handle overbearing friends

How To Handle Overbearing Friends

Friendships are powerful and can play an important role in our overall wellbeing. However, it is also essential to entertain the flipside, where they can be emotionally and mentally draining. Overbearing friendships can undermine your happiness and peace of mind. It may not be easy to free yourself and turn things around if you get into a habit of giving in to the whims of overbearing friendships. Therefore, you need to recognize such toxic friendships when you feel cornered or pushed to say yes involuntarily. Read on for some tips on how to handle overbearing friends.

Know Your Boundaries

We often fail to set boundaries on the first day of friendships simply because friendships are spontaneous, and the bond grows gradually. However, as your bond grows, do not forget to let your friends know some of the things you like and those you abhor. Feeling like your friend is pushy indicates that your boundaries have been crossed, and they may not know unless you have told them.

 For example, if you cannot leave the house at night, it is best to let them know so that you are not forced to tag along to a night party or hang out. Noteworthy, you don’t have to defend your boundaries but express them so that your friends do not overstep. If your friend does not accept your boundaries with grace, then it is best to avoid them or call the friendship off.

Be Honest and Open to Handle Overbearing Friends

Your friends need to know when you are uncomfortable. Speaking up may make us nervous, but it is the best way to handle overbearing friends. You need to briefly let them know when they offend you or when you feel pressured. For example, you can tell them that you do not like it when they call you past midnight unless it is an emergency. Make sure to pass your point amicably to avoid coming out as a rude person. Let them know how their actions affect you and how they can correct that. Keeping issues to yourself may cause a buildup of emotions that can make you call off a powerful friendship over simple misunderstandings.

Listen MoreListening to a friend

Correcting your friends involves speaking up and listening to their version of the story. You may find that your friend has been nagging due to the challenges they may be facing. Therefore, before dismissing the issue, let them know how you feel and listen up to find out why they have been so pushy lately. You may provide the help they need.

Expand Your Interactions with Others

Expanding your friendship circles can minimize the time spent with your nagging which makes it easy to handle overbearing friends. You can keep this distance without necessarily having to break off the friendship. Moreover, you can also introduce your overbearing friend to new people. With more options, they will not solely be dependent on the time spent with you.

Get Advice from an Outside Ear

Sometimes it can be insightful to talk things out with an independent party. Find out what their opinion is on some of the things you may find pushy. Sometimes we overreact or have unrealistic boundaries without knowing, and your friend may not be in the wrong. Therefore, finding an independent party to weigh in is essential. Getting advice from an outer ear will also help you learn how to handle overbearing friends.

Do Not Feel Guilty If You Cannot Meet Their Needs

Worrying about the consequences of saying no to your clingy friend breeds guilt and may make it hard to handle overbearing friends. Once you feel guilty, you will say yes to everything to avoid that feeling. The next time you feel obliged to do something for your friend simply because of the consequences ask yourself the following g questions:

  • What is the worst that can happen if you say no?
  • Do other people feel guilty if they say no to you? 
  • Have your boundaries been crossed?

Do Not Feel Obliged to Pick Up Your Pushy Friend’s Phone Calls

If you are in the middle of an important task, the next time your clingy friend calls, do not feel obliged to pick up their call. You can let it go to voicemail. If it is an urgent matter, your friend will leave a message. Failing to pick up their call is a polite way to let them know that you are not always available at their convenience. Telling someone not to call you at a certain time may be rude. But a few missed calls is a subtle way to let them know you are busy.   

Final Take

A healthy friendship is where you can talk about your boundaries openly without making excuses. Ghosting the situation is not the best way to handle overbearing friends, and you may lose a powerful friendship that could have been salvaged. Therefore, you need to speak up about the things that make you uncomfortable without fear. If your friends get angry at your boundaries, then they probably benefit from you having no boundaries.