Author Topic: Staying with a friend for the weekend, question on taking personal cell calls  (Read 3084 times)

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Ctgirl

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Hello All! I'm a new member and have really enjoyed reading your forum for the past few days. I have a situation I would love to get your input on.
Last summer I spent four days with my best friend who lives about two hours away. While I was there, she would get furious with me for taking or making personal phone calls while I was staying there. We were together constantly, so there was really no opportune time to make the calls. In favor of not interrupting what we were doing, I waited until there was a break in the action before returning calls and kept my phone on silent regardless. This caused a lot of tension between us, as I felt like I was being held captive almost. The two people I was checking in with was my mother ( who I am very close with) and a guy I had just started seeing.
We talked about it after and she felt I didn't want to be there because she felt like every time I had downtime I called them. I told her I felt trapped because I am an adult but wasn't allowed to use my phone. The tension put a damper on the visit.
Now, a year later, I am going away yet again to stay with her. I'm nervous as to how this will go. I'm now officially seeing the same man and would like to keep in touch as we are quite close. What would you do in my situation? What is the proper houseguest etiquette ? Any input would be great!

Some background:
We are both unmarried women that are used to living alone.
She lives in a one bedroom condo so I slept in the room with her
We are in our early 30's

Zizi-K

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When you're staying with someone for a number of days, it isn't the same thing as meeting them for dinner. During dinner, yes, it would be rude to take calls. But it's not like you're involved in intense conversation and paying close attention to each other at every moment of a long weekend. If I spent four days with ANYONE, I would need time to myself - to make phone calls, to read, or just relax and have a quiet moment. Your friend sounds like a control freak. I would be wary of going back to that situation. You may want to bring it up before you go just to let her know that there are people you need to be in contact with, and that you will be making a couple of phone calls while you're there. But you should also keep those calls to a 10 minute checking-in length. It would be weird to have an hour-long phone call with someone you presumably see/talk to all the time. For instance, unless there was a medical emergency, I would probably not call my parents in a similar situation.

Ctgirl

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Ok great! I think you hit the nail on the head with the best way to bring it up to her...lack of alone time! You are right, four days with anyone with no time to yourself is tough. Perhaps I will try to bring it up that way before I go. Yes no long phone calls for sure! Just a quick check in is all I need :) she's been my best friend for almost all my life so i would like to see her, but she isn't used to having to share me with other people.

CrazyDaffodilLady

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In order to preserve the friendship, it would be a good idea to bring the matter up ahead of time and agree to a compromise. 

Does she get upset if you answer calls, or only if you make them? 

Did she make or get any phone calls while you were visiting?  If so, how did she handle them? 

It takes two people to play tug of war. If you don't want to play, don't pick up the rope.

Ctgirl

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I didn't answer any, I only made them. I kept them short. I waited until we weren't doing an activity because it seemed like the best time to do so, although she felt I was interrupting our bonding time by doing so. As far as I can recall, she did not take any calls when I was there, however I certainly wouldn't have minded if she did.
I agree, it will probably be best to talk to her ahead of time. What would be a tactful way to say it? i think the needing alone time angle might be less accusatory? I would say I can get up earlier in the day for some alone time since we are sharing a room, but I forgot she has her house alarmed so I can't even do that!

camlan

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I'd address the issue with your friend ahead of time. But I'd also address the issue with your mom and your gentleman friend.

Maybe you can agree with your mother that you will not call her over the weekend. If she knows ahead of time, she won't worry that suddenly you aren't calling her. And your mother could agree to call you only if there's an emergency while you are visiting your friend. Or you will only call your mom twice, or something like that--find a level of contact that you are both comfortable with.

With your gentleman friend, do the same thing. Work out how often you will be in contact, and maybe even when, i.e. you both get up early, so you'll call him every morning at 6:30, and text him a couple of time during the day. Or whatever works for the two of you.

Then, go to your friend. Tell her that you are aware that your phone calls bothered her last time, and explain that you have arranged to limit the number and duration of the calls while you are visiting her.

If she is still upset, you can explain that you are an adult, you have family and other friends that you are accustomed to being in contact with, and that you have greatly limited that contact in order to be with her. But you aren't willing to go days without communication with two very important people in your life, just to be with her. Just as she can get upset about your phone calls, you can get upset, politely, about her need to control your contact with other people.

Four days is a long time to go without talking to anyone other than your host, and I think she needs to realize that. It isn't as though you were spending hours on the phone, ignoring her. You waited until there was an appropriate time, and you made your calls then.

My take on the situation is that she is on some level jealous of your bond with your mother and your friend.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Outdoor Girl

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I would set up a time slot each day where you will make your calls and tell your friend that you have promised to check in and you will be doing it at X time each day, taking no more than Y minutes.

I'm thinking right before bed might be good - your friend goes into the bedroom first to get ready for bed and you stay in the living room making your calls, then get ready for bed yourself.  Or you get ready for bed first, come back out and make your calls so you'll be ready to bed down shortly after she is.

Another option might be first thing in the morning.  While your friend has her shower and gets ready for the day, you make your calls.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

Shoo

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I'm sorry, but this situation is bizarre to me.  You have a friend who is so jealous of your time that she gets upset when you take or receive a phone call when you are staying with her for 4 days?  This friend is overly possessive and that kind of behavior would drive me bonkers.

If you want to stay with her again, you're going to have to be assertive and set some clear boundaries, one being that she doesn't get to decide when and if you answer your phone or make calls.  You are not a child, she is not your parent and/or your spouse, you do not owe her your undivided attention at all times.  That is kind of sick.  She views you in a way that would creep me out, I think.

BarensMom

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I agree - clear boundaries are in order.  Something along the lines of, "Look, (friend), my mother and (boyfriend) will worry if I don't check in with them.  It's too bad if you're angered by this, but I'd rather make a 3-minute call and anger you than have Mom upset because she hasn't heard from me."




Hmmmmm

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How often were you calling to check in? Honestly, I would think it odd for an adult to need to check in more than once a day unless your mom was in poor health and you were checking on her.

And if you were calling the new guy 3 or 4 times a day, I would sort of feel like you were thinking  you really wished you were home with him instead of having made previous plans with me.

But I doubt I would have mentioned either to you.

I'd probably bring it up in a joking manner. "Hey, you remember last summer that you were bothered by my making calls home? Just so you know, I haven't changed my ways. I still plan to call home X times per day. Just think of it as me going outside to take a smoke break if it still bothers you."


padua

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i agree with hmmmmm. you didn't mention how many times you were calling to check in or checking for voicemails. if it was a couple times a day, that wouldn't be an issue. i had a friend fly in for a visit and she was constantly checking her texts, emails, and returning phone calls. to be honest, i felt a bit put out by it. i don't want to monopolize her time, but it is distracting to have someone so 'plugged in' that every time we had a bit of down time, she was checking something. it got to the point where i felt i was distracting HER from checking everything she felt she needed to check. were you checking in a couple times a day or was it fairly frequently?

Outdoor Girl

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The situation padua writes would drive me crazy, as well.  Having you set up specific times to make your calls (morning or evening, for example, from my post) would not.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

perpetua

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I'm going to go against the grain a little.

Obviously if your friend was "furious", then she approached it totally the wrong way. That said, I also think that barring health emergencies and the like, a grown woman in her 30s ought to be able to go a few days without needing to check in with her mother, especially when she's visiting someone else at the time who she presumably doesn't get to see as often as said mother. So, although she approached it wrong, I can see her frustration, to a degree in a "wait, would she rather be with them instead of here?" kind of way.

It also depends on, as PPs have said, how often you made the calls and how long they were. You say she felt like "every time you had downtime", you called them - well, if it was really that often and literally every time you broke from an activity, I could easily see how it might get annoying.

amylouky

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I'm going to go against the grain a little.

Obviously if your friend was "furious", then she approached it totally the wrong way. That said, I also think that barring health emergencies and the like, a grown woman in her 30s ought to be able to go a few days without needing to check in with her mother, especially when she's visiting someone else at the time who she presumably doesn't get to see as often as said mother. So, although she approached it wrong, I can see her frustration, to a degree in a "wait, would she rather be with them instead of here?" kind of way.

It also depends on, as PPs have said, how often you made the calls and how long they were. You say she felt like "every time you had downtime", you called them - well, if it was really that often and literally every time you broke from an activity, I could easily see how it might get annoying.

I agree, I would think it very odd and somewhat annoying if a guest of mine was calling to check in with people multiple times during the day. Not sure what the cutoff would be, but if your friend interpreted it as every downtime, it's possible you were going overboard with the calls. Unless you are calling to check on an urgent issue, really, what's so important that it can't wait a few days?

Piratelvr1121

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I think it does depend on the frequency and length of the calls.  When I was a teen and had my (at the time) best friend over, she'd spend a good amount of our waking hours on the phone with her boyfriend, or guy friends.  She'd do the same when I went over there, and once I did say "Look, maybe I ought to go home, you don't seem interested in spending time with me." She said no, it wasn't what she wanted, she'd finish up the call and we'd do something.  That was about the time she and I started to drift apart, though.

Years ago when I went to visit my current bff, I did call home once a day, but asked if friend minded first and she'd say "Go ahead!" I kept the calls pretty short, just wanted to see how my males were doing. 

One more instance...I went to visit another friend about 4 years ago, now and had another friend constantly calling me.  I told him I would be out of town for a week, but he kept calling and calling, about 6 times a day and I'd just ignore them all.   And when I got back home DH and I both distanced ourselves from this guy quite a bit.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata