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Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior

Posted By: Synthoid

Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/07/19 09:27 AM

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


Posted By: Outkaster

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/07/19 09:42 AM

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.
Posted By: Synthoid

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/07/19 09:46 AM

A possible mental health issue, yes. It's been growing... I'm not sure how to address it.
Posted By: Adan

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/07/19 10:47 AM

Mabe we could arrange for him to spend a week with my wife, that would sober him up.
Posted By: Synthoid

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/07/19 11:02 AM

I'll let him know. laugh
Posted By: Stokely

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/07/19 11:43 AM

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.
Posted By: Synthoid

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/07/19 11:44 AM

Originally Posted By: Stokely
Does he doe it on the phone too?


On the phone and in person when we (rarely) get together.
Posted By: Desert Rat

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/07/19 01:16 PM

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.
Posted By: Randelph

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/07/19 04:09 PM

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
Posted By: Nutball

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/07/19 04:39 PM

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.
Posted By: Synthoid

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/07/19 06:48 PM

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
Posted By: George88

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/07/19 07:21 PM

Have you addressed it with him directly?
Posted By: o0Ampy0o

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/07/19 09:54 PM

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."
Posted By: Nutball

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/08/19 12:16 AM

I try to take a frequent objective (as best as I can) look at myself to avoid forming such undesirable habits
Posted By: J_tour

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/08/19 03:09 AM

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?
Posted By: MathOfInsects

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/08/19 05:43 AM

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.
Posted By: Synthoid

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/08/19 07:53 AM

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.
Posted By: stillearning

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/08/19 09:39 AM

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.
Posted By: stillearning

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/08/19 09:48 AM

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.
Posted By: J_tour

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/08/19 01:58 PM

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.

RULE NUMBER ONE

Don't ever fucking listen to what some crackhead musician says. They're full of shit.

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.
Posted By: Nutball

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/08/19 07:18 PM

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.
Posted By: Synthoid

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/29/19 01:53 PM

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
Posted By: area51recording

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/29/19 04:20 PM

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......
Posted By: area51recording

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/29/19 04:20 PM

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......
Posted By: stillearning

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/29/19 04:43 PM

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.
Posted By: stillearning

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/29/19 04:53 PM

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.
Posted By: David Loving

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/29/19 05:02 PM

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.
Posted By: Docbop

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/29/19 05:17 PM

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.
Posted By: Synthoid

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/29/19 09:02 PM

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.

Posted By: o0Ampy0o

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/30/19 01:33 AM

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.
Posted By: slowtraveler

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/30/19 01:36 PM

Not to be alarmist, but if I understand correctly (I'm not a health care professional), the behavior you have described can sometimes be a sign of frontotemporal dementia. Unfortunately, people with this condition are very often unaware that there is anything wrong with them. I think it might be good to suspend judgment about your friend's frequent expressions of inappropriate humor until you have had a chance to spend some time with him, to see if anything else about his behavior seems worrisome. Perhaps you might check in with his family members or other friends, to see if they have noticed anything amiss?
Posted By: marino

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/30/19 02:06 PM

A couple of considerations about friends' behavior, as I grow older...

1) I have a small group of (mostly) older friends; among them, there used to be two women, who I have known since our early twenties. Well, since I have been through somewhat difficult times in the last years, most of my friends have supported me in various ways; but the two women have simply progressively turned away from me, finally breaking all bonds. This was unexpected; both used to be close friends, but in this occasion, both have shown rather clearly that they didn't want to know about my life's troubles. It happened separately, and with different times.
I don't think I have been too pressing in asking for friends' support; I simply related what was happening from time to time. The other friends, busy as they were, tried to make me feel sure that they were there - which helped immensely - and several of them have offered practical support in various ways, for which I will always be immensely grateful.
But these two persons reacted a bit like I was attacking them. It was painful, to be honest; they both were among my historical friends, the only female friends in this rather close circle. (I have other female friends, but not at the same level of trust and closeness).
I don't want to stress the fact that they both are female... it just happened that way. But I miss the fact that I don't have any women as close friends anymore. Sometimes, it's a privilege to have someone of the opposite sex to discuss things with.

2) I love conversations and the exchange of ideas. However, I have noticed that during the last 10 or 15 years, several of my friends and other people I known, have become progressively more logorroic and aggressive, interrupting others' statements regularly - but refusing to be interrupted themselves - and treating a conversation as a fight in which they have to prevail at all costs.
I am quite tolerant about it (I have been married a couple of times, after all), because I see it as a sign of stress and confusion - but it makes spending an evening together, for example, *much* less pleasant.

End of rant.
Posted By: Gretel

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/30/19 04:06 PM

Originally Posted by Synthoid
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.



Maybe he is not reading these messages but listens to them via some reading device? If this device would pronounce some words incorrectly, leading to some confusion that would not have happened if he would have read these messages himself?
Posted By: Randelph

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/30/19 05:10 PM

Originally Posted by Synthoid


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.


Sounds like 'dad humor' to me. So called 'cause 'dad' wants to be lighthearted and fun, but attempts at humor skew towards the lame side, which is funny unto itself. I partake of this kind of humor with a few particular friends, and both of us enjoy it, a form of silliness and levity, and I don't mind being called out for doing 'dad' jokes. If someone was not enjoying it I wouldn't do it, sounds like your friend is not tuned in and you really don't like that kind of humor, esp if it's at the expense of a meaningful conversation.
Posted By: Synthoid

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/30/19 09:02 PM

Originally Posted by Gretel
Maybe he is not reading these messages but listens to them via some reading device? If this device would pronounce some words incorrectly, leading to some confusion that would not have happened if he would have read these messages himself?


No, I asked.

Originally Posted by slowtraveler
Not to be alarmist, but if I understand correctly (I'm not a health care professional), the behavior you have described can sometimes be a sign of frontotemporal dementia. Unfortunately, people with this condition are very often unaware that there is anything wrong with them. I think it might be good to suspend judgment about your friend's frequent expressions of inappropriate humor until you have had a chance to spend some time with him, to see if anything else about his behavior seems worrisome. Perhaps you might check in with his family members or other friends, to see if they have noticed anything amiss?



That's my next assignment.

I recently was told he had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever awhile ago. Not sure if that's the culprit. idk

Posted By: NoLights

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 06/30/19 09:14 PM

I'm someone who occasionally gets "ON", with jokes, puns and non-sequiturs. I'm also someone who has been hassling with bi-polar depression for a few decades. I found that, at those times when I was particularly depressed, I would become the life of the party (well, maybe not everyone's opinion). In my case, thanks to lots of therapy, some drugs and a wife who calls me out when I go off the rails, I'm mostly OK. Your friend could probably use some professional help.
Posted By: KenElevenShadows

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 07/08/19 07:27 PM

Originally Posted by NoLights
I'm someone who occasionally gets "ON", with jokes, puns and non-sequiturs. I'm also someone who has been hassling with bi-polar depression for a few decades. I found that, at those times when I was particularly depressed, I would become the life of the party (well, maybe not everyone's opinion). In my case, thanks to lots of therapy, some drugs and a wife who calls me out when I go off the rails, I'm mostly OK. Your friend could probably use some professional help.


I read the OP, and immediately thought that this sounds a lot like a friend of mine who is extremely bi-polar. He does that all the time, and has difficulty staying on topic, constantly interjecting jokes, often rather infantile jokes (i.e., dirty sock jokes, dirty underwear jokes, or things that 3rd graders might do). He takes lithium, and while that appears to help with his overall mood, it doesn't seem to help with these interjections, non sequiturs, and bizarre jokes.
Posted By: Synthoid

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 07/08/19 11:07 PM

Originally Posted by KenElevenShadows
I read the OP, and immediately thought that this sounds a lot like a friend of mine who is extremely bi-polar.


Something else to check out I guess.

The plot thickens
Posted By: MotiDave

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 07/09/19 01:15 PM

Iíve got a front man in one band that is compelled to drop a lame pun-inspired ďjokeĒ practically every time he speaks. Whatís bad is He drops one almost between every song on stage and itís really bad and really lame. Iíve talked to him, asked, complained, cajoled and encouraged him to not tell jokes on stage. Iíve threatened to quit. I still might. He canít not do it, if he tries it lasts 4 songs at best.

Its the frog and the scorpion, he just is what he is. I donít know if heís always been like that as Iíve only known him 3years. But thereís a tone deafness in his brain. The rest of band all agrees with me but they are pussies and afraid to ever speak up, so its just me.
Posted By: Wastrel

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 07/09/19 01:42 PM

For what it's worth, after 3 years you are no doubt hyper-aware of how lame his behavior is. With the exception of regular band followers, your half in the bag audience probably doesn't even notice.
Posted By: MathOfInsects

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 07/09/19 04:39 PM

Also, the New Yorker in me kind of wonders if OP's friend now does it just because he knows it drives OP crazy...
Posted By: zeronyne

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 07/09/19 06:20 PM

Like Ken, I identify that behavior as something compulsive, either triggered by anxiety, insecurity, or something medical. I have a friend whose husband went on a medication for a grave illness that made him lose all boundaries. This is a pastor's husband that started openly hitting on women at church, saying incredibly obscene things to friends and strangers while perfectly lucid about everything else, etc. Maybe something has happened to your friend that makes it physically impossible for him to understand the context of the conversation. Or, to a milder degree, you may be right and he may just be stressed beyond belief.
Posted By: Synthoid

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 07/09/19 08:18 PM

I had a brief "text chat" with my friend this morning. He's going to be out of town for about a week and said "he had to take care of the bills and other things" before departing.

I asked why his wife couldn't handle that... after all, it's a short absence. He gave me the impression she can't. I'm wondering if he has become overly controlling. I haven't spoken with his wife in a few years but she always came across as someone who could manage things like paying bills and running the house.

This is yet another red flag. I'm becoming even more concerned. frown

Posted By: zeronyne

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 07/09/19 09:23 PM

Do you have his home number? At the risk of possibly ruining a friendship, could you call his wife while he's out and then feign forgetfulness about his absence, and then start a conversation to just dip a toe into it?
Posted By: Synthoid

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 07/09/19 09:39 PM

Originally Posted by zeronyne
Do you have his home number?


It's been years since I called their landline. Not sure if I still have that number.
Posted By: stillearning

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 07/09/19 11:12 PM

I still see no real signs of anything other than an annoying personality trait being exibited by someone whoís socially awkward in conversation. He doesnít have confidence in offering intelligent discourse, so he falls back on humor, even when itís childish and inappropriate. These traits often worsen over time, especially in the absence of positive reinforcement on the occasion when normal discourse does occur. And yes, it could be a sign of deeper issues, but that seems like stretching without more to go on. Yeah, itís annoying when constant.
Posted By: drawback

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 07/10/19 12:35 AM

Originally Posted by Synthoid
I had a brief "text chat" with my friend this morning. He's going to be out of town for about a week and said "he had to take care of the bills and other things" before departing.

I asked why his wife couldn't handle that... after all, it's a short absence. He gave me the impression she can't. I'm wondering if he has become overly controlling. I haven't spoken with his wife in a few years but she always came across as someone who could manage things like paying bills and running the house.

This is yet another red flag. I'm becoming even more concerned. frown



Just wondering if this is stemming from a problem at home. Perhaps his wife is ill or there is something stressing the family that isn't about him at all.

The idea of calling his wife is a sound one, because his behaviour is the red flag, and a conversation with her could be the key no matter what it turns out to be.
Posted By: George88

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 07/10/19 01:08 AM

Be direct, call him and not his wife. You may embarrass him by not going directly to the source.
Posted By: stillearning

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 07/10/19 03:23 AM

I see no point in calling his wife. Calling spouse/family is appropriate when there are health/safety concerns.
Posted By: Synthoid

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 07/10/19 10:58 AM

Originally Posted by George88
Be direct, call him and not his wife. You may embarrass him by not going directly to the source.


I'm not going to call his wife. I'll wait until my friend returns from his trip and talk to him then.
Posted By: Markay

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 07/11/19 12:14 PM

Originally Posted by stillearning
I still see no real signs of anything other than an annoying personality trait being exibited by someone whoís socially awkward in conversation. He doesnít have confidence in offering intelligent discourse, so he falls back on humor, even when itís childish and inappropriate. These traits often worsen over time, especially in the absence of positive reinforcement on the occasion when normal discourse does occur. And yes, it could be a sign of deeper issues, but that seems like stretching without more to go on. Yeah, itís annoying when constant.

+1 I have a childhood close friend who has "degenerated" into similar conversational behaviour as noted by the OP. Life has not worked out for bim the way he might have hoped. Regretably I see much less of him than I would like to. For different reasons I have lost contact with many of my previously close friends once they retire, they have turned from forward thinking folks to grumpy old men within 18 months of retirement. As someone who aspires to remain relevant and never retire I am relishing the opportunity to work with those under 40 and who are forward looking. But it its tough getting your head around the idea of being unable to remain connected to those whom you have had long term relationships with and shared lifes ups and downs. I figured I would have an ever expanding range of friends until we shuffle off this mortal coil but that is not the way it is turning out.
Posted By: Markyboard

Re: Way OT: Friend's Unusual Behavior - 07/12/19 02:55 PM

Originally Posted by NoLights
I'm mostly OK.


If it's any consolation the part I met a number of years ago was more than OK!
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