As part of my decluttering (the mental part, not the physical part, which is woefully behind schedule), I've been thinking about relationships that work... sort of. We all have those friends and colleagues with whom we get along... most of the time. Actually, it's not so much a not getting along as it is there's something that just rubs us the wrong way and that we try to avoid.
It could be that every so often they get into a serious bout of ohwoeismeism, and every conversation is about how the world (or a previous romantic partner, or a boss, or their cat) has wronged them. It could be that they're hopelessly scattered and when you have to work on a project with them it's incredibly aggravating. It could be that they think you're better friends then you really are, and that clinging is just too much to take all the time. There are other variations on the theme. You get the picture.
The question is, how do you deal with these people? Particularly if they aren't "that way" all the time - just enough of the time that you're wary.
I've found that the way I deal with this is by avoiding. I get an e-mail and it takes a few days before I respond. I get a phone call and use Caller ID to screen. I see them and I'm too busy to stop to talk, but I'll offer a time when I know they have another commitment. Etc..
Recently I've been doing this with three people in my life, and it's wearing me down. I have other things I should be doing and other things I can focus on, yet the act of avoiding means I do focus on them (or the thing I'm avoiding them about). Not terribly helpful, right? So clearly I need to break this habit and find another way.