I have one friend whom I get along with great ... most of the time. We see each other about 1-3 times per week, sometimes together with other friends and he is generally a pleasant person to be around - even if he is also generally quite self-centered and does not take critique too well.
Problems arise when he is in one of his special moods.
This is either:
when he is in a particular high mood - about once every quarter, he starts suggesting and planning activities together. What sounds like a done deal then, he can´t seem to remember committing to afterwards.
When he is in a particular bad mood, about once or twice every month, he does not treat you really like a friend any more, and can become quite choleric at minor things. His bad moods seem mostly related to having a stressful time.
It is not that he only treats me that way, others noticed this also and when he is in his bad mood, everyone treads lightly around him. I don´t think it goes so far as to be a mental health issue, but then I am no doctor. I think he may be overextending himself quite a bit, as he is self-employed and does usually do ~70 hours a week.
May be this reads more extreme than it is, but it´s hard for me to explain better. My wife even jokingly said he was manstruating - and that describes the extent of it about right.
While I would hate to remove him from my friend-zone, I am currently struggling with the unpredictableness and the occasional unpleasant encounter.
Main Question: How to approach him about his moods? The goal is to tell him how that affects others and suggest to him to improve how he deals with it
1. Bonus: Tips how to approach when he is in his bad mood (defusing the bomb)
2. Bonus: How to make his high promises stick or have him not make them in the first place.
We know each other about 8 years know and have been closer friends for about 6 years. I feel this moodiness was always there but got stronger - but maybe that´s just because I got to know him better. Anyways, it started to affect me only recently. I am in my late 30´s and he is in his early 40´s.
So far I have done nothing directly related to this, other than the occasional comment when I felt he treated me unfriendly directly. From other past experiences, I know he does not take direct criticism too well.
Edit: For those interested, the situation greatly improved after he broke it off with his girlfriend. Talking to him may have helped him to realize he was not in a good place with her.