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Your Relationships

TIP: Needy Friends


‚ÄčIf friendships should make you happy, why do some friends make you feel bad?  It's easy to get stuck in a friendship that just isn't very healthy and happy. 

There are also those needy friends who cause lots of problems for people, here are some basics:

What's a needy friend?

General characteristics of a needy friend:

  • Every time you are together, you find yourself listening to their problems.
  • You only hear from them when they feel bad.
  • They never really feel better, no matter how anyone tries to help.
  • If you try to talk about yourself, they don't seem to really care.
  • When you end a conversation with them, you feel exhausted.

So if needy friends are annoying, why are you friends with them?

  • A needy friend is better than no friend.
  • You like  to feel needed.
  • You'd feel guilty if you weren't there for them.
  • Sometimes your needy friend is fun when they're not being so needy.
  • They weren't that needy when you first became friends.

How do I deal with a needy friend?

  • Set boundaries and stick to them.  For example, make it clear that you don't take phone calls in the middle of the night.
  • Focus on doing things you both enjoy.  This keeps them from wallowing in self-pity.
  • Be honest about what's bothering you.  Tell them their problems are just too much for you.
  • Recommend they get help from an adult.  Encourage them to talk to their parents or a school counselor if you feel that they might need some professional help.
  • Take a break.  If you need to take a break from being around them, take it.
  • Distance yourself.  Downsize the time and effort that you put into the friendship.

You don't have to face your problems alone! Counselors are standing by.

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