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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    133

    How many times do you try?

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    How many times do you try to get together with someone before you start to take their "busy schedule" as blowing you off?

    I've made several attempts to get together with a couple of friends of mine (or at least I thought they were friends). I've tried Facebook, texting and voice messages and I'm seeing a pattern of days going by with no answer. I'm convinced one is waiting for the other one to answer first, because, apparently we've never gotten out of high school. At first I started following up, but now I don't even do that because the situation is always the same.

    Recently I saw a line in someone's blog that said "don't waste your time with people who won't waste their time with you." It's very appropriate in this case, athough that would mean the disintegration of a 15 year friendship with one of them, but honestly if she isn't available when I make suggestions and doesn't offer any alternatives when she would be available, what can I do?
    Jen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
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    5,226
    Only you can decide how much effort you are willing to put in. People do what they want to do; actions really do speak louder than words.

    (Side note: Personally, I find that Facebook etc seems to make people feel like they are in touch and therefore do not have to actually have to make an effort to spend time with people.)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    IL/FL
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    3,863
    I tend to try two or three times, if we can't manage to get together within those "tries" I stop attempting to set something up, the ball is in their court.

    Electra Townie 7D

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    where ARE we?
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    435
    "don't waste your time with people who won't waste their time with you."

    Very good saying. However, sometimes there are extenuating circumstances going on that they don't say that through FB.

    One friend that I cannot connect with is dealing with something I cannot imagine: her daughter, who is my age, has brain cancer. That would be all-consuming. We see each other and remember we're supposed to have that bottle of wine I've been saving and talk about decor (we're both very creative, decor-minded people!) and designing some lamps for sale, but I don't blame her one bit for needing to spend every spare hour with her daughter. From what I have read, it's a death sentence, the five year survival rates are just horrible.

    I want to do something for her, to help her get through this & let her know I'm thinking about her, but I've no idea what. She lives just up the street from me, I may leave a bottle and a friendly note on her doorstep.

    But other people? Sure, they're just not as interested in spending time with me as I am with them. It hurts, in a way. It hurts more when they accept a dinner invite and do not EVER reciprocate, not even in a "well, I can't cook/my house is a mess but let's go out to dinner" kind of way. I've had this more since moving to NW GA. Might be a difference in upbringing, or maybe "having people over for dinner" is an antiquated concept.
    2009 Fuji Team

    My blog - which rarely mentions cycling. It's really about decorating & food. http://www.crisangsteninteriors.com/blog

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
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    6,132
    I tend to give it two or three times and then let the ball remain in their court. But I'd also add that it's often worthwhile--especially with old and/or good friends--to simply talk about it with them. Don't assume anything going into the conversation and don't be confrontational. Just simply tell them "I miss you, and my feelings get hurt when you don't respond to my invitations to get together. Is there something wrong." Hopefully, that might prompt a dialogue that will, in the very least, let you know where things stand in the friendship. Maybe you'll learn that something's been going on in your friend's life that has hindered her ability or desire to reach out. Or maybe you'll get the sense that your friendship, sadly, is waning.

    Regardless of their response, at least you've articulated your feelings about it. If there's one regret I have with friendships that have atrophied and died over time, it's that I didn't articulate my feelings and sadness about it. Because of that, I feel needlessly bitter and regretful about it. I might have saved either the friendship or my dignity if I'd found the courage to express my hurt and sadness.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
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    10,952
    I am still learning this myself, my tendency is to assume that people's lives are just so busy that time gets away from them. I am, almost, the only single person I know in my age group so I generally attribute this to busy lives. If nothing works out after 3-4 attempts over a reasonable time period then I just leave things in their court. If I don't hear from them after that then I just assume that perhaps they viewed our friendship differently than I and just leave it alone.

    I've run across this a lot this year, I've a few people who were once good friends who cannot seem to take in the changes in my life I've made over the last couple of years. Sad, but that is how life is sometimes. I like Indy's approach of trying to discuss it, I wish I had done that more often over the years.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
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    6,132
    When friends go AWOL, I do think it's important to resist the assumption that it's because of something you did/are. Most of my longest friendships have waxed and waned over the years, and I've come to understand just how easy it is to get so wrapped up in your day to day existence that you lose track of friendships. I'm not saying it's a great excuse, by I've really downgraded the expectations I place on people and try not to take it personally when I don't make their list of priorities. I know how my average day/week is. I'm lucky to get myself to and from work, attend all the appointments/meetings/functions I have to attend, spend quality time with DH, fit in a minor amount of exercise, put meals on the table, food in the cats bowls, laundry in the washer/dryer, etc. There's not a whole lot of time to even plan other stuff, let alone do it. And I don't even have kids!

    While I have no doubt that some of my friends feel neglected the same way I've felt neglected by them at times....but it's nothing personal. We all just get super wrapped up in our own lives at times. So, I think that's something you have to keep in mind anytime you start to feel neglected by someone. What's going on in their life at the moment that I may be underestimating?
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,952
    Quote Originally Posted by indysteel View Post
    .....
    While I have no doubt that some of my friends feel neglected the same way I've felt neglected by them at times....but it's nothing personal. We all just get super wrapped up in our own lives at times. So, I think that's something you have to keep in mind anytime you start to feel neglected by someone. What's going on in their life at the moment that I may be underestimating?
    Yes, I think this is what it often is and I think it is important to keep in mind when relationships change. Life is SO busy for most of us, and I can't imagine what it must be like when children are added to the mix. I feel fortunate that I am able to spend so much time on things I love to do, and recognize that being single does assist with that a lot.

    As far as the original question in this thread - I don't know that there IS a definitive answer that fits all situations. I think it varies depending on the relationship and what is going on in the lives of both parties.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,981
    None of my long term friends nor family use Facebook. So at least I don't deal with that "problem".

    I try to give other person 1-2 additional attempts. If they have children, there is a reality that things do crop up suddenly with kids.

    But then I don't see them often, so usually lst time round we commit to time, place, tec.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,336
    I hate trying to coordinate a meeting with more than one person. I've since stopped having my "annual xmas dinner" because it was SO painful to get 6 people to agree on a date.

    I also don't put a lot of effort into arranging meetings with friends because they never seem to bother. I do think it should be a two-way street in both sides making the effort, not just one.

    I'd say if there's a pattern and you feel like like they're doing some background work in avoiding you, I'd say let that go. It's a shame to let a 15 year friendship, but I recently ended a 20+ year friendship because it was just too difficult.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
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    3,863
    Badger - If I have to plan it I get autocratic about things like gatherings. I tell everyone "we're getting together at 6pm on Tuesday the 24th, be there or be square". Surprisingly this seems to work, people show up, those that don't miss out on a good time.

    Electra Townie 7D

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,449
    Quote Originally Posted by Jen12 View Post
    How many times do you try to get together with someone before you start to take their "busy schedule" as blowing you off?

    Been through this. Honestly, it's best to back-off and occupy your interests elsewhere for a time. If they don't come back, it's because they don't want to.

    Or, it could be just a break where the realationship needs to change; or perhaps just needs some breathing room.

    It is possible you'll have to learn how to deal without them now. But, worrying and trying when they don't want to will make it worse.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 08-11-2011 at 11:52 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Folsom CA
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    5,672
    Quote Originally Posted by badger View Post
    I hate trying to coordinate a meeting with more than one person.
    You mean "herding cats" ?

    2009 Lynskey R230 Houseblend - Brooks Team Pro
    2007 Rivendell Bleriot - Rivet Pearl

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Sunny California
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    1,107
    Quote Originally Posted by badger View Post
    I hate trying to coordinate a meeting with more than one person.
    But sometimes it is worth it. My sister, two cousins and I had a great girls' weekend (spa, shopping, fun). It took almost 2 years settle on a date because we didn't have to coordinate just our four schedules, we were considering about 20 schedules (spouses, kids and dogs!)

    Throughout the weekend, we talked about how much fun it was and it was worth the wait and effort! And we started planning the next trip as soon as that one was over.

    As for the OP, only you can decide how much effort you want to put into maintaing contact with people. Some friends are worth more effort than others.
    Bork Bork, Hork Hork!!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    112
    Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to lower your expectations. When I am finally able to do that with people, I'm much happier. I'm not saying you have too high expectations, but you are probably feeling a little hurt. Drop back and see what happens.

    Easier said than done, I know.

 

 

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