Reader Q & A: Help! New friend is too much

Published: December 1, 2008 | Last Updated: December 22, 2008 By | Reply Continue Reading


Dear Irene:


A few months ago I met a woman and her daughter at a children’s event. We hit it off and even though her daughter is considerably younger than mine, we got together for a few playdates. The problem? She calls me everyday to complain about how hard it is to figure out naps and a feeding schedule for her daughter.


At first I didn’t mind giving her advice, my daughter was nap resistant as well. But every day calls about the same subject is overwhelming. Sometimes I want to go off on her because her daughter doesn’t even act out or cry despite being overtired…. she is very mellow.


Meanwhile, my daughter is hyperactive, I have an infant son and my husband has recently become unemployed. I think, ‘How come I can cope with all of this without wallowing, but her life is comparatively easy and she can’t even figure out a schedule for her child without daily support from me?’


She always says I’m one of her closest friends, that she appreciates me, values my advice, etc. I’m bewildered because we have only gotten together a few times…. and we’ve only known each other a few months? She has other friends, she apparently calls them for the same needs. She has even told me that one of her friends told her she is nuts, and doesn’t want to talk about naps anymore. I don’t feel very close to her, she is a bit abrasive and doesn’t really comment when I talk about me (which is not very often). What I want is a very casual friendship with no more than one call a week and a get together every few weeks. What should I do?




Dear Anonymous:


You answered your own question. You know what you want, a very casual relationship with someone who calls you no more than once a week and with whom you can get together every few weeks. You don’t want a relationship with someone who is needy, self-centered, and demanding—and doesn’t give you a chance to get a word in edge-wise.


Don’t let yourself get sucked into this toxic friendship any deeper. You’re obviously adept at making new friends. Go to another children’s event and find another friend who better fits your own criteria and friendship needs.


In the meantime, do whatever you can to distance your relationship from this woman. Say you have to focus on your infant son and don’t have time to talk on the phone much. Don’t make any plans to meet with her. Tell her you are busy. With any luck, she’ll hitch herself onto someone else’s wagon.


My best,


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