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Problems with a Friend of Mine

RevolutionaryRevolutionary Registered User regular
edited December 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
TLDR at bottom.

Does anyone here have the dramatic, over-reactive friend who exaggerates stories or simply makes them up? The type who gets angry just because he can and then calms down about 5 minutes later after some melodramatic ordeal?*

Does anyone have a solution?

Calling him Jerry, he's my age (15, although he acts maybe 12 in the regard I described) and is generally nice and a fun person. But he has these flaws that can really kill the experience sometimes.

I'd bring it up with him, but as I said he's over-reactive. I'd get a friend of ours and talk to him about it but frankly I don't think the other one cares that much (although he agrees with me) and Jerry might see it as some sort of betrayal. He once got up and left silently when everyone but him thought a rule in a card game was x when he though it was y.

Another friend of mine used to be like him in some aspects but he's good now. Am I to assume I should just wait it out? So far when he makes these stories (they sound downright exaggerated, it's very hard to believe) I sort of say 'yeah, cool.' I thought this would be a hint, but it isn't working.

Help? I'm typing this late at night, so I may add more later.


*Examples: claiming he nearly 'got lucky' with a girl, was in love with her (and a dramatic story on how it ended, somehow making him sound experienced in life... It's almost like he invented an interesting fictional character and made it him in reality), claiming that he physically fights back against his parents when they beat him (other story but its fixed up now), saying he does a martial art that he isn't allowed to name (what a hardcore?)


TLDR: Over-reactive, story-telling friend who is otherwise good. What do I do?

Revolutionary on

Posts

  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Looks like you gotta put up with it for now. I had a friend like that as well, but when we started calling him out on his bullshit he started toning it down. However, I don't really recommend this tactic because it's pretty damn mean.

    It's not something you can easily bring up without making him go buck wild on you. He needs some self realization that he's acting like a chode when he does stuff like that.

    urahonky on
  • RevolutionaryRevolutionary Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Calling him out actually sounds fine to me if its not in front of too many people. I mean, he lied to us, right?

    So you don't know any way to speed this up?

    Revolutionary on
  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Other than calling him out on his bullshit (as long as it's constructive and around people he's comfortable with) should help the "process". Just don't yell at him/call him names. That's not going to help him at all, and probably bring him down/make it worse.

    urahonky on
  • EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    If he's not able to make up these stories, he's not going to want to hang around you guys. It's an annoyingly common thing for some socially inept kids around this age to do this -- there were 2 in my high school as well. One guy, twiggy and short, was huge into pro wrestling and would talk about people he beat up or wrestled and how he was friends with these big wrestling stars and hung out with them when they were in town.

    It's just how some people cope with having an otherwise boring life. It's mildly delusional but mostly harmless, and if it really bugs you, you can respond with "sure sure" and other sarcastic comments when he starts talking about these things, or you can get into the conversation and see how far he wants to go with it. If you're mean about it, it's unlikely that he'll still want to hang out with you guys because at this point in his life that's who he is. And he'll want to hang around people who buy into it, even if deep down he knows he's making it up -- he wants to be "big," so he makes shit up as if he were. Delusions of grandeur are common in high school.

    EggyToast on
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  • SpawnbrokerSpawnbroker Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I agree with Eggy that it's mostly harmless, but I still think you should call him on it. If left unchecked, this behavior leads to pathological lying, believing your own delusions, and a general disconnect from reality. This is in extreme cases, but still.

    Spawnbroker on
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  • SarcastroSarcastro Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I liked the 'moar detail pleaze' approach to BS calling. If the story is getting ridiculous, pick a point and ask for more detail. He'll have to make something up on the spot. Do this a couple of times, and he wont be able to keep up with his own BS, and the inconsistancies in the story will become evident to everyone without actually mentioning them. Laugh about it, or re-exaggerate the already exaggerated until it becomes ridiculous.

    'I so beat my mom last night. I sez 'Gemme sum cookies biatch' and then 'POW!' rightup side th'head.'
    'Oh yah? Did you wear a big pinky ring to leave a mark? I hear thats how its done.'
    'Wha? No mang, ain't no pinky ring, just the back of my hand.'
    'Wow, thats pro, did you make her cry? You get extra points for making your mom cry.'
    'Whatever, them were some good cookies...'
    'Yes. I also like cookies, for they are tasty and delicious. Lets go, already.'

    Weak dialogue, but hopefully it conveys the point. He's just trying to make conversation and project himself in order to look a certain way - he wouldn't be doing that if he didn't want to seem cool. Unfortunately 'cool' is often a steaming pile of bullshit brought on by too much media consumption, and needs to be tempered by what the people around him actually think is cool. Don't forget to comment on his stuff in a positive way when he's just being himself.

    People forget about doing that when theres something negative blocking the way, but its important. One says 'don't do that', which is weaksauce, the other says 'we like it when you do this', which gives the boy somewhere to go with his actions. Combine at will for maximum results.

    Sarcastro on
  • X5X5 Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    You have to realize that the reason he is doing this is to compensate for something he is lacking. Like someone else said, He sounds socially inept and these type of people do this in a a desperate attempt to fit in. However, since he is young, if you care about keeping the friendship intact, I'd give him some time to grow up.

    Be careful how you call him out. Try to be tactful and respectful when you do choose to call him out. Don't do it in front of anyone else, do not mention to anyone else that you are doing it. As well don't let him know that other people find it annoying. If you truly feel the need to call him out on something like this, it needs to be between you and him.

    I called out a buddy of mine on his constant lying and exaggerating a long time ago. He is a great guy and fun to hang out with and game with, but his constant BS stories drove me up the wall. I made the mistake of calling him out and involving others opinions too. It has strained our friendship, and we don't hang out basically at all anymore. I wish I had done things a lot differently, so that we could still be as close of friends as we were. I wish I could have communicated to him privately, that I felt his stories were bullshit and annoying, and that he doesn't need to make things up as he already fit in with everyone.

    X5 on
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  • TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Whatever you do, make sure you nip this in the bud.

    I made the mistake of just ignoring whenever an old friend of mine would do this, and it only got worse.

    Way worse.

    Like, he started doing ridiculous shit to live up to this character he'd created. Cocaine, etc etc

    TL DR on
  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Yeah. I have a friend who's 23, and has the same problem about spouting a BUNCH of BS. He does it all the time. He once told us he built his own EMP cannon in his bedroom.

    Also, apparently, has a swiss bank account because he inherited a giant business, and has to split his money up in halves. Half here in the US, the other half in the swiss bank account for tax purposes.

    Unfortunately it's too late. We call him out on it all the time, and all it does is makes him get angry that we don't believe him. I think his parents were the type to want him to be something more than he is now, and he struggled to impress them.

    He's a good kid. Just... Messed up.

    urahonky on
  • ChlupululuuChlupululuu Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    we had a friend who did this but not to too much of an extreme, and we always just went along with it for entertainment. He made various claims about himself (he has a perfect internal clock, he doesn't get altitude sickness, he has perfect pitch, ect...) none of which were even close to being true, and we just watched and silently laughed. Sometimes we would just ask him out of the blue what time it was, and watch him try and figure it out to uphold that lie, but generally we just let him be.

    Chlupululuu on
  • GihgehlsGihgehls Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I have a friend that always tells tall tales. I don't know if he does it so people think he's cool or so people pay attention to him, but whenever he starts going I just pull out the "you don't gotta lie to kick it" and he just kinda stops and sighs and says quietly "well shit."

    Gihgehls on
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  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Hey <friend name here>, knock it off.

    *continue previous conversation*

    I also second Gihgehls suggestion. Tell him you don't hang out with him for the stories, just be himself. He obviously wants attention, and that's not a bad thing. He just needs to realize that his friendships aren't dependent on the BS. He doesn't need to impress his friends.

    MuddBudd on
    There's no plan, there's no race to be run
    The harder the rain, honey, the sweeter the sun.
  • MC MysteryMC Mystery Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I did this, to a much smaller extent, in GRADESCHOOL. I thought it was just a normal thing, and all these stories of adults doing it sound really creepy. Even 15 seems a bit too old.

    MC Mystery on
    Your sig is too tall. -Thanatos
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  • RevolutionaryRevolutionary Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    People seem to agree universally with me here. The problem is that it's hard to call him out on some of it. How do you prove a guy didn't nearly bone a girl? The only one that comes to mind is the whole parent thing, being there no marks.

    Apart from hearing some other funny stories (the emp cannon one's funny) I don't think I've got any solutions other than to call him out when can.

    Thanks anyway, guys.

    Revolutionary on
  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    People seem to agree universally with me here. The problem is that it's hard to call him out on some of it. How do you prove a guy didn't nearly bone a girl? The only one that comes to mind is the whole parent thing, being there no marks.

    Apart from hearing some other funny stories (the emp cannon one's funny) I don't think I've got any solutions other than to call him out when can.

    Thanks anyway, guys.

    I guess the other option is to say either "Stop bragging, it doesn't become you", or "Tell us about it when you actually bone one, until then we don't care"

    MuddBudd on
    There's no plan, there's no race to be run
    The harder the rain, honey, the sweeter the sun.
  • vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    A lot of you used to know "that guy"? I used to be "that guy." :oops:

    Mind you, this was like, *cough*mumble years ago, when I was the same age as the OP. I grew out of it, it's likely your friend will as well. For my part, with the benefit of hindsight I can say with certainty that I grew out of it directly in response to people calling me on it. I'd recommend calling him on it, but do so gently, and not in front of other people. If it's clear that you're a) not trying to be malicious, and b) not trying to publicly humiliate him, the message is more likely to be viewed positively.

    vonPoonBurGer on
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  • EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    People seem to agree universally with me here. The problem is that it's hard to call him out on some of it. How do you prove a guy didn't nearly bone a girl? The only one that comes to mind is the whole parent thing, being there no marks.

    Apart from hearing some other funny stories (the emp cannon one's funny) I don't think I've got any solutions other than to call him out when can.

    Thanks anyway, guys.

    You say "man I almost bone girls all the time, that's not news. Shit I almost boned your mom! good thing I didn't!"

    If he starts talking about bagging the most popular girl in school, when he's obviously just been playing video games in his room, you can push the subject by asking things like "oh she's hot, what color underwear was she wearing, what kind, etc." Shit like that. People who come up with stories like this don't think about the details, they think about the overall impact -- the WOW factor.

    He's basically trying to get a response; he wants people to be impressed. He expects you to say "Wow dude, I wish I could have [girl]." He doesn't expect to get needled for more information, because he's not actually telling a story. It does mean you need to keep it fresh and not ask the same questions, though, cos next time he'll be prepared.

    Or if he's obviously exaggerating, you can just call him on it like Gihgehls says, just be like "dude you're my friend for who you are, you don't gotta make stuff up, the stuff you actually do is why we hang out anyway."

    EggyToast on
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  • OctoparrotOctoparrot Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Practicing a martial art so secret he can't name it sounds pretty easy to call out. This will depend entirely on how much rough-housing you and your friends do.

    Octoparrot on
  • Deviant HandsDeviant Hands __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    There IS a martial art so secret that it can't be named.

    Deviant Hands on
  • RevolutionaryRevolutionary Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    And some 15 year old Australian was let in on the secret?

    Revolutionary on
  • MC MysteryMC Mystery Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    And some 15 year old Australian was let in on the secret?

    Woah. Wait? Australian? Shit. That changes everything.

    MC Mystery on
    Your sig is too tall. -Thanatos
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  • AftyAfty Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Oh god its HIM.

    I know its hard to call someone out like this because you don't want to hurt their feelings and make them feel silly, but honestly its better that you call him on it now, than leaving it to someone in the future calling him out very publicly or him suffering in his career or something.

    I'd do it.

    Afty on
  • RevolutionaryRevolutionary Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    MC Mystery wrote: »
    And some 15 year old Australian was let in on the secret?

    Woah. Wait? Australian? Shit. That changes everything.

    Oh wait I forgot to mention something.

    The martial art he claimed to know was from Singapore, apparently. There maybe are several martial arts originating from there(ish), though.

    So the fact that he is Australian further casts his story in doubt.

    Revolutionary on
  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2007
    A lot of you used to know "that guy"? I used to be "that guy." :oops:

    Mind you, this was like, *cough*mumble years ago, when I was the same age as the OP. I grew out of it, it's likely your friend will as well. For my part, with the benefit of hindsight I can say with certainty that I grew out of it directly in response to people calling me on it. I'd recommend calling him on it, but do so gently, and not in front of other people. If it's clear that you're a) not trying to be malicious, and b) not trying to publicly humiliate him, the message is more likely to be viewed positively.

    Do you know why you used to do it? That might help solve the problem.

    Szechuanosaurus on
  • WulfWulf Disciple of Tzeentch The Void... (New Jersey)Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Another thing you could try, in order to make him hopefully see that he can just be himself around you guys is to out him on the next 'Big Fish' story and then be all "...anyway lets all go see that new movie" or something like that. You know, shutting down the bullshit while still saying "Hey its okay to just hang with us man, you don't need to be the Macho Man Randy Savage" that sort of thing.

    Wulf on
    Everyone needs a little Chaos!
  • MC MysteryMC Mystery Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    MC Mystery wrote: »
    And some 15 year old Australian was let in on the secret?

    Woah. Wait? Australian? Shit. That changes everything.

    Oh wait I forgot to mention something.

    The martial art he claimed to know was from Singapore, apparently. There maybe are several martial arts originating from there(ish), though.

    So the fact that he is Australian further casts his story in doubt.

    Ahaha I know, I was just kidding. I just wanted to imply that there WAS a secret martial art that only some kid in Australia practiced.

    MC Mystery on
    Your sig is too tall. -Thanatos
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