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The How-To Lounge: Coping With a Needy Friend

Have you ever had a needy friend? Someone that requires extra time and energy that you just aren't willing to give? If so, here are some tips on how to cope so click here to

  • If you aren't a needy person yourself, it may be hard to handle someone that is, but try to put yourself in their shoes. Being needy is a sign of insecurity and loneliness so try to be understanding.
  • There's a reason why your needy friend is latching on to you. Try to embrace it — you're being viewed as a confidant.
  • The more you avoid your needy friend, the more he or she will desire your attention so make seldom plans and stick to them. The time you spend together will mean a lot.
  • If spending time with them one-on-one is too much to handle, enlist a mutual friend to join you or set up phone dates. You won't be as irked for giving up so much of your time.
  • If your friend doesn't respect your personal space or time, you need to voice your frustration so you don't start resenting your friendship.

If any of you have other tips to share, please do so in the comments below.


Join The Conversation
nikodarling nikodarling 9 years
Personally I think neediness needs to be dealt with up front. I am a good friend but I am also a human being and have plenty of other demands on my time. I am not here exclusively for one person and their problems, I can help out in an emergency but don't call me for every damn thing in your life. Give most people an inch and they'll take a mile. I say set boundaries up front, unless you like to be clung to.
amybdk amybdk 9 years
Needy is one thing.... Needy + toxic is another. I recently let go of one of my needytoxic friends and don't have many regrets.
onesong onesong 9 years
You have to be very firm with needy friends. For example, I had a friend who was going through a rough time who would call me NONSTOP until I answered. I finally waited until we were together and I said, "Listen, Dearest Friend Of Mine, when I don't answer my phone it's for a reason. Calling me multiple times until I answer makes me feel as though it's an emergency, and I get really worried." You also have to decide how much time you can give them and then don't let them push you an inch, and the best way to do this is by being honest. "I can't hang out on Friday because I am planning on taking me time and just relaxing around the house, reading and going ot bed early" is a much quicker way to peace than "I have plans" because then s/he can't ask you to change them. Sometimes, though, a needy friend has got to go. I lost one of my closest guy friends because I could not be his go-to person for every single thing in the world. He got very angry when I started dating my boyfriend because I didn't take all of his calls (hello, answering the phone at 3 AM for a call from a guy when it's the first night you and your new guy are together is NOT the best idea, am I right?) and accused me of "changing." I tried explaining to him that yes, I had changed, but I was always there for him, and he blew up. I put up with it for a few more months, but once the phone calls all began starting with "You never..." I pulled the plug. It was too draining.
PinkSparkleGrl PinkSparkleGrl 9 years
I know this sounds mean, but I had a needy friend. I spent tons of time with her and her children. But the more I gave, the more she demanded. I would spend hours of a Saturday with her, going to the park, playground, shopping, etc. etc. When we would part she would ask if we could go out again that night or the next day. I had to stop being friends with her, she would never get upset if I said no, or say I would like to spend time with my boyfriend or other friends, but she would sound very let down. She would even call when she knew I was out with other friends. If I didn't pick up she would continue to call every half hour. I feel very guilty about it, I tried to talk to her and say that I have family and other friends in the area, but she just didn't understand. I ended it bad by just not calling her back. It is very difficult to help with a needy friend, I would suggest to try, but if they don't respect your space it is tough.
Knight-Who-Says-Ni Knight-Who-Says-Ni 9 years
If you have a needy friend, try to be kind. People don't want to be needy, but when they are they have underlying issues - DearSugar mentioned loneliness and insecurity. I feel like I know what it's like to be needy (well, not super-needy), and it's because I'm feeling really low. So do be sympathetic.
citizenkane citizenkane 9 years
My roomate isn't 'needy', but she is a bit high maintenance. If there is something on the computer that she wants me to see, she'll open the door to my room and tell me to come look at matter what I'm doing. If I'm on the phone, sometimes she'll try to have a full out conversation with me... I love her to death, but she requires a lot of attention!
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