Among a circle of friends (mostly in our mid-to-late 20s), one of us is called 'Hugh'. We have been friends for several years without any falling-outs. Whether it is only the two of us meeting or in a larger group, Hugh is generally friendly and talkative. He also shares a lot of common interests with others in our group. Over time though, he has developed a few quirks that have become a little frustrating, our mutual friends have confided in me that they have started finding them annoying too.
These include but are not limited to:
- Not saying "thank you" for anything. In one example, his then-SO gave him an expensive birthday present and he said nothing in response to it. There were a few others present and it resulted in a long awkward silence.
- Even when being spoken directly to, he will sometimes space out and start singing to himself. It takes a wave or raised voice to make him realise he is still in the conversation.
- He deliberatly keeps his hands in his pockets to avoid touching doors. He neither holds doors open for people nor opens them himself. I have even seen him get stuck against a closing door while doing this.
- When invited to someone else's home, he will generally not tidy up after himself and openly complain about relatively trivial things such as the complexity of a wi-fi password or if hosts ask their guests to take their shoes off, just to give some examples.
We have been friends long enough that Hugh and I have been comfortable talking about a number of personal things over the years. One time when he was over, he left some litter on my couch so I politely but firmly asked him to bin them, a less firm suggestion was ignored. He then spoke about how I and others have been "bullying" him about these things and others. He is convinced that the way he behaves is not in any way rude and that he suspects he is being excluded from some gatherings for these reasons (currently unverified). This response has since occurred with other minor instances. If they were isolated incidents, I could understand if our friends and I were making mountains out of molehills, but Hugh's seemingly ignorant behaviour is far more commonplace than he realises. There are times when he will give a strained apology but repeat the behaviour the following day. I have told him that I only mention it to him as a friend, and that I'd worry in case he does these things to others - such as workplace colleagues - who may not be so accommodating.
I know his unawareness could be due to an obscure or diagnosed psychological issue.