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Author Topic: When you run into former friends  (Read 8497 times)

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Runningstar

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When you run into former friends
« on: June 23, 2015, 06:52:01 PM »
What is the best reply to people that say how nice it is to see you, how they have missed you and that you should get together with them soon - yet completely snubbed you in the past?  People that you once counted among your closest friends, but then shut you out of their lives.

There is a group of people that live in my community with whom I used to hang out with and went on group trips with.  They would invite me and my family to their parties, out for events, "girls nights out", etc.  We invited them to our parties, and we were once part of the "group".  Then we noticed that we were no longer hearing from them, we were not invited to anything anymore.   

This was mostly upsetting for me, as the ladies in this group were pretty much my only friends that lived nearby. My DH and kids had friends outside this group.   I asked the one woman that I felt the closest to if there was anything that I/we had done that had upset them and was assured that nothing had happened, so I let it go.

 For a couple of years I still invited them to our get togethers, and they would come and hang out together discussing where they had gone to, and their future plans.  Plans that my family was not included in anymore.  Plans that had to be discussed right in front of us at our own party.

So, finally I got the message and stopped inviting them.  I figured that something had happened to make them stop wanting to include us, but they weren't willing to tell what and give us a chance to correct it.  Not a happy feeling, but I moved on.  (This happened 5-6 years ago).

Because this was so hurtful for me, and took a long time to recover from, I don't want to be friends again.  It is surprising to me how much they seem to miss me, yet I feel that it is all some weird act since they have not called in years.   I do want to be polite, but not welcoming to invitations, if that makes any sense.   Anyone have advice on what to reply? 

Octavia

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Re: When you run into former friends
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2015, 07:10:18 PM »
Confronting them will not do any good and would just make you look petty and bitter.

I'd just give them a big smile, say that it's good to see that they are doing well, and then excuse myself to talk to other people. I would not make a false promise to get together in the future, nor would I say anything about missing their company.
"I never explain anything." ~Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins

JenJay

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Re: When you run into former friends
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2015, 09:17:22 PM »
I'd just be vague. If they say "We should get together!" I'd say "Gosh I wish we could but we're so busy these days. Hey it was great seeing you, gotta run." Or if they say "I miss you, how come you don't call anymore?" Say "It has been awhile since we spoke, hasn't it? I guess time got away from both of us." I wouldn't be confrontational, but I wouldn't go along with the "we were great friends but you phased yourself out" picture they're trying to paint.

I had a friend-of-a-friend who we got together with as a group a few times (3 sets of couples). When our mutual friends moved away that was the end of it, which was fine as we didn't have much in common. Unfortunately she shopped where I worked so I'd see her now and then. Every time she'd say "Hey! How are you guys? We should get together sometime! I'll call you." but she never did. It was no big deal, DH and I weren't sitting by the phone waiting for them to call (we actually didn't really mesh that well truth be told). It got old. I think the last time I gave her a halfhearted smile, said "Okay. It was nice seeing you." and kept working. She didn't say it again. After that we'd just exchange "Hi, how are you?" and move on.

blue2000

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Re: When you run into former friends
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2015, 09:24:26 PM »
I find that with some people, the phrase "I've missed you! We should get together!" is sort of like saying "Let's do lunch sometime." It is totally meaningless. They might not hold any hard feelings, but they aren't willing to make an honest effort to call either. A polite smile and some bean dip is all you need to answer them.

I also found with a former friend that sometimes whatever issue they had is not always about you. She talked a lot about wanting to do things with me, and how hard it was to make friends. But more and more over the years it became an issue of money - the friends she wanted were rich ones, and I (and many of her other former friends) didn't have enough for her. Oh well. Her loss.
You are only young once. After that you have to think up some other excuse.

Minmom3

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Re: When you run into former friends
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2015, 09:04:58 AM »
The rich folk aren't going to want her, unless she pays her own way.  Not unless what they want is a sycophant!  Not too many people want hangers on rather than friends....  At least, the kind of people I prefer to know!
Double MIL now; not yet a Grandma.  Owner of Lard Butt Noelle, kitteh extraordinaire!

blue2000

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Re: When you run into former friends
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2015, 01:31:19 PM »
The rich folk aren't going to want her, unless she pays her own way.  Not unless what they want is a sycophant!  Not too many people want hangers on rather than friends....  At least, the kind of people I prefer to know!

She was willing to pay her own way, to a point. But she drooled over people who had private yachts to travel on, large houses to be invited to, private box seats at events, etc. Basically, she wanted all the perks of money on a middle class budget.

She could be a nice person when she wanted to be, so I'm sure she still has a few friends, but - what happens when they want to sell that yacht and spend their time with something else? Is it suddenly not worth it to be friends?
You are only young once. After that you have to think up some other excuse.

artk2002

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Re: When you run into former friends
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2015, 04:11:11 PM »
I recently connected with some people on FB who were less than friendly to me back in school. While I still remember some of the snubs, people change and I'm willing to give them that opportunity. None of it was really cut-worthy, just the usual HS in-group vs out-group idiocy.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

TurtleDove

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Re: When you run into former friends
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2015, 04:26:06 PM »
Because this was so hurtful for me, and took a long time to recover from, I don't want to be friends again.  It is surprising to me how much they seem to miss me, yet I feel that it is all some weird act since they have not called in years.   I do want to be polite, but not welcoming to invitations, if that makes any sense.   Anyone have advice on what to reply?

If the bolded is true, then I don't know that it matters how you reply or if you reply. That said, I would personally take the approach artk2002 mentioned: "While I still remember some of the snubs, people change and I'm willing to give them that opportunity."

Based on what you told us, I don't get the sense these people are trying to set you up for some massive "let's pretend we like her but we really don't" scam.

jillybean

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Re: When you run into former friends
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2015, 04:41:13 PM »
I find that with some people, the phrase "I've missed you! We should get together!" is sort of like saying "Let's do lunch sometime." It is totally meaningless. They might not hold any hard feelings, but they aren't willing to make an honest effort to call either. A polite smile and some bean dip is all you need to answer them.

I also found with a former friend that sometimes whatever issue they had is not always about you. She talked a lot about wanting to do things with me, and how hard it was to make friends. But more and more over the years it became an issue of money - the friends she wanted were rich ones, and I (and many of her other former friends) didn't have enough for her. Oh well. Her loss.

I totally agree with the bolded.  Some people just say this and have no intention of following up.  Just ignore it.
Texas

Runningstar

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Re: When you run into former friends
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2015, 06:44:16 PM »
Because this was so hurtful for me, and took a long time to recover from, I don't want to be friends again.  It is surprising to me how much they seem to miss me, yet I feel that it is all some weird act since they have not called in years.   I do want to be polite, but not welcoming to invitations, if that makes any sense.   Anyone have advice on what to reply?

If the bolded is true, then I don't know that it matters how you reply or if you reply. That said, I would personally take the approach artk2002 mentioned: "While I still remember some of the snubs, people change and I'm willing to give them that opportunity."

Based on what you told us, I don't get the sense these people are trying to set you up for some massive "let's pretend we like her but we really don't" scam.



No, they are not awful people and I don't think that they would do that.  I love artk2002's thoughts about giving an opportunity to people, we all change.  That would be a great approach, but they aren't asking me for another chance.   You may have picked up on what the problem is for me since the bolded (I don't want to be friends again) is what I want to say.  Not to hurt them, or embarrass them, but to let them off the hook.  To let them know that they do not need to be uncomfortable or to make a fuss over me as I am fine now.  Because they dumped me, I had no choice but to make some new friends and I did.  Does that make sense?  Anyways, thank you to everyone that replied, it is very helpful.

kudeebee

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Re: When you run into former friends
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2015, 03:52:34 PM »
I would smile and reply "nice to see you too" and not respond to the "we should get together" statements as they are more of a conversation piece than a sincere statement like other posters have said.

lakey

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Re: When you run into former friends
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2015, 10:32:43 PM »
If you really don't want to restart a friendship with them, I would say, "I'm pretty busy lately."

This may be empty talk, like saying, "How are you," when you really have no interest in hearing about how the person is. If they consciously dumped you from their social circle, then empty talk about getting together is creepy.
If they really mean that they want to get together, and you don't, the comment about being busy let's them know that you aren't interested, without being confrontational.

oz diva

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Re: When you run into former friends
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2015, 10:57:46 PM »
The rich folk aren't going to want her, unless she pays her own way.  Not unless what they want is a sycophant!  Not too many people want hangers on rather than friends....  At least, the kind of people I prefer to know!

She was willing to pay her own way, to a point. But she drooled over people who had private yachts to travel on, large houses to be invited to, private box seats at events, etc. Basically, she wanted all the perks of money on a middle class budget.

She could be a nice person when she wanted to be, so I'm sure she still has a few friends, but - what happens when they want to sell that yacht and spend their time with something else? Is it suddenly not worth it to be friends?
She had champagne tastes on a beer budget. 😜

Victoria

NFPwife

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Re: When you run into former friends
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2015, 11:26:29 PM »
I like a breezy, "That sounds lovely, I've just been so busy and over scheduled lately." I think you walk a fine line between, "I have a fabulous new social circle" (which would be rude) and giving any impression that you've been waiting around for them to decide to include you again.

m2kbug

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Re: When you run into former friends
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2015, 10:02:59 AM »
I'm guessing that a lot of the "we miss you" and invitations to get together are really just polite things to say, and perhaps there is some truth to it, but overall, this are empty words that won't really come to anything.  I would be pleasant on occasion that I have to talk to them.  If you just bump into an old friend, you're probably busy with something else (errands), so you can cut it short, "It was nice to see you, but I need to get going."  With invitations, "We should get together sometime," you can respond, "That sounds nice.  We'll have to talk about that," and move on.  "I need to check with DH.  I think he has something planned for this weekend," and of course, "I'm afraid I can't, but thanks for the invitation" and just be busy.

I had a friend that just did a complete turnaround.  It hurt, but many years later, we reconnected through FB and exchanged an email or two.  While I wouldn't be opposed to starting up a friendship again, the trust is gone, and I would likely keep everything at a superficial level.  She lives in another state, so that part is pretty easy.  Everything happened when we were early 20s, so I think this many years later as people grow and change, I can let go of the snub and remain open to a better friendship should it happen, but at this point, it would be a slow process. 

When you run into them, keep it superficial and short.  For as much as you might easily slip back into your old friendship, refrain from getting too personal about your life like you may have done in the past.  Keep them at arm's length.  Just be friendly when you see them and let them slip back into the background.