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How Do You Deal With A Clingy Friend?


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I've been having problems with a friend being clingy and I was wondering if you guys could give me some advice?


I'll start off explaining our situation: I'm an Animation student entering my second year in September. During my first year I made an acquaintance with a girl from the B group of our year(Some classes are split into groups depending on the number of students, I'm in the A group). Let's call this girl Mary.


Well I would bump into Mary sometimes in the hallways and we'd have friendly chats, and she's one of those quirky social kind of nerds(Much like myself kind of) and we get on really well by talking about games and such. Sometimes when I'm on my way to a class she would almost corner me to talk but I managed to shake her off as I'm in a rush.


I really like this girl, don't get me wrong, she's really nice and friendly. Some people in my class know her from the previous year as they did a portfolio preparation course together(I never did that year) and I heard them make out that she's really annoying and make fun of her fandom(She's an avid Pokémon fan, which isn't a big deal, I'm very passionate about anime and games). I ignored their b*tching because I don't particularly like a lot of people in my class because they are pretentious and feckless and seem to care more about their clothes and cheap tattoos more than animation. I generally have a high tolerance with some people, and she didn't seem to bother me.


I even invited Mary to a party myself and Roomie had and she was fun to have around.


Now in second year we have a really demanding project to do as a group, we have to animate a short movie, and I take my education VERY seriously. There's a girl in my class(we'll call her Georgina) who I worked with already who I asked to make this movie with me because I know I can rely and plus she's awesome. Myself and Georgina were talking about our movie and we obviously need a 3rd or 4th party but we were worried about WHO to join our group because of the dispassionate people in our class. So I think Mary makes a good candidate because I know I can rely on her as she's a really hard worker.


So I bring up this with Mary and explain why and she feels the same about her class. We also bring on board a really quiet girl from Mary's class who's exceptionally talented and would prove as a great help on out team. We spoke to our class tutor about moving 4 people into to one class and it seems very possible.


I got a bit worried after agreeing on our group that she "warned" me that she may go "a bit" overboard when it comes to getting US to do work. And that she'll also set US miniature deadlines to follow to make to work easier. Who appointed you director? We didn't even have a group meeting yet! It worries me that something so important to me and certainly Gerogina may get out of control. Even Georgina is getting a bit worried about this but assures me that our meeting will sort everything out.


Now ever since then she has gotten clingier and clingier. During the end of term she kept trying to invite me to her place when I clearly couldn't go(I skipped sleep and had too much work to do). I met some of her "other" friends who quite frankly were not likable. They were rude and said really stupid sh*t. Essentially they were social retards, and I've dealt with enough of those in the past. I agreed to go to the cinema with her and I brought my Roomie(who's my best friend) and Georgina but her friends kind of spoiled our evening out. Whenever I'm on MSN she's constantly trying to talk to me, I tried "Appearing Offline" but she keeps sending me craploads of offline messages like "Are you there?" "Are you there yet?". When I do talk to her to stop her sending me bugging messages she tries to invite me to her place AGAIN to play D&D(I've nothing against the game, I've played it before, I'm just not interested) and I mainly avoid it because some of her friends would be there.


At the moment I'm rather anxious and stressed because I'm having financial problems and can't find a job, so I'm a lot more irritable than usual. Last night I talked to her on MSN since I was online. I told her of my situation. She reassures me with a "keep trying" and then brings up the subject of meeting up. Right now I'm not in the mood to meet up because quite frankly I'm scanning jobs online all the time and practically hugging my phone hoping I'd be called for an interview. I make an excuse that I've to help my Roomie with a costume she's making and that I'm not free. Then she asks about Wednesday and Thursday. I tell her Thursday I'm going horse riding because my Roomie is taking me(which is true) and I hint off that I'm not really free for anything because I'm hoping I get a call. Suddenly she tells me "Let's pencil in Monday then! I never agreed to anything at all! Later she messages me about what time to meet up and go clothes shopping I think at that point I cracked.


I realise now that this doesn't seem so bad right now, but I can see this getting a WHOLE lot worse. I know we're friends, and I do like her, but we're not "best" friends if you understand? I'm in no position to spend money either. I haven't met up with her physically for quite some time but when I AM comfortable with my life when I have a job, and I CAN meet up with her, where will be my breathing space?


I was considering telling her carefully that sometimes I need space and to not take it personally because sometime I just WANT to be left alone.


Is there a way to get her to back off a bit without telling her to "F*ck off"? I want to stay her friend and I want to work on the movie with me. I'm not very good at telling her straight out because I'm sensitive about people's feelings. I'm afraid that if I don't take action now and hint her about giving me space, that later I might run my mouth off when I'm at my weakest when I'm at my wits end about the movie(which WILL happen, I stress easily)


Thanks for your time and for reading my ridiculously long post

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Are you sure you are communicating to her in a clear and consistent fashion? Do you say NO and then never budge under her pressure? If she feels she can make you change your mind she will go on for ever.


Well I've said no and give her (mostly) genuine reasons why. Such as being too busy. One example was telling her I skipped sleep to finish an assignment in time and even WHINED a bit how tired I was. Then she suggests to go to her place and I refuse telling her I want to sleep at home for a few hours. THEN she suggests to SLEEP at her place for a while. this idea made me uncomfortable and I laugh it off by telling her thanks but I prefer my own bed. She was quite persistent. It's not like she's lonely, she lives with her fiancée.


One thing I haven't done was telling her no and that simply because I don't feel like it, full stop. I feel if I say that I just seem rude and anti-social and basically a bit of a b*tch when all I really want is some room to breath.

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One thing I haven't done was telling her no and that simply because I don't feel like it, full stop. I feel if I say that I just seem rude and anti-social and basically a bit of a b*tch when all I really want is some room to breath.


You are just teaching her to try harder by using explanations that you are tired or don't have the time right now. I think it would be nicer to tell her to back off because you can't breathe when she is so clingy (tell it in a nicer way). she must be rather desperate for contact so she will not be better of by losing you as a friend.


Do the best for both of you - be more direct.

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You're right, I should be more direct. I hope I can somehow find a way to get her to back off a bit without hurting her feelings or making things awkward. I just hate confrontation and I haven't a clue how to approach these matters.


Thanks for your tips, you've been really helpful

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