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"Friends" who are cagey with information

  • 06-08-2021 9:32am
    Registered Users Posts: 7,525 ✭✭✭ BrianD3

    I seem to have a good few of these, As a result, I don't consider them actual friends. E.g. I know someone for 20 years, have spent a lot of time with him, socialised, had long conversations etc. But it became apparent that I was sharing considerably more information than he was. I wouldn't expect someone to disclose how much money they have in their bank account or if they're having difficulties getting their cock hard. However, if someone got married, I would expect to be told and not have it treated like some big secret as happened in this case.

    Another example, a person I've known for 20 years and have had many conversations about careers and life generally. I would have mentioned my parents' occupations on numerous occasions. Yet only recently did this person disclose that their father had the same occupation as my mother.

    Another example, someone who gets work done on his house regularly but getting info out of him on who did the work is like getting blood out of a stone. I assume that the strategy here is to "hoard" good tradesmen for himself, as if he tells other people, those tradesmen will get too busy.

    Numerous others too. Is this part of Irish culture, being outwardly friendly but friendships are shallow. Is it more prevalent in certain parts of the country e.g. border and west. Are people insecure and paranoid about giving away information? Whatever they're at it, doesn't seem to work that well for them, nobody I know who does this is a high achiever with a stellar career. Some would have benefitted from nepotism though, cute hoors basically.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,817 ✭✭✭ Season 2

    Posted already but I can’t delete due to the wonderful new changes.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,817 ✭✭✭ Season 2

    not sure what’s happening here I can’t delete these

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,538 ✭✭✭ StevenToast

    Keep your cards close to your chest OP.

    "Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining." - Fletcher

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,090 ✭✭✭ JeffKenna

    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,789 ✭✭✭ fvp4

    only, perhaps, the marriage is weird here. That said, op, I think you do have acquaintances not friends here. I mean they don’t think of you as a close friend.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,171 ✭✭✭ mrslancaster

    Not that unusual OP, some people just dont share as much as others. We have friends who got married & didnt tell anybody, not even their families, they didnt want any of the fuss that usually goes with irish weddings. I have some very close friends going back to teenage years & dont know what their parents occupation is & others that i know a lot about - their family, grandparents, cousins, what they all work at, where they live & go on holidays etc. I also have a very good friend who never ever talks about her family & thats fine too, her choice.

    As for recommending tradesmen, well people can be reluctant in case things dont work out for the other person or for the tradesman. We recommended a gardener years ago that was great for us but didnt suit our friend, work not as expected & too expensive..bit awkward☹️

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,343 ✭✭✭ FunLover18

    "Another example, a person I've known for 20 years and have had many conversations about careers and life generally. I would have mentioned my parents' occupations on numerous occasions. Yet only recently did this person disclose that their father had the same occupation as my mother."

    Did you never ask? Or did you ask and they didn't disclose?

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,225 ✭✭✭ Chinese whospers

    There are friends and there are friends. I've a friend from childhood living a distance from me, haven't seen in a few years, but if we met up we'd dive right in, no holds barred.

    I've got other friends (some for many years) I spend more time with, and wouldn't be as comfortable sharing with. These I met as work colleagues. Quiet close, go on holidays together, but still not as close.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,525 ✭✭✭ BrianD3

    I never asked, they would likely have disclosed if I had. I shouldn't have to ask though. Let's say you are talking about occupation x and one person says that their parent had that occupation. It forms part of the conversation which flows from there. Meanwhile the other person is holding back information. And does this multiple times over many years before casually dropping it in. Personally, I'd find that this shows very poor social skills. What harm would it have possibly caused to disclose this?

    Also, it wasn't as though they didn't want to talk about their parents at all, in other conversations they had disclosed info which, if anything, was more private/personal (related to a parent's health problems). Thinking back though, those conversations involved them being worried about their parent's health and they were probably trying to extract some free (amateur) medical advice from me.

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  • Posts: 0 ✭✭ [Deleted User]

    Didn't read the thread tbh...but it's your decision how much information you share with if they are flakey or private. .thats who they need to question it!! My motto is if people don't want to open up...then that's their thing...if they do eventually...then maybe you've established a good frienfship or maybe not...then I guess that's your decision..there are many other scenarios...

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,143 ✭✭✭ the_pen_turner

    i would put money on their being a reason for not saying that his father is in the same job as your mother.

    maybe they know each other, or he doesnt want them to

    maybe his father is her boss or over her or under her some way and wants to keep that seperate

    maybe they dont get along

    maybe he doesnt want to siht on his own doorstep.

    who knows the reason

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,525 ✭✭✭ BrianD3

    No, none of this is the case. Apart from having the same occupation, there was no personal connection whatsoever between my mother and his father. Also it is not a "controversial" occupation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,143 ✭✭✭ the_pen_turner

    can you say that with 100% certanty.

    either way im only useing those as an example. who knows what the resons are. it might be someother situation that happened in the past that has created this view point .

    it is a strange thing to do without a reason. you my mother is a teacher , your reaction is to go , oh my father is one aswell

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,225 ✭✭✭ Chinese whospers

    The Ma and the Da are clearly having an affair, meeting up at work conferences.

    Either that or I have an over active imagination. 50/50 I'd say. 😜

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,525 ✭✭✭ BrianD3

    The rugby/golfer example is a great one. Could it be that this successful solicitor sees this famous golfer as a potentially useful business contact and that he is hiding this person from everyone he knows on the off chance that others may benefit from this instead of him. So he sees "business" downside but no "social" benefit to sharing the info with you even though he knows (or should know) that you are interested in golf.

  • Posts: 0 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

    "Depends who's asking," OP :D

    maybe it has something to do with lingering, chilling social effects of things like Section 31 and the like, which meant that you had to watch what you said about 'the national question' (and also meant that censorship was in your face and state supported, Chinese-style) and also the influence of the Catholic Church which meant you had to be careful about the moral and theological interpretation of your words or risk being ostracized from polite society. As Boards proves, the result is that we talk a lot and say nothing :)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,299 ✭✭✭ Snotty

    I'd say the common denominator here is the OP, I would share loads with some friends however there are a couple of friends that I'm sure anything I tell them would be relayed to any willing recipients, even mundane things like the fathers occupation, it's not that the occupation means anything, it's just that I don't want to even create a situation where my father's occupation would enter some random conversation these people could have.

    I'd also say the OP creating this thread and being bothered by someone not telling them everything even mundane stuff is proof enough for me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 582 ✭✭✭ Heraclius

    If someone is unwilling to share even basic information with you then they clearly don't trust you much and are not your friend. I would cut back heavily on how much you share with that person. It's possible when you do you'll realise that you were the only one keeping the "friendship" going. It honestly sounds so boring to deal with someone who isn't exchanging more than pleasantries or banal conversation with you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,526 ✭✭✭ xieann

    The way this situation turned out galvanized my own attitude towards "friends":

    In college I completed 2 years with a fella from Limerick - I'm from Dublin. He had bit of difficulty with submitting stuff for his repeat exams, so I emailed him some of my own coursework at the end of year 2. Both of us spend a year ou working and then returned the same college year to college.The rest of the class did'nt accept us. Looking back, it may have been a good move for me to abandon the year. My "friend" had no acadamic inclination at all, and spoke about how he "fast talked the course leader" (who had no respect for either of us) into giving us more time into completing our end of year project.By some miracle, I passed the year without having to repeat the Final exams. I just had to endure this fellas smug smarminess in the college graduation ceremony the following October where he used me as his foil and I despised being there.

    His true flying colours.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,323 ✭✭✭ Blaaz_

    id be bit like this,private to extent most my friends wouldnt know,where/what i work particular reason,and not a reflection on OP,but its just the way i am

    Im not a mad lad concerned about privacy/gdpr to extent id be particularly concerned about government/corporate monitering/cookies etc....

    ...but on a personal level,its just a preference to keep people at arms length (if you have been given my ph number-i rate you v.highly),as alonetime is hard to come by nowadays with how busy life is,

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,871 ✭✭✭ Gadgetman496

    C'mere till I tell ya!... Now don't tell anyone or I'll never tell you anything again 😂

    "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,343 ✭✭✭ FunLover18

    Sorry but I do think you're overreacting. In what way could it possibly have developed the friendship further to know what their parents' occupations are.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,825 ✭✭✭✭ Mad_maxx

    Oh Irish people are perfectly fine with nosiness as long as its them who is fishing for information

    Same folks have a " tell em nothing " attitude

  • Registered Users Posts: 564 ✭✭✭ Brid Hegarty

    That phrase is over used. It's best to just stay away from you're enemies. Even if I did plan on getting some sort of revenge on someone, I wouldn't want to become close to that person as it would only make me doubt whether they do in fact deserve what I plan on doing to them.

    Maybe such a phrase would be good advice in some alternate reality where all your family were murdered and it would be worth investing the time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,552 ✭✭✭✭ Ash.J.Williams

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  • Registered Users Posts: 564 ✭✭✭ Brid Hegarty

    I've known a guy like this for years. He never has any news. I'm mostly happy to share the news in my life as there's usually a lot (we only meet about every 3 months). Although I share more about myself with him than he does with me, from experience now I know to always ask myself first, if he would be willing to share that equivalent detail about his life. Otherwise I would feel annoyed with him when remembering things I said.

    It's fine, but I do have to be careful that the conversation isn't just all about me because I'm being selfish... and that he's enjoying the conversation too. But if I didn't share my life events, we'd just be talking about silly things like how to beat traffic or the weather.