The phone rang. I looked down at the caller ID, and promptly silenced it. It was a friend of mine. I have known him for a long time. I hate it when he calls. Our friendship has continued over the years simply because every few months/years he guilt trips me into having a cup of coffee with him, or even worse, returning his call.
He has done reasonably well for himself. Got a degree at one of them fancy institutions. He has a nice house in a nice neighborhood. He has a decent job in the finance world. He drives a fancy car. So you would think he would be an okay guy. The kind you invite to BBQs in the back yard, introduce to your husband and help form life long friendships. You would think I would be good friends with his wife since we have known each other so long.
The problem is, none of this is feasible. He is not the type to invite to parties, or any other type of occasions where other people would be present (because they will blame you for his presence). He is not that great at conversation (mainly because he is the only one doing any of the talking and would not let another person get a word in). And his wife is not that great, because she doesn’t exist. No one can put up with this guy long enough to date him, let alone marry him.
I have tried being a true friend to him, and actually point out all of the above and how he might be able to fix it, rationalizing that he either takes my advice and becomes a better person who I would truly want to be friends with, or he resents me forever and never calls again. Win, win right?
That is not how things work. He didn’t take my advice, because apparently I am too ignorant to know anything, but he can’t be mad at me for my ignorance, so I guess we are still BFFs.
I am sure by now you are wondering why he is so obnoxious. It is a combination of his bragging and the satisfaction he gets in putting others down.
As I mentioned, he is doing pretty good for himself. I cannot say I feel jealous because the majority of his bragging centers around his career. I have absolutely no desire for his career. I have enough trouble keeping up my own finances, and I in no way want to keep track of anyone else’s. Most people I know would also not have a jealousy issue with him. It is the second part of his personality that gets everyone. He loves making others feel bad about themselves. No one wants or likes this.
No matter what stance you have on a subject, or how knowledgeable you are in a specific area, you are wrong, you are ignorant for being wrong, he is right, and he is going to let you know. There is no arguing with him, because, well, you can’t argue if you can’t get a word into the argument.
And when he is done making you feel stupid, he starts with the boasting and bragging about how awesome he is, how much stuff he has, how great his job is, and how far he has reached in life. When he is done your head will hurt so much you will just smile, nod, congratulate him on being born, and pray to never have to withstand his company again.
So I pushed the ignore button on my phone. As much as I love coffee, this time I am going to pass.
Do you have anyone like this in your life? How do you cope with them?