I'm currently in a situation at school where I have a friend who I have invited out several times in the past few weeks. He always tells me that he's too busy to go out with anyone at the moment.

However, I have found out recently that he often goes out frequently with other friends to do the very things I suggested doing- going out to restaurants, movies, going to each other's houses etc.

I have long suspected this person only pretends to like me since they never initiate contact unless they need something.

How would I best confront him to let him know I feel like this, without coming across as clingy?

  • I have been active on other StackExchange sites but I'm new to this one. From my POV the page "what type of questions ..." page does not clearly discourage these types of questions. On other SE sites I would not have answered, but here I read "using or understanding interpersonal interactions to resolve specific problems or prevent problems from occurring with a specific goal in mind." This is exactly, what the OP is doing here, isn't it? Apr 12, 2019 at 8:24
  • "You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face" - isn't that what is being done here? interpersonal.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask Apr 12, 2019 at 8:25
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    Hi SeanLewis! I gave your question a quick edit to remove the part about whether your friend likes you or not (that's something only he knows, and we can never know for sure as we only get one side of the story here), and the other about 'where to go from here' that was quite broad. Can you look at our good question guidelines, specifically the part about 'research effort' and add additional information on why you think you might come across as clingy?
    – Tinkeringbell
    Apr 12, 2019 at 8:34
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    And, on a second note: Can you add a tag which will give us an idea of the culture this is happening in? We have several location tags already, but if you need a new one, feel free to let us know. And this is also important: Do you have any goals you'd like to reach by confronting this person with this? E.g. stopping the 'pretending to like you when he needs something', making it clear that you won't help him anymore, or actually trying to get that moment of going out?
    – Tinkeringbell
    Apr 12, 2019 at 8:38

2 Answers 2


While the circumstance of him going out with others does strongly suggest what you are thinking (that he does not like you), I would probably not go so far to assume that as a fact. It does look like he prefers to spend his spare time with his other friends. There may be a number of reasons for that: It is more relaxing for him to spend his time in a group, he likes them more, he needs some time off from you or a number of other reasons one of them being, he does not like you.

What I find more relevant is the fact, that he only comes to you when he needs something. That is not a good basis for friendship.

I would also look for other clues, like how does he talk to me, what is the facial expression when he sees me, does he seem to enjoy himself in my presence. But, some people are just too polite so you cannot know for certain.

From what you wrote, I would probably not pursue this "friendship", unless the other person shows some genuine interest.

With a good friend, it should be possible to just ask what's going on (but that also depends on a number of things: the duration of the friendship, how comfortable you both are with being honest, the cultural setting) ...

Disclaimer: I am new in this community. This is my personal opinion based on my personal observations and experience.

  • Hi Sybille! With regards to your last sentence: We require answers that actually put those personal observations/experience black on white, see our citation expectations post, especially the part about citations for subjective answers. This meta answer provides a good example of how to do so, in short: Tell people what you did and how it turned out, instead of only telling people what you think they should do. Something to keep in mind for your next answer :)
    – Tinkeringbell
    Apr 12, 2019 at 8:26
  • My apologies. I will try to familiarize myself better with what is expected here. Apr 12, 2019 at 8:31
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    No need to apologize! IPS has a pretty steep learning curve, being such a subjective site. And we're still a beta site, so things like scope, help center pages and FAQ's are still under construction, and making things even a bit harder. You can always drop by in Interpersonal Skills Chat (The Awkward Silence) if you have any questions :)
    – Tinkeringbell
    Apr 12, 2019 at 8:41

First my two cents about this.

Honestly first try to steer away. If they come back and talk to you (asking why you aren't talking and not for some help) you know they actually care about your relationship then confront them, otherwise just let it go. Letting go might be hard depending on your relationship but nothing is worth losing your dignity, you deserve equal respect in any relationship. If they don't care and you still try to talk then your confrontation is actually being clingy.

Now I will answer to your direct question.

How would I best confront him to let him know I feel like this, without coming across as clingy?

You can talk to them next time they ask you for help. This way it's them reaching out to you not the other way around. Just tell them in a light manner how you feel. try no be emotional, if they act dubious giving lame reasons, getting angry etc.., move on. If not try to work it out in your own way.

I am a technical person and I do like to help a lot. So lot of people ask me for help and I do help them. But sometimes they try to get a long term advantage of me but don't want to be a real friend. So to identify them I did what I suggested you to try above. If you feel your case is not similar to mine please feel to ignore. Let me know how you handled it.


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