1

I have a pair of friends who I like to hang out with a great deal. We like to go out once a week. However, one of these friends refuses to go to any bar more than a few miles from his house. I end up having to travel 30 miles or more to hang out with them. The refusing friend contends that he is unable to travel to my side of town. The refusing friend is not impaired though he does have a somewhat demanding job (no over time challenging deadlines white collar work).

I feel that this is unfair. Why should I always drive the extra distance? I'm not unwilling to drive 30 miles 6 or 8 times a week, but I expect some level of parity -- the 7th or 9th time it would be nice if he came out.

I have tried stating that it would be nice to go to my side of town. He gave me the empty promise of saying we could do that.

I have suggested well known bars on my side of town. He always refuses.

Most recently I spoke with the other friend involved and made plans with him and him alone.

What would be the best way to argue my position? My goal, again, is to achieve some level of parity. Note that he can be extremely standoffish and sees himself as an expert even if himself as an expert.

closed as off-topic by Ælis, gparyani, sphennings, avazula, Suimon Dec 10 '18 at 7:01

  • This question does not appear to be about interpersonal skills, within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • I'm not clear on what his actual objection is-- has he given you one? – Upper_Case Dec 7 '18 at 23:44
  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this sounds like a phrasing request which is off-topic here – Ælis Dec 8 '18 at 6:07
  • Welcome to IPS! Unfortunately, your question, as it is, sound as a phrasing request which is off-topic here. However, you can edit to make your question more about having a conversation with him and less about convincing him. For example, "how can I ask my friends why he doesn't want to go to my side of town (while making sure that I will have a true answer)?" – Ælis Dec 8 '18 at 6:12
3

He's not willing to argue, he's only willing to refuse. He apparently told you that he can't go to your side of town, only to later tell you that he can (though he backed out, so we don't know that he actually can or cannot). Without knowing what his actual reason for refusing to travel to your side is, there isn't going to be any meaningful strategy for discussing this with him. Argumentation is irrelevant when all he will say about his position is "no". If you currently have, or someday receive, some other information, the situation may be different.

The only remaining options are to continue to cater to him (which you don't want to do, hence this question) or to elide him, even if that means you don't get to hang out with him.

What I would do is be more assertive about the social outings themselves, and focus less on accommodating this friend. Pick places and times when you and Friend 1 will hang out, and inform Friend 2 of this. He's invited to an already planned outing, not helping to plan that outing.

If you and Friend 1 agree that this week you'll go to Bar A near Friend 2's home, then great, everyone can hang out easily. If you and Friend 1 agree that next week you'll go to Bar X on your side of town, tell Friend 2 the plan and then let him choose to come or not.

You don't have to do this every time (though if you do, Friend 2 might better understand the message), but the main point is that Friend 2's refusal to compromise at all leaves you with bending to his wishes or simply not spending that time with him. By refusing to discuss, at all, options that interest you he is abdicating his position in the planning discussions.

Asking Friend 2 about his preferences is meaningless, since you already know what those are, and he hasn't offered a meaningful reason to you for his position or his obstinance.

0

"Hey [friend]. It's 30 miles to get to your side of town. Couldn't you at least meet me half-way?

I don't know if there is anything worth doing halfway between your residences, but if so it's only good manners to agree to split the travel time. At least this way you're both slightly inconvenienced, instead of it all on one side.

Unless he has some actual physical impairment, or financial difficulty, the reasons aren't really important. We all have reasons. Friendship means give-and-take.

If your friend still refuses to do so, then consider cutting back on the number of times you get together, until you reach some level of inconvenience. There comes a point when it shifts from being annoying to outright rude, and while I know the British are famous for tolerating impoliteness, surely forbearance has its limits?

If nothing else, consider the additional travel cost. Here in the US travel cost is generally measured to be around $0.50 per mile, so 30 miles is about $15 -- $30, if it's 60 miles round-trip -- which is hardly insignificant, especially when it's up to eight times each week. I don't know about you, but that's a good portion of my mortgage.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.