. Dana says:

    My name is dana reilly I need help. I am gay .I had a girlfriend for 20 yèars we wère together. But her. But her guardians. Carole and john took her from me.she is 44years old.this why iam so deperest every day and night.. I can not live with our her.her name is pamela. Acabbo.all I want is to see her and to talk to her. I need her back in my live. Now I am even more deperest because I am I live. With some one new orleans her name is tiamaria. Torres from the tv show pitbulls and parolees it is called villalobos Rescue center.I want to talk to her so very badly and met her as. Well.I am very sad all the time I am never happy.if I could met tia I will be happy. That’s the only way .or else I will be deperest and sad for the rest of my live.that’s the gods honist truth. Thank you. Dana Reilly

    • Kyle says:

      I am sorry you are having a rough time with your girlfriend but your message was not clear and did not make a whole lot of sense.

  8. Julie says:

    Cherrie… no guilt.. move on! I have sooo been there! Many times over… You are going to have to stand up and TELL that person..I am busy and I really need to take care of ME… I hope that you take care of you and let this “supposedly close pal” go… I have been with close friends who treated me like you know what..but, it’s also because I let it go on and on and on..and I should have said.. “Buh bye!!!”

    I hate when friend’s guilt others.. what a huge pain!! :-(

  9. Elaine says:

    I have a very needy friend who has been draining me for years. I’ve pulled back, and just a few months ago, I had a face to face talk with her, that if she doesn’t stop pushing (for more and more, no matter how much I “give”, I will back out completely. The daily texts asking for anything and everything slowed for a bit, but she’s back at it. My husband passed away last year and she has NO idea how much of a struggle it is every DAY to do what I’ve got to do (go to work, clean, take care of our son all the while grieving for the wonderful man I had planned my future with. ). She is a good listener, but I don’t need anything from her. I rarely call her, but i do offer support that i hope she finds another job, etc. Even when I do have her here just to hang out for a bit, she’s asking, well what are you doing tomorrow? So it’s come to me now getting texts or voicemails that say “can you please find it in your heart to let me come over tomorrow, I can really use a friend and the companionship and a hug. I just don’t have it in me anymore. We have known each other since we were children, and she was somewhat like that then (like she had chores to do after school, and would say, hey if you mop the kitchen, i’ll be done sooner, so we can go out), I remember saying, I have my own chores to do, sorry.. and she says she wants to “be there” for my since my husband passed (I am young, 43) but again, I don’t expect or NEED anything from her, and I don’t force anything on her or anyone. I just don’t know how to get her to see that I’m doing the best that I can with having her over, etc. I’ve told her that I TOO need to get out and do stuff, yet she only wants to come HERE and sit (even if I tell her i am going to be napping, she’ll say, that’s okay, I’ll just sit there, I JUST need out). that’s bizarre. Seriously, for the past month, I’ve had debilitating acute vertigo, vomiting for over a week, and she said she just wanted to come and sit (while I slept). She offers to “help” if i let her come over, and when I do, she just sits while I do whatever. Not that I would ever expect a friend to do dusting, vacuuming, etc. but anyway. I just can’t take it. I have enough to deal with.

    • Elaine says:

      oh and PS: she keeps losing her jobs, so if I go out to eat, etc, she has no money and asks if I can pay for her, since she’s got no money . So the only thing she can do is come here and sit, in the hopes that I feed her, but sometimes I NEED to get out of the house too. If I take my mom out to dinner for her birthday, this girl is asking if she can go too, but I’ll have to pay since she’s out of work. I thought adults knew that if they dont have the money to pay for something themselves, they simply can NOT GO.

      • Sympathetic1 says:

        That is why I do not want to become involved with new people now, partly due to not being in a position to go out. Except when invited by others, I am only at home, taking care of my needs.

        It seems your
        friend is very desperate.

    • Alberta says:

      Unfortunately it sounds like your friend has no empathy for you. Creeping in your life like a flea infestation but offering no benefit. Don’t kid yourself. She does have an ‘idea’ of how much of a struggle it is, you want to kid yourself to think she ‘cares’ becasue you have shared history, which is her hook into you. You can’t get her to SEE that you are doing your best and struggling because she doesn’t CARE – that is the reality shown by her behaviour towards you in the super super hard times you have been going through. She comes across like a psychopath – zero empathy.

      I’m not sure who said it (Oprah???) but if someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them. Most of us are caught up in our fantasies about how people should be, add shared history into this and you can have a real fantasy friendship while being treated like crap the whole time.

      You have reached the point where you can’t take it – that means you are completely drained. As Irene mentioned character endures – this person has been maniupulative for a very long time. You are under no obligation because of shared history -friendship is a choice. You have the choice to say no to having this bs in your life – though your ‘friend’ will do everything in her power to make you feel like you have no choice but to stay in this toxic vortex.

      If you have trouble being direct in real life and are easily bulldozed it can be helpful to watch shows,movies, read novels with confident characters (Nurse Jackie, Dexter are my faves for confident characters and Dagny Taggart from Atlas shrugged is good as well, Mr Lee from East of Eden) you can surprise yourself with your confidence.Being direct can be empowering

      . Your friend starts wanting to ‘help’ you, “NO” “I don’t have time goodBYE” and don’t engage with her guilt trips or whinging, engaging with these types is like putting naptha on a campire.

      Read the book The Gift of Fear – he has a good example about people who offer ‘help’ ie woman is in an underground parking lot taking out her groceries and the nice man offers to ‘help’, help that she isn’t asking for, help that she doesn’t want. Your friend is the same as the man in the underground offering ‘help'; she is ‘helping’ allright, helping herself to your time and energy and you get to be a marionette for her to control so she can have ‘power.”

      Another saying – ‘don’t argue with an idiot, they will bring you down to their level and beat you with experience’ You show indifference to her, as she has towards you -caring about a person who doesn’t care about you is a waste of your time and energy. If she starts talking about her personal issues – you start talking about yours – I guarantee she will exit the conversation quickly since it isn’t about her and her ‘issues’

      Read Ken’s posts – it sounds like your friend is feigning helplessness so you can feel sorry for her – even though you are the one going through major stuff right now. The situation is set up this way so the energy is always going her way, no matter what YOU are going through. Some people you just have to tell them to fck off and not worry about being ‘nice’ or ‘polite’ about it because they will ‘nicely’ steal your soul if they can.

      • Elaine says:

        Thank you Alberta, and ty for your suggestions on books, tv shows, etc. I actually did text her a couple of days ago and said I can’t do all that you need me to do, and it’s never enough anyway (in your eyes), so IF you can text or call me without needing anything from me, OR saying that you need such and such, it will be fine. Her reply?” I’m sorry I am a horrible person. Then, it was It seems like you don’t care, etc. I’m about to lose everything” . I got angry and said that she didn’t read or comprehend anything I said. I told her to read it again, and also to read how many requests she has had of me in the past 6 months. I said READ HOW MANY. There are many. Too many for me to be able to appease you. She even said something like, well you go out to meet up with others and it’s never “me”. Well, I’m not sure what to tell you, but this can’t continue. It’s been very “freeing”, but I still have a twinge of guilt at times. It probably won’t be permanent, but I do hope she’ll learn from our previous face to face conversation and then THIS. People have limits and I’ve reached mine. and people should know and learn boundaries, which she seems to have no concept of. Let me add just for giggles (and gasps) that my father in law also lived here with me and my husband. He passed the yr before my husband. and my mom called it for sure, when she said that “K” will soon be asking if she can move in. She did. and i told her no. Her answer was that well I thought that friends helped other friends who were down and out. So i said, well you live back in your mother’s house, which isn’t fun, but you’re not homeless. But since then, it’s reached this new threshold. and my tolerance level of her BS and demands and expectations is . at. it’s. end. Thanks again.

        • Elaine says:

          I wanted her to sift through the texts she has sent, to actually see how many times she’s asked me for something. I actually tried the detach emotionally thing first. With her, it didn’t work. So now I’ll try this.

          • Alberta says:

            Try watching on youtube 4mingthoughts videos – google 4mingthoughts emotional vampire series – she is very well spoken and has good voice tones and phrases. She also helps you to see through the guilt trips.

            Boundaries is a very interesting concept – I thnk some don’t care about boundaries because getting through the boundaries is a power trip for them. This is why you have to be strong and use firm tones and don’t back down or be afraid to say fck off. Boundary pushers – bulldozers – can use your own politeness against you. This is why you can’t even worry about her feelings – even whether or not she feels remorse for not caring about you. Guaranteed she doesn’t care- otherwise she would have shown you kindness and consideration after all that you’ve been through. These types are predators, a type of predator we are not taught to watch out for -and they don’t care about feelings. You have to be indifferent otherwise she will still push you through guilt and old ties.

      • Forgive says:

        Alberta, your advice is excellent. This is just what I needed to hear. I let needy friends return and their character endured. It’s no wonder that I’ve been feeling drained and unproductive as of late. I’m sure that I won’t be keeping them around. Ugly emotions follow when I have toxic friends around. A friend recently told me that there’s no such thing as a bad friend. I either have a friend or I don’t. I don’t want or need to have toxic friends in my life. I’m done trying to fix the toxic friendships. I’m much better off ending them than saving them.

  10. Renee says:

    This site helped me alot today. I have been dealing with a very needy friend that is very self centered but has a way of making me feel guilty for not constantly feeling sorry for her. I do so much for her, yet get next to nothing in return. She gets very vindictive when she drinks. I don’t drink more than one, and she gets blitzed and is very manipulative and verbally abusive. Just this week I distanced myself from her because of another drunken embarrassing evening with her. She keeps texting me saying that I am her best friend, can’t we get past this, on and on and on. I am so tired and really am tired of being embarrassed by her when she is drinking. It seems to always be about her and what she wants, what she needs and what she needs me to do for her. Any advice out there?

    • Ken says:

      Two choices:

      1) Become emotionally detached (maintaining contact from an emotionally detached/disentangled frame of mind).

      2) Cut all ties, Burn all bridges, AND
      become emotionally detached (assumes that #1 won’t work).

      • Renee says:

        Thanks Ken. I have tried Number 1 and she just keeps pushing. I am going to cut off all ties for the moment. I think I just needed someone else to tell me that was ok to do. I always feel guilty but I just can’t continue with her at this point. It is interfering with my life, my job etc. Thanks for your input.

        • Ken says:

          You’re quite welcome, Renee. Guilt can become debilitating (in my particular case) if it’s not stopped in its tracks. In my case, the woman was an expert at using guilt to manipulate me, the guilt of not doing enough for a convincingly helpless woman (the way she portrayed herself). Eventually, after nearly going nuts, I realized that her intentions were to simply manipulate and abuse me as her narcissistic supply (her behavior met all conditions for both BPD and covert NPD, simultaneously). But the good news is, once I knew the truth, it became easier to emotionally disconnect, knowing that what I pitied and cared for was the illusion (fantasy) and not the real her. Once a person can distinguish between fantasy and reality, it’s like waking up from a dream/nightmare, as if one took the red-pill in the movie Matrix. When you eventually recover from the rude awakening, you’ll become far more resilient in your character. That’s a very positive gain, spiritually (energetically) speaking. From an energy-focused vantage point, you’ve learned tons about the draining effects of “energy vampires”. The time and energy spent with that person can be viewed as getting clinical/internship experience on understanding how toxic energy works. That’s quite valuable from a long-term perspective.

          • Alberta says:

            To add to what Ken has said- in this thread – Renee you made the wise choice and also try to not think about her too much so she won’t get ‘implanted’ in your mind and you end up wasting energy thinking about her.

            Guilt is the tool of implantation. Anger drives it deeper into the soul system so try to think of this situation in a humourous way – pretend you are doing a stand up comedy bit about weird ass friends. This way she won’t get implanted in you and you can get rid of the infection of guilt and anger. Humour is like a broad spectrum soul antibiotic.

            It seems these types who feign helplessness choose friendships and romantic relationships in order to manipulate. When in this type of friendship I ended up playing the role of ‘spouse’ to these ‘helpess’ women at a cost to my own relationship. And the most verbally abusive manipulative ‘helpless’ feigning female friends were also the ones who told stories of how they were ‘wronged’ by men. When these types are ‘friends’ they can infect and affect and steal from spouse/partner relationships.

            This person could be your unintended angel – the lessons you learn can save you much greater problems later on.

            • Ken says:

              Alberta, you mentioned exactly what happened to me, once again, the part about not realizing that going the extra mile to help a “helpless”, covertly manipulative woman was affecting my own personal relationship. Thankfully, despite affecting it to the brink of collapse, I was able to save it just in time.

              At that time, I wasn’t aware that I was facing fraud in the sense that there was no true reciprocation of respect. Her niceness was superficial, a facade meant to continue her power quest for control/manipulation of my mind, because this brought her pleasure. But it all makes sense now, the idea of manipulating warm-hearted men by acting shamelessly helpless with tears and all. The acting would put Hollywood A-List actors to shame. And it worked supremely well for her, because she actually believed in her own lies. (Side note: M. Scott Peck wrote a book about such people, which happened to be titled “People of the Lie”.) It’s incurable self-delusion due to excessive pride.

              Nevertheless, it’s very possible that she was also my “unintended angel” as you put it, because this experience was priceless in enabling me to see the intricacies of mind manipulation. Now I can spot these types from a distance. Have her to thank, because if it weren’t for her, I’d still be naive.

              Here’s one more positive lesson to be grateful about: At least all this wisdom was acquired without such a selfish person actually being my spouse or my daughter (God forbid!).

              Life is simply too precious to live in misery and confusion generated by manipulative fraudsters. I’d rather spend my time helping those whom are truly genuine/respectful in character. But thanks to her, I’m now able to identify the genuine from the fake. I’ll end by saying to her in my heart, “a sincere thanks for all the wisdom, but it’s time to bid farewell.”

              • Renee says:

                You guys hit the nail on the head several times. Thank you so much for helping lift this burden off my shoulders. This particular friend has a way of making it seem like I am the “bad” friend for walking away and not accepting her apology. She only apologizes in order to worm her way back in and never actually means it because she repeats her behavior over and over. She keeps telling me that I am her best friend. In my mind she is very good at having a best friend, not so good at being one. Thanks a ton for all your advice. Greatly appreciated.

                • OwlJulie says:

                  She is an alcoholic. She needs help and isnt able to help herself. Alcoholics’ undergo personality changes which include becoming narcissistic and also blaming others. These are alcohlic characteristics, and have nothing to do with her as a human being. She needs help.

      • Elaine says:

        Hi Ken, I have comments here on this thread explaining my situation. and it’s difficult to say the least. I tried step 1 with “K” and it didn’t work, and I warned her that if she kept pushing that I would pull back. So 6 months later I ended it. After about 38 years or so of knowing her as a friend. I tried my best. After seeing a few of the newer comments posted recently, I felt the guilt again, but I remind myself that I did my best. It was never good enough for her, and I have enough to deal with. Not being selfish, I just have 0 tolerance at this point in my life. So anyway, thank you for your advice, and to all for their input. I appreciate it. and I must add that it’s been very freeing. It’s been a few months now. I can only hope that one day she’ll TRULY understand where I’ve been coming from. Only time will tell I suppose.

        • Ken says:

          Hi Elaine,
          Step 1 is really for those whom are not yet ready to “burn the bridge” due to strong emotional bonds, yet feel the need to create some sort of an emotional distance for self-protection from those with toxic personalities. You know that the other person is toxic to you if you feel yourself being manipulated into doing things you otherwise wouldn’t do, inadvertently becoming an “enabler” to their morally-deficient, defiant, or supercilious mindset/behavior because you happen to be a supportive, kindhearted person.
          Thus, in dealing with adults, step 1 is meant to be a stepping-stone for step 2. Step 2 is really where the healing starts in my opinion, because it takes great mental strength to decide to end a “cancerous” relationship.

  11. Alberta says:

    Co-dependent would be a more accurate word than needy. Toxic friends are those who want to be co-dependent on you – they want you to be their ‘parent. They act ‘helpless’ so you do stuff for them and go out of your way for them at the expense of your own life. This also gives them a sense of power and control through the manipulation of pretending to be more helpless than they really are and seeing what they can get others to do for them. I have seen some really evil women do this pretend-to-be-helpless behaviour and it is disconcerting and makes me ashamed to be part of the female gender who does this to others.

    • Ken says:

      Alberta, you’ve summarized quite accurately the predicament I fell into, as a result of pitying the seemingly innocent, helpless/victimized damsel-in-distress. It’s how she gained manipulative power over me, knowing too well that I’ll soften up and feel sorry for her and go out of my way to help those whom appear helpless.

      Therefore, never feel sorry for the narc. Had I not pitied her, I would have helped from a distance but not given her any special treatment. Would have just, figuratively speaking, thrown a rope to the drowning damsel-in-distress, instead of diving in full-fledged, finding out that it was a “Trojan Horse”.

      With the way the universe operates, however, I for one believe there is justice. Narcs are inherently negative/hating inside (in their cold hearts).
      For example, self-destructive negative emotions including anger, jealousy, etc., cause the physical body to tense up, blocking oxygen, resulting in inadequate supplies of oxygen being circulated, and when this is prolonged, may become cancerous or result in other debilitating ailments. Hence, narcs are self-destructing every moment of every day, due to their willfully destructive thoughts and emotions. It’s just how nature operates. Can’t flout the rules.

      As for those who are recovering from the narcs’ malevolent influence, find stuff to be grateful about (there’s TONS if you dig deeply enough). If you cling to the negativity that the toxic narc implanted in you, you will also destroy your own life with hidden anger within. Find the strength within to eliminate all inner negativity, consciously leading a life of gratitude, even gratitude from having developed greater wisdom from your experience.

      • Alberta says:

        You are so right about clinging to that negativity implanted within – timely to read this at this point – very powerful.

        I’ve been clinging to anger because it feels oddly comforting to be angry. Growing up around angry people I hated them but was one of them at the same time. It is too easy to be angry – to be angry you have to generate negative thoughs – and also to derive energy from that anger generated by the angry thoughts. This is the twisted aspect of how anger can be comforting – it is a source of energy, but, like junk food, not a good one.

        I can see angry people about me and know that this is a short term solution and so NOT the way to be, even if it is strangely comforting. Chronically angry people are the old hags – the elders who chose to complain instead of to be a good example for the younger generations.

        Since reading this post – the last sentence is powerful – have been doing gratitude thinking. Being grateful and watching out for things to be grateful for is THE remedy for dealing with the implanted negativity. It helps to prevent being further caught in the web of the toxic behavior. It is a way to work the anger out of the system so it doesn’t fester and become a way of being.

        • Ken says:

          It’s true about not letting anger fester in our hearts. Prolonged, the anger becomes our personality. When necessary, I remind myself to avoid anger at all costs. By letting go of that anger, I have become far more resilient and simply more energetic. Acquiring wisdom and always looking forward (not dwelling in the past) is what the ancients (Lao-Zi) teach. I think it still applies even today.

        • Ken says:

          Here’s a helpful article on gratitude, and it’s written in a somewhat spiritual (energy-focused, health-focused), yet non-religious way:

          http://happierhuman.com/benefits-of-gratitude/

  12. Jess says:

    I consider myself a needy person, partly because what Cherrie said above is true – we need to need and feel needed by our friends, even more so in my case. I have had a history of abandonment by people close to me; my parents were divorced when I was quite young and my mom, a single-mother, had to frequently leave me at home due to work or vacation – without me tagging along. She would lie about going too because I was that clingy to her before. Then, during my school days, I was abandoned at least three times by my best friends – one went overseas for good without telling me, the other became popular and left me for the “cooler” group and the last became close with someone else (we are still in contact, and last I heard, she told me that that someone else dumped her as well).

    All these “traumas” made me wary of meeting new friends and always doubting whether they are sincere to me or not. I know it is unfair to my new, innocent friend(s) for being constantly judged and tested for loyalty, but I guess it is my natural, defense mechanism against possible heartbreaks. Everytime my current best friend texted me late yet she was online at Whatsapp, I always had a notion that she ignored me on purpose. And when she refused to meet up with me and went with someone else instead, all Hell broke loose. My mind was screaming, “Traitor! Traitor!” even when my logic tried to make other explanations such as, “Perhaps she needs to discuss schoolwork with her” or “Perhaps she just wanna catch up with old friends”, etc. My inner insecurity always wins.

    Around a few weeks ago, I started ignoring her when she prioritized some other friends over me (again) by saying that she didn’t receive my message for dinner even when I’ve sent the message almost 6 hours prior and I saw her being online several times during that time period. I was stressed out at work and not in my best physical condition. I haven’t met up with her for almost a month and would like to catch up and perhaps share my worklife stress out so I can chill for a bit. But that happened, and now I was even more stressed out than before.

    I finally wrote her an email because I think it’s unfair to just ignore her without explanation. So I wrote to her what I felt and said that I wanted to either find a way out either through compromises (she would care about me more and I will try my best to not be clingy or needy around her) or parting ways in good terms.

    No replies. Not even an acknowledgment whether she has received the emails (sent two emails from different servers to make sure they don’t go to Spam folder). And now I was tormented from not knowing whether she still wants to go on or part ways. The frustration is killing me, and I hate being made this way. I waited because I wanted to be fair: perhaps she is mad herself and need a time-out, or perhaps she wants to arrange the wordings of her reply, or perhaps there was an email delay and she is still not receiving the mails yet. Still, I’m afraid I will think something negatively and make the situation worse….. I hope God will show me a way to get through this soon…..

  13. Cherrie says:

    There is a big difference between “needy” friends and toxic friends. I believe we are ALL needy at times. We do NEED each other. I try to never be so self involved not to lend an ear, a loving hand, or just be there for a friend, and make time for a friend. Lift them up, send them well wishes n hugs n kisses. Being very self involved and just selfish and not making the time for your friends is WAY more a problem than having a friend in need. I believe we need to reach out more to our friends who are in need. Love them…show them you love them by your actions. There are WAY more selfish gurls and women out there these days and I find it very sad, sad indeed. To me, you should never have to hide the fact you NEED to your true friends. Love is the key…. Love your friends….. No one is leading perfect little lives out there…. No one.

    • Audrey says:

      I agree with Cherrie. Yes, there are some people who take needy too far, but it is important to realise that everyone has some stage in their life when they need support.
      I had a friend who I saw often, we had great times together and lots of laughs. The warning sign should have been when she told me how she had divorced two husbands because they were “needy” – in that they asked for affection from her.She declared that she hated needy people.However, we got on really well and I didn’t think she would turn on me.
      She opened up to me about all her own issues and especially her grief when her dog died – I was the person she phoned when it happened;I let her talk out her grief and sent her flowers.
      One day we were lunching I let slip about a problem I had that at that time had no possible solution;I wasn’t asking for her help, I just wanted to talk about it.Anyway, after that she gave me the cold shoulder and we never met again, although I emailed and left messages on her phone.She had wiped me completlely.

      • Cherrie says:

        Well, she certainly sucks!! You were there and then when you needed her to be just a little supportive, she just bails…. Not cool at all. She seems a total selfish pig!!!! Happy day sweetie :) you’re so good to be rid of her!!! :);)

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