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20-40-60 Etiquette---My feelings are hurt!

by Helen Ford Wallace Published: May 15, 2013

To ask an etiquette question, email


By Calllie Gordon, Lillie-Beth Brinkman, Helen Ford Wallace

QUESTION: My friend has canceled lunch with me two times and has not returned my email. This has really hurt my feelings. Should I leave a voice message telling him about my insecurities about our friendship and apologize for being so needy and tell him that I know he is very busy or should I decide the friendship is not worth saving?

CALLIE’S ANSWER: I actually am going through the SAME thing but a little more. My friend who does not live near me will not return my calls, texts, snail mail or email. This has been going on since FEBURARY; I feel like a total STALKER. If one is not contributing then is it worth it? My thought is no. Harsh but who wants to feel like this with a friend. Thanks for helping me decide! Hope it works out for you!

LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: I hate that feeling, and you’re not alone. I don’t think telling anyone about your insecurities is going to help mend a friendship that may or may not be broken. Your friend might sincerely be busy or dealing with something else that has nothing to do with you. As hard as it is not to DO any more to fix it, I think you’re going to have wait this one out, which is easier said than done. Perhaps you could try again six months or from now, after anything he’s going through has settled down, or maybe you’ll run into him again and then will be able to catch up. If you’ve made all the effort you can, at some point, you have to let it rest. Unfortunately, at this busy stage of my life, it’s hard enough to find time to meet with the friends who actually care, and those are the ones who are worth more effort.

HELEN’S ANSWER: I realize that things do come up and cause people to cancel luncheon engagements, but if he has not returned your email either, then it is time to put this friendship on hold. You might try one more time via telephone to connect with him, but the ball remains in his court to try to get the two of you together. He might be going through some trauma and might want to be alone. There are all kinds of reasons for this inattention, but let him make the next move.

GUEST’S ANSWER: Kathy Walker, local civic leader and community volunteer: How unfortunate that someone whom you call a friend has not had time to invest in your relationship together as friends. Rather than take on a mantle of hurt feelings, perhaps you could leave a voice mail for him stating that you would love to try for lunch once again and leave it at that — no need for telling him your feelings of need or reference to his busy life.

If you don’t hear from him, invest your time in developing other friendships and a busy meaningful life with new and interesting people, activities, and volunteer service to others. I’m sure you will make a great friend for someone else.

Callie Gordon is 20-something, Lillie-Beth Brinkman is in her 40s, and social columnist Helen Ford Wallace is 60-plus.

by Helen Ford Wallace
Society Editor
Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for...
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