Boundaries with a friend

I have a good friend who is basically addicted to texting. I've explained to him that I'm not glued to my phone and his 5-10 texts per day asking "whatcha doing" and "can you chat" are too much and stressful for me. We've actually had the conversation a couple times. He continues to do it. I'm not sure if it's an issue of his knowing better but doing it anyway or and issue to do with a disability he has (he's agreed to work on finding a therapist to help with his anxiety and such).
So far I've just been ignoring his texts when I don't feel like communicating, but he just continues to send his 5-10 texts per day, not decreasing the behavior at all. I want to stay friends with him - when we do stuff together in person we have a lot of fun.
Any ideas what else I can do to get him to listen about the texting? After we talk about it, he will be better for a day or two and then he is back to not respecting my boundaries about it!!!
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  • I think you should be very blunt about this. Tell him how his behavior is starting to affect you and you feel like you need your space. It gets annoying to speak with a person 24/7, especially if you do it just for the sake of it. Make sure that he knows you can't be friends with him anymore if this behavior continues, but at the same time try to not give him an ultimatum.
  • I think it's about to bring out the big guns, tell him to stop bugging you with the messages in the crudest,most blunt manner you can think of. Yes, there might be some hurt feelings after and your friendship may suffer, but you got to tell him to stop pressuring you. If he is really a friend, he will understand in due time and you can be friends again. I think it will also help if you erase his name from your phonebook.
  • It's a pity you can't block texts from certain phone numbers. Or can you? I know you can block calls from specific numbers but as far as I am aware, it can't be done with texts. All I can suggest is that you just put your phone on silent and ignore his texts. He'll soon get the message (pun not intended).
  • hey there. thanks for sharing.  you can simply ignore them and i think over time he would get bored with it and reduce them or stop all together. if you don't want to just cut him out of your life, that's what i would do....
  • I could block his number (and eventually blocking his number for a certain amount of time IS on my list of options). We had another talk last night and I've seen again his texting issues have a lot to do with his anxiety.
  • I'm with you on not having my phone in my hand or on me at all times. I will leave my phone on a table in the living room. I will come back to it, and in a matter of 30 minutes have missed calls, and text. I find this very annoying as well so I know how you must feel.

    I think you should tell your friend this is really starting to impact you in a stressful way.If it continues you'll have to distance yourself from them. You've ask nicely with no lasting results now you are demanding some restraint from your friend or risk being cut off all together.


  • I have been through a sort of a similar situation before. However, it was not all about her excessive texting. It was more of her clinginess to me. It felt so horrible. It was like I was not allowed to have any friends other than her. It was a pretty toxic friendship, and I felt relieved when we have already parted ways.

    Anyway, I think you should be straightforward about this issue and tell him you have a life and can't be available to speak to him 24/7. Just try to encourage him to verge into other hobbies and activities that would make him more productive.

  • To be honest I have a couple of friends like that and they are constantly glued to their phone. Instead of actually ringing the person or meeting them face to face they get involved in long text conversations that can last most of the day.

    When they message me they know that I'll reply when I get the chance. Even if I see it and I'm busy I'll reply later, and I'm certainly not going to drop what I'm doing just so I can reply straight away.
  • That sounds annoying. Does he do this just with you or with other friends too?Maybe you should give him rules, like "Don't text unless you have important news/problem, you want to meet or there is an emergency of some kind." Maybe for him, 5-10 is a reasonable amount and he still does not see the problem, even if you've had the conversation before!
  • Try talk to him about this again, and if he doesn't stop just don't answer his texts when you don't feel like communicating, I guess that he will progressively understand that you're talking seriously and that he needs to change this attitude, a relationship involves two people, not just one.
  • I've had friends like this and I don't think they ever learn until they just get over the behavior. After a while most of them kind of left the phase thankfully and I didn't have to confront them for it, but I do understand how annoying it can get. In my opinion, this type of behavior which I think can be defined as being clingy or needy is rooted in insecurity so maybe if you guys can find out where that comes from you can find a more long lasting solution instead of just doing patchwork.
  • So many people are glued to their phone screens, practically living in their own little isolated bubble, and it's actually a very addictive and habitual behavior. I am sure there will be a lot of buzz around "social media" "texting" etc. addiction in the near future. 
  • I think you should just ignore his texts, I mean what's the damage in it?  None really, if he is not getting upset about it or anything neither should you.  Sometimes I am texted by a friend or 2 or 3 and I just don't feel like talking.  I simply ignore said texts and reply later when I really feel like talking.  As simple as that, no one is harmed this way :P 
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