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  #1  
Old June 5th, 2014, 02:55 PM
CKLH CKLH is offline
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Clingy, Depressed Friend - What should I do?

I have a good friend who has started to really get on my nerves due to her constant need of venting, and interrupting me (quite often) when we speak to give advice when she hasn’t even heard the whole story or to tell me a story she thinks relates from her own life. She is quite depressed, though – she has dealt with a serious injury since childhood that has sadly gotten worse for her, and she has OCD and anxiety in addition to her depression. She’s also really paranoid and has some serious trust issues which is very difficult to deal with. She can be quite kind and she’s almost always saying thank you or giving presents to show her appreciation in knowing how overbearing she can be, but I’m tired of dealing with her issues all of the time.

And she’s the type of person that will give you a certain amount of space when you say you’ll be busy, but will then also be like, “well, if we can’t chat by phone, how about by email or text?” It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even want to see an email/text/call from her because it just makes me anxious as her constant negativity just brings me down. I’m really considering leaving the friendship behind but I’d feel terrible as she hasn’t had the best luck with friends and as there was a time I really did enjoy her friendship… Granted, It was when we weren’t that close…

She is getting the professional help she needs but it doesn’t seem to have done her much good up to this point, which is really unfortunate. Anyways, I’m just not sure what to do in this case… Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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Old June 5th, 2014, 03:30 PM
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Re: Clingy, Depressed Friend - What should I do?

I find myself in an almost identical situation (except my friend isn't willing to text or email) so I have no words of advice, but heartfelt sympathy and camaraderie.

I will be glad to read what other people say.
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Old June 5th, 2014, 03:34 PM
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Re: Clingy, Depressed Friend - What should I do?

Tell her about the really cool web sites with forums for venting problems and getting advice. Maybe she can unload some on those. I usually try to listen to people’s problems but always tell people I have a hard time dealing with my own issues and need time to think about it. A few days later I will be listening to music or doing dishes and their problems come to mind, sometimes I call them up with an opinion.

Most things are not life or death situations at the time, letting things sink in before you have to make a comment either way is nice. Keeps the pressure down while dealing with everything.

As for text and emails, they are like this forum, can read them and take my time and reply when I feel like it. So if she is ok with texting or emails, just deal with them when you can. If they need a reason for the delay I use such replies as: driving, battery on phone was dead, was taking a nap, was on a call with someone they know to be long winded, forgot I had my phone turned off and a random assortment of other good reasons. Most people I talk to know how I am and I don’t need to explain.

She seems to trust you with her problems, since you mentioned her being paranoid and having trust issues. It is hard to find good friends, if she can not let you deal with her issues at your pace, maybe she will drift away to someone else when you don’t reply as she thinks you should. If she doesn’t move on she will learn to wait for you.
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Old June 6th, 2014, 12:08 AM
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Re: Clingy, Depressed Friend - What should I do?

Thank you, Never!! And KayKay, I hope that Never's comment helps your situation, too, and that more people will comment with even more helpful ideas soon.

I have tried telling her of other resources she could use to help her, including online forums, but she doesn't really seem to listen to those ideas. Plus, every time we speak, the conversation is about 90% about her. I think for me it would be best to leave the friendship behind because I really am getting nothing out of it and it just stresses me out to no end.

Unfortunately, I think my friend – because we talk so often – can tell I’m slipping away/distancing myself and she flat out asked me in an email what she can divulge to me since I recently told her that her issues can be very hard for me to deal with/hear (since she talks about them so often). She says she doesn’t want anymore bad surprises like me leaving her so that’s why she’s asking this but that she’s going through a really hard time (as per usual, sadly). I don’t know what to tell her. Here I am having just decided that I am going to slowly back away from her and now I’m wondering if I need to just be honest with her – at least to a point, but I’m afraid that by doing so her depression is only going to worsen... Granted, I realize I have to think of myself first, which I hardly ever do... Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!
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Old June 6th, 2014, 05:23 AM
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Re: Clingy, Depressed Friend - What should I do?

My husband calls the type you are describing a drama dumper. All they seem to do is dump their troubles, being a good friend you want to help. They don’t want help, they want attention or pity, their troubles are the only subject they want to talk about. They really don’t want to fix their issues, if something magically happens to make a problem they are having go away, they find something else to complain about.

My version of your friend moved away about 4 years ago and we have since lost contact. I tried everything to help her fix her problems until my husband pointed out that “she just wants to run her mouth.”

Once it occurred to me there really was nothing to fix, I just accepted her for who she was and let her babble on. If all she wanted was someone to listen to her, wasn’t a bad thing. Since she went over and over the same things I would just half listen and give the expected responses while thinking about what to make for dinner or something.

Once in a while she talked about something interesting, she never asked for money or made a move on my man, could have been worse. When she came over she always brought something, like snacks or some little gift, I guess that was her way of considering my feelings.

My only “advice” would be to deal with her on your terms, if she is not happy with the friend you can be to her, let her figure out what to do. Which is basically backing off as you mentioned. No need to stress over issues that someone enjoys having.
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Old June 6th, 2014, 06:23 PM
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Re: Clingy, Depressed Friend - What should I do?

Thank you, Never. It sounds like you were able to deal with your friend without too much of a problem once you realized how she was and I think that's great. It is nice you don't have to deal with her want of attention on a regular basis anymore, though.

I'm definitely distancing myself some from my friend, at least for now. I honestly want to send her a letter saying I can't be her friend anymore in as nice a way as possible but I feel I should mull over it a bit more, first.

Anyways, thank you, again!
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Old June 6th, 2014, 07:24 PM
CKLH CKLH is offline
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Re: Clingy, Depressed Friend - What should I do?

I was going to send a letter to my friend telling her I felt our friendship was essentially over but I decided to wait on doing so and instead sent her a short email telling her I was going to be quite busy for a while. I realize I want some time to think about things but don’t know what else to tell her at this time.

Unfortunately, this led to her texting me that it’s obvious I don’t want to be her friend anymore and telling me that I’ve basically taught her she can’t trust anyone. This was after she spent most of the week trying to give me space but still checking in to see what I could/couldn’t handle with regards to how much she divulges to me about her issues. It was nice of her to give me some space but every email was still about her and her issues in one way or another… I don’t know what to tell her. Any suggestions? I feel awful… She was a good friend at times… Thank you for your help.
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Old June 7th, 2014, 12:57 AM
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Re: Clingy, Depressed Friend - What should I do?

Oh, so awkward. I really feel for you. Could you contact her back and just say sorry, you really desperately need space right now because of too much other stuff going on, and you constantly feel pressured by her on top of everything else? - Unfortunately, she sounds like she is well on the way to sending you on guilt trips as a control mechanism. You may just have to say "enough of the guilt trips, you have been pressuring me, please back off!"
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Old June 7th, 2014, 05:56 AM
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Re: Clingy, Depressed Friend - What should I do?

Read the last couple of updates and I’m thinking the clingy friend sounds more like a spoiled child, Mrs X gave some good advice.

Warning, be careful how you end things and what you say, she likes a shoulder to cry on and the next person she finds will hear all about you. Think about what she has told you over time about other people. Does your friend add a little more spice to the stories?

Does not matter if you did anything wrong or not, when the stories start to circulate you will be amazed who will believe the lies. Even though my sister and an ex best friend from 23 years ago know the truth now and have been burned by the same person, the damage is done and there is no going back.

Last edited by Never; June 7th, 2014 at 05:59 AM.
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