How to Not Be So Clingy With Your Best Friend

Being clingy can take a toll on your friendship.
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While you might want to spend every waking moment with, talking to or texting your best friend, acting clingy isn't a sign of a healthy relationship. Although spending a lot of time with a BFF is typical for many young people, when you become her shadow, things are starting to take a turn for the worse. If you feel like you're acting clingy, or your friend is telling you that you are, you'll need to understand how to stop this needy behavior and create a manageable distance.

1 Accept Change

The teen and young adult years are times of change, when you are experimenting with new identities, growing developmentally and discovering who you really are, according to the Center for Young Women's Health. That said, when your friend begins to change you may react by clinging more closely to him. Before you ruin the relationship, let go of your grip and understand that people change. Just because your BFF has a few new friends or is showing an interest in a new activity doesn't mean that he's ditching you. Instead of acting clingy, allow the natural changes that come along with growing up happen and let your relationship evolve into something new.

2 Attention Grabbers

One sign of a clingy friend is a constant need for attention, according to psychologist Irene S. Levine, Ph.D. on the Psychology Today website. The more needy you become, the more your desire for your friend's praise or attention may make her feel like you're her little sister and not her BFF. Put a stop to your desire for your friend's attentive eye, and broaden your social circle. If you find yourself constantly asking your friend if she thinks your outfit is cool, your hair looks right or your crush is cute enough, take a look inward and remind yourself that you only need to please yourself. When you have a more major issue -- such as making the decision of which college to go to -- give your BFF a break and talk to your parents, a sibling or another trusted friend.

3 Give and Take

A relationship is a two-way street. If you're constantly clinging to your friend in a needy way consider if your relationship is meeting his needs. Although he may not act clingy or needy, he may still want your input or guidance. Don't make your friendship all about you, and instead ask your best bud what's going on in his life or if there's anything that he needs from you.

4 Cool the Contact

Although getting a text, social network shout out, call or email can show your friend that you care about her, a non-stop parade of contact may make you look more stalker than sincere. If you're spending more of your day than not leaving voice mails, texts and other types of messages for your BFF, cool it on the clingy actions. Limit yourself to a specific number of texts per day if you're having trouble backing off or wait until your friend contacts you first.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.