Author Topic: Communicating / corresponding problem: "irresistible force and immovable object"  (Read 4157 times)

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Teenyweeny

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To clarify, OP, what is it that you don't like about Skype?

1) Can't use it?

2) Don't like the webcam aspect?

3) Don't like talking on the phone in general?

4) Takes longer than email?


For 1, I'd suggest you have somebody IRL teach you how to Skype. And don't say you couldn't learn! I'm a firm believer that anybody can learn anything, if they want to and they aren't afraid. Some people might need extra help, and some might take more time, but that's it.

For 2, you can use Skype just for voice calls, no webcam.

For 3, as PPs have suggested, use the instant messenger service.

For 4, I do a lot of Skyping, and I find it works really well if you treat it as 'somebody else in the room'. So get up, potter about, and just keep chatting. I usually say things like "I have to just clear this table, but keep talking, I'm listening!". Of course, I only do this with people I know really well!



Teenyweeny

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p.s. Of course, your friend isn't being reasonable to want it all his own way, 100% of the time, but you knew that already.  :D



Lynn2000

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He does just kind of sound jerky to me.  :-\ He's so super-important and busy that everyone else needs to dance to his tune if they want the privilege of talking to him? Uh, no thanks.

I think the Skype bit is a red herring. But successfully used on his part, if he's convinced the OP it's their own fault for not being a good friend, because they have trouble with it.  :-\ "If you're really my friend, you'll drive six hours to meet me at this cafe at 6:30am on Wednesday for a 30 minute window in my schedule. What, that's inconvenient for you? Clearly you don't really value our friendship, then." Okay, that is unkind hyperbole on my part, but I see it as being in the same vein. And that's not really cool.
~Lynn2000

cabbageweevil

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Teenyweeny -- I'll try and answer by interpolating in bold.

To clarify, OP, what is it that you don't like about Skype?

1) Can't use it?
Have forgotten -- and / or lost written instructions -- re how to initiate Skype calls from my end. I have contacts near my home,from whom I could get help on this.

2) Don't like the webcam aspect?
Not applicable here -- I've known how to Skype, only -- sound-only, and wearing a headset plugged into my computer.

3) Don't like talking on the phone in general?
Not hugely happy talking on the phone, as a rule; but it's not a deal-breaker.

4) Takes longer than email?
I'm more comfortable, altogether, with e-mail; but that's not really about duration.


For 1, I'd suggest you have somebody IRL teach you how to Skype. That's possible and handleable (see above). And don't say you couldn't learn! I'm a firm believer that anybody can learn anything, if they want to and they aren't afraid. Some people might need extra help, and some might take more time, but that's it.

For 2, you can use Skype just for voice calls, no webcam.

For 3, as PPs have suggested, use the instant messenger service.

For 4, I do a lot of Skyping, and I find it works really well if you treat it as 'somebody else in the room'. So get up, potter about, and just keep chatting. I usually say things like "I have to just clear this table, but keep talking, I'm listening!". Of course, I only do this with people I know really well! As mentioned above, I'm perforce anchored to the desk and computer, when Skyping.

cabbageweevil

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He does just kind of sound jerky to me.  :-\ He's so super-important and busy that everyone else needs to dance to his tune if they want the privilege of talking to him? Uh, no thanks.

I think the Skype bit is a red herring. But successfully used on his part, if he's convinced the OP it's their own fault for not being a good friend, because they have trouble with it.  :-\ "If you're really my friend, you'll drive six hours to meet me at this cafe at 6:30am on Wednesday for a 30 minute window in my schedule. What, that's inconvenient for you? Clearly you don't really value our friendship, then." Okay, that is unkind hyperbole on my part, but I see it as being in the same vein. And that's not really cool.

Well -- yes to all the above.  He's not consciously and deliberately arrogant and obnoxious -- and in a face-to-face situation, he's mostly a lovely guy -- but with his priorities being as they are, in a "many miles apart" situation his behaviour tends strongly toward the jerk-ish.  Realistically -- it would seem that the friendship is, effectively, largely on its way out.

cass2591

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Lyn2000 -- have to agree: I'm likewise at a point in my life (age 65) where doing all the heavy lifting in a friendship, for sure doesn't appeal.  Like you with Joan -- friendship me / Thad, I feel probably on the way out.

I personally find it a little odd that he uses being busy as his reason for wanting to Skype.  Out of all the many forms of communication, Skype seems like the one that would be most complicated as you have to make sure that someone is actually at their computer so that you can connect. Whereas with email you can respond at any time.  Even with chat, there are ways that you can do that using a smart phone so you don't have to be physically at your computer.

Getting rather flippant, and taking some risk of offending people: Thad is Anglo-Polish, the child of Poles who sought refuge in the UK post-World War II, and became British citizens. After the fall of Communism, he went to live in Poland, where he now spends some five-sixths of the year, with brief visits a few times a year, to UK. It's a stereotype held by many other nationalities, that Poles are weird, and rather impervious to logic and common sense. No offense meant to anyone on eHell who is Polish or of Polish extraction -- and I love Poland and the Poles -- but as regards this guy, I do sometimes wonder...

Quote
I too am not a big fan of talking on the phone so that may be coloring my response but I also think Skyping is kind of awkward a lot of the time.  Like you kind of are "on". But then, I suppose if you do it a lot it might not seem that way anymore?

As to how to solve this problem? Could you tell him that you too are super busy and are only on your computer a limited amount of time so it would be best if you can email in between some sort of Skype schedule?

I really do feel, no use telling him anything -- it has to be what's convenient for him, no-one else's convenience matters to him in the slightest.  He isn't deliberately and consciously selfish and callous -- just, he feels that his doings are so vital and important, that mere communicating with associates is trivial in comparison, and etc. ...  He makes brief visits to the UK a few times a year, but he's too busy in those, to make any attempt to contact me re getting together -- if he even has my UK phone number -- I should just recognise that I've come to be of minimal importance to this chap, and act accordingly.  We share a strong interest in a hobby / avocation, which first brought us together; but even that doesn't cause him to do any getting-in-touch with me, if not totally on his terms.  People are people, and certainly not angels...

shhh its me: alas, my comprehension of the intricacies of Skype, is poor -- and getting "tutors" re same, would be a problem. I didn't even know that you could type in Skype... Perhaps I should just go back to 1914, end-of  ;) ! -- except that then I'd be suffering misery with newfangled telephones and telegrams -- and as for wireless telegraphy...

First of all I the bolded sentence is very similar to "I don't mean to be rude, but..."

Secondly, your friend's nationality is totally irrelevant and I don't understand why you included it.
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cabbageweevil

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First of all I the bolded sentence is very similar to "I don't mean to be rude, but..."

Secondly, your friend's nationality is totally irrelevant and I don't understand why you included it.

I got carried away there -- was out of line.  Sorry.

wik31

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He does just kind of sound jerky to me.  :-\ He's so super-important and busy that everyone else needs to dance to his tune if they want the privilege of talking to him? Uh, no thanks.

Jerky? All I see here is that he is living his boundaries - I moved away, I'm happy to not be in contact with you for months on end, if you want to communicate by Skype then we can keep in touch but that's really all I'm interested in.  Simply because OP would like more frequent contact or in another mode than he is comfortable with does not mean her friend is obligated to meet her preferences or change his behaviour.
OP I think your friend is making it clear that he doesn't consider you to be someone he needs to be in frequent contact with, and it's up to you to decide if you want to maintain this level of emotional investment in someone who doesn't seem to reciprocate it. Simply because you like someone or enjoy their company does not in any way obligate them to reciprocate your enthusiasm. 

cabbageweevil

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He does just kind of sound jerky to me.  :-\ He's so super-important and busy that everyone else needs to dance to his tune if they want the privilege of talking to him? Uh, no thanks.

Jerky? All I see here is that he is living his boundaries - I moved away, I'm happy to not be in contact with you for months on end, if you want to communicate by Skype then we can keep in touch but that's really all I'm interested in.  Simply because OP would like more frequent contact or in another mode than he is comfortable with does not mean her friend is obligated to meet her preferences or change his behaviour.
OP I think your friend is making it clear that he doesn't consider you to be someone he needs to be in frequent contact with, and it's up to you to decide if you want to maintain this level of emotional investment in someone who doesn't seem to reciprocate it. Simply because you like someone or enjoy their company does not in any way obligate them to reciprocate your enthusiasm.

wik31 --That is negated a bit, I feel, by his having messaged (vestigially) to me, "long time no hear".  Either -- as you suggest -- he's up for communication by Skype, or nothing, and he really doesn't give a [whatever]; or: he would, despite communicational preference-difference problems, like to remain in touch.  "Vestigial message" as above, suggested to me the latter.  I e-mailed him in reply; four days after, no response from him.  I have the feeling that we both wish, in principle, to be in touch; just -- we both being fairly selfish types -- practicality tends strongly to override principle.

wik31

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He does just kind of sound jerky to me.  :-\ He's so super-important and busy that everyone else needs to dance to his tune if they want the privilege of talking to him? Uh, no thanks.

Jerky? All I see here is that he is living his boundaries - I moved away, I'm happy to not be in contact with you for months on end, if you want to communicate by Skype then we can keep in touch but that's really all I'm interested in.  Simply because OP would like more frequent contact or in another mode than he is comfortable with does not mean her friend is obligated to meet her preferences or change his behaviour.
OP I think your friend is making it clear that he doesn't consider you to be someone he needs to be in frequent contact with, and it's up to you to decide if you want to maintain this level of emotional investment in someone who doesn't seem to reciprocate it. Simply because you like someone or enjoy their company does not in any way obligate them to reciprocate your enthusiasm.

wik31 --That is negated a bit, I feel, by his having messaged (vestigially) to me, "long time no hear".  Either -- as you suggest -- he's up for communication by Skype, or nothing, and he really doesn't give a [whatever]; or: he would, despite communicational preference-difference problems, like to remain in touch.  "Vestigial message" as above, suggested to me the latter.  I e-mailed him in reply; four days after, no response from him.  I have the feeling that we both wish, in principle, to be in touch; just -- we both being fairly selfish types -- practicality tends strongly to override principle.

I absolutely believe this guy likes you and wants to be your friend, it just sounds to me that there may be a disconnect in the level of friendship that's expected.
I'm in this situation myself - I'm the friend who moved away.  I can get a funny text from someone and casually reply "ha ha, awesome, I miss you" and get a response of "miss you too, hope to see you in April". That's lovely. However there is another person to whom that reply would bring a response of "well you wouldn't miss me so much if you kept in contact more often!"  And to that I honestly don't know what to say, so I end up saying something like "sorry been busy" or some other polite fob off. I  enjoy catching up for a drink with this person when I visit, but I don't need or want to be in weekly contact with them.  I don't forget or delay keeping in contact with those who are truly important to me and a valuable part of my life, and I don't know how to politely communicate "I like you but you're not terribly important to me, so please lower your expectations." I just think you need to make sure you're paying attention to what's NOT being said/done as well as what IS being said/done. "Long time no hear" should be given as much weight as the lack of reply to your email.