L. asks from Providence, RI on February 26, 2008
Friend, Not So Friendly
My dilemma is that I am a mother of two who has recently returned to school full time (evenings). My best friend has one child and does short term jobs from time to time. While she is on the job, she rarely contacts me and we never go out together. I understand that she is busy and go on with my life; when she is available again, we resume where we left off. A few weeks ago, she invited me out and I declined stating that I had a lot of school work to do. She hung up on me and has not called or emailed which she does daily when she is not working. I don't think I am being rude or selfish by not accepting her offer, am I? I should talk with her about it...but, she can be defensive. Any suggestions?
R.T. answers from Boston on February 27, 2008
It's ok to say no. Just always be sure you are never unkind with words or actions. A person who is feeling defensive may hold it against you.
Remeber to always be kind because you never know what problems people are facing elsewhere.
Can you send her an e-mail and say something nice, like Life has been crazy, but you miss her and want to connect soon?
Hope ideas help.
K.V. answers from Boston on February 26, 2008
Jessica had some good advice and I will add that if this friend has never acted this way before, that obviously she felt she NEEDED you right then and there without telling you she had a problem to talk about. There just seems to be another issue here. Definitely use e-mail to "talk" this out. It makes it easier to respond and re-read what you write before you push send!
R.R. answers from Boston on February 27, 2008
This is your best friend...you should be able to talk about this. Call her up and ask her if you have done something to upset her. Sounds like there was something else going on here. Tell her how much she means to you, and that you did not mean to upset her...if that is the case. Did she really hang up on you, or is that what you perceived happened. Whatever the case is, the important thing is to be loving friend and try to work it out. It sounds like you have have some bad feelings as well regarding the hot/cold rapport that has developed. It's OK to share those feelings with your friend in a NICE way. Make sure she knows that you miss her when she is working, and wish you could stay connected more consistently. People who are told that they are loved and cared about (and missed!) rarely respond with anger, so start there.
J.S. answers from Hartford on February 26, 2008
If she's your best friend, you should be able to be honest with her. Give her a call and let her know that you noticed she stopped calling after you had to decline her last invitation to go out. Tell her that you would love to get together, and give her some timeframes that DO work for you, but try not to make her feel "penciled in." It was rude of her to hang up on you, but I would bet that her feelings were hurt as if you had put her on the back burner. Obviously, that's NOT what you did... you had to make school work your priority. I would bet that after so long, she's cooled off about it and will be receptive to talking about it.
Good luck. I have a best friend who can be a little sensitive about things sometimes too, and she definitely has her "bad friend" moments, just as I know I do. I love her to pieces and I know from experience that she'd do anything for me, as I would for her. I know where you're coming from, trust me.
A.B. answers from Hartford on February 29, 2008
Hi L., Even though I could not possibly know all the details of your friendship from both your perspectives, judging from what you said it just sounds very off. My best friends and I do have an understanding that we may be out of touch for god knows how long whenever. I mean life can be crazy sometimes right? But I would never expect my good friends to hang up on me just because I declined an invitation. That is just unthinkable to me from a friend. Thus in conclusion something just doesn't add up:like either the understanding the two of you have about your friendship or someone's perspective of the events you just relayed.