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My friend keeps cancelling on me. I find it hurtful.

Tagged as: Friends, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (13 March 2018) 5 Answers - (Newest, 14 March 2018)
A male United States age 30-35, *illieb345 writes:

I’m really upset with my friend. We had tickets to see the movies and he’s cancelled. It’s bern in the diary for a few weeks now.We’ve been really great friends for years, recently he’s just become distant, I always contact to see how he’s doing or how works going or just chatting in general. It’s always my idea to do stuff together. He just let me know he wasn’t able to go to the movies with me because he was going to be sick , he hasn’t been well but still able to go to work. We have tickets to go to a show in a few months but I am tired of being treated like trash. Do I back out our friendship as it’s getting hurtful now. Do I make myself unavailable for the show. He might pull out anyway. Help.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (14 March 2018):

I also has this with my bestfriend. I always used to make the plans, she would cancel. I would always run to her every beck and call and she wouldn't do the same for me. Whenever she had a problem she'd come to me but would never care about mine. I felt like I was at a complete loose end and in the end it really did start to hurt me.

In the end, I pulled back. I stopped making plans, I never called her or texted her. I just did the same and put in the same amount of effort that she had been.

After a while I kinda just exploded. I told her exactly how I felt, probably was very brutal. I told her that she wasn't acting like a best friend but a stranger, she was always being selfish and never had any interest in me etc. and she had absolutely no idea how I had felt this whole time, couldn't apologise enough and now were all good again exactly like how we used to be.

I think the key is to be honest. If you don't tell someone how you feel, how are they supposed to know?

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A female reader, Ciar Canada + , writes (13 March 2018):

Ciar agony auntI'm a bit tired so to sum it up I'd say that sometimes we just need some time away from everyone, most people, some people or maybe just one or two people. Maybe we're going through a difficult time or it could be that we're at a crossroads and we've stopped to reflect back or think about the future.

How are we supposed to communicate that to others without offending or alarming anyone? How can we get what we need without the litany of questions, explanations, rebuttals, and unwanted, unhelpful advice from 'caring' friends?

Brushing up on your non verbal communication skills would go a long way to helping both you and him.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 March 2018):

Yeah,back down.Maybe you are coming on too strongly. As a friend, if a friend told me they were unwell,I'd accept it and next time, let them reach out to me with plans.

Also, you would have a better understanding of your friend's general nature? Is he gregarious? Does he like his space and personal time and like to cut off for periods?

As much as I like my friends, I need time away on my own and I prefer my friends respect that need. Respect your friend and give him his space.

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A female reader, Ciar Canada + , writes (13 March 2018):

Ciar agony auntyeah, I'd have to agree with that.

A woman in another post with similar social issues speculated that people's 'verbal communication skills were diminishing'. I think it's the NON verbal communication skills of the people with these problems that is diminished.

It may be that this friend is changing and what he wants from a friendship is changing. It could be that he is unwell and musters all of his strength to get himself to work but hasn't anything left for socializing. Maybe there is nothing wrong per se, he's just taking some time to review and reflect on his life and enjoy his own company.

I used to get together with friends more often when I was younger and had a much wider social circle, but that circle has gradually become smaller and the people who are no longer in it, I don't miss. I like them fine and wish them well, but I'm quite happy not seeing them again.

Others I wish I could put into stasis. I could have months of peace and quiet, see other friends, do my own thing, do nothing, reflect on my life, binge watch tv shows and catch up on things and they would not suffer or feel left out because of it.

The problem, if there is one, is that we be honest and tell people this because we get hit up with questions. They're determined that something is wrong and they're going to keep digging and probing until they get to the heart of it. They have all sorts of unwanted and tedious advice, or they're offended.

So, I second the advice to take the hint and ease up on this friend. When you have to keep chasing someone you're coming on too strong.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (13 March 2018):

He's not your boyfriend, he's a friend. Maybe you're planning too many things to do together; and he's trying to keep things in the "friend-zone." You're planning dates!

You're using him like a surrogate-boyfriend or chaperone. Maybe he doesn't feel comfortable doing that. If it upsets you so; stop planning things so far in-advance. Note, it's always "your" idea. Hint hint!

Maybe it's time you start dating guys for-real, and stop using him as a standby.

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