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Cessation of communication

  1. Jul 12, 2009 #1
    I wanted to have a rhyming title, so I said cessation of communication but basically I'm talking about no longer speaking to a certain person.

    This is a "friend" of mine from Berkeley that was a roommate for a year in sophomore year and has been my hang-out buddy for 4-5 years.

    However I've noted that he's never very encouraging in terms of what I'm interested in. Meaning he always berates and demeans me for loving astronomy, stating that I will never make money with it and whatnot. (He's in business mind you so he's money-centered).

    He's actually a complete dolt when it comes to anything sciencey or mathy and even when it comes to communication and english (especially writing) he's not succeeded at. So to him I guess he derives pleasure in berating me for being a better writer at times, a better mathematician at times and so on.

    So he's still up in nor cal, I'm down in so cal. I'm back home to my friends and family and have moved on with things. Yet he's still calling me 2 times a day. None of my friends call me, let alone this much. I have tons of problems going on at the moment. One of our family members died, and I have to stay strong for the sake of my mom and dad. I have to worry about my GRE, a couple of class I will be taking starting september, my job starting this next week and so on. He's trying to shovel his problems onto me by calling me twice a day everyday for the past 2 - 3 months or so. He expects me to joke and be funny all the time and always wants me to listen to his issues. Yet when I speak out just a little bit about what's going on with me, he automatically doesn't want to listen to it and starts going on a tirade.

    He's only there when he wants you and when he wants to f-around. He's always been telling me to skip class and whatnot and I can put the blame squarely on him for quite a few mistakes in my academic life at Berkeley.

    So these days, I've quit talking to him. He's been a persistent little rat and has been trying to IM me when I ignore him, email me constantly with the most inane stories and ideas, and what have you, but I've also tried to be persistent in ignoring him.

    Is it wrong of me to stop talking to someone that's just this useless, and that has never been there for you when you needed someone to joke and talk to? I feel guilty as he's been a friend for so many years, but I guess in a way I let him be a friend. I could well have just ignored him and left him at acquaintance level.

    I don't know, has anyone else experienced this? What's the best course of action?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 12, 2009 #2

    Chi Meson

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    My wife and I had similarly irritating person latch onto us. A good friend of mine had a friend who had a brother who needed a "place to land" one fall as he started grad school close by to us. Before we knew it, this guy was trying to treat us as a three-person frat house (with guess who as the activities director?)

    I finally one January told him that he should find a place of is own by May. His response was to accuse me of being inconsiderate by not giving him enough time to find a "six month lease" (no, I never figured out his supposed logic). He though he "got back" at me by leaving the next week.

    My advice. Keep on ignoring him. He's been a lamprey to you because you didn't swat him away at the beginning, as everyone else probably did. If he corners you and asks why you have been ignoring him, say you don't want to talk to him. Don't be intentionally mean, but don't soften the blow, either.

    You can use truthful excuses such as "I'm too busy." Avoid untruthful things, because it'll lead to 'feeling bad.' IF you have no real excuse, come out and say, "because I don't want to hang out with you," etc.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009
  4. Jul 12, 2009 #3
    You are probably better off dumping this friend. It's unfortunate that you allowed the friendship to develop to this level. He has a dependency on you now. If you have any interest in his welfare then he needs to be weened off it. You've got a good list of behaviours in your post that are upsetting to you. Make clear to him that these behaviours are unnacceptable and then follow through on your demands. At first he'll call you names like 'whiny little baby' and whatnot, but eventually he'll come to realize what his opportunities are. Then he'll play nice for a short time and then keep testing you with old behaviours to see if your resolve weakens. Think of it like training a puppy.

    Ofcourse, doing this is an awful lot of effort on your part on his behalf. If you don't have a dependency on him then it doesn't benefit you to be treated poorly by your 'friend'.
  5. Jul 12, 2009 #4


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    I don't know if people still use the expression, but that's what I call a "fair weather friend." That's to say, they enjoy hanging out with you when things are good and everything is fun and games and parties, but as soon as things get tough and you really need a friend on your side, they disappear.

    You're doing the right thing to wean him off. Twice a day phone calls might be acceptable if he was genuinely concerned for you, checking in and trying to keep your spirits up while you're dealing with a lot of other stressful stuff, but if it's all about him and he's stressing you out more, then cut him loose. That sort of relationship will just suck the life out of you otherwise.
  6. Jul 12, 2009 #5
    Instead of being such a push-over about it, you need to be a little bit more assertive. You can either do it tactfully or bluntly. From the sounds of it this character has not much in common with you and few redeeming qualities and might not be worth holding on to as a friend, which would suggest a more blunt approach. Either way, you need to be more assertive in not letting him waste so much of your time.
  7. Jul 12, 2009 #6


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    Does your phone have caller ID? You could simply not answer when he calls, or not answer most of the time he calls.
  8. Jul 12, 2009 #7
    That's fairly terrible Chi. I'm sorry to hear that you had to undergo such a horrible experience. I'm glad that mine is mostly done over mediums of communication rather than through RL aka him sitting or hanging around me all the time. I'll have so much on my plate coming up so I guess the excuse of "I am busy" will definitely come in handy. Thanks bro!

    Yeah I should have seen it coming when I first met the person. That's where his business sense kicks in, he has great first impressions. After knowing him for a while though I started to realize that he wasn't as cool as he had first seemed. Which is unfortunate. I'll try weaning him off but frankly I really don't care about his life at the moment. I know that's a horrible thing to say but his stories and news don't interest me and he keeps pushing his passion for business and treads over my passion for astronomy instead of equalizing it. So eff it. Thanks for the advice.

    When my first girlfriend broke up with me and I was having academic issues, one of my good friends from back here in So Cal was calling me twice a day. He had his own issues and we could relate and share. As a result I would like to say that our friendship has strengthened through the rough times, and I can for sure call him my best friend or closest friend (especially since I've known him since 6th grade). This guy doesn't fit with the calling twice a day scenario.

    Agreed, thanks a bunch.

    It does, and I was in fact thinking of setting up a new ringtone just especially for him like "WARNING WARNING, DONT PICK UP THE PHONE". "DANGER WILL ROBINSON" or something of the sort. Just a thought. I do screen his calls via C-ID. Even if I do he leaves a plethora of voicemails or other messages.

    Gee thanks all for your advice and sincere and frank opinions on the matter. Sometimes I wonder why I don't frequent this forum even more than I do. You guys rock!

    I know I've been kinda wimpy and push-overy about the situation and believe me, that's not my personality. I'm usually pretty frank with people about a lot of things. I guess that with such a long-time friendship I got lulled by silly jokes and antics instead of stepping back and looking at the situation from the perspective of an outside observer (which I usually do). I know it may seemed wimpy when I related that story and I apologize, but it was nerve-racking and I had no idea what to do about it. Again, thanks guys I appreciate the advice very very much.
  9. Jul 12, 2009 #8
    Sounds like he might become a brilliant businessman.

    It's not a horrible thing to say that you have no interest in his antics. It's just the truth. He's shown repeatedly that his only interest in you is what he can get for himself. Even under your current circumstances he still makes no attempt to lend the support of a friend and continues to demand your attention. If he refuses to be considerate to your needs then the horrible thing would be to allow him to continue taking advantage of your friendship.

    I don't think the guy understands what a friend is, which is kinda sad. Being frank with him and possibly ending the friendship is the most compassionate thing you could do for him. Don't confuse guilt with compassion. The only thing you are guilty of is allowing the friendship to continue to this point. edit - It's a hard lesson, but he needs to learn that it is in his best interest to be considerate to his friends.
  10. Jul 12, 2009 #9
    Is there any reason why you would need to continue getting calls from him? Perhaps you could see about having his number blocked if he doesn't leave you alone. I'm not sure how much it costs though.

    I recently had a 'breakup' with a friend of mine whom I had similar issues with. I yelled and screamed at him, called him a loser, and told him if he didn't straighten up I was done with him (he was my roomie at the time, unemployed, and making me pay all of the rent ect). He didn't talk to me any more after that. Not that I necessarily advocate berating the guy but being blunt and straight forward may be enough to get rid of him. Let him know that he is a terrible friend and is losing a friend because of it. Maybe he'll get a clue and change eventually.
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