Sunday, November 2, 2008

6 - 'Clinginess'

You know who I'm talking about, right?

I'm talking about the clingy type. They constantly ask to hear about your opinions and your life. They follow you everywhere you go like a puppy. They tell you about their life because they think you care about them enough to listen. They find every opportunity to talk to you at school or at work. They try to sit next to you when you're at the movies or when you're eating in a restaurant and worse yet, they calculatingly forbid others from taking 'their' place. Even in the privacy of your own home, they call you up, they text you, they talk to you online, they comment on your blogs, they come over in the morning, just to be with you, just to talk to you, just to live alongside you.

I'm talking about the clingers.

So, the inspiration behind today's thoughts. On Halloween night, I went out with a few friends of mine to have a few drinks and a bit of dance.
Within our little group of friends was one girl and five guys, one of the guys of which was the girl's boyfriend. He wasn't much of a dancer, probably insecure for whatever reason, and he stood there, stiff as a rock, while the loud music played. I asked him if he'd like to go have a drink with me at the bar if he wasn't going to dance with us, but he said he was going to stay with his girlfriend. And I just found it really weird. He was a clinger.

I've known several couples in my time, and there's always a few couples where either one of the partners is clingy. I can also think of a clingy friend or two, and I can sadly say that I know I have been clingy on many occasions. While it's very kind and affectionate to get so attached to someone so deeply, one still needs to find the balance between treasuring a relationship and over-treasuring it.

The brutal truth is, it's only annoying when the feeling isn't mutual; when one starts to cling on to the other with a significantly greater intensity. My most loyal friends and I, I reckon, have formed a variety of different systems that work for us, in order for us to interact smoothly and avoid the least arguments. Even though I am deeply satisfied (and incredibly fortunate) having them to brighten up my world, I at least try to keep an open mind toward those that try to lay the brickwork for a new and friendly road into my heart. I try to look at the good side of people (that's irony for you on this blog) and I find that bonding with other humans is the most humane thing people do in the world (as I am, again, ironically trying to do with you, using this blog).

In my experience, however, I have had a few clingers and it has been difficult rejecting them, not rejecting them per se, but just trying to incorporate my feelings of you're coming on a bit too strong into my everyday body language, by intertwining my arms across my chest to barricade myself from them, slouching as a sign of boredom and averting my gaze to demonstrate disinterest. It isn't easy telling them to take a step back and turn it down a notch using honest words, but I guess clingers are simply something we all have to deal with at some point in our lives, advisably in a friendly and humane manner for the sake of human compassion, or perhaps in fear of karma biting us in the ass.


Anonymous said...

it's always nice to feel loved and wanted but at the same time, people should realize that we all need our space sometimes. the more you are around someone, you usually tend to fight with them or get annoyed with them more often. I noticed this in living with my three room mates. we never fought before but now that we're around each other all the time and we do everything together, we have our moments when we just need to be alone and have time to breathe. what's annoying is that whenever I go in my room just to get away, they take it as I'm being depressed when really I'm fine. that's when you feel like telling them off but is there really any nice way to say that you want to get away from someone?

Upkaran Gupta said...

I know exactly what u mean, it is soooo annoying to be crowded in this fashion. The pity is u really like that person & want to be with them but cannot tell them so without hurting their feelings. For them their world revolves around ‘U’, for u they r an important part of ur life but not Life itself.

My way out of this is to involve myself in an activity (& let them know it loud & clear that this activity is imp to me & define who I am) that is gives me my space without hurting their feelings, i.e. reading up on a book sitting on the patio, color coordinating my closet, prepare a gourmet meal, etc…

J.J. in L.A. said...

I loved the last 10 words of this blog. lol!

Anonymous said...

Depends on your clingers and the reason for clinging. You will have seen on my blog Michael several of the kids in my "extended" I can walk around the neighbourhood with one or more of these puppies in tow. I don't mind in the least. Gabriel is the puppiest puppy, but he has a bad background and needs it, so I never push him away.


Anonymous said...

Sorry, that should have read "extended family".


Anonymous said...

hey, yeah. it's disturbing specially when your clinger is from the opposite sex.. people who don't know you get things in the wrong perspective. plus, it's a bit intimidating.. specially when you two are alone.

TheIslandoftheCathe said...

Where I grew up, we would call "clingers," "puppy-dogs." This lead to me always imagining clingers as the kind of dog that humps your leg when ever you see it. Obnoxious and gross; thus is the clinger. For a dog, sometimes it helps to kick them in the dingleberries if they try to hump your leg, either that, or get them neutered if they aren't already. This obviously only works for dogs.... or does it?