Jump to content

Getting fed up with friend's poor communication and organisation


Recommended Posts

I'm 37 and I have a male friend who's 38. I've known him for about eight years. He's a nice guy, very chill and calm and never has anything bad to say about anyone. He hasn't officially been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum, but his brother was. Also he's had people like his lecturers at university suggest he might be on the spectrum and I've noticed it a lot as well. He's a good friend and part of my friendship group but I must admit I never felt super close to him.  I usually preferred seeing him in a group situation rather than one-on-one.

There have been some things in the past (only a few) where his communication or ability to read the situation wasn't very good. But it didn't happen often or on a big scale so it didn't bother me as much. 

For example, one time I was having friends over for a Christmas Eve dinner. After dinner a few of us decided to go to the bottle shop to get a few alcoholic drinks. Some people went to the shop but some gave other people money or said they'd pay them back or to get them alcohol. He never said anything. When we got back from the shop, he said to me: "So did you get me alcohol?" Like, he just assumed I'd get it for him but he never asked or offered me any payment or anything.

Also recently I was having a board games night at my place. We're acquaintances with this older woman, though it's mainly him who hangs out with her. I said to him that I actually don't like her that much because I don't feel that I click or get along with her well. But when I was having my board games night, he asked if this woman could come. I know this part was my fault, but I gave in and said "OK" but I didn't really want her there. This was two months before my board games event though and I hadn't talked to that woman about it at all. On the night of the board games, an hour after it started, he tells me: "X woman is coming, I invited her and gave her the details and the address". I understand I'd previously said it was OK but he never told me he gave her all the details or that she was coming. And I previously mentioned I don't like her that much too and he just disregarded that.

Recently I was organising a trip to a rural city to go see the Elvis Presley art gallery exhibition which was here only a limited time and came from his Graceland ranch. We are in Australia by the way, not US. My friend loves art galleries so I asked if him and his girlfriend want to go there with my boyfriend and I. He said his girlfriend might be going interstate to see her sister, but that he REALLY, really wanted to go, even just the three of us.

A few weeks in advance I began looking up accommodation, but noticed there was barely anything available and almost everything was sold out. I knew this was due to it being the last weekend of the Elvis exhibition and also that they had some other big, popular events in that rural city. I mentioned that we really needed to book accommodation and sent three links to places available. I asked him a couple of times to let me know what he thinks of the accommodation, but he didn't really reply in our group Facebook chat and say anything. I did actually explain that there is barely any accommodation left.

I also mentioned twice that we should book Elvis Presley and asked should I book for us? The entry into the exhibition was timed sessions so we needed to book the same time together. I said the Elvis exhibition was going to sell out because it was the last weekend it was on. My friend didn't reply.

In the end my boyfriend and I booked our own accommodation and my friend said him and his girlfriend would stay with a friend of theirs living in the area. I decided I couldn't wait any longer to book Elvis because it was only a week beforehand. All the exhibition sessions turned out to be sold out except only two on a weekday (Friday). I really wanted to go so I got myself a ticket quickly and I had to take a day off work. But my boyfriend and my friend and his girlfriend missed out on the tickets.

I posted in the group chat to my friend that I'm not happy his communication had been so bad and he wasn't replying to any of my messages. I pointed out I mentioned a few times we really needed to book things. He wasn't really that apologetic and said: "Yeah we were too quiet sorry".

Then I was organising to go to an alpaca farm and my boyfriend and friend's girlfriend wanted to go. I asked my friend: "What do you think about the alpaca farm? The woman there needs us to confirm as there is only a certain time available." And my friend said: "I'm indifferent towards it, though alpacas are cute". I was annoyed because I needed a yes or no answer to know if to book. I then tagged him in the group chat and said: "I really need a yes or no answer, I'll wait for you to reply before booking". He still didn't reply for a day or more and he saw the message. I then tagged him again and said: "I'm waiting for you to answer". Then he answered "Yes I'll go".

Then he asked my boyfriend and I to meet for lunch in that rural city. We agreed on a place and I said it closes at 2 p.m., and we'll meet there at 1 p.m. He agreed. The next day he messaged and said "I'll be there at 2 p.m." I told him I mentioned the place closes at 2 p.m. and he was like "Oh I messed up". He only arrived after 2:15.

The next day we had a booking for 6:30 p.m. to see a light projection festival together. We said we'll see the festival, then have dinner together the four of us. At 6:10 p.m. he messaged us saying him and his girlfriend are heading into a restaurant for dinner. At 6:30 p.m., my boyfriend and I were walking into the light festival and I messaged my friend asking if they're coming in. My friend said no because they only just ordered their food. I said, well, we are going in since the booking is 6:30. And he was just like "okie dokie then". They were 45 + minutes late and messaged to meet us there, but we had already finished seeing the whole thing.

We were really annoyed that they just didn't respect any of our plans together and we went to dinner alone. We mentioned where we were and at 9:00 p.m. they walked in there to see us. My friend said he actually realised he messed up, his communication was bad and he was sorry and offered to buy us a drink. I thought that was a big breakthrough because before that he didn't seem to think he was being rude at all and all was fine.

Two days ago he invited me to go to another huge light projection festival in our city, but my boyfriend and I had already seen it. I asked him what time are they going to the festival and that we could just meet for dinner first. He said "we'll go to the festival about 6:00 p.m." Then he said to me we'll go to this particular Italian restaurant for dinner. I asked what time and he also said "about 6 p.m."  I said: "I can be there at 6 p.m. but please let me know what time". And he was like "yep".

Then a day went by and I didn't hear anything so I was thinking he's not going to book anything and we won't get in because it was a Friday night in the city. So I asked if he booked and offered I can do it. He then said 6:00 p.m. wasn't available so he booked 5 p.m. because it was available. The thing is I actually only finish work at 5 p.m. but he didn't contact me at all before he made the booking. I said unfortunately I can't go with them because I finish work at 5 p.m. And he was literally just like: "OK". Him, his girlfriend and our other friend are going but I was basically excluded. And he didn't apologise or seem to feel bad about it at all.

Also he didn't look up or book the big light projection festival he invited us to. I said to them in group chat it was extremely busy when we went there with my boyfriend. My friend's girlfriend checked and said it's all sold out, as it's also the last weekend of it. My friend was the one who invited us to the light festival!

I was really annoyed and angry so at 4 p.m. yesterday I sent him a few messages explaining my feelings. I don't think I was rude but I said his communication and organisation is really bad and tried to explain what I need to change. He saw the first message on Facebook but then didn't "see" any of the others I sent. And I saw he was on Facebook all night uploading lots of photos to his page. Now it's 9 a.m. the next day and he hasn't "seen" my messages. I think maybe he just left me on read?

How would you feel about all this? Do you think I should try again to be clear to him his behaviour isn't acceptable? Or should I just stop trying to make any plans with him and distance myself? He didn't use to be as bad with organising plans, especially not one-on-one. In groups he seems to have no ability to organise or communicate and also he's been acting like this since he's been with his girlfriend for eight months.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's on you. You were forewarned that he is flaky.  Flaky doesn't mean on the spectrum nor does related to someone on the spectrum mean anything.  I know families where one member is, the other isn't etc etc.  He's continuously shown himself to be flaky and unreliable and yet you continue to make high level complicated plans meaning that involve buying tickets in advance, booking specific times, etc. Why? I'd also avoid discussing this in a group chat -just because he's flaky doesn't justify you calling him out in that manner.

I have a friend I've known since the late 90s.  For the past 7 years she's been flaky about staying in touch and in particular will regularly send me messages "let's catch up by phone!" - once or twice I scheduled a call with her and she flaked.  So I was done.  Now when she contacts me I will reply "sounds good -look forward to hearing from you!" She recently contacted me again -same thing -had been close to a year this time. I replied "sounds good -after August __ is better for me.  Look forward to hearing from you! I've stopped resending my number, stopped putting in any effort.  If she calls me and I can talk I will.  But my boundary is not to waste time scheduling when it's not gonna happen.  

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

I think it's on you. You were forewarned that he is flaky.  Flaky doesn't mean on the spectrum nor does related to someone on the spectrum mean anything.  I know families where one member is, the other isn't etc etc.  He's continuously shown himself to be flaky and unreliable and yet you continue to make high level complicated plans meaning that involve buying tickets in advance, booking specific times, etc. Why? I'd also avoid discussing this in a group chat -just because he's flaky doesn't justify you calling him out in that manner.

I have a friend I've known since the late 90s.  For the past 7 years she's been flaky about staying in touch and in particular will regularly send me messages "let's catch up by phone!" - once or twice I scheduled a call with her and she flaked.  So I was done.  Now when she contacts me I will reply "sounds good -look forward to hearing from you!" She recently contacted me again -same thing -had been close to a year this time. I replied "sounds good -after August __ is better for me.  Look forward to hearing from you! I've stopped resending my number, stopped putting in any effort.  If she calls me and I can talk I will.  But my boundary is not to waste time scheduling when it's not gonna happen.  

No actually you misunderstood me...When I said I messaged him about my feelings, that was privately in PM just to him on Facebook Messenger. I was not saying anything about him in group chat. He was actually not that flakey in the past, or these behaviours were more low scale. He usually seemed to prefer to catch up one-on-one and he was fine organising plans just with me alone. The only thing really he'd done a couple of times was he owed me and other people money for trips and activities and he wasn't paying back for a few weeks until reminded once or twice. So in that sense yes I see what you mean that he showed himself to be flakey.

Recently since he's been with his girlfriend and plans are being organised in group chat with a few friends, his communication and organisational abilities seem non existent. I know he used to go very quiet in groups of people and basically didn't talk. So I'm not sure if he has trouble with communication when it's not with only one person?

We have actually gone to that rural city and to that art gallery together a couple of times before but it was only the two of us and everything was fine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh I get it - you private messaged him -totally get it!  Yes, he's changed. Likely because he's putting in his organizational effort into his girlfriend, her family, her friends.  I wouldn't analyze it beyond that.  My husband is reserved and on the quiet side and has no issue making and keeping all sorts of plans.  Sounds like his life has changed, as has his priorities.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Tinydance said:

I sent him a few messages explaining my feelings. I don't think I was rude but I said his communication and organisation is really bad and tried to explain what I need to change

Wow, you sure give a lot of chances. I've never tried this many times with someone who has shown me they are not timely and reliable. For people whose friendship I still valued, or a family member who will always be in my life, who have problems of being late and other flaky things like you've mentioned, I have altered my activities with them. With a former friend, if I invited her to a holiday gathering with a group of people to my home, it was irrelevant if she didn't show up, and we didn't wait for her to arrive to eat. If she was late, oh well. But I would never plan on meeting her at a restaurant if it was just she and I, because I'm a timely person and I don't wait for people.

No longer plan things with him that you've mentioned, whereas if it involves him paying you, making a reservation, or anything where he has the capability of angering you because he's ruined things that required precise planning.

I've never called someone out on their behavior in these kinds of situations. I adapt in ways I've mentioned, or I start letting the relationship fade away if it's more upsetting or frustrating than satisfying.

As you can see, calling him out didn't have the outcome you might have expected.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't like suggesting this, but I'd let him go as he doesn't seem to value how caring you are. If he wants to remain your friend, it's up to him to step up to the plate and show you through actions that he means it.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would put blinders on and make your plans.  Give him information and it's on him to show up, be late or none of the above. Don't worry about him or let it ruin your fun. Stay consistent, stop accommodating and he'll either realize he keeps missing the boat or he'll find other ways to entertain himself.

I would take his offers to plan with a grain of salt.  If it appears something that you can't count on, don't agree to go.

If what youre doing isn't working, do something different.

If you can document incidents this lengthy about how one person frustrates you to this degree, just reconsider the friendship.  You mentioned he wasn't that close of a friend to begin with.

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, Tinydance said:

How would you feel about all this? Do you think I should try again to be clear to him his behaviour isn't acceptable? Or should I just stop trying to make any plans with him and distance myself? He didn't use to be as bad with organising plans, especially not one-on-one. In groups he seems to have no ability to organise or communicate and also he's been acting like this since he's been with his girlfriend for eight months.

The sad part about distancing yourself from someone who has changed is that it's not actually what you want and I really empathize with you because it feels like you've lost someone in your friend group that you can do things with or call up and invite for outings like the above. It sounds like you double date quite a bit and enjoy having that couple fun or group date. 

What are the odds that it's his girlfriend who's a little wary of the double dates or is possessive or some other reason? Ie wanting to just have time with him or not want to be around you or another woman? She may not like you or she may feel threatened by you. A plan may be in place and she is the one behind the fickleness and not showing up?

He's admitted a few times he's made mistakes or messed up but it sounds like he's only paying you lip service and to keep the peace. It doesn't sound like he cares enough and your FB messages were quite critical if you're telling someone their organization is bad. If he does read them, I'm sure he shares them with his girlfriend. They may distance themselves from you anyway. Tinydance, I understand where you're coming from but it's ok to let go of someone who isn't much of a friend.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You never felt super close to him so don't put forth any effort to have him as a close friend.

It was presumptuous of your friend to expect you to buy alcohol for him yet he did not contribute paying for it.  Make sure this doesn't become a habit of his and if it is, you'll have to tell him to help pay for alcohol before purchasing it or don't buy it for him.  Settle this prior to the purchase; not after.

When you told him that it was OK to for him to bring this woman to your board games night, he did not have to tell you details about giving your address to her.  Since you gave him permission to invite her to your house, it was a done deal.   In the future, if you do not want certain people at your house or your hosted event, speak up from the beginning instead of grudgingly going against your will. 

I agree, your friend is unreliable and undependable.  His communication or timely correspondence with you is poor.

My sister falls into this category.  Recently she arranged for my relatives and in-laws to meet at a local restaurant and changed the venue SEVERAL times before finally deciding on the restaurant destination.  Meanwhile, everyone is confused and trying to ascertain the correct, final restaurant location.  At the last minute, she made some lame excuse about her maid not leaving her house yet so she was unable to attend the restaurant rendezvous which SHE initiated and arranged.  Really?  This chronic, habitual flakiness has happened numerous times in the past.  Her brain is in space.  She is ditzy and scatterbrained.  She is the most unorganized, non-committal person I know.   I've known some acquaintances and friends who are similar but my sister is the worst.  I no longer rely on her and automatically consider her as an irresponsible person.  It's easier to draw these quick conclusions because I save myself a lot of disappointment and anger.

Regarding your friend, no, don't try to be clear to him about his unacceptable behavior.  Don't lecture him.  He is who he is and you can't change him.  You can't change anybody on this Earth.  They are who they are.  A leopard cannot change its spots.  Yes, stop trying to make plans and distance yourself.  He's not a close friend so don't treat him as one. 

Don't initiate socializing, events, meals, etc.  Decline regularly and if he eventually asks you why, this is the opportunity to explain why.  People need to learn a lesson by not enjoying your company.  Either they'll miss you and become a better person or they don't care and will dismiss you.  Let that be your guide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I make room for one accidental flake, after that my own organizing style changes to cover myself going forward. I'll say, "BF and I will be in X City on Date, dining at 5:30 PM at X restaurant. You're welcome to join us. If you can make it, you'll need to phone the restaurant to change our reservation to 3 or 4 people. We also have tickets for X show at 7 PM, and you're also welcome to join us there if you'd like to buy a ticket for that time slot...."

Let HIM do the work. If you doubt he'll show if that's the case, then let his lazy-azz become someone else's babysitting problem.

This doesn't mean you need to ditch the friend, but you can limit your exposure to whatever context for which he's willing to step up and show up. That's not ditching--it's allowing him to ditch himself if he doesn't want to be thoughtful.

I wouldn't bother speaking to him about this, I'd just change MY behavior. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 Signs of A Strong Friendship – ...
5 Signs of A Strong Friendship – Spotting A True Friend

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...