Mrs Springer

31 January 2008

I’m really good friends with this guy, but every time he drinks he gets really sleazy. He never remembers in the morning, but I find it very awkward, and also very annoying. Should I confront him, or let things continue as they are?

– Uncomfortable

Dear Uncomfortable,

His behaviour might be drunken, but if it makes you feel awkward, it’s only fair to your friendship that you tell him about it. As much as you try to ignore it or laugh it off, your irritation will only keep growing. Your lack of receptiveness to his sleaziness implies that you don’t want the friendship to go any further. If you think he genuinely has feelings for you then you need to be more considerate, gentler, with him. But tell him, jokily and casually, that he keeps getting sleazy when he’s drunk and that it’s very irritating. Keeping the tone laid-back and humorous will prevent the situation from spiraling. It will also prevent him from taking your rebuke offensively. Your close friendship will ensure that either he will find it funny, or he’ll understand that you’re not interested and will be able to back off while retaining his dignity. And if his behaviour is just drunken sleaziness, and he continues even after you’ve pointed it out – such is his inebriation – try leaving him to it when he comes on too strong. Again, this will make your feelings clear and it will also prevent you from getting irritated with him, which would be a great shame because it will eventually begin to erode your friendship.