Joanna asks :

Hi Lucy, 

Help! My very needy friend has moved too close to where I live. 20 doors down to be exact! Now a single mum of 2 after leaving her husband because she was bored, my friend decided to move down the road. Now she invades my privacy, and has asked for help with baby sitting and fixing of things at least once a week. It's like we are her port of call for everything! I'm starting to resent her. What should I do?


Hi Joanna,

Agony Aunts on Female First

Agony Aunts on Female First

Perhaps it's time to sit down with her and tell her that it's all become too much for you and you don't want it to affect your friendship. You could talk about how often you saw each other before and ask if she will go back to old ways if you value your space and privacy.

If you are willing to help her out but to a lesser degree, then you may need to be more specific- such as babysitting for her once a month rather than weekly or giving her the number for your local handyman/babysitter so she doesn't rely on you to help her with every little thing.

It sounds like she is going through a hard time right now, so she may be leaning on you more than she normally would. In time, her reliance on you might reduce as she becomes settled into her new routine and home life. If you are willing to wait, then things may change and her visits might become less frequent.

Or she may fall into the habit of calling on you. If you set some ground rules now, then she may get the message that you can't be her only support and all the time. You both have your own lives to live. If she leans on you too much then she may never gain a sense of independence again.

It might just be a matter of being firm but fair with her and make it known that you are her friend and are willing to be there for her, but there are limits as you have family and responsibilities to think about too.

If not, she may become too dependent on you which could hinder her progress as she transitions back into single life.

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