Dear Mel Vol9

Dear Mel:
I have a friend who has become really possessive of me. She calls 5 or more times per day and texts me up to 100x a day. If I don’t answer my phone, she often shows up at my doorstep. It’s driving me crazy. She wants to do everything together all the time. If she finds out I’ve spent an afternoon with another friend, she gets really upset and basically pouts because she wasn’t included. How do I tell her to back off? I’m not even sure if I want to be friends with her anymore. Help!
~ Drowning In Friendship ~

Dear Drowning In Friendship:
That is a hard situation. My first suggestion would to sit her down and tell her that you need a break from your friendship for a while and explain how you are feeling. Try to be gentle and non-accusatory but be honest. Maybe she has no idea that she’s being this clingy and possessive. I wonder if she’s shared about past friendships and how they’ve ended with her? Maybe no one has ever told her that her behavior is hard to handle? Perhaps setting up some solid boundaries with her would help. You could say, “I love our chats but I need you to limit your calls to 3x a week and only a few texts per day.”

There are those people out there that won’t take your no for an answer. I’ve had this happen to me twice. I had to just completely ignore them after I told them I needed some space because they wouldn’t listen. It may not be possible for you to maintain a friendship if she refuses to respect your boundaries. While it may not be easy to do, you may just have to flat out tell her that the friendship isn’t working for you and you two need to go your separate ways. Which ever choice you make, you are doing it out of love for her because this behavior is unhealthy for you both. Before you go into a chat with her, pray fervently for wisdom and guidance.

* What advice would you give Drowning In Friendship? Have you had to deal with a similar situation? What did you do and how did it turn out? *

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  1. Dear ~ Drowning In Friendship ~
    My advice would be to first sit down and ask her about her past friendships. You may find this behavior has damaged most if not all. Second, pray with her. Third, maybe include her with your other friends, showing her it is possible to have more than 1 friend. In the process she may gain new friends and realize she can “spread” herself our.
    Mel, nailed it though, do not go into a conversation with her without first being prayed up yourself. Ask the Lord to reveal to you through wisdom, what is the best approach. Ask that the Lord reveal to you the root of her insecurity. (I believe that is the issue for her).May the Lord direct your steps.

  2. I agree with Mel and Lisa. Give her a chance to rectify the situation and then see where it goes from there. If she doesn’t hear you and continues the behavior, go to her with a third person and tell her again. Handle it in a biblical way. It maybe that this season for this friendship is over but try to clear the air first.

  3. Drowning in Friendship I had a similar situation in jr hi – I was friends with one girl and when another sprained her ankle and needed me , she faked fainting and my loyalties were divided, She was upset because I was not focusing on her. She took it so far as to be rushed to the Dr. and wanted me to go- and the school let me, that was a shocker. The friend with the sprained ankle even wanted me to focus my attention on her because she was also worried. If I remember I had to explain to her that just because I had more then one friend I could share my friendship and she wasn’t any less cherished. Unfortunately she couldn’t handle it and broke the friendship off . But she was told the truth in the gentlest way I knew.
    I wish you luck.
    Debi recently posted..Gods Gift to me

  4. Dear Drowning in Friendship,

    I was once pretty needy myself. I longed for a “girl friend” but also for godly advice.

    When I needed godly advice I would call an older (20 years my senior then, but my current age – ha) women, and every time after I shared my problem she had the same reply, “Have you talked to Jesus about this already before you called me?” Ugh! She got me right between the eyes. I was running to her instead of God. This simple question helped me to turn to God instead of her, and if or when I did call I had something to share about what God was doing in my life.

    In the area of girlfriend, I was so lonely. I wanted to spend every day chatting with “my friend” whoever she might be. I kinda dreamed about this perfect relationship that we could share everything and become sisters (especially since I was not in close contact with my own sisters and my family of origin was pretty dysfunctional). The harder I tried the worse it seemed to get. Until I met a friend that offered to help me out when I had a cast on my leg and couldn’t drive. She would pick me up and take my or my children on errand. Our relationship blossomed for many years. We each were raising our children, homeschooling, and I attend churches while she didn’t. As my circle of friendships grew, hers stayed few. One day I was talking about doing something with a friend and she got jealous. She pressed me a few times to tell her that she was my “BEST Friend”. I just didn’t want to classify my relationships like that, I like lots of people for different reasons. She was hurt and chose to never speak to me again… even many years later, we still don’t ever talk or see each other.

    But God taught me a lot through both of these relationships, He was my Best Friend, my run-to person, my counselor, my person to share exciting news, my helper. And He also reminded me that my husband was to be my 2nd best friend! Applying these two principles first on my friendship, took care of most of my needs. Now when I am with a friend, I want to give and listen more than take. I am becoming the friend I thought I needed.
    lindy abbott recently posted..No Truth in Public Education

  5. I had a similar situation when I was 16, and the girl really pushed me around, manipulating me & making me feel guilty for having any other friends. I ended the friendship after a year because she was making me completely miserable & I couldn’t handle it anymore.

    I’ve been interested to read the responses here because in the last couple of months (it happened about 2 and a half years ago) I’ve been feeling a lot of guilt and actually wondering if I should have kept up contact with her – was I being selfish putting my happiness before hers? I think what I should have done (but didn’t realise at the time), and what you should do, is talk to her – she really might not be aware how how behaviour is affecting you. She is probably really insecure and might not know it. She NEEDS to know it, if she’s ever going to overcome it. Definitely pray about it too, about how best to approach her and how to do everything with love.

    I’m more than happy for you to email me if you have any other questions or want me to clarify anything I’ve said.
    Just me recently posted..Putting it to the test

  6. That’s really good advise Mel. In the 90’s that kind of behavior was called co-dependent mental illness. Professional counseling is a good idea, for both parties, to learn how to best deal with it.

  7. Anne -

    I was very needy too. Still am sometimes, but I’ve improved a lot. Before trying to take a break from her, my advice is to talk to her and try to understand WHY she is like that. Maybe it’s a trust issue with people (like in my case). Maybe there is a deeper, bigger issue underlying (like in my case as well). Then figure out what to do from there. Maybe you can work with her. My husband is the one that helped me…even before we were married when I was annoying. And now we’re married 🙂

    Anyways. Hope that made sense.

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