Shortly after a retired, not-so-close friend moved to another city, he began sending emails about events he had read about in social media, news outlets and magazines. At first there were only a few a day, but as the days increased, so did his emails. I responded to some of them, but he never commented on them. He just sent more and more to the point that his daily emails are more than I can — or want to — read. I am spending too much time deleting them. What should I do? Should I ask him not to send them anymore, or should I stay quiet so as not to hurt his feelings?
From Cicero, Illinois
* * * * * * * *
It appears that your friend is oblivious to how irritating he is. This is a situation that calls for you to turn the tables on him, to the point where wants to delete your email address and regrets he ever met you. Here are some ideas. Respond to every email he sends with something comparable to 25 pages, and tell him it’s important that he reads them all from start to finish. When he emails you about local events in his area, demand that he pays your way to all of the functions, including travelling expenses, hotels, and some spending cash to purchase souvenirs. Or, call him to discuss each email he sends you, in between the hours 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., until he demands that you never contact him again… and vice versa. Finally, start him links to disturbing websites, to the point that he suggests that he doesn’t want to communicate with you until you receive some therapy. You should firmly refuse to seek therapy, and then he’ll probably immediately sever the relationship. And for the final topping, tell him that you plan on moving into the same apartment building he lives in, and you’re looking for to him giving you a key to his place, after you give home one to yours. I assure you at that point, he’ll break the lease and possibly move out of the state, if not the country. I hope this helps.