SRS A(personal) case study - Socially Awkward Friend

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by polishillusion, May 11, 2009.

  1. polishillusion

    polishillusion New Member

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    I wanted to put out my thoughts about the interactions I have been having with this one guy I have been interacting a lot with lately. This dude is by all accounts "socially awkward", and I feel that I am going to have to severly cut back on helping him out due to it becoming too stressful to myself and my family. I would appreciate advice and critique of my thoughts on how to deal with this friend.

    This dude is by all accounts "socially awkward" to the point of being unable to find a job or successfully perform in community college, but he has a B.S. in CS because he got it from Community college and did not really have to try. He has been looking for a job for 1+ year, and has not found one, because he is not looking very hard and refuses to do so in person. He playings MMORPGs as his only form of socialization, and I am his only friend. Before quitting FFXI he had over 1 year of logged in time, and is a big time player on EVE online. He makes under minimum wage working for ChaCha right now.

    His mother kicked him out of the house about 6 months ago. He has a traumatic history with her being very unstable around him, hitting and yelling a lot. Had to raise his brother because his mother was constantly meeting guys on match.com to date.

    He lives with his dad now, has to deal with the fact that his dad is dating a woman who decided to quit being a lawyer because she wanted to "study the codes in the bible", and has to live with several triggering things daily in his fathers small apartment.

    This guy spends the occasional weekend at my house. It started a few months back, and twice it was triggered because he would call me tearful about his father not wanting him at the home to have time with his gf. I decided to let him sleep on the couch if he promised to look for work while here, which he does so superficially, minimizing the task constantly. I have recommended therapy to him, which he refuses, saying he "is not nuts and does not need it", and I am working on motivating him to go towards treatment. I did get him to attend introductionally workforce prep courses, which was about 1-2 months ago.

    I guess I am writting this because at this point I am reaching the end of my line with my patience for him, I am having a major celebration this week, and he attempted to make it an excuse for him to stay over my place for the week, and it seems as if he was not even concerned that it was my celebration but just another excuse for him to get out of his fathers house for a while (which is understandable).


    Anyone want to chime in? I am really attempting to understand what is going on here with myself, and it seems that I need to distance myself and really think about it for a while.

    Thanks.
     
  2. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Sounds like the dude's stuck between a rock and a hard place with the housing situation -- he can't afford his own housing, and he can't grow while living with his parents.

    It also sounds like he has some pretty severe ego damage, because if he felt that a good job was the way he could get to being the kind of person he wants to be and living the kind of life he wants to live -- and more importantly, if he felt that he deserved the chance to achieve that -- he'd do it. That's what normal people do. But people with narcissistic injuries don't think that way -- they protect their ego like a tiny delicate flower, and avoid anything that might challenge its value, because they think that its value is questionable in the first place.

    It would probably help if you could get him to where he understands that his worth as a human being isn't quantifiable, and that he's entitled to the same basic things as everyone else, but that anything beyond that he has to work for. For my part, I came to understand this when I was living alone next to the beach in my last semester in college, with absolutely nobody around to build me up or tear me down. The only logical answer I could come up with for why I didn't simply cease to exist without anyone noticing me (i.e. the fundamental existentialist question), is the lesson I told you at the beginning of this paragraph. It was very liberating once I understood it.
     
  3. polishillusion

    polishillusion New Member

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    I was thinking this too, but not in a psycho-dynamic way. This guy holds onto his (very childish) role of "the good person" SO powerfully that he does not even realize when he is being a piece of shit when he comes over to my house. Maybe the fact that he is slowly trying to "make himself very comfortable" at the house and is making it seem like it is normal for him to be there that is pissing me off as well. On Sunday I called him up to come over and hang out and he decided that it meant that he could stay until Wednesday, and I was too polite (and felt too guilty) to tell him otherwise.

    Every time I talk to him about it, he gets so whiny and "WHY ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT THIS?" when with anyone else they would be totally fucking ecstatic that someone was trying to get them out of their situation.

    It does seem like classic narcissistic damage the more and more I talk about it.
     
  4. METALLlC BLUE

    METALLlC BLUE New Member

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    Unfortunately, based on my experience, I have never been able to help someone with this problem beyond advising what you've already done.

    I've found these types of people to be manipulative, guilt-provoking, ungrateful, and generally obtuse. Their problems (from my observed experiences) is that they need a lot of help that they really aren't willing to accept. They cry for help and tell you're their falling. You put your hand out to help pull them up, and they just stare at you and never grab your hand as they explain all the reasons why they don't need your help now that you've already made yourself available." You can see the contradiction.

    I've excised all of these people from my life. My job in life is to make sure I'm balanced first, and then to be compassionate and helpful -- not to pity, or push people into taking care of themselves.

    Whatever direction you go, always take care of yourself.
     
  5. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    He's trying to move in slowly enough that you don't get pissed off about it, presumably because there's something about the way you treat him that is preferable to the way other people treat him. It might be better if you just offered to let him move in as a roommate who pays for his share of stuff. What I can't say is whether, if he moved in, he would hold up his end of the deal -- obviously if he didn't, that would make things a lot worse, so I'm in no position to recommend one approach over another.
     
  6. polishillusion

    polishillusion New Member

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    No, this won't work. I have no room for him, and he is so "quirky" that he I do not feel he would never, ever pay up his half of anything. He is the type that cutely gave me his brothers old gamecube games for my wii as a graduation present a week ago, and then complained to me about how poor he was and could not afford a present for me, looking for pity. He did turn my graduating into a few days of relaxation at my house, and then made fun of my schools graduation process as "luxurious and pompous" even though he attended every event I could get him into for free with gusto.

    I initially offered him my couch for free for a few weeks if he found ANY job in the area so he could get on his feet, but I doubt it would be sustainable on my end or on his. After searching for a tech job for a year (or not searching rather) he was offered several jobs to bide his time with, like at a duane read or stop n shop, and he refused those jobs even though he did not have a pot to piss in, and he went around bitching to people about it. The worst thing is that he always says "it is the economy", and to an extent it is true, but not the extent he is claiming. Zero effort on his part to do anything about work. He refuses to go looking for jobs in person, even when told to do so by everyone he knows.

    Something else that happened lately that was quirky is that I got to see how he interacts with younger people (my 12 and 14 year old cousins, and his 13 year old brother) and I had to actually stop him from "bullying" my 12 year old male cousin - I always thought he was jokingly rough on his 13 year old brother, but now I am going to actively stop it whenever I see it after seeing it a little closer.

    I got to sit with him and his brother for 6-8 hours the other day, and while his brother is slightly hyper and active (like a 13 year old SHOULD be) my friend was very demeaning and quite abuse to how he "fathered" his brother (which is parentification to the max). I was initally going to leave it be, but then my 12 year old cousin was being the same way the next day and he started talking about "how bad and stupid like his brother he was" and actually go into his face and backed him into a corner (which is a joke since this guy is a frail nerd and my cousin at 12 is already taller then both me and him). It was inappropriate enough that I pulled him to the side and told him that "my cousin was not his brother and not to pull that shit", and I think I handled it with extreme grace, because I am very protective of my cousin. This is something I will be engaging with him in the future before he sees my younger relatives again.

    In addition, seeing him having a conversation with teenagers presenting an equal emotional intellegence rather then as an adult talking in a fun way with teenagers was quite upsetting. The scariest thing is that he does not even realize it. I think I will have to limit this friend from my life like I have with others in the past.
     
  7. Ohmyashley93

    Ohmyashley93 New Member

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    I don't know how you could even call this guy a friend.
    To me he sounds like a needy mooch who either needs to get his shit together or go away.
    And quite frankly he sort of sounds like a creep-o.

    He has no buisness bossing your cousin around or his brother for any matter if he can't even be responsible enough to handle his own life.

    He's lucky enough that he was even offered a job in the present state of things. For him to turn it down is pretty much a slap in the face to you & all your efforts.
    I say you have been kind enough and it's time to kick his ass to the curb.
    When he grows some common sense then yes, maybe you guys can maintain a friendship.
    But you know..'you can only lead a horse to water.'

    You've done all you can from the sound of it.
    & kudos to you for showing such kindness! :bowdown:
    Sometimes people need a reality check for them to actually think about what their doing.

    But then the other side of me thinks what if this is the straw that breaks the camels back? you know, maybe he has too much psychological shit to deal with, which is played out in his social awkwardness.
    Ugh now i see your headache about all of this.. :squint:
    Maybe find a therapist, or group he could talk to?
     
  8. JadedFlower

    JadedFlower New Member

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    I used to hang out with a guy like that, and for the longest time i thought it was a self esteem issue or possibly some mental disability (on a very high functioning sense) but after a few years of getting to know him and trying to help him I started to realise that he wont "do for himself" what other people keep doing for him...
    In other words, and i dont know if this is the case with your friend or not, but everyone always looked out for this guy, and tried to help him get jobs and offer him places to stay to get out of his mom's house, but it was all so convenient that taking advantage of it became more subconsious than anything.
    Im not a big believer in "tough love", but sometimes you just have to let people realise that their situation wont get better unless they make an effort themselves.
     

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