A lot of us can’t help but be clingy with our friends. Sometimes, we care for them too much that we just want to let them know and feel how much we care for them and how much we appreciate them. However, sometimes, we can do this too much and far too often that we forget everyone has a personal space we just shouldn’t cross.
Most people who end up being clingy have good intentions. This can stem from love and care, after all. However, just like with everything else in life, a little too much of something can become unappealing. If you feel like you’re the type of person who just can’t help showing your friends how much you care for them and get too close with them far too often, then this article is for you. Read on to know how to stop being clingy with friends.
What Does It Mean To Be Clingy
The word clingy has a negative connotation in this day and age. A lot of people see it as a red flag or something to watch out for in friendships and relationships. However, a clingy person isn’t someone you want to avoid at all. It’s when a clingy person becomes too much of what that word defines where it actually becomes a problem.
It becomes a problem when a clingy person will want to do everything with the other person, giving them no time for themselves. It becomes a problem when the other person is almost not allowed to keep anything to themselves because the clingy person will always want to know everything and anything they’re thinking of. Too much of one thing will always be a problem.
Let me reiterate, there’s no problem with being clingy in and of itself, as long as it’s kept at an acceptable degree. You’re allowed to know what your friends are thinking of and be with them for hours at a time. Just don’t let it go too far. Take a look at some of the traits listed below. If this applies to you, then that means you’ve become too clingy.
You need to know about everything they do in a day
If you feel the need to know everything your friend does in a day, that’s a clear sign of being too clingy. Your curiosity will just get the best of you and you just feel this irresistible need to know what they’re doing, whether they’re at work or at home.
This feeling is uncomfortable and unsettling. You want to know what they’re doing because you want them to be safe and happy. You’re just making sure that what they’re doing during any moment is making them so. Your intentions are good but you’re forgetting the fact that your friend can take care of themself.
You text or call them way too often
Aside from wanting to know what they’re doing, you just feel happy being in constant communication with your friend. You want to be interacting with them as much as you can, even when you’re not together in person. You text and call them constantly to check up on them.
This also applies when you and your friend were just hanging out, and as soon as you part ways, you immediately text or call them. It’s as if your time hanging out with each other wasn’t enough and you just feel this need to spend more time with them digitally.
It offends you when they do something without you
When your friend does something trivial like shop, go to the movies, go out for lunch or dinner, or something grand like goes out of town or sleeps over at another friend’s house, it offends you to your bones. You feel sad, angry even, that they did something without you. As their friend, you feel as if they’re obliged to always invite you whenever they do things.
Getting threatened by other friends
You may be fine with the idea of your friend having other friends too, but the idea of your friend being closer with them than they are with you terrifies you. You feel threatened to the point that you always want to one-up their other friends. It’s a goal with you to make sure your friend values you more than their other friends.
Whenever they do something with their other friends, you plan something with the thought of that activity being better than they did. You even feel hurt when they talk about how great their other friends are.
Constantly showing up unannounced
You tend to show up to their home or their workplace unannounced. If this is done only occasionally, then this surprise is a wonderful one, especially if your friend is having a particularly bad day that day. However, if this is something you do way too often, to the point that it feels like you’re intruding in their life, then you’re being way too clingy.
Throughout all this, you’re going to start seeing your friend actually dread seeing you when you show up at their place unannounced. You might have even been told by them to minimize doing this. However, you pay no mind to it because you just want to be there with them, for them, and for yourself.
If they’re in a relationship, you see that as a competition
If your friend is dating someone, you somehow feel like that’s a competition on your part. There’s a lingering thought in your head whether who your friend loves more, you or their romantic partner. You’re overprotective of your friend, and when their partner does something wrong, you always assume the worst. In a lot of cases, your first advice is almost always to have them end the relationship.
If your friend recently just started dating someone, then you’re always keeping an eye out on that new person. You watch their every move and see if they’re good enough. You may even do a background check on them to see if they’re “worthy” of being your friend’s partner.
Almost everything you do is done to impress them
This may not be something you’ve said out loud, but if you’ve constantly thought, “Am I good enough for you?” while being with your friend, that may lead to your actions of being too clingy. You always feel the need to please them. You want to be reassured by them all the time that you’re decent and good and that your friendship is something valuable to them. It drives you crazy thinking you’re not good enough for them and that’s why you do the things you do to attempt to make them happy, when in truth, you may be driving them away.
Whenever you do things for your friend, there’s always that lingering thought in your head going, “Is this going to please them?” or “Will this make them happy?” instead of just doing things for the sake of it.
You don’t think enough about yourself anymore
You may not have noticed this yet, but you may have stopped thinking about yourself because of how much you’ve been worried about your friend. Everything you do, you do for them. Every plan you make is for the sake of bringing them along. Throughout all of this, you’ve actually stopped thinking about the things you personally want and your other desires because all that matters now is what your friend wants.
You may think it’s okay now because making your friend happy actually does make you happy too, but in the long run, you will inevitably lose your friend because of you being way too clingy, and you’ll have nothing left in your life to make you satisfied and happy.
One of the most obvious signs of a person who’s way too clingy is the constant act of stalking. In this day and age, stalking has become much easier with the rise and importance of social media. That said, if you spend way too much time stalking your friend online, you may be becoming way too clingy.
In rare cases, a lot of people take this step further by actually following their friend around in real life, without their knowledge. This degree of stalking borderlines on creepy, even illegal.
Effects of Being Way Too Clingy
To urge you more to stop being way too clingy, here are some of the adverse effects that can come from you being too clingy.
Decrease in self-esteem
A clingy person tends to have their self-esteem get lowered. This is because most of their time and effort, they dedicate to another person. Their happiness and satisfaction rely on the happiness and satisfaction of another. They can’t bring themself up if the other isn’t happy.
They will also become more aloof with other people, always preferring to hang out with one or a specific set of friends. They’ll lose the necessary social skills a person needs to befriend others because they’re too focused on those they cling to too much.
You’ll become delusional
A clingy person also tends to become somewhat delusional. They’ll convince themself their friends constantly requires their time and attention. They will also be convinced they’re the best person the other person can have.
You’ll ruin others’ perception of you
While it’s a decent mantra to never let what others think of you bother you, it’s also vital that you maintain a sense of reliability and approachability about you if you want to have a clean and steady social life. If you’ll keep being way too clingy to your friends and it becomes too blatant, those around you and around them will start to notice this.
You’ll drive your friend away
The most inevitable thing that will happen if you become way too clingy with your friends is that you’ll end up losing them. The more clingy you are, the more you’ll drive them away. Eventually, they’ll cut you out of their lives, which will result in…
You’ll end up hurting yourself
The ultimate result, which you do not want to happen, if you remain to be way too clingy with your friends, is that you’ll just hurt yourself. If you overdo being clingy with your friends, they’ll eventually walk away from you, which will cause you a huge amount of pain. If you want to avoid this, you will want to stop being clingy with your friends as soon as possible.
How to Stop Being Clingy With Friends
Now that you know what a clingy person is and what may end up happening to you if you’re that type of friend, now it’s time for you to learn how to stop being too clingy. If this is a habit of yours that has been going on for a while, this process is going to be long and difficult, but it will be highly beneficial in regards to your social life.
Self-awareness is the first step
The first thing you need to do to stop being clingy with your friends is to acknowledge that you’ve been doing so in the first place. Know the signs and acknowledge you have those. Only then will you be able to move forward and actually work on the situation.
You can’t fix a problem if you don’t see it as such. That said, acknowledge that it is indeed a problem. Don’t be too hard on yourself, though. The main thing to recognize about people who are clingy is that they may mean well, their approach is just overbearing.
Remind yourself of your own goals
Most clingy people latch on to other people and forget their own personal goals and dreams. With that in mind, in order for you to stop being so clingy, remind yourself of your own goals and dreams and actually begin working on them again.
Don’t allow your life to revolve around other people. Take time to build yourself up personally, mentally, physically, and professionally. Take care of yourself and your goals just as you’ve taken care of other people.
Understand the importance of personal space
When you understand and appreciate the importance of personal space, you’ll begin to realize just how ridiculous it is that you’ve spent so much time and energy being as close as you possibly can with your friends.
Understand that a person’s personal space is where and when they can do things they normally would not do with others. Understand that after a long and hard week of work and socializing, a person may want to spend a day just by themselves to catch up on their favorite shows, read a book, play a video game, or whatever their interest is. Appreciate how beautiful and essential it is for a person to have that time for themselves.
And then, understand that you also need that time for yourself. Appreciate the importance of personal space for others, as well as your own. Everyone needs their personal space. Always keep that in mind and you’ll slowly and surely stop being so clingy with your friends.
Value the time you spend together with your friends
Aside from appreciating the importance of everyone’s personal space, you should also treasure every moment you spend with your friends. No matter if it’s a casual coffee break or a lavish vacation, value each moment you spend with your friends. That way, it will be something you’ll forward to. They are moments that are built up. Not moments that you will make happen all the time.
It’s better to have these moments that you will treasure rather than force yourself to spend time with them all the time, but those moments are meaningless and one-sided.
Appreciate the other things in life
While having friends is an important aspect of our lives, there’s more to it than that. There are so many things we can and should be thankful for and appreciate. Spend time with your friends, but also take the time to find other things in life to appreciate.
Find an interest to focus on, if that’s one thing you have not considered yet. Find a hobby or an activity you find appealing and learn as much as you can about it. Travel and see the world, if that’s a luxury you can afford with money and time.
Trust and respect
Trust and respect are important foundations in friendship. If you want to stop being too clingy with your friends, you need to remind yourself of this. Trust them to value your friendship even though you don’t spend that much time with them. Respect them enough to give them space when they need it.
The importance of these two cannot be understated. As long as there is mutual trust and respect between friends, that friendship will flourish nicely. A person who’s too clingy is someone who doesn’t appreciate or has forgotten the value of trust and respect. If this is the truth for you, reassess yourself and find these two traits once again.
Fear the consequences
As mentioned earlier, the consequences that can and will arise out of you being too clingy with your friends are horrible. You definitely don’t want to face those consequences, should they come. As they say, prevention is better than cure. It’s better to prevent facing them at all than to attempt to fix things up after the damage has been done.
If you realize how dire and terrible the consequences of being too clingy are, then the drive to stop it should become much harder. Constantly remind yourself of what will happen if you don’t stop and you eventually will.
Appreciate doing things alone
Since you’ll need to stop being so clingy with your friends, you will spend more time alone than you’re used to. Start being comfortable with it. In fact, you should see the good things in it.
Appreciate your time alone. Learn to find comfort and happiness in it. If you can be comfortable and happy alone, the need to be clingy will dissolve naturally. Do the things you used to want to do with friends alone. Watch a movie, eat dinner, go out for a coffee break, etc.
Expand your social circle
It can also be helpful to expand your social circle as you’re learning to stop being so clingy with your friends. The more friends you’ll have, the more divided your time will be. You’ll also appreciate how different each person is from one another and you’ll learn a great deal from each of them.
This will also allow you to spend your energy on multiple things, instead of giving your 100% to the friends you already have. On top of that, getting to know more people and expanding your social circle will do wonders for your self-esteem.
Speak to a professional
If you feel and believe you’re too far gone and you’re having a hard time not clinging to others all the time, then the issue may be deeper and much more psychological than you realize. Should this be the case, waste no time in approaching a professional for help.
Keep an eye on your self-esteem
If your self-esteem is too low, then you may just end up reverting back to being too clingy so you can find assurance and validation from your friends, which is not a healthy way of going about it. With that in mind, make sure you keep your self-esteem in check. Improve your social life and learn how to be more confident and independent.
Learning how to be more confident and improving your self-esteem is a whole other process you will need to get into. Thankfully, you’re already on the correct site for that.
Knowing how to stop being so clingy with friends is one thing, actually acting on it is another. After reading this article, make sure you actually make the effort to stop being so clingy. Remind yourself that this isn’t just for the sake of your friends, but it is also for your sake. Trust me, you will be much happier once you’ll learn how to be your own person and not have to rely on others for validation and approval all the time.
It won’t be easy. This will surely take time and there will be moments where you’ll be tempted to revert back to your old self, but don’t give in. Keep your eyes on the goal at the end of the road. Things will get better in time.