Are You a NEEDY Friend?

I’m going to be speaking to you about getting the balance right in your friendships! If you have ever been in a situation where it’s felt like you’ve been a bit more invested in a friendship than the other person and that maybe then you started to get a little bit anxious and paranoid about it, then you are not alone. This is something that many people go through whether it is friends with friends or girlfriends and boyfriends. 

I have this friend and I feel relatively comfortable sharing this story here. Here’s the thing with this particular friend I get the sense that they really want and maybe even need my friendship and I am someone who’s just a bit more chilled when it comes to my friends. I don’t see my friends very much to be quite honest but when I do we have a lovely time and then we all crack on with our lives as if we’d never seen each other. I have this one other friend who wants to spend an awful lot more time with me and I don’t necessarily have all that much more time to give but here’s the really important part of this story, the more they ask the more I don’t want to see them – Does that make me a bad person?

The more you are chasing that friendship and wanting it to work out, like I just described with my friend, the more it makes them want to step away. Why does this happen? There is a saying that what you persist resists it’s easy to remember because the words sound very similar and sometimes I get them round the wrong way so what you persist it resists that means the thing that you chase after the more you chase it the more it’s going to keep moving away and sometimes this happens in our relationships where if you are having to chase the relationship then maybe you’re chasing it because it keeps slipping through your fingers like that person keeps moving away from you.

The thing with this is when it comes to things like friendships and relationships that are on some kind of, you know, have a basis of a friendship so it could be a romantic relationship but those usually start with a basis of a friendship or at least the good ones do. There needs to be push (magnet) to bring you close coming from both directions for it to really work and for it to feel like a good balance. 

If you are in a friendship where you feel like you are giving loads more time and energy and then the other friend is giving less then I would suggest that there is something not quite right in that friendship. What are we going to do about it?

The very first thing is that you need to develop your confidence and your self-esteem in such a way that you feel completely comfortable not having that friendship in your life and that might feel like a really uncomfortable thing to consider at this particular moment in time especially if you feel like you really rely on and need that friendship in some way but the thing is the more that you need it the less attractive it makes you seem as a friend. 

If there is something about how you interact in your friendships that maybe makes you come across as a bit needy then it actually starts to become a bit unattractive to them and that’s when they start stepping back so how do you re-attract them? By standing back on your own two feet again and carving out your personality in such a way that you’re comfortable to get on and do the things that you want to do whether your friend is there or not.

That might mean that you take up some new interests or develop some hobbies or become an expert in something, all of those things that kind of make you look quite independent and comfortable in yourself. Those are the things that are going to get people looking at you and kind of going “All right, they seem to be marching along to the beat of their own drum quite comfortably. I’d like to be around them”. One of the downsides of having that sort of relationship and friendship with someone where it feels as if you need them in your life, is that it puts them in charge of how you end up feeling in certain situations. It might mean that if they don’t call you when they said that they would that you end up feeling rejected. It might mean that if they won’t go out with you when you hoped that they would that you end up feeling as if you can’t get out there and do the stuff you want to do and so then you restrict yourself and you don’t have as much fun in the world as you would have done otherwise. The thing with that is that it puts them in charge of your feelings. It means that they’re in charge of your emotions and how you feel from one day to the next and that’s kind of not okay.

What’s better is that you can be in charge of how you feel so regardless of whether other people are there to make you feel better about yourself, you actually like yourself and you know that you deserve to be treated well and treated with respect and that you want to make an effort to find the kind of people that would do that for you in your life and that might actually mean that you make decisions about whether or not you involve these people in your life quite often. 

If you resist then they start to persist after you so it means that you need to kind of step back put your shoulders back and like I said earlier start marching to the beat of your own drum rather than marching to the beat of somebody else’s, that might mean, that instead of seeing yourself as a follower that you start to think about how you can become more of a leader because when you are more of a leader, you start to attract others. If you are currently in a friendship where it feels like you’re being the needy one and you need other people to make you feel good and if they don’t do the stuff that you would like them to do; then you need to start thinking about building up your own self-esteem, your confidence and making sure that you feel better within yourself so that you are comfortable to step back from those friendships and see what happens when you do. 

By Gemma Bailey


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