Stop me here if this sounds all-too familiar: A friend of yours has a favour to ask of you, a very small and very basic one. “Can you run into my house and feed my dog? I’m out tonight.” That’s fair, you agree to do it. Next day, it’s a bigger favour: “Could you spot me a hundred bucks? Promise I’ll get you back.” Do you ever see a dime? Of course not. Moving along: suddenly you’re filling in for them at a huge social event that you didn’t even want to be a part of or are in charge of organizing a party you weren’t even interested in going to. We have all experienced this nonsense in some form, whether they are asking you to do crazy requests or insist in taking up all your free time. You know this is ridiculous and you don’t think you shouldn’t have to put up with it. Well, you’re absolutely right.
Actually, the reasons people often put up with this behaviour in the first place is because: they enjoy the feeling of being needed (even manipulation, in some cases, can satiate this feeling); they do not feel that they are worthy of healthier and happier relationships (because if your friend’s constant actions are causing you to think darkly of them, then it is not a healthy relationship); or they may feel stuck by guilt or sympathy.
Fret not! There are various options that you can take to wave this nonsense away. This is how to deal with a high maintenance BFF:
1 – Start Thinking About Yourself
Because you have your own needs to satisfy, and in your life, you should come before anyone else. It might not only be your needs, but the needs of those around you, as well. Friends and family are particularly good people to tend to. So blow off your friend to visit your grandmother in the hospital. He or she should understand, and if they don’t, then they aren’t that great anyway.
2 – Your New Magic Word: “No”
This is a word you have to start using more often. If you say “Yes” and go along with every little thing he or she tells you to do, then you’re only enabling this behaviour. That’s not to say that you must use this word all the time towards this person, but you will have to learn to pick-and-choose. Using this word within moderation will help you to set up boundaries. You really don’t want to spend every Saturday night with him/her.
3 – Take Five
If this person is exhausting you, then you are deserving of a break. Don’t be afraid to spend some time away from this person. It doesn’t mean you dislike them or are getting ready to break away, it just means you need some time to collect yourself. That, or you can surround yourself with friends you haven’t been able to see in a while because you have been spending so much time with this one. Everyone needs a breather every once in a while. You need your breather now.
4 – Patience is Policy
Don’t be too abrupt in how you spend less time with them. It will be a shock and will have them wondering what isolated incident they had done which had done you wrong. It’s not a one-time event that set you off, but a certain personality trait that drains you. As previously stated, you should spend more time with another friend (preferably one that is not needy).
5 – Plan B
Perhaps more of a “Last Resort” than a “Plan B”, but if your friend is really bad enough to be getting on your very last nerve, then consider getting the hell out of there. After all, you do not owe this person anything.
Sometimes, no matter what you do, you will not be able to satisfy all of the needs of this friend. Fair enough, no one is asking you to (except maybe for that one needy friend), and you certainly don’t have to put up with it. It can be assumed that he or she has treated their other friends in this manner and that is why he/she is alone and dependent on you. Something to think about.