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Does this person sound like a friend?(114 Posts)
Long term friend, 21 years since university days. It's been mainly ms staying in touch. Last saw each other in May.
Texted last week to say hi, how have you been not heard from you in a while. No reply. Sent a couple of chaser texts a few days ago. Last one 'just checking your getting these'as I seriously thought after 6 days and 2 texts there 'd be a reason I wasn't hearing back.
Got rant text back today saying how I was making him feel like a bad friend for forcing him to reply and he'd been busy etc. He was on holiday but only in UK so not like he was abroad. Said I'd turned replying from a pleasure to a chore.
Am I the one in the wrong here? Yes I did send a couple of chaser texts but only cos the first one went unanswered.
Feel now like I am really questioning this friend ship and my place in it.
Yes, you are the one in the wrong. It’s a bit much to send messages like that, with chasing texts as well! He was on holiday, you presumably didn’t have an arrangement that you were supposed to be texting at that point and he’s right that you are making texting a big chore. You sound pretty demanding, to be frank.
Who was he on holiday with?
I don't think you're the one in the wrong, OP. My mum always says "your phone is your slave and not your master" - if he doesn't want to reply he can easily ignore his phone. Or even reply saying "bit busy, can I get back to you?"
You're just wanting to catch up with a friend - makes you sound like a good friend, not a bad one.
He could of replied to say on holiday will catch up when I'm back . Tbh I think it's a bit rude to not text back after 6 days but I wouldn't send that message you sent I would of just left it .
I think you're both in the wrong! Sorry but I would never send 2 chasing texts (unless it was urgent obvs), I would also not send a ranty reply.
I seriously don't know with texts how long you are supposed to leave it if someone doesn't reply. A few days? A week? Forever? It just makes me feel like i'm not of any value to the other person if they cba to reply.
I wouldn’t have sent the chasing texts but the reply was rather nasty. And it seems like you’re doing all the running anyway.
Bad manners and very impolite on his part, and I don't think your messages were over the top at all. I'd just text back and say ta-ta then, have a nice life, or words to that effect.
How many texts did you send?
I can't be doing with small talk texts. Did you have a reason to get in touch?
My reason for getting in touch was cos we'd not spoken in a while and I wanted to arrange meeting up.
I would have sent a reply saying Fine thanks. On holiday at present. Will text you soon.
How do I send texts that don't get replied to, without feeling ignored if that makes sense? I'm not talking after a day or two but after longer than that.
I don’t think it’s unusual for someone not to reply to a ‘catch up’ text for a while, and I wouldn’t have chased it. His ‘ranty’ response sounds a bit weird though; is this characteristic of him?
If it was a good friend and I'd not heard back after 10 days or so I'd worry slightly and probably check their social media to make sure they haven't had a terrible accident or something.
6 days plus them being on holiday I think it's a bit mad for you to be chasing them.
If someone didn't reply to me I would just leave it and not chase at all, ever. What's the point? If they still want to be friends they will text back eventually when its convenient for them, if not then you avoid looking neurotic.
I definitely wouldn't send any 'have a nice life' texts now! He will either get back apologising or that's it. No need to burn bridges with petty messages back.
Well you are being ignored, but that's fine if you're not getting in touch for a particular reason. People don't have to respond to pointless messages.
I think that we now live in a world where people expect instant responses. Yes he could have just said "I'm on hols and will be in touch to catch up" but your persistent texting either lends to insecurity or you firmly sit in this modern expectation of instant response. You're both being a bit unreasonable.
No, I wouldn't say it is characteristic of him but I can see how we might have got annoyed. But what about me getting annoyed at him ignoring me, I feel like that somehow isn't allowed as a valid response (but his is). Serious question, but does the sender have the right to expect a response in this situation? Maybe this is where I am going wrong...
I didn't know he was on holiday until he told me
He's rude. If you were asking about meeting up then there was a purpose to it, not just small talk, and it's rude not to reply back after a couple of days or so.
Maybe it's time to let it go if you're always the one initiating contact - reduce it down to a card at Christmas mentally.
If the friendship was more balanced I could probably tolerate the odd non replied text a lot better. Its just when you are insecure in the friendship anyway (cos it's one sided) then these things become more loaded and I begin to think 'do they really give a shit about me' ? And that makes me more needy of reassurance than perhaps in other friendships.
He was rude. You were not in the wrong. You're not a mind reader! How were you to know he was on holiday?! Even so, no one is that busy they can't send a quick response to say they are away and will be in touch soon. I'm rubbish with replying to texts. I often mean to and then forget or forget to press send so chaser texts to me from others are a good thing. I would just send him a text to say sorry, you didn't intend to make him feel bad as you hadn't realised he was on holiday. Wish him a nice holiday and tell him to let you know when he's back if he fancies a catch up. Leave the ball in his court but be prepared for this friendship to have ended. I wouldn't chase anymore.
I replied to say maybe we need to have a chat about this sometime, as IMO its not the kind of thing to try and resolve on text. He's not replied, I don't expect him to. If he cares about sorting it out, he'll surely phone for a chat or arrange to have one. If not, then I'm not doing any more chasing as I don't like the way he's made me the one totally in the wrong here. OK maybe the chasey thing was annoying but then so is having a friendly text go unanswerd!
He’ll be one of those people who is found dead at home after months of not being seen or heard from and nobody will have checked up on him because he’s an ignorant pig that can’t take 10 seconds out of his day to reply” on hols, will text when home”.
I agree with @Skang
You dont deserve a response to a text I feel. Yeah it's rude of him to not reply but that's his decision to make and if he wants to be rude and not reply then theres not a lot you can do about it really. Unless I spoke to someone very regularly then I might send a chase up text just checking theyre ok or something but only people Im very close to ie dmum or dsis and friends I see every week.
Also, it was only a uk holiday... when I'm on holiday in the uk I still find plenty of time to reply to texts so I'm not sure that being on holiday precludes a quick reply anyway (although maybe not long conversations if you're busy/with other people)
Could you not say that about any social behaviour, @BananaFace5? No one has the right to make anyone behave a certain way, if someone wants to be rude that's up to them and not a lot you can do BUT if people want to maintain friendships they think about the feelings of others when deciding how to respond?
Maybe the friendship is not important to him in that case.
I don't ignore texts from friends for days on end - it's just bloody rude.
Just don't like to feel like I'm being ignored, is that clingy?
Not liking feeling ignored isnt necessarily clingy but sending multiple follow up texts to someone is, thats the difference
Genuine question for Banana of anyone else. If you texted an old and you believed good friend and you just didn't hear back, what would you do and how long would you leave it?
I would just wait to hear back and get on with my life. Wouldn't chase them up, would assume they have a good reason for not replying immediately.
If I texted an old friend asking if they wanted to meet up and received no response, I’d assume they were too busy and I’d try again a few weeks later.
I've just been on holiday in the UK and had no signal. I got my texts on Saturday when I was back in range. However, to be honest I was away from it all with my family for the most important 2 weeks of our year. I would have replied to anything that wasn't life or death, even if I had a signal!
You texted him at a time convenient to you. Why can't he reply at a time convenient to him?
Because I'm afraid he won't reply at all.
If I text a friend something that is not a specific question, I don’t really expect an answer. If it is a question then I would expect an answer and depending on how important it was, I might follow up in a few days. For a general «meet up» question I would assume no answer meant they were busy, and I would wait a couple of months to try again.
He doesn't seem that bothered.
I know that's painful as you clearly are.
I'd draw a line under this friendship and find some new friends who really appreciate you.
This one is showing you no respect. Do not under value yourself.
Thanks Robin, what struck me most was he told me off for 'making him feel like a bad friend '
And I thought, well what if you feel like a bad friend because that's the truth?
Have there ever been romantic feelings on either side? Was he on holiday with his wife and kids? Do you do most of the running?
I’m curious about the background because I am wondering what made him lash out like that, uncharacteristically
Something is amiss.
That may be so, but the old saying 'not your circus, not your monkeys' comes to mind. It's a waste of time trying to find out if he has no interest in telling you.
Sounds like he felt hounded by you. You needed a reply, so kept texting. Did you use emotional language in the texts?
Sounds like a lot of hard work. Friendships should be me more straightforward than this. I had a friend like that. I was the one who had to arrange stuff, only to find nearer the time that friend had ' double booked'
Wouldn't get replies to texts etc.
Honestly after a while you get the sense that they are not that bothered and you give up.
How is their time more important than yours? Don't chase. Don't beg.
Move on .
Your friend is being rude by not replying.
You chasing him up is giving him the perfect excuse to turn ot around and saying you are the one with the problem.
Wish him all the best and make it clear you are done.
I have this with someone. I find it really hard when I send a message and it's either left on unread for days and read and then ignored. His excuse is that he doesn't really look at his phone but he does. It's rude and makes me feel really worthless, so I get you. I keep thinking I should reevaluate the friendship as it is very onesided but then again I enjoy spending time together. I don't know if he's oblivious to it making me feel shit or he's just rude!
My ‘response time’ is longer than the average these days. It’s a ‘policy’ I set with regard for how my life goes, and partly to protect my mental health. Any friend who starts pestering me with follow up messages would get short shrift. It’s my choice when I respond. It’s their choice to distance themselves from the friendship if they find that response time ‘too long’.
You be responsible for your self-esteem. Relying on others to boost it, in whatever ways, is a strategy certain to end in disappointment.
Assume people like you, and will get in touch with you when they can. Putting people on a timer linked to your preferences is rude too.
Why would you want to be friends with someone who can't even be bothered to reply to a text? You aren't asking him to write War and Peace!
If any friend of mine didn't reply to a text in 24 hours, let alone a few days, I'd be worried about them - because all my friends are decent humans who don't just ignore others. Just because it is a text, it is still a communication. I would definitely send a 'chaser' text, because I'd be worried something was wrong - they were ill or something. I would definitely not expect to get a mouthful back, even if they were on holiday. Where's he gone? That land where they chop your fingers off?
Here's a quick way to give your self-esteem a boost - block this person totally.
It does sound like you need a lot of validation. Your response to his non response wasn’t
I wonder if he’s ok
He must be busy etc
It was that you don’t like being ignored.
He's CLEARLY telling you he's not bothered about the friendship anymore. You already feel 'insecure' in the friendship and he's literally said that communicating with you is a chore. Let. It. Go. This friendship has run its course.
Wow, so many different perspectives! Some saying he is the rude one, others thinking I am rude. I've read and thought about them all.
I think I know in my heart of heart's he's not too bothered about whether we stay in touch which is why I'm insecure when he doesn't reply. Other friends I don't get this so much.
I did text back suggesting a chat sometime to clear the air which hes not replied to so I'm going to leave the ball in his court now and if he doesn't reply, not get in touch again for a good few months at least. 8m not gonna pursue the meeting up thing, doesn't feel right now.
Certainly wont text him again if I can avoid it.
God isn't it depressing when friendships turn to shit?
It sounds like the friendship is over from his side, why would you text in a few months? Just leave it and move on, it's his loss, not yours.
He was on holiday, UK or not. I’m a good text friend but sometime life is busy and I’d find the follow up chasers really irritating and clingy. If you feel he isn’t bothered about continuing the meet ups, why are you?
When we get together we have a good time and it's an old friendship with much shared history, so I'd need more than just this one time to sack it off for good. Dont wand yo throw out the baby with the bathwater
Wow, so many different perspectives! I think what this is telling you is that we all have different expectations from a friendship. A simple question like "how quickly should I expect a reply" will get a different answer from everyone - there's no single 'right' or 'wrong' answer. Part of having long term friendships is understanding this and getting it right so that the relationship is comfortable and easy on both sides - either by choosing friends who have similar expectations to you, or by adapting your expectations to find a compromise that works for both of you.
For sure. He's clearly a 'I'll text back in my own time' guy.
For contrast another friend forgot to text me back on something and apologised for the lapse, as I would.
I try not to go longer than 48 hours before responding but I guess this is a good lesson in not applying my rules to other people.
This is definitely something I've found in my adult life. I try to be a good person / mum / wife / daughter / sister / friend and I think the one that I feel least confident about is whether or not I'm a good friend. Because of the different expectations thing.
Also, I sometimes feel there is a fine line between setting high standards for yourself and being demanding. I try not to cross it!
I have no time for people like this. Time to let him go. You say the friendship is one sided anyway so raise your bar and find friends where there is mutual respect.
I've had friends who wouldn't reply to my texts for days if at all but when they were with me their phone never left their side and they'd reply immediately.
He's putting you in your place. Fuck that.
I think you were wrong to chase him. He’s on holiday, maybe he wants a break from his phone, maybe he’s trying to spend quality time with his family (or whoever he’s with).
At this time of year especially I wouldn’t have followed up with texts checking they’re ok as I would have just assumed they were away.
He shouldn’t have sent a ranty text but maybe he’s feeling a bit suffocated by your texts? You sound a bit heavy sending a text about having a talk to clear the air. You could have just sent a text saying glad you’re ok, text me when you’re less busy.
As you’ve discovered, everyone has different expectations and it sounds like yours are incompatible.
I disagree that he checked out of the friendship, for me the great thing about good friends is that they understand that they both have lives so don’t judge each other. There are a million reasons why someone might not reply straight away. I’d have been stressed out and annoyed by you harassing me with lots of follow up texts, not sure that I’d have responded in the same way that he did but I would definitely have thought you were being selfish and demanding which is not what friendship should be in my opinion.
If he is unhappy with me enough to send me a ranty , telly-offy text which I can't reply to (well I can but he probably won't reply to my response) then I'd rather just discuss it via chat. I'm a great believer in not using text as a medium if you're upset with someone
I don't respond to texts unless urgent on holiday wherever I am holidaying. I'm escaping the rat race. If someone is a special part of my life they will know I am away. If I had a spare minute at night I might text 'On holiday atm' but it would depend on how many texts I received.
I have a sibling who can take 6 days to respond to a text. I never chase them as I know that's their norm.
I'd have texted and just left it for them to respond in their own time. What's the point of sending follow-up texts asking if he's getting them when you are texting the same number. If he didn't get the first, why would he get the others?
Although you've known each other a while it does sound like you are more invested in the friendship than he is. Catching up shouldn't be a chore. Maybe he has had a lot on though and hopefully you can catch up sometime and smooth things over.
Oh and can I please ask you not to use the word "depressing" so casually in describing the end of a friendship. No, it isn't depressing for most although it can be if you already suffer from severe depression. It is something affecting just one aspect of your life. It is disappointing and hurtful and you might feel a bit low about it for a time but it isn't depressing. Your whole world hasn't come crashing down. Using the term does a great disservice to those with clinical and severe depression. It reduces the perception of depression to feeling a bit low or disappointed about something. It's a bit of a bugbear of mine.
Actually, I do find the ending of a long term friendship depressing @Idontwanttotalk and this has been a source of real, medically recognised depression for me in the past.
I therefore do feel it is valid to use the word depressing in relation to this... you don't know my medical history or what my depressions have been caused by in the past so please don't ask me not to use the word 'depressing' for a situation that I feel can exacerbate depression in myself. Its a perfectly valid descriptor IMHO.
this has been a source of real, medically recognised depression for me in the past
This puts your posts into a much clearer context. Did you get CBT for your depression? That might help with thinking patterns which might lead you to interpret other people’s behaviours in quite an unhelpful way.
He has texted me this morning saying that he's not great at getting in touch particularly spontaneously but appreciates it when I do and that h values my friendship but has a lot on, so not to take it personally if he does not reply but give him a gentle nudge after a couple of weeks.
That's a lot better now, feel like we've set out our expectations with each other and I'll not hassle him in future for fear of him not giving a shit (if that makes sense). Glad he replied.
Wow we have the vocab police on here, good to know.
I am an OCD sufferer , have been since childhood, and it sucks.
But I don't have a go at people for saying ' he's obsessed about football' when it is clearly not meant as clinically obsessed.
Can we not make everything about us?
Her use of ' depressing 'is not offensive, come on.
And it's not even that inaccurate, by the sound of it, when you read about her experience.
OP, he is your friend and you have history.
It is hard to let go.
But I would personally struggle with his attitude.
True, your chasing him up might be a bit much, a bit intense.
But his reply was very dismissive and quite brutal.
I would have told him to go to hell.
He sounds like he's done and you can't do anything about this, but you deserve to be treated with respect.
Oops apologies, just read your update.
He has calmed down a lot and seems to actually value your friendship. Fair enough.
I think you will just have to accept that this is the way he is if you want to stay friends.
Yeah, I'm going the phone route in future. I've realised that if I can get him on the phone it's a lot easier no back and forth and waiting for answers particualrly if you're trying to arrange something.
WalkofShame I did 'CAT' which is a different type of therapy although equally valid.
It did work at the time but I'm probably a bit rusty now and fallen into old traps. Its easy to think 'they don't care' when someone doesn't reply to me which probably makes me needy and becomes self fulfilling, rather than they're busy/it's their style/etc which are more innocuous thoughts. It is the first thought I go to though and I can't be the only one.
Sounds like you got it but maybe in those moments of emotionally charged thinking it would be helpful to remind yourself of this again?
Doesn’t really matter what other people think, it’s about you being able to maintain your own well-being and relationships.
Also this happens more with certain friends than others, based on the general dynamics. Another friend could not reply to a text but cause I know she loves me it wouldn't bother me, or at least I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that she's ignoring me. So it's not just me, it's also them.
OP you did nothing wrong. I’m not sure why you’re getting such flak.
If I get a text from a friend I will reply as soon as I’m able - even if it’s “Hiya, busy at the mo”. That took literally 10 seconds. I know all my friends are the same. If it’s a friend, who you like and whose interaction you welcome, why would you wait days? That’s rude. The text he sent you was rude. I’d assume he wasn’t fussed about being friends any more and ditch him.
I'd say that this guy sees you as someone he catches up with once a year or less and you see him as a part of a closer network of friends. Therefore, you have mismatched expectations.
A holiday's a holiday, whether in the UK or abroad. I never reply to texts - especially ones that don't need a reply - when I'm on holiday. It would have annoyed me to have felt chased when it had only been 6 days!
... Though I wouldn't have sent his reply. I'm a classic introvert and like my space - I would probably have had a rant to my husband and ignored the messages until I came home.
I hate this and find it rude. I once texted a flaky friend to confirm arrangements about an evening out. No reply for days. On the day of the event I chased. Had the reply 'oh didn't i reply, I texted back in my head.' No more social arrangements have been made since.
I think it's very rude to not take a few seconds to reply to a text. I always imagine that those who do not reply
looking at you DSis are very same people who won't come to the door if a friend popped by unannounced. For those who don't reply in a reasonable timeframe or at all, would you also ignore and walk past a friend trying to say hello in a street? Are you the ones to sit in your living room looking at a friend trying to get you to come to the door? Or are those wanting your time the ones in the wrong for expecting you to give it without prior notice? These threads always make me curious.
Yes, it's strange how much people are divided between
The sender being the one who deserves a response and the receiver being rude not to give it (wtihin a reasonable timeframe)
The receiver being the one who has the right to reply or not at their absolute discretion, and within whatever timeframe they deem reasonable and the sender is the rude one for even expecting a reply!
Quite eye opening really how much people differ on their view of this!
Then again... Reflecting on my response, it does depend on how close I see a friend as. If it was someone very close I probably would never leave replying more than 24 hours because I wouldn't see their text as intruding on my space. I know there's no logic there! So perhaps pp are right, and it shows that he doesn't see you as a very close friend.
I get what you mean @Lauraloop1516. That's why it is hard not to take such things personally and just rely on the other person being busy or whatever!
We make time for those important to us. Then again, he did say today that he is like this with everyone and named a person who I know he is quite close to who he said he never got in touch with either.
I'll be honest OP, I don't think I would want to continue a friendship with someone who a) ignores me repeatedly and then b) has a go at me and tells me that it's a chore to bring himself to actually bother speaking to me. If it genuinely is a pleasure to speak to you then he would want to do it rather than ignore you. He's not a friend.
Oh and apologising later also wouldn't cut it. It's all well and good saying sorry later but it doesn't take back his ignoring you for a week and then having a go at you. Fuck him. Don't bloody reply.
Gosh, yes you were unreasonable to have chased him after less than a week! With not only one but two more messages, the last one being a clear demand to reply ASAP (the ‘are you getting these’ message).
That would be enough to seriously put me off someone and make socialising with and contacting them feel like a chore, I used to have a friend who’d do that and it got to the point where I’d feel my heart sink seeing their name pop up on a message.
You send a message when it’s convenient for you and he gets to reply when it’s convenient for him, your fear that if you don’t chase him he’ll never reply is yours to deal with, you were rude to try and resolve that anxiety by putting the onus on him to respond sooner than he would have done otherwise so you could obtain relief rather than actually acknowledging and working through your own anxious thoughts.
You may have resolved this situation but moving forwards you’ll push people away acting like this. Nothing is more offputting in a friendship than someone being demanding of your attention rather than settling into a natural rhythm where you both initiate contact when it works for you, it’s clingy and needy. Even in my closet friendships a week or four can go by without a reply to a message and nobody gets their knickers in a twist, everyone knows the friendship is meaningful and that people have busy lives to be getting on with as well and when you do get in touch it’s lovely to catch up and like no time has passed at all.
Definitely don’t do this again! I’d be reconsidering the friendship in his shoes, I’m glad he felt able to actually confront you instead of just brushing it off so you know how he felt about it.
I don't think I would want to continue a friendship with someone who a) ignores me repeatedly and then b) has a go at me and tells me that it's a chore to bring himself to actually bother speaking to me.
Really? Cos he didn’t reply for six days?
To be fair he said it was being made into a chore because he wasn’t allowed to actually reply at his leisure when he wanted to/it was convenient for him, and no wonder. OP left him in a situation where he could either reply on demand to soothe her anxiety or feel like an awful friend if he did wait any longer to responddema. I suspect anyone would see that as a chore as it’s so demanding and weirdly needy.
Wow this topic is so polarizing!
But rest assured Jemima I won't be chasing after him again.
From a personal perspective if I didn't reply to a friend after 6 days and got a chaser text, I'd probably think 'shit I forgot to reply' and send them a text telling them that (and answering the original text). I wouldn't find it irritating unless it happened all the time. But I accept we are not all like that and for some people it is annoying.
Do you tend to feel smothered in your friendships Jemima? You seem to almost resent other people having expectations of you, given your story about the friend who made your heart sink when you saw their name? Does it feel uncomfortable for others to have any expectations of you at all?
I see you replied to his brush off, and this makes me feel you are clingy.
You have said no more contact, but I wonder whether you will stick to that. I think not.
Just leave it, he doesn't want to be bothered with you- possibly painful but take the hint.
He sent a quite nice message saying he valued my friendship and not to take it personally if he didn't get in touch as he was like this with everyone. I'm not ditching a 21 year friendship after that!
If he really didn't care he wouldn't have bothered to reply at all.
I never said no more contact, just that I'd leave it for a bit and phone rather than text in future. This was before this morning's text though.
Do you tend to feel smothered in your friendships Jemima? You seem to almost resent other people having expectations of you, given your story about the friend who made your heart sink when you saw their name? Does it feel uncomfortable for others to have any expectations of you at all?
No, not at all the friend I mentioned, it really wasn’t working at all and we’re no longer friends. But that thankfully is the only example I’ve come across of somebody who would do the message chaser after a few days thing. Nobody else I’m close with behaves in that way. We send messages, understand the other will reply when they have the time and energy and desire and don’t monitor the time frame or anything along those lines.
If it’s the case it’s urgent, like a response is needed for a time critical event, or something bad has happened or someone is in need of support then it’s clear from the message and I’d reply as immediately as I’m able to, both via message or driving to be there if appropriate, or calling if that’s what’s going to work best.
I’ve been very fortunate in life to have a good circle (well, a few circles) of friends of between a few years and a couple decades standing, all of these friendships involve both pure enjoyment and fun over the years but also being by each other’s sides during difficult painful life events, but I wouldn’t want to be friends with someone who would freak out over me not replying for a week and send several follow up messages like that (your last one did come across like you were insisting on a response or you’d assume the messages weren’t getting through and start going through other channels). Far too much drama and clinginess. Friendships aren’t supposed to be fraught like yours sounds where you’re fearing rejection and looking to him for confirmation your anxious thoughts aren’t true.
I have expectations of friends that we’ll be there for one another when the going gets tough if able to, and hope that as long as it’s working and enjoyable for us both we’ll continue to make time for one another. I don’t expect a friend to adhere to a one week timescale in replying to a general catch up message and would feel pretty suffocated and irritated if that was the vibe I got from someone.
Re the friend I mentioned, there could never be any natural give and take back and forth as he would message me, wait three or four days and then message again, over and over again. So I never had chance to miss him or reach out to him, it was like a barrage of communications no matter what I did or didn’t say or do in return. It was just too much and I felt a bit like his only friend and like he was placing far too much importance on our contact levels in his life when I had a job, hobbies, other friends etc. too. It could have been a really nice casual friendship of catching up every couple months and staying in touch but his belief that his desire for me to reply within an arbitrary time frame was most important and his behaviours in chasing up when that didn’t happen just turned me off completely. It was almost like my own levels of what I was comfortable with in terms of contact didn’t matter and he’d just keep pestering.
Your post just resonated as it’s what I experienced from him and it was awful. But I guess we just weren’t compatible as friends, as it’s not something I’ve experienced before or since with anyone else.
Ironically people who are terrified of rejection often end up causing others to pull away with their expectations and inability to understand it’s not all about them and their desires.
Sorry for third message on the trot, but your decision to ring him rather than message in the future isn’t much of a way forward as you’re just swapping contact to a more immediate method so that you get to speak to him immediately rather than learning to sit with your emotions when he takes time to reply (which he has every right to do, a week isn’t any time at all). Wouldn’t it be better to continue with messaging as you have before but revisit your work in CAT and challenge the overwhelming anxious thoughts of ‘he doesn’t want to be friends’ ‘he won’t ever get back to me’ ‘he doesn’t care about me’?
If he’s feeling a bit smothered and aggrieved already to the extent of sending that message when you asked if the messages were getting through I can’t imagine you switching to calling him will make anything better between you both, as if he doesn’t pick up or call back fast enough you’ll just go back down into the same negative spiral you do with messages.
It sounds like you were just incompatible with your friend. You seem to think your way is the 'right' way and his the 'wrong' way, when really you just have different expectations/attitudes.
I would probably hate to be friends with someone like you as I'd feel your lack of responding to me was rude and inconsiderate.. you'd feel my wanting to be responded to was rude and inconsiderate.
As this thread has shown, people seem to fall into 2 camps, the 'its rude to expect a reply' camp and the 'its rude not to reply' camp. I don't think either of us can say one is right or wrong ,IME it is equally infuriating to send a message to someone and never get a reply back, as it must be for people like you to get a chaser text or feel obliged to reply within a certain timeframe.
And to answer your third message, no the phone calls work a lot better thank you. Up to him whether to answer the phone of course but probably a much more meaningful exchange when we do. You make it sound like I shouldn't be phoning him because that's an imposition on him... that sounds a little OTT if I'm honest.
Indeed, it’s natural to have friendships with people who have compatible communication styles.
You say it is equally infuriating to send a message to someone and never get a reply back though, which seems an exaggeration as there’s a difference between someone replying when they want to, a week or two or four later, and never being replied to. Do you find it hard to sit with a non response as you’re always on edge wondering when it’ll come, or fearing it won’t?
My ex friend and I just weren’t compatible and it’s for the best we moved on, it seems like you and this friend have pretty incompatible styles/preferences too. I can’t see he’d have exploded like he did if this was the first time he felt you’d been pushy/rude or clingy. So I guess you have to decide whether you want to continue being friends and accept him as he is if you do, now you know that him not replying quickly doesn’t mean he is done with the friendship are you hoping to find a way to accept that about him or will you find a workaround so you still don’t have to have that gap where you reach out and have to sit with the time before he replies?
You make it sound like I shouldn't be phoning him because that's an imposition on him... that sounds a little OTT if I'm honest
I think at the minute with what’s happened it’d be smart to give each other a bit of breathing space and then see how the land lies in a couple of months or so. He’s feeling a bit put upon and even if his most recent communications have been kinder and more conciliatory he wouldn’t have exploded if he didn’t truly feel annoyed at the time (which, again, would suggest it was building for a while perhaps). So take heed and let him see you’ve heard what he’s saying, let him get in touch next time and arrange to meet/catch up or it’ll seem like you’ve not taken anything on board at all.
For sure, I'm not arranging any meeting up at the moment anyway. Not least because he's said he's really busy and I am a bit too at the mo.
Don't take this the wrong way but you do sometimes come across as though your way (being firmly in the 'rude to expect a reply' camp) is the only way and it is some heinous crime to expect someone to get back to you. I take on board that maybe I was too impatient and should have given it a bit longer before getting back in touch, but many posters on here have agreed that it's rude not to get back to someone after a few days so it's not like I'm the only person who thinks this. Please do bear in mind that it is equally annoying for some to be waiting on a friend getting back to them as you find it for people to be hassling you. Maybe there are people in your life who'd appreciate a swifter response from you sometimes, even though they may not say anything?
Your opening post says it’s mainly been you staying in touch.
the friendship was more balanced I could probably tolerate the odd non replied text a lot better. Its just when you are insecure in the friendship anyway (cos it's one sided) then these things become more loaded
And you say it’s not balanced. And then when he replied to your chasers you tried to take it further and make it more intense by suggesting you have a specific conversation about it over the phone.
It all sounds very intense from your side because you’re afraid if you don’t put the effort in you’ll lose him. But why are you afraid? If he doesn’t care as much about you as you do him why keep chasing and trying to make what sounds like a casual long-standing friendship into something closer and more intense than he’s comfortable with?
You’ve already identified you find it hard not being replied to right away because you fear he won’t reply at all and feel rejected, you seem to recognise those feelings are coming from inside you and not anything anyone else can cause or is causing. I don’t think you’re getting what you feel you need from this friendship. And the more you try and force it to take the shape you want it to the more you’ll push him away.
Why did you send chasers (two, within a week) though, whether it was within a few days or longer, instead of waiting and giving him the space to reply?
I don’t recall saying it’s a heinous crime... you’re more than welcome to ignore my responses and opinions but you did seek people’s thoughts on the situation.
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