How to Cope With an Annoying Friend
You love your friend, but sometimes they are just a little difficult to take. Friendships are often complicated. You may need to talk to your friend or change how you deal with them. With honesty, effort, and communication, you can still be friends.
Changing Your Approach
Identify how your friend is annoying you.What exactly is your friend doing that is getting on your nerves? Is your friend too clingy? Does your friend gossip or say mean things to you? Is you friend constantly making fun of you? Are you just annoyed by your friend for no reason?
- The source of the annoyance will help you figure out what you need to do.
- If your friend is too clingy, you need to create space between the two of you.
- If your friend is being mean and hurtful towards you, you should let them know how you feel.
- If you cannot identify why you are so annoyed with your friend, you might need to do some self-evaluation. Have you changed or out grown your friend?
Spend time together in a group.Instead of spending time alone with your friend, only see them when other people are around. This can create a buffer between the two of you. You will not have to talk to your friend as much. If your friend starts being annoying, you will still have other people you can talk to.
- Make sure that other people are around when you hang out with your annoying friend. For example, make plans with some other friends and then invite the annoying friend to come along or eat lunch with a group of people instead if just you and your friend.
- If your friend invites you to go somewhere and you know it will only be the two of you, decline the offer or ask if you can bring someone else along.
Limit the amount of contact you have.If you want to maintain the friendship, you can create some space between the two of you. This will give you the break from the person and send a signal to the person to change their behavior.
- If the person calls and/or texts too much, do not respond to them every single time. Only answer when you feel like it or really want to talk to them.
- If you have to call them back, call them when you are about to do something else. This way you can keep the conversation short. For example, you could call and say, "Hey, I saw your missed call. I'm about to eat dinner with my family, what's up?"
Ignore the person when they annoy you.Your friend may be engaging in certain behaviors because they enjoy the response and attention you give. Your friend may say negative things or complain a lot to get sympathy and attention form you. Your friend may make fun of other people to get laughs. By responding, you may actually be encouraging the annoying behavior.
- The person may eventually stop the behavior if you ignore them.
- For example, if your friend is always making fun of others to get laughs, stop laughing and do not respond at all when they make a comment.
- If other friends have noticed the annoying behaviors, all of you should stop responding.
- When you ignore the person, do not roll your eyes or make a face.This is still a reaction to what the person is doing. You may also hurt your friend's feelings if you are rude.
Encourage your friend to have other interests.If you have a clingy friend, encourage them to try a new hobby or spend time with other people. This will take some of the pressure of off you. Your friend will be less annoying to you when you spend time together.
- You may tell your friend, "I love being friends with you, but I think we should try to meet new people too."
- If your friend tells you about an activity they did without you, tell them how great that is and you are proud of them.
- You can also suggest specific activities for your friend to do. Choose activities that your friend is interested in, but you are not interested in. For example, if your friend likes to draw but you do not, find an art class or art exhibit and tell your friend about it.
Talking to Your Friend
Tell your friend how you feel.Your friend may be doing something that you find annoying, but have no idea that it gets on your nerves. Your friend probably cares about you and does not want to annoy you. However, your friend won't be able to stop if you do not tell them.
- For example, your friend may joke with you a lot and it hurts your feelings. However, your friend thinks that it is all in good fun. Simply tell your friend, "Hey, it kind of hurts my feelings when you pick at me like that. Could you stop doing it so much?"
- Be as nice as possible when you talk to your friend. Write down or practice what you will say.
Listen to your friend's point of view.Once you tell your friend how you feel, it is important that you allow your friend to respond and to listen to them. Your friend may explain their behavior and why they have been acting a certain way. Ask your friend why have they been engaging in the annoying behavior. Your friend could also have a negative response and be unwilling to change.
- If your friend is unwilling to change, you might need to change the nature of your friendship permanently.For example, if your friend refuses to stop gossiping, you may need to set new boundaries for your friendship. Maybe you will not talk about certain topics with this friend from now on.
- Your friend could just be going through an annoying phase or be having some personal issues. For example, your friend could be trying to get more attention from you because they are having some family problems at home. It is important that you listen to the other person to get to the root of the problem.
Come up with a solution together.You may be able to help your friend with their annoying behavior. Tell your friend that you really value their friendship, but you two need to make some changes so you can stay friends. The solution is more likely to work if both of you contribute. You do not want your friend to feel like you are being bossy or critical of them.
- For example, if your friend needs to stop gossiping, tell your friend that you will remind them to stop when you see them gossiping. You could even create a little hand signal to do when the two of you are around other people. This way you can tell your friend to stop without embarrassing them.
- If your friend is annoying because they are constantly complaining about something, volunteer to help your friend improve in that area.
Give your friend time to change.Change does not happen overnight. If you and your friend had a good talk and your friend is willing to change, give your friend some time. If you have set new boundaries for your friendship, it will take time for both of you to get used to them.
- Friendships go through ups and downs and change over time. As long as both you and you are friend are willing to work through your issues, you two can still be friends.
- You may need to have multiple conversations about your friendship throughout the process.
Deciding the Future of Your Friendship
Know when to end the friendship.All friendships are not meant to last forever. You may do everything you can to stay friends, but it just does not work out. Always give your best effort before you decide to stop being friends with someone. You may need to end the friendship if:
- You and your friend are constantly arguing and can never seem to get along.
- Your friendship makes you feel bad about yourself or hurts your self-esteem.
- If you always feel uncomfortable or nervous around your friend.
Try a trial separation.If you feel like you no longer want to be friends, have a trial separation so you can be sure.This will give you time to see what it would be like to not have this person in your life. Having time away will also give you a clearer head and a different perspective on your friendship.
- When you decide to take a break, be clear about the purpose and the length of the break. You may say, "Hey, we have not been getting along lately. I think we should spend some time apart. We can talk about things in 2 weeks."
- Use this time to think and journal about your friendship. Do you miss the person? Are you happier now that you are not spending time with them? What things need to change?
End the friendship if necessary.You may be ready to make a decision once your friendship break is over. If you decide to end the friendship, let the person know. Do not cut them out of your life without telling them. If you were truly friends, you owe them an explanation.
- Be honest and respectful of the other person's feeling when you talk to them.
- You may say, "I care about you a lot, but our friendship has changed. I am really sad about this, but I don't think we should be friends anymore."
QuestionMy friend is mean to me and she doesn't know it...it's really annoying and I want to know how to tell her to stop. The thing is when I tell her to stop she comes back with a rude remark and makes me feel small. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf your friend is always mean to you and does not listen to you when you tell her to stop, she may not be a real friend. You should stop spending time with her and be around people that make you feel good about yourself. A good friend will not make you feel small.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if they're forcing you to watch something?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou do not have to watch anything that you don't want to. Tell your friend that you would like to watch something else. If they refuse, leave the room or go do something else. If you cannot leave the room, may be you can read or play on your phone instead of watching.Thanks!
QuestionI want my friend to not be mean to me.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTell your friend that they are being mean to you and it hurts your feelings. If your friend does not seem sorry or willing to change, you should start spending less time with them. Spend time with your other friends that are nice you and make you feel happy.Thanks!
QuestionWhat do I do if they keep yelling at me for talking?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYour friend should never yell at you. You should be able to talk if you want to. Tell your friend to stop yelling at you and how it makes you feel. If your friend does not stop, you should stop talking to them.Thanks!
QuestionMy friend is very clingy and and she is getting meaner and more dramatic. How should I adress this or deal with it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf your friend is clingy, encourage her to spend time with other people and try new things. You can also make sure other people are around when the two of you hang out. If she is being mean to you, tell her how you feel about it and ask her if everything is okay. Your friend may be going through a hard time in life right now.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if my friend is so annoying that I don't even like him?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerGradually start spending less time with your friend and see if things get better. If you still do not like your friend, you can tell your friend in a kind way that you do not want to be friends anymore.Thanks!
QuestionHow to avoid or tell your best friend when she is overly clingy to you all the time?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you do not want to tell her, you can start to distance yourself from her and slowly start spending less time with her. She may get the message. You can also politely tell her that you feel you two spend too much time together and suggest that you all spend time with other friends.Thanks!
- Don't be mean if your friend is just annoying, be nice to them.
- If this person continues to annoy you, tell someone you can trust like a sibling, a parent, or guardian. They can help you come up with a solution.
- If you are planning to break up with a friend, then ease away calmly.
- Let your friend know how you feel. If they don't / can't accept you for your beliefs then say goodbye and find someone who expects nothing from you but your positive presence. It may be hard to let go of someone who you thought was a friend but you will notice that it will be worth it.
- Always tell your friend the truth, don't lie about how you feel.
- Don't jump straight into an "I don't want to be your friend" situation. Try separating calmly and give them hints that you want some time alone.
- Try to see how bad they are to you. If its just a joke but they don't mean it, just ignore it. Don't go around talking about and get other people involved. If you're embarrassed to speak about it to them, just write it out.
- Politely tell them to stop if they are annoying you. At the first time, say it in a nice tone. If they continue, repeat yourself with a calm but firm tone. If they do it again, do it in a polite but stern tone. If they continue doing so after multiple times, please talk to them again, and tell them that it is annoying you and give them suggestions to help them to stop.
- If your friend is mean or clingy tell them, don’t ignore it continually. Yes, of course ignore it for the first few times but after a while, just tell them. Remember, you are not responsible for how he/she feels.
Sources and Citations
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