My wife has a friend who has lots of what Mrs. C calls “Cling-ons.” Cling-ons are people who have no friends and latch on to you if you are even the least bit nice to them.
Mrs. C had a few friends like this, but they have slipped by the wayside since she met her cranky old man.
I am Teflon to Cling-ons.
Sometimes when we visit with her friend we meet some of her friend’s Cling-ons. They are horrible people who talk only about themselves, usually about all their problems; illness, injury, bad kids, bad relationships, bad breath…they are simply horrible people. It becomes difficult to even have a conversation with Mrs. C’s friend because the Cling-ons constantly butt in.
Mrs. C cautions, “Be careful, if you are nice, they will cling on you!”
Once befriended, a Cling-on will not let go. They will call, they will visit, they will know every party that you attend, and they will be there.
Once befriended the only way to rid yourself of a Cling-on is you have to be mean to the Cling-on. You can’t be mean just once, no it is not that easy, you have to be very mean and consistently mean before a Cling-on will look for another host to share their misery.
Losing a Cling-on is not fun. Most people don’t like to be mean, but Cling-ons will not graciously accept anything else. They do not pickup on any signals that most people recognize as “This person probably does not want to be my friend.” A Cling-on gives you two choices. Be my friend and be miserable with me, or be so horribly mean that I will eventually move on. A Cling-on relies on guilt. You must ignore the guilt, be strong, and be mean.
I learned early about Cling-ons. The nature of my father’s job had us relocate every few years. I was the new kid at school every few years. Cling-ons sense new kids in school like a shark senses blood in the water. Perhaps this is where I developed my crankiness. Snarls and frowns to a Cling-on are like garlic to a vampire.
Because of this, I am slow to be friendly. I have to size a person up before I can open up.
I don’t have many friends, but of the few I do have, none are Cling-ons.