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Should I phone?

(15 Posts)
toofriendly Fri 08-Aug-08 19:10:31

I have a male friend at work. We work in quite a stressful environment, and it's good to have a friend to have a drink with/joke with/let off steam with. We get on well, but have never been anything but friends.

He is a very private person and TBH, I don't know that much about him, so whilst he is one of my best "work mates" I probably wouldn't class him as a close friend generally.

However, he did recently confide in me re some fairly serious health issues. (very unusual for him to discuss his health, so in a way I was very honoured) He has been on hols for last 2 weeks, but gets some test results next week. I will be on hols (off work, but not away), so won't be there to ask how it went.

I was thinking of leaving him a message to say I hope all's well, but feel free to phone me if he wants to talk.

I work P-T, so he has occasionally had to call me at home re work, but we have never had a social telephone conversation. Do you think I should? I know he has been very worried and for him it was a really big deal that he confided in me, but I don't want too seem too interested (nosy?)

Have name changed as I'm a bit embarrassed to be asking TBH.

Hecate Fri 08-Aug-08 19:12:06


warthog Fri 08-Aug-08 19:14:47

i would text. he might not want to get an email about it at work.

CuckooClockWorkOrange Fri 08-Aug-08 19:17:48

e-mail is best I agree, he could really let off steam in his reply. A phone call could embarrass him. A text puts the ball back in his court, pressure, is he supposed to ring you, has he rejected your kindness if he doesn't call you!

If he is upset, he can't really explain it or get it all off his chest in a txt msg!

Definitely e-mail. It's supportive but not intrusive.

toofriendly Fri 08-Aug-08 19:34:43

Yes, I was going to e-mail saying call me if you want to talk. That way he can choose when/if he wants to call and do it from somewhere private, rather than having to take the call in the office, but I don't want him to feel either that I'm taking the friendship to the next level, or that he's obliged to call even if he would rather not.

CuckooClockWorkOrange Fri 08-Aug-08 19:40:50

He'll know that you'd be willing to be an ear, if he wanted an ear! You know what men are like though! They don't share at the drop of a hat. So if he doesn't e-mail back, it doesn't mean that he doesn't consider you a close friend. Being somebody's colleague and being somebody's friend are not exclusive.

toofriendly Fri 08-Aug-08 19:56:31

Thanks Cuckoo. I was thinking about something along the lines of:

Hi X

Hope you had a great holiday. I know you'll be getting your news this week, hope it's good, but if you want a chat I'm at home, so please feel free to call.

From TF

Only thing is this is not a man who usually likes to talk abut himself, especially personal details and like you say, I don't want him to feel he needs to call, or that I'll be upset if he rejects the offer. I also don't want him to think I'm being too personal. He's married, so he should really talk to his wife, but I know his main concern is how any illness will affect his family, so I think he could be trying to "protect" her by not telling her the whole story. Of course I'm dying to know what the news is too.

girlnextdoor Fri 08-Aug-08 21:39:45

Just be careful you don't get sucked in more than you feel comfortable with.

I can see why someone might not want to confide in their wife, but maybe you need to gently direct him in that direction once he has told you? Poor bloke- he must be in a state.

toofriendly Sat 09-Aug-08 11:40:25

GND what do you mean "don't get sucked in more than you feel comfortable with" ?

Once he knows what the problem is he will obviuosly need to tell his wife and I have no intention of trying to take her place on this, but he's an old fashioned "strong" man, so he'll want to be strong for her. When he talked to me about it, he wasn't feeling very strong. I just want to let him know I'm there if he needs to talk about it, but I don't want him to think I want to be needed iyswim.

girlnextdoor Sat 09-Aug-08 11:49:06

Hi- I suppose what I meant was- don't end up as a confidante when he should be talking to his nearest and dearest. To be blunt, you could,by his wife, be seen as the OW if it comes out that he has talked to you and not talked to her about something very important to both of them.

Don't let him be dependent on you for moral support- or it could back fire.

I could be barking up the wrong tree but it was just a thought.

toofriendly Sat 09-Aug-08 11:59:04

Hmm, I do see what you're saying and that's possibly why I'm a bit nervous about it, but is he not allowed to get moral support from outside his family? Would you be saying the same thing if I was a male work colleague, because TBH, that's how we are together.

I had some issues a while back when my job was at risk because the new boss hated my P-T working arrangements. This friend was a tremendous support to me then, but it was never anything more than a working friendship.

girlnextdoor Sat 09-Aug-08 12:08:03

You are the best judge- it's not so much about how you see it, but how his DW might see it, IF he was to continue to confide in you and not her.

yes, of course anyone is allowed support outside of the family. I have no issue with t hat- or in fact what you are doing to support him- what i was cautioning against is giving a lot of emotional support over time maybe, that could be misconstrued. I just wonder what he can share with you, that he cannot share with his family?

This is no reflection on you,but rather on him and why he won't talk to them.

toofriendly Sat 09-Aug-08 12:13:34

Yes I see. I think before he knows what he problem is, he just doesn't want to worry her. Once he knows I'm sure he will tell her, but he will see his role as supporting her and won't want to burden her with his worries. It's entirely possible he won't want to talk to me anyway, I just wanted to make the offer (and I'm being nosy, because I'd like to know how he is too)

He's not a big one for feeling sorry for himself, but I just thought if he wanted to get something off his chest it might be useful.

SlartyBartFast Sat 09-Aug-08 12:16:10

if you are asking on here you are unsure about phoning and being "too friendly"
if i were you, i wouldnt, i would leaveit until you go back to work,
are you i n contact via email normally?

if yes, then i spose there is no harm in emailing

toofriendly Sat 09-Aug-08 13:31:11

Yes I think you're right. Not sure exactly what's not "right" about it, but if it was the right thing to do , it would feel right and I'd just do it, not be worried about it. I'll wait until I'm back at work.

TBH, now I'm worried about why I'm worried about it hmm If it was a female colleague, I wouldn't give it a second thought.

Thank you for all your time.

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