Emotionally needy friends do not lead to peace, either outside or inside of any of us.
What Defines Needy Friends?
Think vampires, as they, too, have the ability to suck the life blood right out of us.
Needy friends demand constant attention and tons of help for the string of crises they drag behind them.
Needy friends are focused on self rather than others, which leads to a one-way friendship – we are the givers; they are the takers.
Needy friends want us all to themselves and are apt to pout or try even harder to gain an exhausting amount of attention to lure us away from whomever they see as competition.
Why We Are Drawn To Needy Friends?
The reasons vary, but we only stick with needy friends for about as long as we, too, get something out of the relationship.
Perhaps it originally felt wonderful to be needed, to be so useful to another. Maybe compassion keeps us hanging on to someone for whom we genuinely feel sorry.
Maybe we see ourselves as capable of “fixing” all of the problems of the needy friend, and that thought makes us feel good … at least for a while.
Why We Need To Let Go of Needy Friends?
If we expect to have inner peace, the needy friends in our circle will have to be held at a distance, or in many cases, let go completely. The routine depletion they require of our physical and emotional reserves is simply not worth it. In the process, we become so exhausted that we neglect some of the most important areas, and people, of our lives. Nothing is worth that sacrifice.
It helps to be brutally honest about our limitations as human beings.
No, we cannot fix other people or all of their problems. No, we no longer enjoy being constantly useful once we realize that we’re being used up. No, it’s not a real friendship if it travels only a one-way road.
How To Deal With Needy Friends?
Decide just how important contact with this person is to you, and allow minimal contact only. Wean these people away from daily phone-calls by having a ready reason to let them go in a hurry. Stop accepting every invitation for the one-way heart-to-hearts or weekly luncheons.
Be bold enough and healthy enough to say: I can’t do this all the time. If you expect that, it’s just not going to happen any more.
Once you’ve completed the weaning process, refuse guilt any entrance into your mind. Besides, the newly discovered free time and increase in physical and emotional energy will let you know you did the right thing.
If you take the above measures and they do not work, perhaps it’s time to consider letting this needy friend completely go.
Refuse all contact. Harsh? No, not harsh, but rather a measure we must use sometimes to maintain our own well-being.Have you had experience in holding at lenth or letting go of a needy friend?
Please share your story in the comment section.