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Dear Tuffy Luv,
I have a friend who is, like, obsessed with me. I don’t know what to do. She calls me all the time and then just wants to talk and talk and I don’t really feel like listening. I mean how many times can I hear about her ex-boyfriend?
Tuffy, to top it all off, she never even asks about me! I mean she calls me all the time you’d think she’d have the common courtesy to at least say hey “what’s going on with you?” It’s really annoying.
I don’t know what to do. This girl has been my friend since elementary school. But now we’re both in college and we live in different cities. But the cities are nearby so I could hang out with her if I wanted to, but the thing is, I don’t want to. It’s really sad because she always calls me (like every week) and I almost never pick up because she bugs the crap out of me. But the thing is, she doesn’t really have any other friends. She makes new friends sometimes, like at school, but she can never keep them very long. Not because she’s mean or anything – just she only talks about herself and I think it gets on people’s nerves.
She’s really nice and she was my friend for years, but she is driving me crazy. If I could, I would just stop being friends with her completely! But I really don’t want to hurt her feelings. What should I do?
— Feeling Like a Bad Friend
You’re not a bad friend. SHE’S a bad friend. She sounds freaking annoying.
Look, usually when people can’t keep friends, there’s a reason for it. Sometimes it’s because they’re jerks. But sometimes, as in the case of your “friend,” it’s because they’re completely self-absorbed.
This girl should get a clue. When EVERYONE has the same reaction to you no matter where you go, it’s probably not them, it’s probably you. In other words: IT’S HER. But, of course, you have history with this girl. I totally get why you don’t want to leave her hanging.
See, this is the thing about self-absorbed people. They are TAKERS. Takers of your energy and of your good nature. They always, always, always look for givers. Givers are the ones who, in spite of not being able to stand their taker, will still listen, still hang out, still give.
Givers are puppies and takers are the ticks.
So before she wears you the floop out, set rules for yourself. Try distancing yourself by responding to her phone messages via email. That way, you limit the amount of energy she can squeeze from you. When you do talk on the phone, set a time limit for yourself. Don’t let her blab at you endlessly. You are allowed to get off the phone whenever you want.
Tuffy would like to say you should just cut her off if she’s bugging you, but, unfortunately, Tuffy too has a soft spot for old friends.
Just spend as little time dealing with her as you can, and when you do deal with her, make sure you do something nice for yourself afterward: go for a walk or eat some chocolate. You know, cool down. If she’s REALLY pissing you off, you REALLY CAN say something. For instance, say: “Do you want to hear my latest news?” or whatever, or, if you’re feeling particularly ballsy, “It hurts my feelings when you don’t even ask about what I’m up to.”
Conversations shouldn’t be one-sided. You are under no obligation to deal with someone who brings you absolutely no pleasure. But, since she is an old friend, you may find that you just need to limit your dealings with her. Making sure you only talk to her once a month (or however long) may keep you from ripping her eyeballs out.
Just don’t let her get to you, okay? She can’ t bother you any more than you let her.
Hearts & Skulls,
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