• Mon, Aug 30 2010

How To Deal With Overly Flirtatious Friends

We all have that one friend — the chick who needs the attention of every man (and woman) in the room, gets progressively more aggressive the more she drinks, and who often flirts so unabashedly that it becomes uncomfortable for those around her.

Often, this friend is completely unaware of how she appears — she has no idea that her blatant grabs at attention are completely transparent, and that when she insists that she is “just being friendly!” no one buys it.

While the flirtatiousness might be tolerable most of the time, this type of friend will almost inevitably cross a line. She’ll flirt with someone’s S.O., or do everything she can to draw attention back to herself at someone’s birthday, or try to win over someone’s ex. In other words, she’s a drama bomb waiting to explode, and you will need to know how to handle it once she does (that is, if you want to keep being her friend).

Make sure it’s a habit before you address it. We’ve all had one — or even two — nights when we’ve behaved this way. Before you go pouncing down someone’s throat over stealing the limelight, make sure it wasn’t just a one-time deal that she will be really embarrassed about the next day and even more so if you bring it up.

Don’t address it mid-behavior. That is, unless you are on one of the “Real Housewives” franchises. In that case, definitely address it mid-behavior — that makes for great television (but it doesn’t make for great real life, or great friendships, so hold off until she’s sober/in a different situation/not armed with a beer bottle).

Say it nicely, and in private. This isn’t the time to stage an intervention with you and ten of her closest friends and family members. Simply tell her — nicely — that you thought she crossed a line, and why. She will probably play dumb — women like this are notorious for never admitting that they know what they’re doing — and she may or may not apologize. But there’s no need to belabor the point — make it, discuss it, and move on.

Pointing her behavior out once should be enough to stem the tide in the future. If it doesn’t, that tells you that she values the attention she gets from flirting more than she cares about your feelings — and it might be time, then, to reassess how good of a friend she actually is.

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