Dear Karma Cleanser:
I have a friend who recently accepted a very busy job. We used to IM, e-mail and call all the time. Now I am lucky if I hear from him once a month. I get that he's busy, but I'm sick of playing the fool and feel like he's not holding up his end of the friendship.
Do you think I should write him off, or is it better for my social karma to keep the friendship going with the hope that eventually, this person might realize that he's been ignoring me? I don't want to be the Drama Friend who gets all whiney when the phone doesn't ring.
-- Forgotten in Raleigh
Dear Forgotten: We're going to try something a bit different this time and give you the chance to expand upon your initial query. We'll then fire back our take on your social snag. First, how long have you been friends with this person? If it's somebody you've only known a few months, the sudden lack of communication probably doesn't warrant all your bellyaching. Second, have you let him know that his behavior is bugging you? Finally, we detect a note of sensitivity at the end. Have other folks dubbed you the "Drama Friend" in the past?
Dear Karma Cleanser:
Me again. I've known this friend for close to five years. It's not just an acquaintance but someone I thought I'd be friends with forever. Second, yes, I did let him know that his behavior was bugging me. I sent him an e-mail which said that I was about to buy a new condo. When he did not write back, I sent another e-mail saying, "Hello, are you alive, did you not read what I just wrote?" Still, nothing.
As for your last question, I will say that I have been the "Drama Friend" in the past but I don't want to be that person again. Thanks.
-- (Still) Forgotten
Now we're getting somewhere. Sounds to us like your friendship is going through a dip just now, which happens to all longstanding relationships. A relationship is a living thing, like a tree, and if it doesn't change, it dies. The friendship will come back around. Or not. Perhaps now is the time for one last communication, this one saying simply, "I understand you're busy but it hurts my feelings that you didn't respond to my very big news." If he doesn't write back, there's no need for you to feel like the fool, but also no reason to keep flinging spitballs at an impenetrable wall. If you truly don't want to be dramatic, now might be the time to take a deep breath and just let it be what it is. Keep us posted on how it turns out.
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