How would you resolve this conflict?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Alex Forrest, Nov 23, 2012.

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  1. Alex Forrest

    Alex Forrest Banned Member

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    It's not that big a deal, well it is because I think my friend was way off base and extremely rude. Looking for some perspective.

    I worked out with a friend on Sunday. I left my gym bag in his car with my sweaty, wet workout clothes in a plastic bag inside. I went over to his house on Wednesday, we were going to have drinks, go out to dinner. I also wanted to get my gym bag. I saw that my gym clothes weren't in my bag, and I asked him where they were. Get this, he said they stunk so badly that he THREW THEM OUT. I saw that he had done laundry earlier and asked him why didn't he just put them in the wash? "Because I didn't want them to CONTAMINATE my clothes". I was dumbfounded. I never got a call "Alex, come get your gym bag, your clothes stink inside it" and he lives five minutes away from my house so he could have just dropped it off or I could have gotten them, no problem.

    Does anyone else find this inexcusable? If someone left something smelly in my car/house, I'd let them know they need to retrieve them, and probably put them in my laundry room or outside under my porch if they smelled that bad. Never would I just throw someone's belongings out without at least trying to get the owner to retrieve them.

    Oh also, these weren't just ratty ass gym clothes. The top and shorts were $120 and very nice. I loved the color, the cut, the way I looked in them, and the way I felt in them. Plus there is a sentimental component to that outfit also. Which is probably why I'm as upset as I am. But still, isn't it crazy for a friend to do that?

    I know that a gym outfit isn't worth ending a friendship over, but would it seem out of line for me to demand that he reimburse me for the clothes he threw out? Of course when he sees how much they were, he won't pay up because he probably can't afford to (it would be like me having to pony up like $500 our incomes are so disparate).

    Any opinions? Get over it? Move on, and just make sure I never leave anything with him again? Or hold a grudge that he would essentially 'steal' my clothes and do what he wanted with them which is what I feel.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
  2. snoopysnake

    snoopysnake Well-Known Member

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    Since you asked him "why didn't you just put them in the wash?" rather than "why didn't you call me to come get them?" it sounds like he thinks you were assuming that he was going to wash them for him and that pissed him off. I assume he does not regularly do laundry for you.

    If he is 5 minutes away, why didn't you call him and ask when you could pop over to get them?
     
  3. Bostonfan

    Bostonfan Well-Known Member

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    Sun to Weds is essentially 3 days. When did you realize that you left the gym bag behind? I agree that a quick text message or phone call from you to say, "Oops, forgot my bag - can I swing by and get them" would have helped.

    However I do think that throwing the clothes out was not appropriate. Although I wouldn't have necessarily washed the clothing, if they really were stinking up the car I'd put the bag in the garage or on my porch and remind you to come get them.

    As for a resolution, given that you know your friend can't replace the clothing due to his finances, I think you need to let it go and secure your belongings from now on. The window of opportunity to talk to him about it and explain how he could have handled the clothing differently without throwing them out seems to have passed. Bringing it up now may seem like you're holding onto grudge. I don't know. I guess it depends on how much you want to continue the friendship.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
  4. Alex Forrest

    Alex Forrest Banned Member

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    I agree. However, I only asked him that after he told me that he threw my clothes in the trash. I didn't assume ANYTHING, except a call if it was so bothersome to come get my clothes. What? Three days? We already had plans for Wednesday, and if he had such a problem between that time with my wet clothes already in a plastic bag, he should have contacted me.

    I don't know, in hetero speak, imagine if you were at a party and ended up leaving a pair of heels at your host, and your host KNOWS they belong to you. You call a couple of days later, and find out that she threw out your 120$ shoes, knowing full well who they belonged to, without even the courtesy of calling you and saying "Get your ass here now or else they are trash". Maybe on this board I thought I'd get more Carrie Bradshaw, who knows. It's rude. And it feels like your property is stolen from you.
     
  5. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    It was thoughtless of your friend to do this. He wasn't correct to do it. And no, what he did was not nice. But if you want to preserve the friendship, you need to find a way to allow yourself to move past this.

    My suggestion is that you tell him how upset you were that he didn't even think to either put your bag outside or at least call you. Ask him why he thought the best thing to do was to throw your stuff away, and then listen to what he says in response. Then tell him you wish he hadn't done that. That you're disappointed. And then let it go, but from now on, do secure your stuff - don't leave your stuff with him.
     
  6. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    If the clothes were that important to you, and that expensive, why did you not do something about getting them back as soon as you realized you had left the bag in the car, rather than three days later?
     
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  7. Alex Forrest

    Alex Forrest Banned Member

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    That is the thing, the clothes are not THAT important to me. It is the idea that someone would throw away my (expensive) clothes without even a two second text message. Who treats people this way? Should I change how I treat people? sort of "**** You, I do want I want, when I want, and don't care about friends or family" way?
     
  8. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Vera

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    Alex, if I were in your shoes, I would have been very upset that my friend just threw away my clothes without asking me to pick them up. Of course you could have called about the missing bag, but I think your friend should have called you if you did not. It was very rude of him to throw away your clothes without contacting you to pick them up by a certain day/time (or else they will be thrown away). Something like that would sour a friendship. It is totally up to you how you want to interact with this person. If you feel angry and hurt, which you obviously do, you could share your feelings with your friend, and let him know how much you loved those clothes, how much you had paid for them, and how much his actions hurt your feelings. Ask if there is a way for him to retrieve those for you. See what the response is. If it is rude or unsympathetic, I would not want to continue being a friend with this person. However, if he is genuinely sorry, it may be worthwhile to continue being friends, even if he cannot retrieve those clothes. If you don't feel comfortable confronting your friend, I think you may be better off walking away from it all. That's my two cents.
     
  9. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

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    Word! :respec:

    Whoops! Double post. Mods, please delete this - thanks!
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
  10. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

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    Word! :respec:
     
  11. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    Vash01 hit the nail on the head, but I will add in a few thoughts of my own.

    It is an unfortunate fact of our society that many people fail to see the need to make an apology when, in fact, they should. One unfortunate consequence of this is that a good many friendships come to an end when one friend is unthinkingly rude to another and then fails to apologize.

    That first point brings me to some questions: Why did you leave your gym clothes in the car in the first place? Did it slip your mind, or what? And when did you realize that you'd left them there? If, as it seems, it simply slipped your mind, it might help if you led things off by apologizing for leaving your (sweaty) gym clothes in his car in the first place and not calling him about them as soon as you realized what you had done. You're more likely to get at least an apology (if not reimbursement) if you take the first step.
     
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  12. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Vera

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    ITA with Vagabond. If you start by apologizing first, it could open the door for you to get an apology (or better) from your friend. Don't let ego get in your way. In reality it does not matter who apologizes first. I still believe that your friend was rude and very wrong in this matter, but if the intent is to make peace, Vagabond's approach will help.
     
  13. Alex Forrest

    Alex Forrest Banned Member

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    Thank you to those who commented. I would have taken it to FB instead of here, but I'm friends with this person and everyone would know who I was talking about, since we always work out together. To add more detail, the reason why I left my bag in his trunk, we went to dinner after the gym (he picked me up since we are five minutes away and parking downtown is a bitch). We ran into friends at dinner, took it back to a friend's house, started watching a movie and at 9pm my friend said he had to leave and someone offered to take me home later. I forgot my gym bag was in his trunk, but we made Thanksgiving plans already that I'd come over Wednesday, spend the night and spend Thanksgiving together. That's why the bag was left. I had no idea my property would be in jeopardy.

    I feel somewhat better. He called earlier, I told him the least he could do was reimburse me $100 (so he could feel the pinch) cash and bring it over immediately. He did. We talked for half an hour outside, since I wouldn't let him in my home. I think we straightened it out. Frankly, it had nothing to do with money, but what I perceived as a callousness, and basically stealing my property. The friendship is changed. Who throws a friend's possessions out, without even a quick text msg?

    I guess now that I have financial compensation, I'm still struggling with emotional compensation. Should I remain friends with this person? If I have to be on guard over little/simple things, what would happen over big things? I'm going on an extensive six week cruise this winter and thought he could come by, spend a nigtht here or there so no one would know I'm out of town. And now, goddammit, I don't trust him. And like a sociopath, he never said "I'm sorry". For some people they seem to have in their DNA this inability to just say "I'm sorry". Those two words go a long way, especially to someone like me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
  14. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    Do you speak in hyperbole in real life, too? I mean, 'like a sociopath'? I totally agree that what he did was wrong, but if you're even half as melodramatic and divisive in real life... and, I mean, this is a friend of yours, who made a big mistake, yes, but he agrees to give you $100 (that you even stated he cannot afford) and your response is to prevent him from even entering your house, take the $100, and contemplate cutting him out of your life even after you said you 'straightened it out'? I mean, if your honest response is to seriously contemplate cutting him out of your life, then you didn't straighten things out.
     
  15. misskarne

    misskarne #408

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    "How would you resolve this conflict?"

    I wouldn't leave a bag with $120 worth of gym clothes in someone else's car.

    If neccessity meant I had to, I would take it home with me that night.

    If I could not take it home that night, I would call by the next day.

    They are MY clothes; it is not my friend's responsibility to remind me of them, nor is it his responsibility to put up with their stench. Maybe throwing them out was a step too far. If he didn't know how much they were worth, he might have taken it in fun. If I were your friend, I would certainly not have realised that they were worth so much fiscally or emotionally, since you couldn't be bothered to come get them for over THREE days.

    Also, I don't care what this person has done, but to demand $100 upfront there and then when you KNOW they can't afford it has one description only: as$hole. Especially when you're not desperate for money.
     
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  16. Alex Forrest

    Alex Forrest Banned Member

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    Michi, "hyperbole", "melodramatic"? I've reread my posts and see nothing like that. If he couldn't afford 100 dollars then he shouldn't have thrown my property away without my notice. And it was NOT about the money but respect. And calling him a sociopath might seem extreme, but someone who has an inability to recognize what he did was wrong and apologize shows a lack of compassion and empathy and awareness. Hence, a sociopath. It's not that extreme a word, it is a definition, and I would not be surprised if most CEO's could be classified as sociopaths. Romney for one showed those proclivities.

    Anyway, it's done. It is in my court to see how much I can trust this person. I've been put on notice. Of course I can remain 'friends', but then again as a friend I would never just throw someone's possessions away without at least making an attempt to have them retrieve their possessions. You see things differently I suppose. And call it hyperbole and melodramatic. Huh.
     
  17. Bostonfan

    Bostonfan Well-Known Member

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    Not apologizing doesn't make someone a sociopath. It makes them ignorant and insensitive. Since clearly it's not "done", how about letting some time pass and keep your distance from this individual while you're trying to decide how much you want to invest (or not) in continuing the friendship.
     
  18. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    A very small percentage of the population are sociopaths, somewhere between 1-4 percent. By your definition, well over half the people I have ever met are sociopaths. Thus, hyperbole and melodrama.
     
  19. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    If you wanted an apology from your friend, I think you should have said straight out, "I would like an apology." Now you have his money that you know he couldn't afford, and you don't have the apology that you wanted. So everybody loses.
     
  20. ballettmaus

    ballettmaus Well-Known Member

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    I'm wondering why, Alex, have you not answered to questions when you realized that you left your clothes and why you left them. Because I'm wondering that, too. It's kind of hard to believe for me that you just forget a gym bag especially when you're coming from the gym. Sorry.

    That said, it is wrong as a principle to throw out someone else's stuff, whether they are clothes or something else.
     
  21. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    He did say why, in his first paragraph in post #13.
     
  22. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    What a weid story, I think.

    I also think the words "friend" and "friendship" have no place in this story: nothing like that would have ever happend between friends. I get that you spend time together, maybe share interests, but from the way you both behave and react, I don't think you're friends.

    Some say it's hard for a lot of people to say: "I'm sorry". I think more often it's even harder to call things with their names; it would help understand them better, even predict them.

    In short, this is what I think: you don't have a way to solve this, because your kind of relationship doesn't contemplate the closing you're looking for. But you can keep on spending time together, as long as you don't expect your relationship to be a friendship - unless things change in the future.
     
  23. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    Well said.
     
  24. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    Should he have thrown them out? No. He would have been justified in sticking them in a garage or basement or something, given they apparently stank, rather than leaving them in his car, washing them (seriously?), or playing laundry delivery service for you. Should YOU have left them in his car? No. That's not your laundry hamper. He gave you $100 (whether he can 'afford' it is beside the point, he inadvertently threw away something valuable and owed some restitution). Presumably, in future he will not throw away your dirty clothes when left in his car/home, and in future you will make an effort not to leave your dirty clothes lying around in other people's vehicles for days on end. Calling him a 'sociopath' because he hasn't grovelled enough is indeed over-dramatic hyperbole.

    (And as an aside, that was the only episode of "Sex and the City" I've seen, and 1. the shoes weren't thrown out, someone stole them and 2. Carrie came across as a self-absorbed hag far too fixated on an overpriced pair of shoes the host had not stolen or tossed, frantically trying to justify her debt-level spending on footwear to herself.)
     
  25. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    If the money is not a concern to you then why do you bring it up in every friggin post? I pretty much agree with everyone else - you're blowing this way out of proportion.
     
  26. Alex Forrest

    Alex Forrest Banned Member

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    I posted upthread that my gym/dinner date (friend date, not romantic) turned into movies at another friend's house and he had to leave early and someone else took me home. I realized the next day my gym bag was left in his car, but I was coming over on Wednesday and wasn't planning on going to the gym before then. I didn't think there was a problem. Was I being insensitive? I'm asking that seriously. It just never occurred to me that he would throw my clothes out. We are only talking three days here. Not weeks. And I didn't even get a courtesy call to come get my things. We live five minutes away from each other. I think it is inexcusable.

    And I do not believe I am being melodramatic. I'm not saying I'm ending the friendship. But friendships (at least for me) are in different categories, like concentric circles with me as the center. This person was sort of in the 'inner circle'. Now, not at all. I'm not cutting him off. It will be a while before I work out with him, but holidays are coming up and we've been each others' "dates" for functions for years. (He works for the Mayor of my town and has to go to a bunch of things)

    And no, I do not consider his car as a laundry hamper or expect him to wash my clothes as a laundry service. But had he left smelly clothes in my house and I was doing laundry that day, I would have washed them. Because as a friend, that's kinda what you do. You don't throw your friend's stinky clothes in the garbage. It's interesting seeing the different responses here. I didn't realize how objectionable MY actions were. Huh.

    Also, I'm sorry for bringing up the cost of my outfit. You're right if it was some wife beater and crappy shorts I bought at Goodwill (and believe me, at least 20% of my closet has stuff from Goodwill, I'm not a snob) I would have maybe just let it go. But they weren't, and that's why I brought up the cost, otherwise I'd seem like a jerk stressing over a two dollar loss of clothes.

    I do appreciate the responses. I suppose I just wanted reassurance that I was right to be angry and upset. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
  27. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know why in the world you would just throw away someones belongings. I would have just put them in the garage or even on the back porch. It would NEVER have crossed my mind to throw them away UNLESS I repeatedly asked you to get them and you never did. Then maybe I would assume you didn't want them and throw them away but that would never be my first action.
     
  28. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    I'm afraid I'm at a loss to understand why your friend should have called you to come get the smelly clothes that you knew perfectly well you had left with him.

    Certainly he was wrong to throw your things away. But you should have gone and gotten them right away. "Look after my stuff for me till I choose to take five minutes to come get it, even if it's smelling up your house" is hardly a polite or considerate way to treat a friend.
     
  29. rjblue

    rjblue Re-registered User

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    I took one of those self-improvement courses at work last winter. The one thing I got out of it was how completely differently people interpret other's actions.

    Half of the people in the course would be insulted at getting a birthday card a week late. Half would be really pleased that the person made the effort, even if it was late.

    Half would feel complimented if a co-worker asked them to attend a meeting to replace them, and half would feel insulted and put upon.

    It really helped me understand that unless communication is very clear, and you understand exactly what the other person is feeling and expecting, then things can go badly awry.

    So- unless you think your friend did this deliberately to punish or upset you, I'd let it go. The friend doesn't feel the same about personal posessions as you do. If they are otherwise a valued friend, just remember not to trust your posessions with them. It doesn't mean that they aren't caring or supportive of you.
     
  30. Cupid

    Cupid Well-Known Member

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    Read part way through all these posts. What is the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath?
     
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