Clingy Friends? Here’s How To Handle Them

I used to think only boyfriends or girlfriends could be clingy. Many people still think so, but have you ever had an experience with a friend who is too needy, possessive, and clingy in how they behave towards you?

The signs of a clingy girlfriend or boyfriend are well-known, but what about when it’s just a regular friend and not a partner?

What happens when your friend seems too possessive? Can a platonic friend be clingy? Can you even have clingy friends? 

If yes, what are some signs of a clingy friend? What if you’re the clingy friend? 

Well, you’ve come to the right spot. That’s what this article is about. How do you spot a clingy friend and what should you do about them? Here’s what you need to know, starting with the signs of a clingy friend that you can look out for (or see if these signs apply to you)…

8 Clingy Friend Signs to Look Out For

clingy friend signs
These clingy friend signs can be red flags in your friendship.

First off, a clingy friend is someone who doesn’t seem to accept that friendship has boundaries. A clingy friend wouldn’t understand that you both have different lives to live. 

When you have clingy friends, you’ll begin to feel suffocated by the friendship. So it’s best to identify the signs and take action early. 

Some clingy friend signs are more disruptive to a friendship than other ones, and it’s really up to the people in the friendship to decide what their boundaries are and what they’re okay or not okay with.

8. Clingy friends have zero respect for boundaries

Trust me, a clingy friend doesn’t know the meaning of boundaries or privacy. They want to be in every aspect of your life. They want to have access to your phone, private messages, etc.

A clingy friend will want to know everyone you’re talking to. They’ll want your attention every time. A clingy friend will come to your house uninvited and sleepover. 

A clingy friend will go through your private properties, wear your clothes without your permission, and use your stuff as they like. They feel like you shouldn’t complain and if you do, they’ll manipulate you and make you feel bad. 

7. They want your attention every time

A clingy friend would want you to focus on him/her every time. In public, they’ll get mad when you interact with other people. They’ll make it seem as though you’re neglecting them when in fact they should be interacting with others too. 

You know someone is being clingy when they want to hang out with you every time. If you say you already have a commitment, they throw tantrums and make you feel bad for saying no. 

In some cases, they give you the silent treatment because you said no and you’ll end up apologizing (for having your own life to live). They can go as far as saying things that’ll make you feel very guilty even when you did nothing wrong. 

A clingy friend will corner you in group chats or group meetings. Even when there are other people in the group chats, your clingy friend will corner you every chance they get. They’ll text you and expect an almost immediate reply. 

6. They are self-centered

This one is pretty obvious. Your clingy friend will barely know anything (that really matters) about you. Yet they’ll go around claiming to know you better than everyone else. 

They call you their best buddy but they don’t seem to know when things are difficult for you. They can hardly tell when you’re not okay because they’re always talking about their own problems. 

On the other hand, you’ll know everything about them because they’ll tell you literally everything. Clingy friends talk a lot and seek your advice over silly things. They rarely ever follow the advice you give them and then they come back to seek another advice. 

Someone who creates drama out of every little thing to get your attention is clingy. At the end of most days, you’ll find yourself needing time to rest because you feel drained. 

5. Clingy friends will act insecure

More often than not, a clingy friend will get mad when you seem to like someone else more than them. They’ll want to act like they own you and they’re desperate to show everyone that they’re your close friend. 

When you make new friends, your clingy friend will give you an absurd attitude and try to make friends with the same people too. They’re scared that you’ll stop being friends with them hence they become a little obsessive. 

They will stalk you on all your socials, follow all the people you follow, like the posts you like, etc. They can go as far as barging into conversations you’re having online with people they don’t even know. 

They feel the need to make an impact and feel relevant. They’ll demand access to your cell phone every time and make you explain how you met each person you talk to that they don’t know.

4. They don’t seem to have their own life

A clingy friend might become obsessed with your life, to the point where it feels like they’re practically trying to live it for you, instead of living their own life.

They might not have a lot going on for themselves, so they will feel compelled to get all up in your business.

You’ll always have to explain why you have plans that don’t include them, or why you went to an event without them. 

No one would want a friend that suffocates them right? 

That’s why most clingy friends end up being rejected and that can make them more clingy with a new person.

3. They only want you to listen to them

When it comes to making decisions in life, a clingy friend might want you to listen to their advice and nobody else’s. They think they know what’s best for you, without really taking your own needs into consideration.

If other people try to offer you advice, a clingy friend may try to discredit them and get you to listen exclusively to the clingy friend.

2. They have entitlement issues

They feel entitled to everything you own and everything in your life. They don’t really respect boundaries, and one of the biggest examples is when it comes to your time. They won’t be able to give you space or to let you do your thing, they feel entitled to all of your time and all of your life.

You don’t owe them anything beyond what’s reasonable in a friendship, and even at that,

1. They expect too much from you

A clingy friend might seem like they’re expecting you to be perfect, to give them all of your time and attention, to change your life to fit them, and it’s just not a reasonable expectation.

If they’re expecting more out of the friendship than you’re willing or able to give to them, and it feels like there’s an unbalance, and you aren’t getting what you need from it, that’s a problem.

Friendships need to be two way streets. Sometimes, a friend will be in a bad place and need more than they’re able to give, but a good friendship will work both ways.

Clingy Friends Psychology: Understanding Them Better

Clingy Friends Psychology

If you have a clingy friend, don’t reject them or end the friendship yet. Try to relate with them and understand clingy friends psychology. This means you should at least learn what makes them clingy. 

There are several reasons why someone can be clingy. Some of them don’t intend to be suffocating or manipulating. They might not even know that they’re being clingy. 

Past experiences like trauma, abuse or absence of parental love can make a person clingy. Someone who hasn’t been loved their whole life might become obsessive when they find a friend that cares about them. 

They’ll hold on to the person with the hope of not losing them hence they may become clingy. That’s why you need to be patient with your clingy friends and let them know (gently) that they’re being a bit suffocating.

How to Not Be Clingy With Friends

How to Not Be Clingy With Friends

Insecurity is one of the root causes of a clingy attitude. Most people overwork themselves trying to find out how to not be clingy with friends and how to stop being clingy. 

Here’s a fact: it’s not as difficult as you think. You need to work on your self confidence and stop feeling the need to be reassured by others. Once you’ve done that, the hardest part is gone.

Next, you need to keep yourself busy and be productive. Spend time doing other things so you wouldn’t have to interrupt your friends’ lives every time. Learn about friendship boundaries and respect them.

Final Thoughts on Clingy Friends

Friendship works best with balance. Balance means adequate time together and reasonable time apart. A healthy friendship lets each person grow independently even while doing other things together. 

When one person becomes extremely possessive, the balance tips and the friendship becomes tiring. Always talk to your clingy friends and say how you feel about things so that you won’t suffer in silence.

More helpful advice:

Sara Dylan

Author Information

Sara Dylan is passionate about researching and writing interesting articles to help people. Sara is a prolific writer at, and enjoys a nice cup of tea as much as the next person.