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How do you create space between you and a clingy friend?


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I have a friend who I've known for about 16 years. We weren't always great friends, but worked together for about half of those years, and have been hanging out more and more over the last few years. The problem is, I got laid off a year ago, and now she has gotten totally clingy and thinks we can hang out anytime she wants me to. The thing is, we have very little in common, and we are complete opposites in almost every way. This apparently doesn't bother her. She has other friends, but as far as I know she only sees them maybe once every 3 or 4 months and she often turns down plans with them and wants to hang out with me instead. I should feel flattered, but it's starting to feel smothering. I'll make a list of all the things that have really bothered me, about what she does.

 

-She tries to get me to do things with her on days that she knows I'm already busy with other friends.

-When I talk about anything I do with other friends, she clearly gets upset and jealous.

-She ridicules me for liking things that she doesn't like, and she isn't supportive at all of me doing these things.

-When I tell her I have no money to do something, and she finds out I did something with somebody else, she gets mad and says, "I thought you had no money?!" (in those cases, my other friends paid for me) So, now she has started to offer to pay for me too.

-When I tell her i'm busy doing something, she says "Just do it tomorrow!" She doesn't take no for an answer and backs me into a corner where I run out of excuses.

 

I feel like she only hangs out with me to have someone there. Half the time I'm there, she is busy talking to her kids or talking on the phone. It's like she just wants me there so she isn't alone (she has no boyfriend and her kids are getting old enough to where they don't need constant attention).

 

I know I pretty much only have a few choices, I could be honest with her and tell her how I feel, but it isn't like me to confront people. I get very uncomfortable even being around people who are fighting. Judging by the way she reacts when I upset her, I don't want to upset her even more by telling her I need space from her. Who reacts to that in a GOOD way, anyway? And I don't want to disrupt the peace, I hate confrontational conversations and I'd probably just end up giggling and saying "I guess it isn't really a big deal".

 

I could also keep things the way they are, but I'll go insane!! I could also completely ignore her calls and never talk to her again but that's mean and it isn't my intention to end the friendship. I've been praying I get a job soon so at least I have something to do every day and I am not around for her so much.

 

So I guess my question is, are there other ways I am not seeing? I want something that is subtle where she won't get upset. Like any ideas for how I can make it nearly impossible for her to call me so much? I've even thought about taking evening classes at some community college but I can't afford that, with no job. I'm really broke so I can't do anything that involves needing money. So I'm basically stuck at home unless I'm with some other friends. I don't want to lie though and say I have other plans when I dont, I've never been good at lying. Besides she could easily find out if I'm home by driving by to see my vehicle parked outside.

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I've found these are pretty much impossible situations. On one hand, you can say nothing and put up with it.... but then we know you can't put up with it because that's why you're here. On the other hand, you could tell her to back off a little... which we full-well know will make her upset and bitter and then she'll back off completely.

 

That's always been my experience. It's impossible to tell a person to back off a little.

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Well that sucks LOL But I pretty much figured there weren't many options here. Tonight we hung out again (after I successfully came up with good excuses for the last week) and she made me watch a movie she knows I don't like, so I brought one over for afterwards so she would have to suffer too, because she never likes any of my movies so I knew she wouldn't like it. And again she bought me Dairy Queen for picking it up for us on my way! I feel exactly like I have a job that I don't like and my boss doesn't like me either yet we continue this charade LOL

 

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