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How to deal with clingy, reliant people?
I'm too nice.


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#1 Anon2012

Posted 27 February 2013 - 12:20 PM

There's this lady that lives down the road, who I personally dot consider a friend, but I feel like that's what it's expected to be. I have written about her once under my real account, some people may remember it, possibly not.
The warning signs were right there in the beginning, when she organized a play date with me, but promptly dumped her kid with allergies on me. I expected her to stay, we would have coffee, the kids would play, especially considering we were practically strangers. No, she arrived, dropped her kid off and said she had something in the oven so had to go, but would pick her kid up at 5. No mention of the fact he was not toilet trained (but still in underwear) and she didn't talk to me about his allergies, nor did she provide any safe food for him to eat. (and thankfully I was vaguely aware he had allergies enough to contact her before giving him stuff that may have been dangerous). The day was horrible. He urinated all over my house, ate everything he possibly could and he trashed the house completely because he just doesn't listen. I took him home well before his mother was meant to pick him up.

So here we are 1.5 years later, and I can not avoid her as much as I used to be able to. Our children are in the same class at school! Every morning she asks to catch up, and I am constantly giving excuses to try get out of doing anything with her (thankfully because I have so much going on in my life, I don't even have to make them up, just exaggerate them a bit). Then every afternoon her kid asks me if we can go to their house after school. I hate it, it is so awkward. How can I say no to a kid? I can't just say no to either of them (her and her son) either, they ask why!!!

She is always relying on me to baby sit, even though 99% of the time I say no, I still resent that she asks me. The only times I have done so are when there has been a emergency and her husband is away. Yet, the ONE time I needed someone to sit in my house while I take myself to ED she ignored my message and the following calls (iMessage sends read receipts, I knew she had read my message).

The thing I struggle with is the fact that I know she is struggling, so I find it hard to ignore her or cut her off or just be rude. Plus in general I a not a rude person, I'm friendly with everyone. But it's affecting me. I feel like I am shutting the other school mums off because if I say no to her then I have to say no to the either mums.
The other day I had to go to the shops after school pickup, but my toddler had done a poo so I dropped by at home to change her first, and I got a message from her "I thought you had to go to the shops?"..
I am sick of having to avoid this woman, like dropping my child off at her class and running, or picking my child up 5 minutes later than I usually would. She won't get the hint! After 2 years of brushing her off she just does not get the hint.

I'm a great friend usually, I will help my friends out when they need it (including with baby sitting), I will listen to them when they need it. But I expect it in return.
This woman I have (begrudgingly) listened to her endless life dramas, money issues, her getting pregnant then terminating, her struggling with her 3 kids, her struggling with her husband being away. I've looked after her kids when she has had to take another one (or herself) to the ED or doctor. She has never, ever been there for me (not that I ever would rely on her because she is so emotionally unstable) but she ever asks how I am or anything, just the small general stuff that would show that a friend cares about you. She has never returned the favour in babysitting (not that I would because I know she can't handle her 3 kids, so why would I burden her with more kids), apart from the one night when I was in extreme pain and vomiting due to a gall stone attack and all I needed was for her to sit here while my husband comes home from work (and I knew her husband was at home at the time) to take over.

She is really offensive in her opinions. I can handle people having differing opinions, but she is completely rude and offensive. I'm talking racist, making rude comments about disabled people, making rude or offensive comments about mothers who are bottle feeding, blatantly and openly (and irrationally) judging people. It's embarrassing. I've had mutual people ask me if she is ok mentally. I feel embarrassed to even be associated with her.
At first I just ignored her, but now it makes me so angry, and if I dare question her on it she just gets all irrational and emotional, like its a personal attack on her then other people dislike me because I've been 'mean' to her (but they don't now the full story).

I love kids, but I can't stand her kids. A few times I've gone to the park with them, and I've taken a few things for my kids to snack on while we walk to and from the park. Left them in the bottom of the pram, somewhat concealed. They always go through the pram and just help themselves to the food, and she doesn't bat an eyelid. I'll tell the kids no, to leave it alone as its for my kids to eat on the way home, but they just continuously get at it and by the end of it I'm so exhausted I just give in. She just sits there and does nothing! The other day they tipped all the water out of 3 water bottles, so my two children didn't have any water to drink on the way home (and it was a hot day too). Not to mention they then got filled with sand, too.
They are just really full on, don't listen, and don't give you any personal space at all.

Overall we don't have anything in common, not one thing, apart from having children, and having partners that work away or awkward shifts.

I could keep going but really all I want to know is how to handle this, how to tell her nicely to back off, without potentially turning her nasty as she is someone who could potentially get rather nasty. I have to deal with her every day after all, unfortunately.

Edited by Anon2012, 27 February 2013 - 12:27 PM.


#2 kpingitquiet

Posted 27 February 2013 - 12:56 PM

Maybe a good step is to have her over for coffee and get the kids watching a movie together then sit down with her and say that you're feeling pressured, too heavily relied upon, and it's really becoming an issue. That if there is to still be any potential for friendship, some real boundaries need to be set.

If THAT doesn't work, you may just need to be seriously blunt and explain that you simply don't think the two of you can be friends.

It sounds really stressful, OP.

#3 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 27 February 2013 - 12:58 PM

QUOTE (Anon2012 @ 27/02/2013, 12:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So here we are 1.5 years later, and I can not avoid her as much as I used to be able to. Our children are in the same class at school! Every morning she asks to catch up, and I am constantly giving excuses to try get out of doing anything with her (thankfully because I have so much going on in my life, I don't even have to make them up, just exaggerate them a bit). Then every afternoon her kid asks me if we can go to their house after school. I hate it, it is so awkward. How can I say no to a kid? I can't just say no to either of them (her and her son) either, they ask why!!!

learn to say no.  Practice it in the mirror, role-play with your partner.  Learn to say no.

remember this, you do not have to give the an explanation.  Just say "sorry, I can't do that"  If they ask why, say "I have my own plans/errands to do" to do and do NOT elaborate.

It sounds like giving them the cold shoulder doesn't work, so learn to say "Sorry, I can't help with that."

QUOTE (Anon2012 @ 27/02/2013, 12:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
She is always relying on me to baby sit, even though 99% of the time I say no, I still resent that she asks me. The only times I have done so are when there has been a emergency and her husband is away. Yet, the ONE time I needed someone to sit in my house while I take myself to ED she ignored my message and the following calls (iMessage sends read receipts, I knew she had read my message).

don't ask her for anything, don't rely on her for anything, don't give her any reason to think you need her help or that you should have some obligation to reciprocate for her.

QUOTE (Anon2012 @ 27/02/2013, 12:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The other day I had to go to the shops after school pickup, but my toddler had done a poo so I dropped by at home to change her first, and I got a message from her "I thought you had to go to the shops?"..
either ignore the message (why does she need an explanation??) or reply simply with "yes, I do"

QUOTE (Anon2012 @ 27/02/2013, 12:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am sick of having to avoid this woman, like dropping my child off at her class and running, or picking my child up 5 minutes later than I usually would. She won't get the hint! After 2 years of brushing her off she just does not get the hint.

stop giving off hints.  It sounds like she doesn't get hints.  

Just don't engage in conversation.  If she initiates them, cut them short as soon as you can.  If you do have some other friends who you can confide in about this, maybe they can help as a "buffer" at school drop offs and pick up if you explain the situation.

And if it gets that desperate, just be completely blunt and let the woman know that you prefer to have limited contact because you don't feel that you have much in common.  

Sounds like you are getting pretty desperate .....

Edited by YodaTheWrinkledOne, 27 February 2013 - 01:00 PM.


#4 icekool

Posted 27 February 2013 - 01:04 PM

Similar situation but I won't go into detail.

The issue I see with telling her how you truly feel is it getting around the other mums. Seeing that she already has ways with certain things, I sense she will use whatever you say to her against you. That will create more problems.

So I agree, DO NOT engage in conversation. Do not talk about anything in your life. DELAY in txting her back. Pretend you don't really know her and you are busy. Busy busy busy all the time. Or you are too tired and very busy on EB wink.gif



#5 againagain

Posted 27 February 2013 - 01:27 PM

Seriously, she doesn't sound like a nice person, but a nosy user! I would not be nice. No park, no play dates - nothing! By giving in and minding her kids or going for a play you are encouraging her to ask again and again.

I would just start saying "Busy, sorry" to everything and anything she suggests or asks. Don't listen to the dramatics (because with people like this, there will ALWAYS be drama). Just walk off, you're busy!

There will be nastiness and probably rumours and b**ching about you once she realises you are ditching her, doesn't matter how nicely you do it. So just suck it up and do it. More than likely she will create some dramatic story about how rude and mean you are to her, and tell anyone that will listen. Any adult with half a brain would see right through her and not hold it against you - and if some people don't, well they obviously don't know you very well and therefore they do not matter!

I have been there and done that. Life is so much less stressful without this person (and her followers that no longer speak to me) in my life. I don't have to worry all the time that the phone is ringing and it's her. I don't have to constantly have an excuse in my head about what I have to do in case she calls. Much, much nicer.

Ps, her name doesn't start with K does it?  ph34r.gif  your story sounds remarkably familiar!!

#6 Sydmumof3

Posted 27 February 2013 - 01:28 PM

Hi there, I've been through the same as you. For most of your post you sound exactly like me.
To cut a long story short, I made friends with my daughter's mum, who I eventually realised was clingy and needy. She always has some drama going on, and is constantly having some sort of health issue or surgery done. (I believe she is addicted to it and loves the attention.) Her husband is away with work a lot too. Suffers from depression, is a hermit, etc. etc.
Sounds like your friend.
Because I'm such a nice person, and a sucker, got reeled into helping her, and like your friend, she cannot be trusted or relied on to help or give play dates in return. I also suspect she has a drinking problem. I stopped letting my kids go over there without me.
She would ring me several times a day, text constantly.
I have nothing in common with this lady, only that our daughters became best friends at school some 3 years ago.
She eventually left to go to another school, and so did I.
Yet the only way to cut her loose was to ignore all contact.
We don't live in the same street thankfully, and no longer attend the same school.  Our kids keep in contact somewhat, but I make a point of my daughter not passing the phone to me, and I no longer encourage the friendship.
I've bumped into her on the rare occasion and she has gotten the message loud and clear. I am not interested in a friendship. I keep the conversation short and sweet and do not engage in any personal conversation.  Like icekool said, just make out your busy.
If the cutting out communication does not work, then I suggest just being frank with her. Whats the worst she can do?
Are you able to pick up your child from school from a kiss and drop zone for a while to avoid her?
Hope you find a way. I know how you feel.

#7 HurryUpAlready

Posted 27 February 2013 - 01:30 PM

What a nightmare OP. I think I'm probably a bit more blunt and my tone / body language would probably give the message, even if I didn't come out & say something directly.

Regarding the "I thought you had to go to the shops" SMS, I wouldn't have been able to help myself and would have sent a smart a*se response back, something like "Are you stalking me??".

I agree with a PP, never ask her for anything. Ever! By you asking for help implies there is a friendship. Have another person as back up, but don't call her.

As for other mum's at school, can you make the odd comment, relay the odd story (without being b*tchy of course!) that might let others know what you are dealing with? It might mean you're not judged by the other mums if they know more of the story. And stop saying no to the other mums if you're invited to do something with them! Gosh, if that doesn't send a strong message, I don't know what does. If crazy lady queries you spending time with others and not her, you can just be honest and say "I just feel like I have more in common with X, and our kids really enjoy each others company. Sorry."

This is a situation I wouldn't / couldn't put up with, especially for 2 years!!

You might not like confrontation but I think there has to be a way to end this "friendship" without causing too much friction... surely? Just be assertive, not aggressive. Choose your language carefully so as to be direct but not offensive or hurtful. Say your piece then stick to your guns!!

Good luck OP.



#8 Anon2012

Posted 27 February 2013 - 01:56 PM

I have told one mum a few things, last year before we weren't all in the same class together. The other day that mum asked me a question about her and I said to her "She is the mum I was telling you about last year" and she responded with "Oh, a lot of things make sense now". I think some of the mums from her class last year know what she is like, too.

I can't drop my daughter off in the kiss and go section, because she is too young and I have to actually take her to class.

This morning I was standing and talking to one of the mums and the teacher, and I could see her face just drop. I didnt even acknowledge her. I feel bad for it, but I need to put my feelings first because I just can't handle it anymore.

I've told her I have a lot of assignments to do (I do). So that kind of gives me from now until they are all done biggrin.gif then we will be moving (YAY) so that gives me more time.

But yes, I like the ideas of not engaging with her. I've done that already as best I can.




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