Author Topic: To Reestablish Contact or Not  (Read 5767 times)

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Itza

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2014, 04:05:33 AM »
<snip>

Yesterday the subject of my former BFF and how she became former comes up between me and the GM of an RPG I play. He suggested that even with all the hurt feelings between us (even if they are mild and one sided), I should drop her a message and try to reopen the lines of communication.

<snip>

I find this particular line of thinking/advice to be intensely frustrating, largely because I have a massive natural tendency to go there myself. It's the idea that no matter how much non-contact has happened, no matter how many times a person has failed to initiate (or even respond) to contact, it's still worth just one more shot because of all the history.

I've spent more time than I ever should have chasing after people who, in the end, didn't really want to be caught. I don't think I've ever once actually preserved a friendship in that situation...just dragged it out beyond the point where I should have let it quietly die away until eventually even all my effort couldn't stave off its last, final gasps.

What I got out of it was the feeling that I'd been an idiot (for not realizing faster that the person in question probably didn't want to maintain the friendship, and probably wasn't actually that busy all the time). I got anger at having invested a bunch of time in a friendship that, in the end, wasn't worth it. And I got memories tinged with a healthy dose of bitterness that might otherwise have been things I could look back on at least a little bit fondly.

Ultimately, I've had to learn to set limits for myself on just how far I will pursue a drifting relationship, mostly for my own sanity and happiness. I tell myself I can contact someone a certain number of times without them initiating and/or responding, and then that's it. I write off the friendship without malice (so that if they ever reopen lines of communication, I'm not mad about it, but I'm not sitting around with bated breath waiting for it to happen).

I would say in your case, you've already given this friendship a number of chances to be more than extremely distant, but none of those chances has really done much towards keeping the friendship alive in anything like a robust way. I think you should really consider what you would be looking for, if you reestablished contact. And you should also be really honest with yourself about the chances of what you want actually happening, using history as your guide. If you do decide to reach out to this former friend again, give yourself a limit for how many times you're willing to reach out before you give up (I suggest once), and make sure what you're looking for is clearly defined. If she doesn't respond, or doesn't respond in the way you're looking for her to, then do yourself a favor and spend your energy on turning this friendship into a nice bit of nostalgia, rather than spending it on worrying about whether or not you should contact her this time or on this occasion even though nothing came of such attempts in the past.

POD Dindrane. I have also been the same so yeah, why should we prolong our pain when we've been given the sign long ago that the friendship is over.




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eee

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2014, 10:20:34 AM »
Depends what you said - if it was something heinous I couldn't fault her for just giving up in disgust rather than bothering to try to talk it out. Sometimes relationships are wrecked, and there's no point in prolonging the drama by confronting someone when the friendship can't be fixed regardless.

TheaterDiva1

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2014, 10:58:06 AM »
Depends what you said - if it was something heinous I couldn't fault her for just giving up in disgust rather than bothering to try to talk it out. Sometimes relationships are wrecked, and there's no point in prolonging the drama by confronting someone when the friendship can't be fixed regardless.

That's part of the problem - OP has no idea what she supposedly said (I say supposedly because for all we know, it was a big misunderstanding at the wedding and OP wasn't even the guilty party - but she should at least have a chance to explain).

Tea Drinker

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2014, 11:30:50 AM »
Depends what you said - if it was something heinous I couldn't fault her for just giving up in disgust rather than bothering to try to talk it out. Sometimes relationships are wrecked, and there's no point in prolonging the drama by confronting someone when the friendship can't be fixed regardless.

True, but if OP doesn't know what she said, most likely either she and the other party have very different ideas of what's appropriate, or this was an otherwise-minor minor thing made worse because the other party was under stress for some reason.

If--unlikely but possible--it's something that OP would agree was major but doesn't remember saying because of a concussion or other medical issue, it's probably still not reparable at this stage. A week later, "Oh my god, I didn't realize how strong those drinks were, did I say something horrible? How can I make it up to you?" might work. A year later, "I'm sorry, my dad says I owe you an apology but I don't remember what for" is less likely to.
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GreenBird

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2014, 12:01:58 PM »
Keep in mind that the info about "something was said at the wedding" is 3rd or 4th hand, and may not even be accurate.  Any information that comes through a chain of people like that can easily be wildly inaccurate.  Friend may not have been offended about anything at the wedding and is not looking for an apology. 

But the friendship does seem to have generally faded as friendships sometimes do.  Saying "hi!" via Facebook seems like a fairly low impact way to put a feeler out if you want.  Maybe it won't go anywhere, or maybe you two would just be Facebook acquaintances rather than BFFs, and maybe that would be all right.  Although you might wait until you don't have a 'significant life event' to send the "hello" so it can't be interpreted as a hint for a gift. 

m2kbug

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2014, 12:07:11 PM »
I would just leave it as the FB announcements and any photos you share.  Your friend can leave comments or send you an email and you can go from there.  I don't think you need to send her an email or call.  You could IM her next time you see her online and say hi, how are the twins, etc.  Just leave comments on her FB.  Whatever communication evolves from that is good.

I'm mystified on this horrible thing you said.  All this time you had no clue you did anything wrong.  Given it's third hand, I would try not to put too much stock in it.  For all you know, your friend's mother's sister was offended by something while your BFF thought nothing of it,or said, "I can't believe she said that," without knowing the context of what got said.  You just don't know.  I've been in this situation, you have no idea if they're mad at you.  I would just say to keep things open.  You're a little hurt she didn't specifically tell you she was pregnant, so you feel you should tell her.  This is YOU, not her.  She obviously doesn't feel the same, so you can sort of follow her lead on where this friendship is (and I realize you were included on the FB announcement that got eaten).  This friendship can evolve or not.

I have a couple of old friends where we connect sporadically.  We sort of pick up where we left off after months and years of silence.  The most communication we have is FB and keeping up with each other's lives is FB.  Just see where things go. 

GreenEyedHawk

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2014, 12:21:52 PM »
I had a situation similar to this where a friend and I drifted apart...she re-established contact after about a year, saying the summer and the memories of the stuff we generally did in summer made her sad and made her miss me.  I  hung out with her for awhile again til I realised she hadn't changed much...she was still impulsive and immature and we weren't really compatible as friends.

I declined an invitation from her one day (not to anything important, just an invitation to the dog park and I didn't feel like going) and she got in a huff about it and quit speaking to me.  Then after another year or so, she sent me a message on fb.  I didn't reply right away to give myself thinking time.

On the advice of a friend, I replied to her message politely (I didn't feel right ignoring it) but made it clear I wasn't interested in hanging out again.  We had some good times, but I've moved on.  I just let it lie and she never replied again.
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jackie jormp jomp

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2014, 09:27:34 PM »
She might not respond, but if you won't be upset by that possibility, I say why not? Can't hurt.
Dying to know what she is accusing you of saying at her wedding, though...

Ceallach

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2014, 12:15:02 AM »
I had a similar situation with my BFF who had been my best friend since we were 10.   We grew apart / had a slight falling out but not direct.   Like you, I also attended her wedding, even though we were no longer in regular contact.   After that contact again broke off for a long time and I wasn't around for her daughter's early years.

The key question is:  do you want this person in your life?

In my case, I still thought of my former BFF fondly and had regrets over the loss of the friendship.   I had a feeling we would suddenly reconnect again in 50 years and feel silly for missing so many years.  We had such a strong shared history from our childhood and lots of special memories and situations that others couldn't really relate to - both of us were from big families and we hadn't just been close to each other, we also were a close part of each other's families too.   So I started to make an effort to reach out (logistically difficult as by then we lived in different countries) and she responded in kind.  Honestly I think we both felt the same way but with life being busy we kind of assumed the other had moved on.     I still feel a bit sad about the things we missed out on - being bridesmaids for each other for example - but I'm so happy we get to be part of each other's lives going forward.    It all started with the occasional facebook message / text message, then catching up when I was in town, and then gradually built up again over the past 2-3 years.     I actually stayed at her house the last time we were in my hometown, and we exchange christmas gifts for our kids.    The air has been cleared and we are as close as we can be, given the geographic distance.   I'm very grateful to have bridged that gap and no longer have regrets.   But only you can answer whether that's true for you - do you feel genuinely sad at the loss of the friendship?  Or is it just the family pressure or sense of obligation?   
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Celany

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2014, 12:29:10 AM »
I have no patience for this kind of thing. So you supposedly said "something" at her wedding that offended her. But she can't be an adult about it and tell you herself and she's been stewing about it this whole time? But her mom tells your dad that you said "something" to offend her and you hear about it from him second hand (or is that third hand?). And she's expecting you to apologize for this offense whatever it is even though you have no idea what it is you supposedly did. Then there's the fact that she chose not to tell you she was pregnant. So she's either decided she doesn't want to be friends with you anymore or she's trying to punish you for this "something". Whatever, I refuse to play games with people like that. I'd say her not telling you about the pregnancy and the childish way she's handling NOT telling you she's offended about "something" you supposedly said means the friendship is over. I say don't bother reconciling just forget her and move on with your life. People are jerks sometimes and no one has to put up with that. That's my feeling about it anyways.

Ed.

Ditto.

Double ditto.

She's still your Facebook friend, right? Which means she should have seen your announcement. Or if you still have mutual friends, she's probably heard about your engagement by now. It's open to her to contact YOU to say congratulations. The fact that she hasn't, speaks volumes to me.

I get that it's extremely tempting to send her a message, because you probably have so many great memories, but frankly, I wouldn't bother with her now.

Triple ditto.

Once people are passing messages along through about people involving vague stories about how you upset them enough that they stopped speaking to you, yet somehow this deep level of upsetness wasn't enough to tell you about it directly (in light of all your years of friendship), so that you could work it out...no. Life is too short.

I also totally get the nostalgia. I can also say that I have personally let too many people get away with too much poop due to nostalgia & also watched friends do it. In the end, it seems that what usually happens is that people end up not speaking anyways, but after way more energy is poured into it by the person who is responding primarily from nostalgia. Not worth it.
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Ceallach

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2014, 05:26:42 AM »
I actually disagree, I've seen too often the "well meaning" mutual friends / acquaintances being the ones spreading the drama.   The OP's BFF may actually be just in a similar position to the OP - busy with life and not reached out, she may be in a similar situation to that of me and my friend where we each assumed the other had moved on.    It would be unfair to assume the worst based on second-hand information and gossip.  Some innocuous comment she made to her mother may have been spun into a supposed "offence". 

Incidentally, one thing I neglected to mention in my post was that my mother and my BFF's mother remained in contact over the years.  The misinformation spread between them is appalling.  It happens even now!  Of course, now BFF and I are good friends again so we exchange notes and laugh over the nonsense they spout and the strange "interpretation" they put onto things we've said.   She couldn't believe the things I'd heard about her over the years we hadn't been talking, the strange information about her life and what she was doing. 

Of course, the OP knows the friend's personality best and can judge whether it's likely the gossip is true, and also whether she really has any interest in reigniting the friendship.
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YummyMummy66

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2014, 09:48:32 AM »
I think that if you had wanted to establish contact with this person, you would have done so by now.

Same with her.  If she had wanted a relationship with you, she would have contacted you.  For the mother to say something about an event at her wedding that you have no clue about is childsih.  She is a parent and an adult now and needs to act like one.  If she had a problem with somethng you said, she should have come to you.

I would not establish contact based on the say so of someone else's opinion.

Celany

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2014, 10:35:07 AM »
I actually disagree, I've seen too often the "well meaning" mutual friends / acquaintances being the ones spreading the drama.   The OP's BFF may actually be just in a similar position to the OP - busy with life and not reached out, she may be in a similar situation to that of me and my friend where we each assumed the other had moved on.    It would be unfair to assume the worst based on second-hand information and gossip.  Some innocuous comment she made to her mother may have been spun into a supposed "offence". 

Yeeeeeeesh. I hadn't even thought of that. Man, I hope not. If my mom did that (or any friend of mine), I'd be furious. I've had a few genuine misunderstandings where one friend tried to talk to someone on behalf of another friend (without permission) and what we learned from those is that everybody is adult enough to and acknowledge that they should have butted out.

I wonder if the OP would have any idea of the likelihood of that happening, they were we friends for so long. Does mom has a history of those kinds of shenanigans?
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veronaz

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2014, 03:08:21 PM »
Quote
It sounds like she has made zero effort to communicate with you since her wedding. She either asked her mom to pass along the message that you owed an apology, or she told her mom whatever it was you supposedly did, which her mom felt was bad enough to mention to your dad. What she did not do is mention it to you so that you could clear up the misunderstanding. She hasn't once messages you directly via Facebook, and she didn't respond when you posted your engagement (congrats!!).

Involving the mom and dad instead of communicating directly with you was just plain wrong.  Why should you apologize when you don’t know what you supposedly did to offend her?  As far as not congratulating you when you posted your engagement announcement on FB, it's possible she has hidden your posts so she can't see them or defriended you.  But I think that’s beside the point – there are many other ways other than FB to communicate …….in person, phone, email.

I’ve had a few situations where I debated whether to reestablish contact (or be receptive to the other person’s overtures).  While I might miss the “good times”, sometimes too much “stuff” has happened, and history has a way of repeating itself.

OP, clearly you have doubts about reestablishing contact.  That, on top of everything else, would indicate it’s best to forget it and move on.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2014, 04:23:39 PM by veronaz »

Ceallach

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Re: To Reestablish Contact or Not
« Reply #29 on: June 09, 2014, 12:32:30 AM »
I think that if you had wanted to establish contact with this person, you would have done so by now.

Same with her.  If she had wanted a relationship with you, she would have contacted you.  For the mother to say something about an event at her wedding that you have no clue about is childsih.  She is a parent and an adult now and needs to act like one.  If she had a problem with somethng you said, she should have come to you.

I would not establish contact based on the say so of someone else's opinion.

This is exactly the assumption I made with my BFF.   I thought if she wanted a relationship with me, she would have contacted me.  Add she thought the same thing.   And in the meantime our lives were insanely busy dealing with relationships and babies and university and new careers so it just didn't happen until one of us finally made an effort to reach out.   We're talking years.

The fact is, it's not unusual for people to be slack even in active friendships about keeping in touch.   When the contact has already dropped off it's even more likely that it won't be a priority. 

I agree very much with your last line though - the OP shouldn't make contact because of gossip claiming the friend is upset with her.  If she wants to make contact it should be because she genuinely wants to rebuild the relationship to some extent.
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