Dear Carolyn: What's the best way to handle someone who communicates through hints? I have a not-terribly-close relationship with an older relative that is ending because she kept dropping hints that her adult children need or want money and I didn't take the hints. She is apparently angry with me that I'm not offering any money.

I am beyond offended that she — probably at the behest of her kids — wants to treat me as a deep pocket.

We haven't talked in a while, but it would be hard to explain what the rift is about since it all has to do with hints. I also have some guilt about not calling, since she is older and could probably use the company.

Should I have been more direct and told her outright that if she was asking for money, then I wasn't offering? Or was it right to just not take the hints?

— Not Picking Up Hints

Not Picking Up Hints: Wut.

Okay, how’s this: Since none of this actually happened — her asking you for money, your saying no to that, her expressing anger at you, your expressing offense at being treated as a bank and/or frustration at being expected to communicate through hints, nothing concrete anywhere to be found — why don’t you just proceed as if none of it actually happened?

As in, call her to check in, as usual. See if she wants company. If she declines, then shrug and mark your calendar to call her again in X amount of time to make the same offer.

If/when she accepts, then go visit and deal with what you get when you get there.

Assuming you ever get this far with her again, then you can just deal with any new hints from her however is easiest for you: Either decide upfront to ignore them all unless and until she expresses her wishes directly, or name them as follows: “Do I understand you correctly, you’re asking me for X?”

It really doesn’t matter which. Listener’s choice.

Dear Carolyn: I have a friend I was supposed to visit. I texted her a few days before to just make sure we were all set. Short text back revealed she actually had plans with another friend and had to cancel. Not apologetic.

This person has been a friend of mine for years, but we've had some ups and downs recently — last year, she pretty much froze me out, only to drunkenly explain later that she did it because "it seems like I have my life together and she was jealous of me."

At this point I just want to give up. This person has not been a good or reliable friend to me, but it makes me sad because at one point we were quite close. Advice for how to handle?

— Stood Up

Stood Up: Like any loss or goodbye, I guess. Be sad things took the turn they did; be grateful for the experiences and memories of when things were good; and be open to the possibility that time will bring another change. Who knows? It makes sense to stop trying to be friends now, sure — because your heart isn’t in it anymore. (She’s acting insecure, not uninterested.) That doesn’t mean you don’t find each other again later under different circumstances.

Write to Carolyn Hax at tellme@washpost.com. Get her column delivered to your inbox each morning at wapo.st/haxpost.