I just reconnected with a friend that I haven’t seen in 10 years. It’s shocking to me that it has been that long. We were close friends in college but as life, kids and marriages took over, getting together got harder and harder.
The rest of my roomies and I would try to get her to come to girls’ weekends over the years but she could never make it and what seemed to be a dismissal of the worthwhileness of the weekend left me bummed out and frustrated. How could she not want to get together? Why doesn’t she want to hang out with us? Unfortunately, a funeral brought us back together but seeing her again brought back so many fun memories and I realized how much I have missed her.
Here are my recommendations for handling a friend that you feel has been blowing you off for a long time:
1. Stop being pissed and flat out ask her why she never shows up. Don’t assume she just doesn’t want to be a part of the group. It turns out my friend was traveling for work so much that she felt guilty not staying home with her kids when she wasn’t working- but I never once took the time to say, “What’s really up with you? Why aren’t you coming with us?” Pick up the phone and really connect.
2. Welcome her back with open arms like you haven’t missed a beat. Don’t dwell on the absence. If she finally shows up be excited to see her and remember how close you once were. Hug her with open arms. I’ll admit, I made a snide remark “who’s fault is it that we haven’t seen each other?” and she took the blame, but that wasn’t the place where I should have said something. She was happy to see me and I was happy to see her.
3. Take the time to catch up on her life. This will give you more insight into why she hasn’t gone on your girls’ trips or attended events that are important to you. I found out so much about my friend. She has had some major health issues, struggled with one of her kids, has so much going on work wise – all this information added a whole new perspective to what I thought was going on.
If you truly feel that your friendship wasn’t that great to begin with or your friend is just blowing you off because she wants nothing to do with you, then let her go. But usually there is more to the story and you shouldn’t wait 10 years to hear it.