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Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior #2993067 06/07/19 09:27 AM
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Recently, I've noticed that one of my friends seems unable to maintain a serious conversation for very long. He's often interjecting a pun or joke during a conversation or text message. It's becoming more prevalent and annoying as time goes by...

He's always been lighthearted and that's great when it's appropriate, but the humor (and silliness) has been ramped up in the last year. I had to steer the conversation back on topic this morning when he dropped "it's donut day today" in the middle of some important info I had texted. I really don't understand it.

He lives in another state now so we don't get together very often. I can only assume that he's dealing with more stress than he cares to talk about and this is a coping mechanism.

It's just very disappointing and distracting. HeadPop




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Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: Synthoid] #2993070 06/07/19 09:42 AM
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Social Anxiety? or a more serious mental health problem. There is tons of it going around without the proper resources to address the populations need.


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Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: Synthoid] #2993071 06/07/19 09:46 AM
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A possible mental health issue, yes. It's been growing... I'm not sure how to address it.


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Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: Synthoid] #2993076 06/07/19 10:47 AM
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Mabe we could arrange for him to spend a week with my wife, that would sober him up.


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Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: Synthoid] #2993084 06/07/19 11:02 AM
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I'll let him know. laugh


When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: Synthoid] #2993094 06/07/19 11:43 AM
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Does he doe it on the phone too?

Not for this specific reason, but I've gotten to where I don't have "important" conversations via written word anymore. The problem is usually people reading things into my words that I didn't intend, smilies or not...some folks aren't good at this without the verbal and visual cues that phone and face-to-face conversations have.

I've had two bands basically break up via email group conversations that just spiraled into anger...over basically nothing...multiple people make it far worse, especially since you can't even know if one or more of the people stepped away from the conversation! grin

Anyway, this sounds a bit different. Hopefully this is just something temporary and as someone said, a coping mechanism.

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: Stokely] #2993095 06/07/19 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted By: Stokely
Does he doe it on the phone too?


On the phone and in person when we (rarely) get together.


When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: Synthoid] #2993115 06/07/19 01:16 PM
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Question: Does your friend happen to have a very high I.Q. that you know of?

If so, it is quite possible he is "suffering" from the same "dis" orders that many intellectuals have these days. "Why am I wasting my time with these [insert your own derogatory word(s) here] syndrome".

While being facetious, it is amazing at how there are so many people being diagnosed with disorders that "excuse" their antisocial behavior these days. It used to be if you sat in the corner and stared at the wall and rocked back and forth, you had autism. Now, just look at someone with a scowl a couple of times or refuse to answer a question and you get classified in the same group. Bottom line: The only way you will know is if he is willing to speak with a psychologist or similar practitioner.


Don

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Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: Synthoid] #2993150 06/07/19 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted By: Synthoid
Recently, I've noticed that one of my friends seems unable to maintain a serious conversation for very long. He's often interjecting a pun or joke during a conversation or text message. It's becoming more prevalent and annoying as time goes by...

He's always been lighthearted and that's great when it's appropriate, but the humor (and silliness) has been ramped up in the last year. I had to steer the conversation back on topic this morning when he dropped "it's donut day today" in the middle of some important info I had texted. I really don't understand it.

He lives in another state now so we don't get together very often. I can only assume that he's dealing with more stress than he cares to talk about and this is a coping mechanism.

It's just very disappointing and distracting. HeadPop



I guess I'm reading the reaction of yourself and others in a different way. As far as what I experience, this happens ALOT. Not specifically that someone is interjecting non-sequitur silliness, but that the thread of the conversation is not being followed, and the other person just willy-nilly introduces tangents and/or way off-topic thoughts. I end up feeling like the conversation is kinda superficial and have no satisfaction that comes from really hearing each other, and usually feel dissapointed.

This has always been an issue for me. I've always been a good listener and expect the same, and something in me has always wanted to understand the other person and visa versa. I get quite insistent about this except in some circumstances, like if it's a woman I'm interested in and am doing my best to just go with whatever comes up, or its just small talk to begin with.

Back in my college days I had a girlfriend, and we'd take turns talking, either one of us could go on for an hour or more, and it was fantastic. I've rarely had such a good talking partner, I held onto the threads she introduced and incorporated it in what I had to say- needless to say, I was very philosophical in those days and enjoyed the big questions.

I'm originally from southern California, and in my early 20's I went to Europe for 5 years on my own, spent alot of time busking to earn my way. I found myself much more at home socially with most Europeans than I ever have with my fellow Americans. They just have a different way of being social that puts me at ease, and I loved it, for example, that every French person I knew knew how to tell a good story, and would hold the rapt attention of the entire group. Too bad that most young Europeans in the late 70's were rabid smokers.

Like your friend, I'm a big fan of silliness, but not at the expense of understanding the other person. And, by the way, the other day I read it was donut day and had a good laugh, had never heard of that before- my kind of ridiculous!

Have you tried Skyping with your friend and addressing the issue? I can relate to feeling put out!

Randy


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Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: Randelph] #2993152 06/07/19 04:39 PM
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Maybe it's how he tries to fit in with others around him, by being funny. Maybe he interacts a lot with goofy people. Laughter can be seen as an approval for funny behavior, but what's the obvious approval for serious behavior? Then it becomes a habit, and can spiral out of control until self control kicks in. I visited my mom once after being away for months, and she frequently used a goofy voice which was weird. No doubt it started with friends at work. I said nothing about it figuring it will wear off, and I noticed it had when I came back a month later.

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: Randelph] #2993177 06/07/19 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted By: Nutball
Maybe it's how he tries to fit in with others around him, by being funny. Maybe he interacts a lot with goofy people. Laughter can be seen as an approval for funny behavior, but what's the obvious approval for serious behavior? Then it becomes a habit, and can spiral out of control until self control kicks in.


It's become worse in the last year or so. I really don't look forward to talking or texting with this friend at all. frown


When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: Synthoid] #2993184 06/07/19 07:21 PM
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Have you addressed it with him directly?

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: Synthoid] #2993211 06/07/19 09:54 PM
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Some people do things like this because one or more people (important to this person) respond favorably and it can become habitual. There is nothing to be concerned about regarding their mental health although it suggests insecurity. It is more like immaturity and a misguided idea of what is interesting and appropriate.

I knew a girl who would reenact thought processes and conversations while telling a story. I knew her long before she adopted this routine. She admired someone who did this effectively and had incorporated it into her personality to great failure. It was annoying instead of entertaining or interesting. I wanted to say "STOP! I don't need you to act it out for me."

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: o0Ampy0o] #2993227 06/08/19 12:16 AM
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I try to take a frequent objective (as best as I can) look at myself to avoid forming such undesirable habits

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: Nutball] #2993238 06/08/19 03:09 AM
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I don't know, obviously, but I've met some people like that.

To a man/woman, they've always been in pretty high-stress day-job situations.

I've always just chalked it up to day-job stress, you know, like most of us get, but I suppose it's a matter of opinion what amount of stress they're under and what they can take.

Everyone who's worked in bars and around various "interesting" people knows what I mean, especially about the term "interesting," or perhaps, "unique" individuals, but in this case, I'd be inclined to be charitable and say, "Well, you two probably have a different sense of humor, so, probably best to just let it go."

You know. Some problems probably better left unsolved.

I mean, you can't dust for vomit, can they?

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: J_tour] #2993247 06/08/19 05:43 AM
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Just taking a different angle, a couple of other possibilities occur to me. One is that he's always been this way, and over time your tolerance for it has slowly changed. Another is that when he lived close, the proportion of signal to noise seemed more balanced because you spoke more in general. A third is that things aren't going well and when he senses the conversation getting to a point where he'd have to say something sincere, he goes the other way to avoid opening up.

But a fourth is a completely different issue, which is this: there is a paradoxical shift in how we communicate these days, where it's easier to stay in touch, but only when you don't have a lot to say. So we tend to share the least with the people we have the most to share with, since that takes a longer time to write. But those are also the people we write to the most often.

On the flip side, we tend to write the most to one-off recipients--bank loan processors and neighborhood watch captains or whatever. So the ones who get our longest and most serious messages, are the ones we otherwise would never talk to.

Just a thought that you and he might fall on different ends of this paradox. You might be on the "friends say meaningful stuff" track, and he might be on the "friends stay in frequent contact and save the real stuff for in person someday" track.


"
Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: George88] #2993257 06/08/19 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted By: George88
Have you addressed it with him directly?


Not yet. I'd prefer to do that in person, not via phone or text.

Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
You might be on the "friends say meaningful stuff" track, and he might be on the "friends stay in frequent contact and save the real stuff for in person someday" track.


Something to think about for sure.


When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: Synthoid] #2993267 06/08/19 09:39 AM
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Iím just a student of human behavior, but one who also happens to be married to a psychoanalyst, so here goes my opinion. Your friend may be insecure with his ability to contribute to a discourse in any real meaningful way. He may not have received positive reinforcement for conversational contributions in the past, so humor is his safe fallback. I would not really call this a disorder, simply a personality trait thatís annoying when constant. If you feel like it, try positive reinforcement on the odd occasion your friend does contribute meaningfully. See if that slowly has a desired effect, although I suspect that it would be a long road to travel, if this is a behavior thatís deeply embedded at this point.


I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: stillearning] #2993269 06/08/19 09:48 AM
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Iím actually kind of surprised (and disappointed) that no one here replied with a humorous, off the wall non sequitur. Iíll admit, I considered it.


I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: stillearning] #2993326 06/08/19 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted By: stillearning
Iím actually kind of surprised (and disappointed) that no one here replied with a humorous, off the wall non sequitur. Iíll admit, I considered it.


NO BACH IS NOT IN OTHER THAN VOIX EGALES HAHAHA.

Also, did I tell you the time when I was running numbers in Providence and also playing F/T for a local outfit called the "Tough Tony" while also running backline out of my big house where I also contract out large jobs.

And that other time when I was also playing and had so much soul HAHAHA.

Left hand is the best, because of soul rhythm!

Stay grooving, people, and rule number one, always play with your heart and keep the groove in your pocket.

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Buy their albums, see what's what.

If it's insane and idiotic, just cut it off, like a tumor.

Life's too short to listen to morons. Especially morons who think they have a clue.

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: stillearning] #2993408 06/08/19 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted By: stillearning
Iím just a student of human behavior, but one who also happens to be married to a psychoanalyst, so here goes my opinion. Your friend may be insecure with his ability to contribute to a discourse in any real meaningful way. He may not have received positive reinforcement for conversational contributions in the past, so humor is his safe fallback. I would not really call this a disorder, simply a personality trait thatís annoying when constant. If you feel like it, try positive reinforcement on the odd occasion your friend does contribute meaningfully. See if that slowly has a desired effect, although I suspect that it would be a long road to travel, if this is a behavior thatís deeply embedded at this point.


Positive reinforcement/ signs of approval are very important and effective whether or not one believes it. My problem is, I don't give positive reinforcement, it's just hard for some reason. I'll speak up when something's done wrong, but otherwise no news is good news from me.

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: Synthoid] #2996579 06/29/19 01:53 PM
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Revisiting this several weeks later:

The situation seems worse--way too much silliness. Not really sure why... was hoping to get together with this friend when he drove up to NJ a couple weeks ago but didn't work out.

I really would prefer addressing this face to face. frown


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Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: Synthoid] #2996602 06/29/19 04:20 PM
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How old is your friend? I'm in my early 60's and it appears I gave my last f*ck about 5-6 years ago. Since that time I catch myself occasionally doing this very thing......

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: Synthoid] #2996604 06/29/19 04:20 PM
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How old is your friend? I'm in my early 60's and it appears I gave my last f*ck about 5-6 years ago. Since that time I catch myself occasionally doing this very thing......

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: Synthoid] #2996611 06/29/19 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Synthoid
Revisiting this several weeks later:

The situation seems worse--way too much silliness. Not really sure why... was hoping to get together with this friend when he drove up to NJ a couple weeks ago but didn't work out.

I really would prefer addressing this face to face. frown


If you decide to address this issue with your friend, I would recommend not just starting it off cold. Maybe start a conversation by asking him about his life, things that interest him personally. Most people like to talk about themselves, and itís often a great conversation starter. If the conversation is sincere and meaningful, reinforce that, keep it on track. Pose adult questions that beg adult interaction. If it turns silly, try to tactically steer it back. If he insists on silliness, then sincerely ask him why, in a honest straightforward manner... make him feel you were enjoying the adult interaction between friends until he got off track. Good luck.

Last edited by stillearning; 06/29/19 04:48 PM.

I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: area51recording] #2996613 06/29/19 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by area51recording
How old is your friend? I'm in my early 60's and it appears I gave my last f*ck about 5-6 years ago. Since that time I catch myself occasionally doing this very thing......

Occasionally, this can be a good thing and often leads to fun conversation. I suspect we all do that. Constant? Annoying as hell.


I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: Synthoid] #2996618 06/29/19 05:02 PM
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Raised in North Dallas in the 50s/60s. My brothers and I specialize in inappropriate humor. That's how we roll. Maybe what you think is "important" is not universally accepted.

Last edited by David Loving; 06/29/19 05:05 PM.

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Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: Synthoid] #2996619 06/29/19 05:17 PM
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I can be like your friend and it's usually because some topic is dragging on and on, digging into unnecessary detail, and as the old saying... beat a dead horse. So next time your friend does this to you, stop and think about are you dwelling on this topic too long. His silliness might be a nice way of saying... can we change the topic.

Also situation I was in I had a close friend and we talked for hours almost everyday. But over time and lots moves and personal our interests and views on topics we used to agree on changed and some we shifted 180 degree on. In general I can handle that been in that situation and learn those are topics to avoid when talking to <fill in the blank> that way we can still have a good time talking. But some people won't let go or feel they have to convert you to their viewpoint. I had to eventually stop talking to someone who was a close friend for years because he couldn't stop talking about things he knew we disagreed on and weren't gong to change. So your friends silliness might be a signal we don't think the same on this topic anymore and I really don't want to discuss it.

So that's my experience maybe some of it might relate to yours.

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: area51recording] #2996650 06/29/19 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by area51recording
How old is your friend?


Late 50's.


Originally Posted by Docbop
I can be like your friend and it's usually because some topic is dragging on and on, digging into unnecessary detail.


No no..... I'm talking about everyday conversations. We can't get more than 3 or 4 sentences into ANYTHING before he starts the jokes and puns.

Just today we were talking about TV trivia. I texted a question about Star Trek and he guessed correctly. When I responded "We have a winner," he replied, "I'm not whining." A similar thing happened a few days ago. After I texted that I had been busy that morning running errands, he asked something about "running with Erin who?" It's just silly and dumb.

I don't know anyone else that acts this way.



When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior [Re: Synthoid] #2996671 06/30/19 01:33 AM
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Is it that this guy was very deep and serious in the past making this effort to be light-hearted suspect? If not, I really think you are making too much of it. It is not a sign of mental illness or life trauma. He just changed his personality adding humor. He probably believes it is an improvement. Lots of people believe they are funny. It can fall flat but they don't have their perceptors on to notice the reaction they are not getting. They are too busy thinking they are funny or they are too busy trying to be funny. On the other hand people tend to get this personality experimentation out of the way before finishing with high school. Maybe he did some sort of self-awareness workshop or read a book and decided to reinvent himself.

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