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Context:

A group of friends did something to me that was, to say the least, inconsiderate: We had an appointment in a certain place, let's call it A.

I live in another city (this is a rather new situation, been here for one month and a half), so I told them I was going to get there at a certain hour. They were going to meet earlier. Then, when they were together, they decided to go to another place, let's call it B. They told me this through text message even when I had told them I was not going to be reading them because I would be driving (in fact I was driving to A). They were also aware that I was not reading it because the app allows you to see it.

Not only that, but place B was much closer to the original city I was at, so I passed by oblivious to the fact they were there, went almost to A, and then saw the message. I refused to go back to B and went home, showing one of them, at least, discomfort.

Now this friend, which is also the one who had organised the original plan with me, sent me two messages in a humorous tone trying to downplay it. Then asked me whether I was "angry". I then answered "I am not angry", trying to imply I was rather disappointed instead of angry, but then he interpreted it as if my anger had then disappeared after two days and everything was okay again.

Now I can understand what happened could have happened to anyone, they were simply inconsiderate to my situation. But this pissed me off.

What is the best way to deal with this situation? Expressing them what I felt, also considering the fact that I had declined another plan to go with them, and the fact that I am passing through a hard personal moment.

Also please do note that what, in fact, makes me angry, is my friend asking me repeteadly "Are you angry?", "Are you still angry?" as if this was my own problem I he had nothing to do with it. Even if this is my best friend from the six, I would like to tell all of them that they are, at least, responsible for not warning me, as they had all read my message. One of them even told me on the phone, Why don't you read the messages?


Since I cannot post comments, I answer here:

Have any of them apologised for the incident? Was the decision to move to Location B on a whim, or was there something more urgent that kept them from going to A

None of them have apologised, one of them has completely ignored the matter, simply talking to me as always. The other one is the one I mention above, and I have not seen the other ones.

  • Have any of them apologised for the incident? Was the decision to move to Location B on a whim, or was there something more urgent that kept them from going to A? – user8671 Apr 27 '18 at 10:57
  • I know several people that dwell forever to the point where they seem to enjoy at any chance they get to be angry and pissed or whatever at other people because someone did something wrong and they are the victim (for once?)! Do you have a goal in mind or would you simply like to enjoy every possible moment to the fullest and punish your friends while you still can before the entire affair is old news and nobody takes you seriously anymore? Long story short, please specify a goal because currently it kind of sounds as if you're asking how to be as spiteful as you can given the situation – Raditz_35 Apr 27 '18 at 12:15
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My advice is twofold:

  1. learn to express yourself to your friends precisely and firmly, but non-aggressively (= not attacking).

The model of non-violent-communication (NVC) that has been coming up in a recent question on this site offers a good template for that.

This includes communicating your feelings. Could be something like...

Listen, when I arrived at the place and being alone there, I felt sad, and also a little angry, because I was longing for reconnecting and having a good time with you. I’d ask you guys to be part of this decision if to go to another place or not.

The template is

  • providing context (when I arrived...)
  • describing feelings
  • describing need
  • requesting specific action (being part of the decision to be able to address your preferences)

...all of this with as little judgement as possible - this is supported by I-statements instead of you-statements.

Judgement (“nobody of you f*** d*** cared enough to my situation” or similar) is - while understandable from your POV - considered verbal violence and will lead to counter violence while bringing down probability to understand and be understood in order to solve the problem and heal the relationship.

  1. talk and DO NOT TEXT

best face to face without any device in between, second-best by phone, third video-chat.

Written or recorded language as means to communicate emotional and interpersonal issues is prone to unintentional and intentional misunderstanding and therefore decreasing probability for resolving the issue.

This is not only detrimental to the issue at hand, but damaging to you and your skills to handle your emotional and social interactions in a meaningful way.

  • This is very helpful advice. When I was in a similar situation as the OP (and one of the others had my contact info, but I did not have theirs, plus my cell phone would spontaneously fail due to a bad battery) I felt angry and abandoned and confused and sad. I felt so much better when talking with them the next day to clear it up, much like michi recommends. Good luck! – cactus_pardner Apr 27 '18 at 19:31
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A group of friends did something wrong, how to tell them without exaggerating, but still defending my position?

This is the wrong question in the situation you are in. You need to understand the social rules the group are showing.

  1. The group can decide what is happening at any point up to an event

  2. Each member of the group has to agree to the groups decision

  3. Communication failure by 1 individual will not effect the outcome

These rules often work in these social situations. The fluidity is very useful but relies on constant communication which mobile phones provide.

Unfortunately you have become a victim of failing the rule. And if a venue is much closer for the majority, this easily becomes accepted by the group when proposed, leaving odd parties out in the cold.

So there is not a right or wrong position in this situation, but a balancing of perspectives.

Based on this background, you can apologise for being angry and understand why they chose a closer venue, which would have been fine, if you had known. So a proposal would be to consider effort for the group in planning so these kind of situations do not occur in the future.

So that is what I would propose you share, that they did fail to tell you when they changed, which was a mistake, but you understand why, and is ok.

I wonder if you can see this, through being angry. I have been in your situation myself, but then, people do these type of things all the time.

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I want to establish a few points:

  • Your friends should not have changed the meetup location without receiving confirmation from everyone, first. If their text went unanswered, they should have tried to call. Having said that, if you heard your text, you could have pulled over to check it.
  • You lied to your friend when you said you weren't angry. This didn't help the situation, even if it avoided a confrontation at the time. If someone asks if you're angry and you are, you cannot later complain about it if you don't own up to what you're feeling and tell them the truth.

It seems like you want to maintain the relationship(s), but you also want to confront your friend(s) over the problem. I'd suggest contacting them and explaining that you are indeed hurt by what happened. Start by apologizing for waiting this long to talk it over and for not talking to them at the time about the problem.

Approach it from your own perspective, and carefully avoid blaming them. "I would have loved to meet closer to my home, but I wasn't aware the meeting place had changed. I'm upset that the group changed the meeting place without confirming it with me, first."

In terms of the texting and driving, make it clear that when an urgent decision is required from you, you'd prefer an attempt at a phone call instead of a text. You're more likely to hear a ringing phone in the car, and can pull over and call back if you don't have a hands-free setup. Tell your friends these things.

At this point, if they apologize, you should quickly accept their apology. If they don't, then you should get over it, because you originally told them it wasn't a problem. That's your issue, not theirs. To your friend's credit, he asked. Grant amnesty this time around, and wait to see if it's a pattern of behavior. If it is, your friends lack the level of consideration you require from other people. You should look for a group of friends who have more in common with your own values.

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