You know those people who always seem too nice and enthusiastic? Well, everyone has come across them at some point in their lives and if you haven’t then I have to say that you must be one of those. Now, I am not being judgmental or harsh here, it’s just that overfriendliness can sometimes be a problem and result in the other person becoming uncomfortable.
A number of people mistake overfriendliness for politeness or they just think that it’s being nice while the effect their behavior can have might be quite the opposite. In social gatherings, co-workers, acquaintances and even strangers may get irritated by a person who is overly friendly. If you are wondering whether you are one of those overfriendly people or whether you have them in your social circle, well, you can find this out quite easily.
It’s not someone who smiles frequently or greets you politely when you meet them, but it’s probably the person who is always laughing at the smallest jokes, is enthusiastic upon meeting anyone and agrees on everything. Now, you may be thinking that this sounds like the nicest person in the world, but when you really consider, is this someone you want in your life or be friends with?
This kind of behavior can become irritating and superficial very quickly. It can also make people suspicious as to why this particular person is being so friendly. You can argue that only pessimistic people would think this way but you would be surprised to know that when someone you do not know that closely is being overfriendly with you, they can provoke such a reaction.
Usually, there’s no avoiding such a person; they can be in your workplace, extended family or a part of your social interactions. When faced with such people, you may find it quite difficult to slip out of the meeting or end the conversation because an overfriendly person is an expert in small talk. They can keep you engaged either by constantly praising you, your job, friends and family, or focus the discussion on you in a way that you will find it rude to simply walk away.
While the trick to dealing with overfriendly people is to avoid them for as long as possible and then leave before they can corner you but sometimes it can just become impossible.
Here are some tips and tricks you can use to turn an overfriendly person down gently.
- As soon as you see this person coming your way, get busy in your phone. Pretend you are calling someone or actually call up a friend and begin talking to them. Chances are that an overfriendly will not engage with you then and look for somebody else. This will help you avoid overfriendly people without making things awkward!
- Be compassionate but firm. You can listen to them, help them and talk about their problems as well, but do let them know that you are not their 4 a.m. friend. Politely tell the person that you are only available for them at a certain time and nothing beyond that.
- Headphones can be your best friend when it comes to avoiding overfriendly people. Just put your headphones in and tune everything out. Pick up your phone or your computer and look very interested in what you are watching.
- Try finding your friend at social events. It really helps if you have someone with you when you are caught up in a conversation with an overfriendly person. Your friend could be your excuse to get out of it and leave. Sometimes, you may even completely avoid them if they see you are already engaged with another person.
- Fake a work emergency. When you pretend that you are busy with work and have something that needs to be done as soon as possible, then an overfriendly person will probably move away.
- Keep on rescheduling. If you find yourself cornered by overfriendly people and they want to chat with you, tell them you are in a hurry and reschedule the meeting for later. You can try this a few times after which you will have to think of something else!
- Lastly, if all else fails, just confront the overfriendly person and speak to them gently about how their behavior is making you uncomfortable. Be respectful but honest and clearly communicate your feelings to the other person.