How To Deal With High Maintenance Friends: Tips And Tricks

Do you have a friend who constantly demands your attention, time, and resources? Do they expect you to drop everything for them at the slightest inconvenience? If so, you may be dealing with a high-maintenance friend.

While it’s important to support our friends through thick and thin, it can become exhausting when their needs consistently take priority over our own.

In this article, we’ll explore some tips and tricks on how to deal with high-maintenance friends without sacrificing your own well-being or putting strain on the friendship.

Understanding High Maintenance Friendships

Navigating high-maintenance friendships can be challenging, and it’s important to first understand what exactly makes a friend high maintenance.

These types of friends tend to require constant attention and validation, often creating drama or draining the energy out of those around them.

They may also exhibit traits such as being self-centered or needy, and can sometimes even fall into the category of ‘energy vampires.’

It’s crucial for individuals in these relationships to set boundaries and recognize when they are being taken advantage of.

Toxic relationships should always be avoided, but with some relationship advice and the willingness to communicate effectively, it is possible to maintain a healthy friendship with a high-maintenance friend without sacrificing one’s own well-being.

Identifying High-Maintenance Friends In Your Life

Making excuses: High-maintenance friends often make excuses for their behavior, or brush it off as if it’s no big deal.

Inconsistent communication: They don’t always respond when you reach out and can be difficult to get a hold of.

Demanding attention: High-maintenance friends expect you to drop whatever you’re doing to attend to them and can get upset if you don’t.


This kind of behavior can be draining and it’s important to know how to handle it.

Making Excuses

Do you have a friend who always seems to be demanding your time and attention, leaving you feeling drained? If so, you may have a high-maintenance friend on your hands.

It’s important to set boundaries with these types of friends in order to maintain your own mental health and well-being.

Making excuses for their behavior only enables them to continue their drama-filled ways. Instead, try being honest about how their demands make you feel and explain that while you value their friendship, you need some space.

Remember that it’s not selfish to prioritize your own needs and happiness when dealing with high-maintenance friends.

Inconsistent Communication

As a freelance writer who specializes in personal relationships, it’s important to identify the traits of high-maintenance friends that can negatively impact our lives.

One such trait is inconsistent communication, which can be frustrating and emotionally draining for those trying to maintain a friendship with these individuals.

High-maintenance friends may demand constant attention and validation one day, only to disappear or ignore you the next. This type of behavior can make it difficult to set boundaries and establish healthy communication patterns.

It’s important to practice assertiveness when dealing with these types of friendships by expressing your needs and expectations around consistent communication. By doing so, you will create clear standards that help prevent drama-filled situations from arising while maintaining a healthier relationship dynamic overall.

Demanding Attention

Now that we’ve talked about inconsistent communication, let’s dive into another trait of high-maintenance friends: demanding attention.

These individuals have a way of making themselves the center of your universe, and it can be exhausting to keep up with their constant need for validation and reassurance.

They may expect you to drop everything at a moment’s notice to tend to their needs, leaving little room for your own priorities or self-care.

Being in a friendship like this can cause anxiety and make you feel like you’re always on edge, waiting for the next crisis to arise.

It’s important to remind yourself that you are not obligated to cater to the whims of energy vampires who drain your emotional resources.

Instead, establish clear boundaries around how much time and energy you’re willing to invest in these relationships, and prioritize your own well-being above all else.

Take time to decompress after spending time with them, and don’t hesitate to say no when necessary.

By recognizing these patterns and taking steps to protect yourself from being sucked into unhealthy dynamics, you can create healthier friendships that leave you feeling fulfilled rather than drained.

Setting Boundaries With High Maintenance Friends

It can be hard to say no to high-maintenance friends when you want to stay in their good graces, but setting boundaries is key.

Saying ‘yes’ to yourself first is essential, so don’t be afraid to take a step back if your friend is asking too much of you.

It’s important to recognize when you need a break and to communicate your needs to your high-maintenance friends in a respectful way.

This will help you establish healthy limits and create a healthier relationship between you and your high-maintenance friend.

Saying No

Dealing with high-maintenance friends can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to setting boundaries and saying no.

These energy vampires tend to drain our time, emotions, and resources, leaving us feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.

However, it’s crucial to prioritize your own needs and establish clear boundaries and expectations in these relationships.

Saying no doesn’t mean you’re being selfish or unkind; rather, it’s a way of protecting yourself from burnout and maintaining healthy coping strategies.

Remember that high-maintenance friends aren’t entitled to your time or attention 24/7, so don’t hesitate to set realistic limits on how often you communicate or hang out.

By doing so, you’ll free up more mental space and energy for the people who truly matter in your life.

Saying Yes To Yourself

As a freelance writer, I’ve encountered many people who struggle with setting boundaries with their high-maintenance friends. It’s understandable; we all want to be good friends and help those in need. But sometimes, the burden becomes too much to bear, and our own needs get neglected.

High-maintenance individuals always need something from us, whether it’s time, attention or resources. And while it’s important to support those we care about, we shouldn’t do so at the expense of our well-being.

Saying yes to yourself means recognizing when you need to let go of certain relationships or limit your involvement in them. This might seem selfish or unkind, but self-care is crucial for maintaining healthy relationships and avoiding burnout that can affect many people around us.

So don’t hesitate to set realistic limits on what you’re willing to give and take in these friendships. The result will be more energy and space for the people who truly matter in your life.

Managing The Drama Of High-Maintenance Friendships

High-maintenance friendships can often come with a lot of drama, stress, and emotional exhaustion. It’s important to remember that while we may care deeply for our high-maintenance friends, it’s not our job to fix their problems or constantly cater to their needs at the expense of our own mental and emotional well-being.

One way to manage these relationships is by setting clear emotional boundaries and communicating them in a calm and respectful manner. It’s also helpful to recognize when we need to take a step back from these types of friendships and prioritize self-care.

Seeking support from one friend or family member who understands the situation can be beneficial as well as seeking professional help from a psychotherapist like Mary Jo Rapini if there are underlying abandonment issues involved.

Energy management is also key in dealing with high-maintenance people – make sure you’re taking breaks, practising mindfulness techniques, and engaging in activities that bring you joy outside of the friendship.


Practice energy management by being mindful of how much time and energy you’re investing in the friendship, and make sure to take breaks and recharge when needed.

It’s important to remember that you are not responsible for meeting all of the high-maintenance person’s needs and that it’s okay to say no or set limits on what you’re willing to do.

Prioritizing Your Wellbeing In High Maintenance Friendships

Do you feel like a personal assistant rather than a friend to the high-maintenance person in your life? Are they always demanding attention, time, and energy from you?

It can be challenging to deal with such individuals who always need something but never seem satisfied. However, it’s essential to prioritize your well-being in these relationships.

You can’t change the behavior of high-maintenance people, but you can control how much you enable them. If you’re too busy or have an important task at hand, politely decline their requests instead of sacrificing your own needs.

Toxic relationships can take a toll on your mental health, so set boundaries that respect yourself and avoid burnout. Remember that self-care isn’t selfish; it’s necessary for maintaining healthy friendships.

Ending High Maintenance Friendships

Dealing with high-maintenance people can be a daunting and overwhelming task. However, sometimes the best course of action is to end these unhealthy friendships altogether.

It’s important to approach the situation with empathy and understanding, but also recognize that you deserve healthy relationships in your life. If you find yourself constantly feeling drained or weighed down by the underlying abandonment issues or constant need for attention from this person, it may be time to let go.

Practice decompressing after interactions with them and remind yourself that it’s not your responsibility to fix their problems or carry the burden of their emotional needs. Ending high-maintenance friendships can feel difficult, but ultimately it allows space for healthier connections and a more balanced life.

Building Healthy Friendships Going Forward

Imagine a garden. High-maintenance plants require constant attention, extra water, and special care to keep them healthy. Meanwhile, low-maintenance plants thrive with minimal effort and still bring beauty to the space.

In relationships, it’s important to recognize which friends are high-maintenance and which are not. While it’s okay to have some high-maintenance people in your life, too many can drain you of time and energy that could be better spent on personal growth or supporting those who reciprocate the same level of effort in interpersonal communication.

Building healthy friendships going forward means being intentional about creating a support system of individuals who add value without excessive demands on others’ time management or emotional resources. By cultivating these healthy relationships, you’ll find yourself more fulfilled and able to give back to those around you.


Dealing with high-maintenance friends can be a challenge, but it’s important to prioritize your own well-being in these relationships.

By setting boundaries and managing the drama that often comes with high-maintenance friendships, you can maintain a healthy balance in your social life.

Remember, while it may be tempting to stay in these relationships out of guilt or obligation, it’s okay to let go of toxic friendships.

Don’t be afraid to end high-maintenance friendships if they are causing you more harm than good. You deserve positive and fulfilling relationships in your life.

Overall, navigating high-maintenance friendships requires patience and self-awareness.

With these tips and tricks, you can build healthier friendships going forward and enjoy the benefits of positive social connections without sacrificing your mental health.

So don’t let those needy friends bring you down – take charge and live your best life!

FAQs | High Maintenance Friends

  1. What does it mean to have a high-maintenance friend?

    Having a high-maintenance friend means having a friend who requires a lot of attention and effort in order to maintain the friendship. This can include frequent communication, and constant validation, and often comes with a lot of demands.

  2. How do I know if my friend is high maintenance?

    It can be easy to identify a high-maintenance friend by paying attention to how much effort and energy you are putting into the friendship compared to what you are receiving in return. If you find that you are constantly meeting their demands and it’s taking a toll on your emotional well-being, they may be high maintenance.

  3. How do I set boundaries with a high-maintenance friend?

    It’s important to communicate clearly with your high maintenance friend and let them know what you are and are not comfortable with. This can include setting limits on how often you see them, how much time you spend with them, and how often you communicate.

  4. What if my high-maintenance friend won’t respect the boundaries I set?

    If your friend won’t respect your boundaries despite your efforts to communicate with them, it may be time to reassess the friendship and consider if it’s worth maintaining.

  5. How can I let the burden of my high-maintenance friend go?

    Recognizing that you are not responsible for meeting all of your friend’s demands is an important step in letting go of this burden. It’s also important to prioritize your own needs and make sure you are not sacrificing your well-being for the sake of the friendship.

  6. What should I do if I could do without my high-maintenance friend?

    It’s okay to acknowledge that a friendship may not be working for you and that it may be time to move on. It’s important to communicate your feelings and needs in a respectful way and take steps to disengage from the friendship if necessary.

  7. What if I don’t want to completely end the friendship, but need some space?

    It’s okay to take a step back from the friendship and communicate that you need some space. This can include having less frequent communication or seeing each other less often.

  8. How can I say “no” to my high-maintenance friend when I’m busy?

    It’s important, to be honest with your friend and explain that you are busy and unable to meet their demands at this time. Saying something like “I’m sorry, I can’t right now” or “Here’s when I’m available” can be helpful in establishing boundaries.

  9. What if my high-maintenance friend frequently complains about their problems?

    It’s important to listen and be supportive, but it’s also okay to set limits on the amount of time you spend discussing their problems. You can let them know that you are there for them, but that you need to take care of your own emotional well-being as well.

  10. How can I deal with an energy vampire friend?

    Energy vampires always need validation and attention, so it’s important to set boundaries and limit the time you spend with them. It can also be helpful to enlist the support of someone else, like a tag team partner, to help with the burden.

  11. Why is setting boundaries important in high-maintenance friendships?

    Setting boundaries is especially important in high-maintenance friendships because the burden of this person can fall solely on your shoulders. By setting boundaries, you are communicating your needs and taking steps to prioritize your own well-being. Setting boundaries is especially important in high-maintenance friendships because the burden of this person can fall solely on your shoulders. By setting boundaries, you are communicating your needs and taking steps to prioritize your own well-being.

Meryl Roberts

Meryl Roberts

Meryl is a relationship, parenting, yoga, and mental wellness specialist with 13 years of experience in the Bay Area. She has helped countless people improve their relationships and mental health through yoga, meditation, and other holistic methods. She is highly passionate about her work, and strongly believes that a healthy mind and body are essential to a happy life.