At what point is one overstepping boundaries when trying to contact someone?

At what point is one overstepping boundaries when trying to contact someone?

by Syb
(Tampa)

A male friend of mine (single) saw on a facebook post put up by one of my girlfriends that I was meeting her and two other friends, (men who neither of us has any intention of dating) for a late dinner.


The male friend of mine who saw the post sent my friend a private facebook message asking her if I was with her and for her to tell me to call him. He said he did this because he had sent me a facebook message over two hours earlier, which I did not get because I was not online. What he had to tell me was so totally unimportant that at this point, I cannot even recall what it was.

He also said that (although he has my cell phone number) that he didn't want to interrupt me, so he sent the message to my friend instead, who has her facebook feed to her phone (which I do not do)so she could give me the message. I was livid. To me, he clearly overstepped boundaries and how would it be less of an interruption to message my friend if we were together than to just send me a text to my cell? He believes he is in the right and I have told him that he was way overstepping his boundaries. He insists that he wasn't.

Mind you, he's in his fifties, single (and totally in love with a woman for about seven years) and we do some business networking together and we are (perhaps "were" at this point) friends. I am a single woman in my forties and my mother wouldn't even think to message my friend before contacting me personally (she has my cell phone number too) and would ONLY do such a thing if there was an extreme emergency and she didn't connect with me by calling me. Actually, when I'm out with friends, she doesn't try to call at all. She just waits until later.


Apr 02, 2011
Contact Boundaries
by: Kevin (Modern Manners And Etiquette)

You have a great question here and there are several ways to look at it.

First of all, it wasn't proper etiquette to contact your friend to have her pass on a message. To tell you the truth, when I first read the question, I thought this was a high school question. :)

If he had something to convey, he should have went right to you. That would have been the mature thing to do.

On the other hand, you have to look at his intentions. His intentions were to not bother you. A wise person once said, "Only a fool is offended where no offense was intended." So, I wouldn't be too upset at him. There was something important (to him it was important enough to do this) that he wanted to convey. I wouldn't be offended if I were you. You should look at the fact that he wanted to share something with you.

Really, this is just a matter of communication between the two of you. Seems like a great opportunity to discuss what you each want out of this friendship and how you can help each other fulfill that.

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