How to Respond When a Friend Always Wants to Hang Out (2023)

“My best friend always wants to hang out, and it’s too much for me! How can I let them know that they want too much of my time without hurting them?”

People differ in their needs and expectations of friendship. Some people want to hear from their friends on a daily basis, while others are fine with speaking and meeting up only occasionally.

Needing to turn down invitations can be just as difficult as being turned down by friends. After all, we don’t want to hurt our friends or have them think that we don’t like them. Here are some tips for handling situations when a friend wants to hang out more often than you do.

1. Give short explanations for why you’re not free

If you just turn down their invitations by saying “No” with no further explanation, your friend may be left wondering if they have done something to upset you.

Let them know that’s not the case by giving a brief explanation like, “I already have plans for today, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to see you. Let’s go for a walk next Tuesday. Are you free then?”

Telling your friend when you are free to meet up can help them understand that you still want to see them even when you need to turn them down.

2. Be honest about your need for time alone

If there’s an ongoing issue in your friendship where your friend keeps inviting you out, and you don’t feel like meeting up, it may help to have an honest conversation about what you need. This may be awkward, but it can be easier than repeatedly turning them down.

For example:

(Video) How to tell someone who constantly asks you to hang out that you don't want to spend time with them

“It seems to me we have different needs on how much time to spend together. I need more time by myself, and I feel bad about turning you down. I want to be your friend, and I hope we can find a way to work this out.”

People need different amounts of alone time. Let your friend know that while you appreciate their desire to see you, you need to have some space.

Try not to make your friend defensive by blaming or judging them. Avoid saying things like:

  • “You’re too needy.”
  • “It’s annoying when you keep asking me to hang out even though you know I’m busy.”
  • “It’s not normal to spend so much time together.”
  • “I’m just more independent than you are.”

Remember that it’s OK to have different needs in relationships.

Being honest with friends isn’t always easy. Our guide on how to be honest with friends (with examples) may help.

3. Don’t leave your friend hanging

Respect your friend’s time. Don’t be wishy-washy and give “maybe”-type answers. Let your friend know where they stand. For example, don’t say, “Oh, I don’t know whether I’ll be free on Friday night. I might turn up if I can.”

4. Try setting a recurring time to meet

It may help to set aside a specific time to meet your friend. That way, they know when and where they will see you and don’t have to constantly ask.

“Hey, X. I thought it may be a good idea to set aside a time for us to have dinner and catch up once a week. That way, we don’t have to deal with all this back-and-forth and trying to set a time. What do you think? Is Monday evening good for you?”

(Video) Your Boyfriend Always Wants To Hang Out With His Friends

Make sure that you set up something that will be sustainable for you. Don’t commit to seeing each other three times a week if you suspect that will be too much for you.

5. Be prepared to uphold your boundaries

It’s important to be honest and kind to your friends. At the same time, you don’t have to over-explain yourself or sacrifice other plans. You should feel comfortable enough to say to your friends, “I don’t want to hang out today,” and have them accept that.

Your friend shouldn’t be pressuring you to hang out or do anything else you feel uncomfortable with. Learning how to say no is a valuable skill in relationships because it helps you set boundaries.

If you often feel as though you go along with what other people want because it’s hard for you to say “No,” our guide on what to do if you’re being treated like a doormat may help you to stand up for your needs.

6. Don’t take responsibility for others’ feelings

Sometimes, you will do everything right, and your friend may still end up feeling hurt, betrayed, jealous, or angry.

In these cases, it can help to remind yourself that other people’s feelings aren’t our responsibility. Our actions and words are our responsibility: we can always strive to be better.

(Video) Friends want to hang out but you can’t? Do this next.

But friendship is a two-way street. If your friend is upset that you aren’t available to meet with them as often as they’d like, that is an issue they need to deal with. The manner they deal with it is their responsibility, and as long as they don’t become hurtful to you by yelling or lashing out, they are free to choose how to manage their emotions.

It can be difficult to know you hurt someone that you care about. But you always have a right to say no, and other people have a right to their feelings about it.

7. Let your friend know you appreciate them

People tend to fall into particular dynamics in relationships. One common dynamic is a pursuer-withdrawer dynamic.[1] In such a dynamic, one side withdraws when they experience increased demands from the anxious or pursuer. In turn, the anxious pursuer becomes more anxious as they sense avoidance from the withdrawer.

An example of this in a friendship is when your friend messages you to hang out, and you don’t respond and say that you’re busy. This may bring up some anxiety in your friend, so they feel pushed to chase more: “What about tomorrow? Did I do something to upset you?” Their chasing feels overwhelming, so you withdraw even more, increasing their anxiety and chasing behavior.

It may help to communicate clearly with your friend while letting them know you value your friendship.

For example:

“I’m not avoiding you, I just need some more alone time and time to focus on my studies. I really value our time together and want us to be able to continue to hang out in a sustainable way.”

8. Push yourself to meet up sometimes

We may often find that once we’re home, we don’t want to go out again. We start to feel lazy or get caught up in something we’re doing. Going out doesn’t seem to be appealing.

However, it’s often the case that if we push ourselves to engage socially, we end up enjoying ourselves.

Part of maintaining friendships is spending time together, and some of us may need an extra push to do that.

(Video) Nosy friend who doesn't want to hang out with you

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t feel like you have to push yourself to spend time with friends all the time. If you spend a lot of time with them and it’s not enough for them, or if you find that you don’t enjoy spending time together, you may need another solution. Not all friendships can or should be saved. If you aren’t sure whether it’s time to back away from a friendship, our guide to spotting the signs of a toxic friendship may help.

You could suggest a compromise if you’d like to see your friend but don’t like the sound of their plans. For example, if they suggest hanging out all day and then having dinner and seeing a movie, you could say, “I need some time to recharge this weekend because work has been hectic, so I don’t have the energy to hang out all day. But I’d love to have dinner with you! Did you have a particular restaurant in mind?”

Common questions

Is it OK to not want to hang out with friends?

It’s OK not to want to hang out with friends all the time. There’s nothing wrong with wanting some time by yourself. However, if you never want to spend time with friends, it may be worth asking yourself if you enjoy the friendship or if there is something deeper going on like depression.

Is it normal to hang out with friends every day?

It’s normal to hang out with friends every day if that’s what you feel comfortable with. It’s also normal to have less frequent contact with friends. Some people prefer to spend more time on their own, while others desire a lot of social contact.

Why does my friend always want to hang out with me?

Your friend wants to hang out with you a lot because they enjoy spending time with you. They may also be insecure about spending time alone. They may fear losing your friendship if you don’t spend a certain amount of time together.

How many times a week should you hang out with friends?

You should spend as much time with friends as you all want to. During certain phases of our life, we may have more time and energy to spend with friends. Other times, we find ourselves busier or more in need of alone time. Check in with yourself to see how much time you want to spend hanging out.

(Video) My Boyfriend Always Wants To Hang Out With His Friends


How do you respond when someone asks to hang out? ›

Tell him, "I like you, but I want to get to know you better before I commit to a relationship. Let's hang out as friends and see what happens." If you want to say yes, but are not ready to have a relationship yet, you could say "I want to date you. I want to hold your hand.

How do you turn down a friend who wants to hang out? ›

If so, the best thing to do is to be honest. Explain that you'd love to spend time with them soon, but right now you're not feeling your best. Please don't feel guilty about this – being tired is a valid reason to politely decline an invitation. It can help if you suggest a future time to hang out, instead.

How do you deal with an overbearing friend? ›

Listen twice as much as you talk—really give your friend the gift of your time and full attention.” You might get some insight into why your friend has become so overbearing or passive-aggressive lately—and be able to empathize with it.

How do you say yes to hanging out? ›

To say yes when a guy asks you out, keep it simple but positive so it's clear what you mean. For example, say something like, “Yes, I would love to,” or “Of course. That would be lovely.” Don't worry about having the perfect response, since he'll be happy enough that you said yes.

How do you say no when a guy asks to hang out? ›

The solution: Be straightforward.

Here's what you need to say: "I've been feeling lately that you might want something more than friendship with me. I feel kind of awkward not saying anything, so I'm just gonna get it out there: I don't have those feelings for you. OK, awkwardness over!

How do you nicely decline? ›

That's how you simply politely decline.
  1. I'm sorry, but we had to refuse your request to move to another department.
  2. I'm sorry but I can't help you, I have something planned out for tomorrow.
  3. No, I'm afraid I can't do that for you. ...
  4. As I said, I'm afraid I can't help you at the moment.

How do you reject someone nicely? ›

You Don't Have to Explain

You really don't need to go into a lot of detail about why you're rejecting someone. If you do, stick with “I” statements like “I just don't feel a romantic connection,” or “I am not looking for a relationship right now.” More importantly, try not to put blame on the person for rejecting them.

How do you politely reject someone through text? ›

This is the easiest option and works for any situation.
  1. "I'm really flattered, thank you! But tbh I'm not interested in a relationship."
  2. "Thank you for the invitation, but I'm not interested."
  3. "Thank you so much for asking! I really appreciate having you as a friend, but I'm not interested in dating."

How do you set boundaries with needy friends? ›

How to Respectfully Set Boundaries With a Needy Friend
  1. Respond to Their Texts Sporadically. A needy friend is likely to contact you at any given time. ...
  2. Make Your Routines Very Clear. ...
  3. Avoid Making One-on-One Plans With Them. ...
  4. Avoid 'How Are You? ...
  5. Just (Respectfully) Say 'No'
5 Feb 2020

How do you deal with a clingy friend? ›

Clingy friend? Here's how to cope (without hurting their feelings)
  1. Don't get angry at her. ...
  2. Don't ghost her. ...
  3. Introduce her to other people. ...
  4. Encourage her to hang out with those other people. ...
  5. Make plans that are convenient for you. ...
  6. Say no. ...
  7. Be direct and honest.

How do you set boundaries with overbearing friends? ›

5 Tips for Setting Boundaries with a Friend
  1. Get help. Talking to an online therapist about how to set boundaries with friends can be a good idea. ...
  2. Express your value of the friendship. Knowing how to set boundaries with friends isn't about hurting feelings. ...
  3. Talk to your friend. ...
  4. Be definitive. ...
  5. Be willing to compromise.
4 Feb 2022

How do you reject someone without hurting their feelings? ›

  1. Be Direct And Clear. “Just tell them you're not interested. ...
  2. Don't Make It Too Personal. ...
  3. State Your Position Firmly. ...
  4. Remember That Their Reaction Doesn't Reflect On You. ...
  5. Accept The Fact That You Might Hurt Them. ...
  6. Simply Say "No" ...
  7. Treat Them The Way You'd Like To Be Treated. ...
  8. Tell Them You Just Don't Feel Chemistry.
18 Sept 2018

How do you say no to a friend who wants to stay at your place? ›

  1. Polite and compassionate honesty is the best solution.
  2. Go with the obvious and simple response.
  3. Explain your notion of preferring to have your own peace at home.
  4. Create an alternative.
  5. Be honest but stay safe.
  6. Don't deflect blame.
  7. Tell them why you're not currently having houseguests.
  8. Suggest other options of places to stay.
5 Mar 2021

What is an excuse to not hang out with a friend? ›

10 Good Excuses to Not Hang Out With Someone. #1 I'm Not Feeling So Well. #2 I've Got Work Tonight. #3 I Have to Wake Up Early Next Morning. #4 Family Emergency/Pet Emergency.

What are different ways to say yes? ›

Polite Ways to Say Yes in English
  1. Yeah, sure. Here you go.
  2. No problem! I'm always happy to help.
  3. Yep! I will be right there. (Yep is another informal way to say yes like yeah.)
  4. Yeah, I'd be happy to!
  5. Cool. (Yes, cool can really be used to say yes or to show agreement.)
  6. You got it.
  7. Okay.
20 Sept 2017

How do you respond when someone wants to visit you? ›

Or you can say “have a good time” or “have fun.” “have a nice visit.” “I hope you have a nice time.”

How do you turn down a friend who asked you out? ›

You can use conversational skills to give a firm but polite rejection.
  1. Be sincere. Show your appreciation with, "That's really kind, but..."
  2. Be polite. You can show your courtesy with, "I'm sorry."
  3. Be straightforward. Get to the point with, "I'm just not interested."

How do you Friendzone? ›

How do you Friendzone someone nicely? The nicest way to friend zone someone is always the most honest one. Tell them directly that you enjoy their friendship but do not want any romantic or sexual relationship with them. Being direct when you are friend-zoning someone is really the most compassionate thing you can do.

How do you say no when someone asks for a favor? ›

Put your needs first. Not those of the person asking you for something.
Here's how you can effectively say no:
  1. Say it. ...
  2. Be assertive and courteous. ...
  3. Understand peoples' tactics. ...
  4. Set boundaries. ...
  5. Put the question back on the person asking. ...
  6. Be firm.
3 Nov 2015

How do you refuse without offending? ›

But, you can use the following techniques to finally decline any request without feeling guilty and making others angry.
  1. Start small. ...
  2. Just say it. ...
  3. Explain why– briefly. ...
  4. Offer an alternative. ...
  5. Have a “policy.” ...
  6. “Let me think about it.” ...
  7. Make it clear you're saying “no” to the request, not to the person.
2 Oct 2019

How do you say no in a smart way? ›

Different Ways to Say No and When to Use Them
  1. I appreciate the offer, but I can't.
  2. I'm honored, but can't.
  3. I'd love to, but I can't.
  4. I appreciate the invitation, but I am completely booked.
  5. Thanks for thinking of me, but I can't.
  6. Regrettably, I'm not able to.
  7. You're so kind to think of me, but I can't.

How do you reject a guy nicely example? ›

Try: “It was nice getting to know you. I'm looking for XX (a serious relationship, someone who shares my political values, a partner who likes to be in nature, etc), so I don't think we're a good match for each other. I hope you find who you're looking for.”

Does hanging out mean dating? ›

“This means that the person is going on date-like activities with the other person, but they do not see that person as a real potential romantic partner long-term.”

What do you say when someone asks you for coffee? ›

Tell him! Let him know that you're interested (remember, no games). If he asked you via text, just reply back. If he asked you in person (bonus points to him), tell him in person.

What separates a date from a hangout? ›

dating is mostly about determining the intentions behind why you're meeting up. If someone wants to hang out, then they are not interested in you romantically. The flirting is a sign that they are thinking of you in that way. If the flirting is present, then it's a date.

How do you Friendzone? ›

How do you Friendzone someone nicely? The nicest way to friend zone someone is always the most honest one. Tell them directly that you enjoy their friendship but do not want any romantic or sexual relationship with them. Being direct when you are friend-zoning someone is really the most compassionate thing you can do.

What is a friendly hangout? ›

One hint as to whether you're on an official date or just a friendly hang is how many people go with you. If it's just the two of you enjoying each other's company without any other friends tagging along, you're more likely to be in date territory. Although, it doesn't have to be one-on-one for it to be a date.

How do you politely decline coffee? ›

"I can't do coffee but feel free to come by the office for 20 minutes" are the code words for Yes, but on my terms and there's only a short amount of time I can give you. "I'm sorry, but I'm crazy busy right now" are the code words for No.

How do you politely say no to a coffee date? ›

Here's how to politely decline a date, according to experts.
  1. Use the feedback sandwich method.
  2. Consider it a personal failing.
  3. Explain that the timing isn't right.
  4. Put yourself in the other person's shoes.
  5. Thank them for asking.
  6. Make it about you.
  7. Be polite and honest.
  8. Don't give them false hope.
22 Jun 2021

What to do if a guy asks you out? ›

Smile and tell him you'd love to go on a date. Give him a straight answer. It can be tempting to play hard-to-get when a guy asks you on a date, but you should try not to. If he had the courage to ask you out, you should give him a straight answer as soon as possible, instead of playing hard to get.


1. That friend that only wants to hang out when you're busy
2. 6 Signs That it's Time to Let Go of a Best Friend
3. How to handle friends who always ask you to go out at the last minute
(Marie Dubuque)
4. How To Invite Friends to Hang Out in a Polite and Cool Way
(Explearning with Mary Daphne)
5. Dealing with possessive friends who don't want you to hang out with others
(Marie Dubuque)
6. My Best Friend Only Wants to Hang Out w me When my BF is Around Now [i think she has a crush on him]
(OMG Texts)
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