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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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priss88c Offline
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Should I tell my friend what I think of him?? - October 28th 2009, 07:26 AM

I want to tell a friend that perhaps he's being a bit too narrow-minded in some matters. However, I'm not sure if this is just me imposing my values on other people, so I really am not sure if I should tell him what I honsetly think.
Basically, I think he's got the wrong end of the problem.
He knows he's anti-social, and that some people do not want to be close friends with him, and he attributes that to his having very different values from other people.

He defines himself as a person who is not swayed by obligations. He will not do something that he is "obligated" or "should" do. His view is basically that if he is not sincerely willing to do something, he will not do it, otherwise he's being a hypocrite. I don't think this is wrong or anything, but the way he asserts his values bothers me (and some other people).

For example, the other day I told him my other friend asked me to pick her up at 7AM at the airport, and even though I wanted to say "no" because it's at such an early time and I want to sleep in, I couldn't bring myself to do it because she's my friend, so I said yes. He termed this as my "trying to act like a good person" because I am doing something that I am not sincerely willing to do.

I don't have any problem with his values, but I think a lot of people choose not to be friends with him not because of his values, but because he has a very hard time relating to other people and do not try to understand why they feel the way they feel.

For example, when his apartment mate moved out of the apartment without finding a sublet, he did not make any effort to find a sublet himself. When I asked him why he did not do so, his answer was that he thinks it has nothing to do with him because the irresponsible party is the person who moved out, and that because the person who moved out did not live in his room (it's a 2-bedroom apartment), he sees it as the other room's inhabitant's responsibility to find a replacement; basically, he said that he will consider his responsibility to find a replacement for the apartment IF the inhabitants of the other room all move out. However, his apartment mates did not quite agree; they were rather annoyed at this because they felt like as part of the apartment, he is responsible for helping the others find a replacement, too. However, they did not voice their disagreement to him, because most of the time, he uses his own arguement to dismiss others' point of view.

I don't know how to tell him this, but a lot of people do not like him because when their views come in conflict with his, he always makes it sound like his stance is the one that counts: if he doesn't feel obligated to do something, he will not do it, and he will not compromise, because that's against his values. However, I think he is unaware of the fact that when asserting his own stance, he is completely disregarding how other people might feel on the matter. What of others that don't think like he does? Are they wrong? Does that mean they should suffer his not taking part in what THEY think he is responsible for doing?

If others think he has some sort of obligation towards them, but he doesn't think so, he always manages to assert himself as the justified party (bringing out the argument that he hates being hypocritical). What of others who believe that sometimes people are obligated to do things in order to stregthen relationships?

The truth is, I'm really confused in this matter myself. I feel like my friend is not wrong in believing in his values, but I also feel like his always asserting his values as a reason to NOT understand others is kind of narrow-minded.

So I really don't know if I should tell him what I think, because we've been friends for a long time and we're usually honest with each other. However, in this case, I don't know if I should tell him what I think because this could very well just be MY perspective and MY not being understanding of his situation.
   
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