How to Deal With Friends Who Are Emotionally Irritating

We all have friends that, despite how much we love them, can still get under our skin like no one else. Here's how to cope.


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    Decide just how emotionally irritating this person is, and if you're truly willing to accept them as they are. If you're ticked off because they don't clean up after themselves or still haven't paid you back for last weekend's dinner-out, you can probably handle that. If they are truly wearing you down and you feel your friendship is entirely one-sided, ask yourself if maintaining a relationship is worth it. Being a loyal friend is invaluable, but you must not put yourself in any position that compromises your emotional health and stability. One-sided relationships always, always crash and burn. Take an honest look at how this person makes you feel, and if you realize they're not good for you, it's always best to cut it off as early as possible.
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    If you've decided this relationship can continue, give yourself breathing room. There's nothing worse than spending incessant time with a friend or family member that makes you want to rip your hair out. Tell your aggravating friend that you value your alone time. If they care about you they'll respect that.
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    Focus on the good stuff. If you have a friend who ALWAYS talks about herself, her plans for the future, her fiancé, her childhood, what she ate for lunch... She often repeats the same stories over, and over, and over, and over. Try to think of the all the times she's surprised you with Starbucks or called you to wish you a good morning when she knew you were having a rough time and you know she's your best friend for a very good reason.
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    Communicate! What a brilliant idea! Say, "Hey, it would really help if you'd drive this time. I tend to spend a lot of money on gas when we're together." Chances are, they don't realize what their irritating quirks are, or they do recognize them and just don't know how to fix them. This may even open a conversation about what annoys them about you. Give them a gentle heads up and watch how swiftly their behavior improves. However, if it doesn't improve, talk to them once more. If your situation stays just as unbearable, time to hit the road. You can do better.
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    Be mindful of balance. If your friend didn't acknowledge your birthday for the past three years, don't go all out on theirs with a huge surprise party, fancy dinner, and expensive present. You'll just be more disappointed when the next year rolls around and they give you a pair of socks. Basically, don't go out of your way if you know they'd never go out of theirs.
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    Put yourself in their shoes. What is the underlying reason for their irksome habits? You don't necessarily need to bust out your old college psychology text book--though you could come up with some interesting theories--but just think about their life. Let's say the aforementioned friend has a very overbearing mother. A Stage Mom to the max, if you will. Perhaps your friend's mother is constantly poking and prodding her about her weight, her hair, and if she's being social enough. Maybe she talks about herself so much because it's nice to have someone finally listen to her and how she feels. Understanding your friend's situation can make it easier for you to cope with her resulting behavior.
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    Be a friend to yourself. So cheesy but so helpful. Don't let yourself get walked all over! Learn how to say no. It's such an empowering feeling. Remember, no one has control over your actions but you. Know your limit. Give yourself time and space. Stand up for yourself when necessary.
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    Opt for littler ways to be a friend. Send a "thinking of you and hoping you're having a good day!" text rather than buying dinner every night. Your needy friend will feel affection from you and may lighten up on pressuring you to buy dinner or take them to a movie.


  • A friendship is just to Give and adjust the emotion till a certain point. The moment it gets established that you are feeling irritated, keep an emotional distance. Better Practiced than said.
  • If you're friend is a bully, you have to realize that they weren't really true friends at all. This can be hard to get over.
  • If you friend is offending you either ignore them and don't let it affect you or confront them about this.


  • Many times relationships that are emotionally wearing can lead to depression. Pay close attention to yourself (your emotions and behaviors) when you're with this friend. Unhappiness should be a minority, not majority, of what you feel when you're with a friend. Oftentimes we hold out in one-sided relationships because we're hoping for our friend to finally come through for us, but they rarely do. And when they do, we hold on to that memory too tightly and excuse away any other pain they've caused. Be honest with yourself! Is this person worth your effort? You're a wonderful and special person and 100% deserve to feel appreciated. Why put yourself out for someone who won't do the same?

Things You'll Need

  • Alone time - to think about everything..

Article Info

Categories: Friendship Problems