Every Sunday, you used to drink a coffee, alone on your terrace. You watched the evening news and played with your children all afternoon. Just as you realized that you did not do any of that for months, someone knocks on the door… again!
You are thinking “Not HER again!” but it is too late! You cannot hide because she heard your music and saw your car in the driveway. How do we deal with those invasive friends?
Before calling your friend invasive, you must first understand your limits. Some people are very sociable and love to have company all the time, while shopping and when they have a drink. Others are loners and are quite happy to see their friends every week, even every month, and only if they insist.
We are not all the same and that’s why friendship is so awesome. Your friends may have different personalities and a friend’s energy can be unwanted when you are exhausted. You wouldn’t think that she is invasive if you had a good night’s sleep.
However, there are behaviours that irritate most of us. Here are a few examples of what to avoid if you don’t want to become an invasive friend:
- Calling three times in a row at home, and twice on the mobile, leave a message, call the office and send a text message (or 5). Everyone can see you called nowadays and once is enough.
- Sulking for silly reasons. When you haven’t been called back, when you haven’t seen each other last weekend or when the friend decided to go out with someone else.
- Insisting to know everything: who said what, where the other goes, with whom, oh yeah? Sounds like a plan… Who’s going? And ultimately add “Can I go?” when, obviously, we were not invited!
- Arriving late, often and staying a very long time with all of our friends is bad. Going to a parent’s house at 2:00 a.m. with four noisy friends is not okay. In fact, you can’t do that with a single friend either, except if she is your best friend and even then, it should be exceptional.
- All the problems. Often, an invasive friend uses her friend to whine and complain about her ex, her unhappiness, her children, her financial situation, her other friend who is an hypocrite… When we complain every day, we should expect others to think we are heavy.
How to spot them
Some will say that you can see this type of people from miles away. People you met three hours ago and who already told you everything without letting you talk, people who won’t let you leave and get angry and people who call you very early the morning after you met them to ask a favour are suspicious. If you are not comfortable with new friends, don’t jeopardize your well-being for the sake of being polite. Feel free to get rid of draining new friendships.
How to say it
However, if you value your friendship, do not wait until you have had enough to tell your friend that she is overwhelming. Take time to explain the situation and avoid blaming her for your arguments with your partner and your busy schedule.
Simply explain what you dislike. Tell her that you would like to have a little family time or slip in a conversation that you would love to spend every Sunday alone with your partner, for example. Be kind, this person clearly values your presence and your friendship and remember that if she thought for one second that it bothered you, she would never act this way.