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My friend doesn't have enough to do. How do I tell her to back off?

Tagged as: Friends, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (14 July 2017) 8 Answers - (Newest, 17 July 2017)
A female age 36-40, anonymous writes:

Im a single mum of a teenager i have full time as my ex didnt want to know. I also work so aswell as that i have housework on top. my child helps a lot too which im proud to say i dont have to harass him to help. I have a friend who doesnt work due to ' sickness' i say that lightly as everyone knows shes capable of working. I have known her over 20 years over the last few months she has become a bit of a pain she messages me more than a handful of times it irrelevant stuff like shes done her shopping list or shes just done some washing . i have explained to her im very busy and not to text so much. She hasnt listened and continues to message . i told her she should do voluntary work but she insisted no. She messages other friends too but no as much as me. She said shes not lonely and has plenty to do during the day. She has no partner or kids and lives on her own. She often helps an elderly neighbour who manages fine , think its just a company thing for them both . how else can i get my friend to see she doesnt need to give me an inventory of her life everyday , im starting to need to avoid her as shes doing my head in

View related questions: my ex, neighbour, text

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (17 July 2017):

It's just texts. Sorry, but I don't get it when people complain about getting too many e-mails or too many texts. It's on you to NOT check your texts or e-mails all day long. You don't have to read them! You simple receive them, and then at a given point in your day, you can check them and then that'll be it. I see little to no point in wasting energy and getting all worked up over something that is so easy to ignore. You can set a special setting on your phone to mute all incoming texts from her, so it will not disturb you what so ever.

The question is rather why you try to make her send you less texts and change her persona, when it is by far more achievable and stress free to simply mute her texts on your phone. No drama, no hassle, and you and her can both go on with your lives.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (16 July 2017):

On another thought find her a bf who can fill her empty life.

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A female reader, Caring Aunty A Australia + , writes (15 July 2017):

Caring Aunty A agony auntA 24/7 running commentary of the dreary days of her live can be painful indeed. Consider texting a blessing as phone calls of this nature are even more exhausting to deal with.

Once these people latch on to you, it’s because you’ve unwittingly given them the green light of friendship, the proverbial fountain of crap comes spilling over. They have no understanding of how intrusive or dull they are or become. Certainly they are lonely, desperately reaching out, insecure and without a stop button.

Only your tone of voice can deliver the cold reality of their intrusive behaviour for them to be aware of it hurting damaging the friendship that they desperately seek or want to keep.

Plus how would you define your friendship with this woman generally without all this texting going on? 20 years is a long time for you to have some things in common, to base the friendship on? When you meet, you must guide, take control of the conversation, only cheery subjects; no dreary topics.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (15 July 2017):

OP again , since she doesnt work she could easily turn up at my house on my days and evenings off . Easier said than done ignoring her . im asking advice as to what i could say to her to back off and for her to realise she messages too much , and yes it has got to the point she tells me shes been to the loo and what shes done so if you had a friend like that would you be happy because im not

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (15 July 2017):

Com'on it is not as bad as if she was coming and sitting in your kitchin for hours on end drinking coffee and gossiping. Just ignore her messages till she gets the message and stops bothering you.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (15 July 2017):

I am the op . I do ignore her texts and dont read straight away but then she hounds me saying has she done something wrong , i ignore that question . Shes pestering me 24/7 . if she had other things in her life that keep her busy as she claims then she wouldnt feel the need to ask if she had done something wrong. The other week i was on holiday and wouldnt reply to messages as i was going to be relaxing and enjoying myself but she still messaged me to which i ignored . i dont mind an odd text saying hows you fancy meeting up or general things along those lines but i dont need a running commentary of what shes doing all the time which is what im getting

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (15 July 2017):

CindyCares agony aunt She's doing your head in ? Why ??

I mean, I am not much into texting myself, so I can understand that your friend is slightly annoying. Then again, a text is a text, not a royal summons. You don't have to answer it at once, you don't even have to read it as for that. You can choose to ignore all your incoming texts when you are busy , as common sense would suggest ,after all ( if somebody does need to get in touch with you for something urgent , you can bet that they will call you on the phone, once they see they don't reach you by text ). You can choose to check your texts only when it's convenient for you, say, when you are home after work with your feet up and a glass of wine in your hand.

If for any reason you don't want to do that and have to check texts right away ( which, then again, makes sense too since you have a teenager child ) - you can do that, only opening and reading those texts you want to read. If she is whatsapping you, you'll know it's her, and the same for sms, they'll come out with her name or phone number I suppose ?

And even if you have to / want to read all texts immediately- that will just take seconds, anyway. As long as you do not comment or aknowledge her texts the distraction is minimal , and if you are persistent, eventually she'll get the hint and stop pestering you. Or, if she does not get the hint, maybe she'll ask you why do you ignore her texts, and you can answer her, sincerely and politely, " As I told you already , I don't have time for texting, and most of the times I don't even read my texts till much , much later " .

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (15 July 2017):

How about you just ignore her texts? You don't have to reply to everything she sends you. Either switch your phone to silent so you are not even aware she is messaging you or, if this is not convenient, just read the texts and forget them.

She does sound lonely but you cannot force her to help herself.

While you can't control what people do, your strength lies in controlling how you react.

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