How to Politely Get Rid of Clingy Friends

If you no longer want to continue the friendship with your clingy friend, gently end it.
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Clingy friends can cause you to feel emotionally exhausted, leading you to desire less time with them. You may grow frustrated and want to abruptly end the friendship. Rid yourself of clingy friends by setting boundaries, focusing on yourself or giving these friendships a much-needed break, advises Irene S. Levine, professor and psychologist, writing for Psychology Today.

1 Clingy Friends

Clingy friends are unable to take a hint that it is time to go home. When you tell your friend you are taking a shower, her response may be that she will watch television until you finish. She wants to be involved in every aspect of your life. Your clingy friend may also be needy. Needy friends often drain your positive energy and are unlikely to reciprocate the time you give to them, according to the article, "Needy Friends," published on the Boys Town website.

2 Setting Boundaries

Let clingy friends know that you aren't able to provide what they need, suggests Andrea Bonior, licensed clinical psychologist and author of "The Friendship Fix," in a U.S. News and World Report article. Let them know how much time you are comfortable spending together. For example, if your friend calls every night at midnight, suggest that she reserve her late-night calls for the weekends, when you don't have class the following day.

3 Drift Away

Put space between you and clingy friends by letting them know how busy you are with school, work or family commitments, Levine suggests. Your friend may resist at first. Avoid completely ignoring her calls. Answer some calls and cut them short. Answer texts but avoid added details or friendly chit-chat. Hang out with your clingy friend when you are with other friends. There will be fewer opportunities to spend time with you alone. She will take the hint.

4 Break Up

When all else fails and your friendship has become toxic, there may be little choice. Break up with your clingy friend. Write out what you are going to say. This can help you to stick to the topic, according to Levine. Avoid blaming your friend. Be straightforward and stick to the facts. For example, you may tell your clingy friend that the amount of time you have been spending together is too much, and it is best to spend time apart. It is up to you whether this is a permanent or temporary break.

Karen Kleinschmidt has been writing since 2007. Her short stories and articles have appeared in "Grandma's Choice," "Treasure Box" and "Simple Joy." She has worked with children with ADHD, sensory issues and behavioral problems, as well as adults with chronic mental illness. Kleinschmidt holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Montclair State University.