How to Avoid a Stage 5 Clinger

There seems to be a few different interpretations of the definition of a “Stage 5 Clinger.” For the purposes of this article, we’ll define it as a person who gets just a little too attached to someone else, boy or girl, in a creepy sort of way. To understand the origin of the term, it may be time to watch Wedding Crashers with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson again.

All of us at one point or another might find ourselves in the awkward situation where we have somehow picked up an unwanted friend. We don’t mean for it to happen. It could be that we were just a little too polite or friendly. We gave them a courtesy laugh at a joke they told that wasn’t funny, or we just happened to be the last person in the room, left alone with the clinger. We had no idea that our years of practicing the Golden Rule was going to somehow come back and haunt us.

Once you’ve picked up a Stage 5 Clinger, it can be a pretty tough job getting rid of them, especially when you’re most likely going to have to resort to tactics that go against the grain of your “nice-guy” grooming. In most cases, it’s easier to learn how to avoid clingers in the first place. However, this can be tricky as most of us are unaware that we have a clinger until it’s too late!

To help, here are a few signs to watch for:

  • Too Much Self-Deprecation

If you find yourself with someone who is constantly talking about all of his or her flaws and shortcomings, beware! This is a common sign of a potential clinger. The next step is them wanting to rely on you as the answer to their problems. That’s when you’ve got troubles.

  • Too Much Texting

Take a strong look at the texting ration between you and the suspected Stage 5 Clinger. Are they responding to your one sentence text with a paragraph? Count up the number of texts between you and the person over the last few days. If their text messages are twice as many as yours, watch out!

  • Showing Up Where You Are Without an Invite

You finally break down after several texts and tell your stalker where you’re going tonight to hang out with your friends only to have them show up at the same place. Now things are moving from a general “creepy” status to more of a “psycho” stage.

One of the best things you can do to avoid a creepy friendship with someone who is just too clingy is to be as upfront and honest as possible. This may seem rude and harsh, but unfortunately, it is the only way to get your message across. Steer clear of personal disparaging remarks – they might make things worse for you.

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