It is strange that one of my close friends, who I know for years and have spent a lot of time in recreational activities, talks to me in very dry-professional language. It is a very minor thing, but it is kind of annoying me a little. For example, he would say "I would prefer to .." rather than simply saying "I want to ..". There is no language issue here, as he is fluent in English. We are not co-workers. Also, and he does not mirror me, because I don't talk in the professional language (even in professional settings).
Plus, he has a habit of talking as if he is giving a presentation at a workplace of some sort. For example, even in casual conversations, he would often not show any emotions, try his best to be perfect with the facts, no loose sentences, lots of apologies. When asked a question, just to continue the conversation, a question that does not have a definite answer, he would just say "I don't know", and close the conversation. For example, sometimes I try to have or continue the conversation by asking questions such as "so are you feeling hungry", and he would answer "I don't know". That would obviously be the end of that conversation.
In general, I am not a big fan of talking in the dry-professional language, so I don't like when my close friend talks like that. We definitely have a much closer friendship than coworkers generally have. So I am not sure why he does that. He does not have many close friends, and as I have seen, talks like that with them too. The only exception is when he is drunk, then he talks casually, like a normal person. When undrunk, he seems to live like a professional of some sort all the time. We have been close friends for many years. Although I sometimes feel only I am actively in this friendship, so it is sort of a one-sided friendship. I tend to be as accommodating as possible and try to match the "frequency" with him. But sometimes it is very frustrating to be around him.
I wonder if he has this persona because he tends to be deeply entrenched in his work and sort of an eccentric person. So far, I haven't confronted him to say that some of his behaviors are bothering me because I want to if I could find a subtle solution rather than putting him in the spot.
I wonder if anybody has any suggestions regarding how to subtly
- encourage him to speak more casually
- better ways to respond to his 'I don't know' statements