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Friends never reach out

Tagged as: Friends<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (16 September 2022) 4 Answers - (Newest, 19 September 2022)
A male United States age , anonymous writes:

This is probably a dumb question, but we have some friends whom we've know for about 10 years. The thing is, they never reach out to us. We are the ones who always initiate. When we do go out to dinner or something they say "oooh, so great to see you guys!", etc.

I guess we like them more than they like us. Is there any way to tell them we'd appreciate it if they initiated sometimes, or would that just be weird?

And I'm sure some are thinking this, but they are not super busy people.

Thank you.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (19 September 2022):

Do they have other friends with whom you know that they make a point of having a reciprocal relationship?

If so, well, what more is there to say... it takes all kinds to make a world...

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A reader, anonymous, writes (19 September 2022):

Typo correction:

Better said...

"[Maybe] they fear if [they extended the] invite, they'll have to spring for the bill."


If you always cover the drinks, or always pay the check; you've spoiled them! Going out and spending time with friends shouldn't feel like work, obligatory, or take a lot of effort. Goodwill flows freely back and forth. People who love you will miss you; and will find reasons to spend more time with you. If that isn't the case, you really can't force it. You have to evaluate the quality of the friendship, seems to me it's falling short of what you expect of them.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (19 September 2022):

I've encountered this many times even with my own very loyal friends, with whom we go-back for many years. Some people are socially-inept, or lazy; and depend on others to initiate outings, and to use their creativity to plan events.

Even if you ask them to initiate, they may not have the same amount of energy and creativity you have about planning and finding suitable entertainment. I'm a good event planner, and I throw pretty good parties. I have friends who can afford caterers and could throw pretty lavish parties if they wanted to; but they prefer to be on everyone's guest-list. I'm used to it, and when we do get together; we have a wonderful time. Until my next event; or someone else in our circle plans a social event. They do visit or call on a regular basis, however. I never get left-off a guest-list, but I'm not the partygoer I used to be. I prefer smaller gatherings, and more intimate settings. Like a restaurant or cafe. I attend weddings or holiday gatherings with family mostly. My friends understood that during pandemic I wasn't coming; but the invitation was always extended.

Sometimes people are cheap, and don't go out much; they will go if asked. They fear if the offer the invite, they'll have to spring for the bill. If you know they are socially-introverted homebodies; then you know they aren't much about inviting people over, or laxed about inviting you out for dinner and entertainment. You've known them 10 years, they've been consistent; so that's just how they are. Maybe it's time to widen your social circle, and reconnect with others you haven't seen in awhile, or make some new friends.

You didn't mention if they are the type of friends who are there when you need them. In a crisis, they arrive the minute they know you need them. They are always there to comfort you and to support you. If they have proven their loyalties in this way, don't give-up on them. If they're the lazy fair-weather type, who don't bother to call; or you only hear from them if you call them first; maybe the friendship has run its course. They just feel obligated to stay friends; and you're good for springing for some drinks or dinner now and then. You know them, so only you can be the judge of that.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (19 September 2022):

Honeypie agony auntSome people are just like that. If you have known them for 10 years and they never reach out it might have become a "habit" that YOU always initiate.

Maybe next time you go out you can mention that NEXT time they should pick a time, day, and place.

If you feel it's too much work to initiate a hang out how good friends are they? And if you feel like they don't care because they don't initiate, then TELL them.

I have always been bad at this. My best friend told me that it felt like I didn't care to plan stuff, I just never really thought about it because they (at the time) had 2 schedules they had to manage and I only had my own. But I did take it to heart and started to plan and initiate a lot more after that. I used to just go with the flow.

" Is there any way to tell them we'd appreciate it if they initiated sometimes, or would that just be weird?"

It's not weird at all.

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