Being clingy, its implications, and possible remedies

For as long as I could remember, I have clung very strongly to people and often with less repercussions, things. Originally, I did not want to admit it, because I did not see it, but unfortunately it was true. People would see me as very clingy (or of more painful memories, sometimes I’d be referred to as a “stalker”) by the way I spoke to them, by the way I acted with them, and all else that was displayed by my presence. I never intended to hurt anyone, nor do I think I did, but I have no doubt in my mind that I unsettled everybody I was around. This being my first post, I should note that there are multiple reasons for this, but this article will focus on my characterization as clingy and may help the reader remedy his/her situation through a view of another individual (me) at least on the relatively far side of the clingy spectrum from an external, third-person perspective. Here, I will present a psychoanalysis providing the basis for what may have been causing the actions which induced the aforementioned characterization by others, describe the concrete actions which had been made themselves, and review techniques developed and attempted to abate such characterizations by others.

Firstly, I have always been a very curious person. Very curious indeed, such that I take a pervasive interest in science and mathematics, but this can apply just as heavily for fields such as art and literature as well. This would extend to people too, and when I would take interest in someone, I would ask them questions. I saw nothing wrong with this, logically nor intuitively, so I would often ask questions such as “What do you do when you get home?”, “What are your hobbies?”, and other similar, apparently somewhat unnerving questions. I would always be wondering. It should be noted that I am affected with an obvious case of Obsessive-Compulsive disorder whose arms I believe extrapolate to my social interactions and concerns about others, thus much of my behavior is dictated by subconscious bouts of the OCD and though some of these cases may be a bit extreme, the remedies to be proposed here should apply and be significantly easier to implement for anyone who takes even significantly more mild actions hinting as clingy. So, to explicitly state why such curiosities are taken as signs of one being clingy (or even creepy), many people are not fond of completely general or very particular questions pertaining to their personal affairs. That is, decreasing the order of generalization so minutely so as to add a time range and just a very general category, “Are you doing anything interesting this weekend?”, or increasing it so as to broaden the time range or category, will serve as a more pleasant inquiry than any of those stated earlier.

Another factor is my persistent but idealistic expectation of instant gratification after messaging someone. I would message someone, often just saying “hello” as a greeting, and would sit with such excitement for the impending response that time felt as though it began to speed up. After 30 seconds or so, which may have felt like five minutes to me, I’d send what might be an expected continuation of my greeting, “How’re you”. After that, maybe two or three minutes after the initiation of the at-that-point one sided conversation, I’d send over a question mark, usually hoping for the other to interpret it as a correction of grammar on my part via the inclusion of a punctuation mark. This would go on until I’d sent maybe five or even more frivolous messages, and by the time they would have allocated some seconds to responding to my contact, they would have been dissuaded by what may appear to be spam and classify you as clingy, and it would of course remain a one sided conversation. As I am aware that this is not an uncommon trait of some people, I would like to note that I do not advocate for the rationale of the other side whatsoever, but I have found that it is imperative in realms such as society that any stubbornness be withheld and certain procedures be followed in order to progress productively in ones life, namely on an emotional level. The recommended alteration here would be to send the initial message, and more only if absolutely necessary due to some later development, and wait for a response. If there is no response for an extended period of time (a day or more), the likely circumstance is that the one(s) whom you are trying to contact does not want to speak to you, or they haven’t seen your message due to inactivity on the device/service or the lack of notification of your contact.

A deeper and more defining root of a clingy personality, which may well be that of many people, is loneliness. Some may feel patronized by the preceding sentence, but I urge to read on even if you are not plagued by a blatant loneliness, as one can draw direct analogs to other forms of emptiness they may be experiencing. I myself am and have always been lonely, and so I have always striven to fill the metaphorical hole in my heart with whatever and whoever I can. Sometimes individuals would arise, usually just individuals, whom I would subconsciously select as the perfect bridges to reconnect my chasms. In turn, I would always enjoy being around and speaking with them; I would feel complete. Always looking for any opportunity to be with them or contact them, I became very clingy, and eventually they would notice and respond in some usually negative way. Though these people were so important to me, and I would never wish for or intend to do anything but good upon them, they seemed to express the worst responses. Of course, this would cause a deep turmoil in me and I would either continue attempting to interact with them or slump away until I’d located another, and until then I would always retain the emptiness. In loneliness and its manifestation as the strong need for interpersonal fulfillment from some certain individual(s), the methods of resurgence seem limited to just that, but they are not. It is possible, but can be extremely difficult, to find fulfillment within ourselves rather than within others, and is a considerably more efficient approach than the reliance on another most probably untrustworthy individual, however cynical that may sound.

I’ve written this article of advice and anecdotes in order to assist others; those who may be falling into the trap of a conspicuously clingy personality or those who may be attempting to escape it. As for me, I have been in terms with my character and have found fulfillment in myself (for the most part), though I do not consistently follow the remedies I have proposed above. Unfortunately the methods stated earlier contradict my ethic and I am bound to such a personality, but I do hope that they may yield successful with any others who try.

Here’s an article pertaining to the strive to fill our gaps that had helped me recently: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/learning-to-stop-clinging-to-people-and-know-that-you-are-loved/

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