Ask Amy: When friendship fades, exit quietly
By Amy Dickinson,
DEAR AMY: I’ve been best friends with “Molly” since we were children. We’re now in our early 20s. We’ve been very close and have always shared our ups and downs.
She has suffered from an eating disorder for a few years now. She’s received help, but her life seems to be a roller coaster. I’ve tried being there for her, but she has a tendency to shut down and block me out. She has ditched me at the last minute on many occasions (my birthday, holidays and many other times) without any notice. Then she ignores me for a few weeks or a few months. This hurts me. I don’t have many friends, and I worry about her.
When she finally communicates with me, she says she’s “just been having a rough time lately,” but she will post pictures on Facebook of her activities during these times, and I see that she seems to be busy with other friends.
This friendship is held up only by me, and I think I’ve had enough. She hasn’t talked to me for over a month now. I deleted her off Facebook because I got annoyed seeing her interacting with all of her other friends, except for me.
Should I communicate my feelings or leave her wondering? That’s how she always treats me, so maybe I should show her what it feels like. -- Angry
DEAR ANGRY: If your friend suffers from anxiety or depression, this would compel her to pull away periodically, and it would be a mistake for you to take it personally.
However, given the fact that this relationship is depleting you, you should — finally — act only on your own behalf and not attempt to manipulate Molly.
If you try to make her wonder about you, I guarantee that she will not wonder about you. If you try to retaliate in some way, this negative energy will only bounce back and hit you in the gut, because she may lack the capacity to notice.
If it would make you feel better to express your disappointment in her, then do it. If it would make you feel better to simply fade away, then definitely do that.
DEAR AMY: I recently got married. In addition to registering for traditional items, my husband and I decided to include two charities for those who didn’t see the need for us to own 12 china settings.
We never thought anything of this, other than the potential good it could do. However, I was just reading through an online wedding forum, and many people thought it was rude to ask guests to donate to charity. They said that a wedding was not a time to discuss “depressing” things.
These people equated charity registries to just asking for cash. They assumed that brides who went this route were arrogant. My general opinion is that even a registry asking for blenders and steak knives is asking for “money,” so why not do the world a little good?
Was I in the wrong? Is it tacky and pretentious to include charities on a wedding registry? -- New Bride
DEAR BRIDE: Registries are all about directing guests’ giving toward what the marrying couple wants to receive. Many guests find registries very helpful, though guests can always choose to ignore a registry.
My reaction to your choice to include nonprofits is not that this is “depressing” (far from it), but perhaps a little confusing. It’s as if you are including a grab bag of opposing ideas for guests.
However, this was your wedding. Many couples use their nuptials to inspire guests to raise money for charity, and I don’t think it’s tacky at all; it’s lovely. Now, stay off the wedding message boards. Nothing good can come of it.
DEAR AMY: Poor “Breakup Hang-Up” worried how she would cope if she ran into her ex-boyfriend on campus. I have a suggestion to add: Instead of deleting his number from her phone, she should simply change the name from his name to “Do Not Call.” It will lessen her temptation to call him. -- Phone Savvy
DEAR SAVVY: I like it. That way she’ll know if he calls but will be less likely to dial him during a moment of weakness. From now on, she can think of him as “Do Not Call.”
Write to Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.
by the Chicago Tribune
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