My best friend, Brett, has not had the best year emotionally. His MO has been to get completely wrapped up in a relationship emotionally unavailable women to the point that he ignores almost everything else around him, then be absolutely crushed when it doesn't work out. He's been very down in the dumps for most of last year and it's to the point that very few of his friends will hang out with him anymore because he's always sad and refuses to pull himself out of it when at parties and gatherings.
The issue that spawned this thread happened most recently this weekend, but happens quite a bit. People who don't hang out with Brett a lot will see him and see that he's down in the dumps so they'll ask what's wrong. He'll mumble, "Oh...nothing." while looking like someone kicked his puppy. Well, at that point people become really curious and will automatically turn to me and ask what's wrong with Brett. Sometimes I know, but here recently, I have stepped back from the emotional roller coaster that is Brett and I no longer know why he's upset at this particular moment. I've tried just about everything to get the focus off of me, but the thing that seems to work the most is deflection, ie "Oh Brett had a mustache accident this morning and is still in mourning for his whiskers, but he'll be ok." Usually then I'm able to bean dip. Sometimes people won't let it go and then I just direct them to Brett who keeps non-answering and they keep coming back to me. It gets really old.
On the way home from dinner on Sunday, he suddenly turned to me and said, "You don't need to come up with reasons why I'm upset. I can take care of it myself and I don't really appreciate that you do that. You do it all the time, why do you do that? It drives me nuts." He was pretty upset about it. I barely choked down the four letter answer that popped into my head and answered that I did it as a deflection technique to get the focus off of me and move on to something else. He asked that I just point people his way and leave it at that. I apologized for the behavior upsetting him and he magnanimously /sarcasm forgave me.
I'm extremely hurt by this. He's the one that puts me in that position and instead of stepping in and putting a stop to the questions, leaves me to hang, then gets mad at me when I deal with it as best as I can. I'm trying to come up with a polite email that gets across that I don't appreciate being lambasted for a situation he put me in.
1) Am I being rude?
2) How do I approach this with him?