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14 August 2008

Friendship gripe/advice time [More:]I have a friend and we haven't lived in the same town for a good seven years or so, but continue to talk over the phone occasionally. Last time we talked was almost four months ago. She was trying to decide between two jobs--both in small towns in the same state she has lived in all her life. She bemoaned the fact that regardless of which one she picked she would still be in a small town, while all her friends seemed to be living in exciting cities on the coasts. She then listed a number of reasons why both of these towns were undesirable. I suggested that it sounded like she wasn't very happy with these choices, and that since she hadn't taken either job yet, maybe she should apply for some jobs in a place she would want to live in. She got very upset and said I was unsupportive, and ended the conversation.

I sent her an e-mail apologizing for not being supportive. Didn't hear back. I figured she might contact me again after some time had passed.

Well, she finally did contact me today. But all she did was send me an e-mail asking for me to take a photo of her off my web site so that people can't Google her. I can't even find it on Google! It certainly isn't anything embarrassing, but I'll remove it anyway.

Anyway I am hurt that when she finally contacted me after all this time that is all she had to say. Should I say so? Or just let it slide again. To be honest I think not speaking to me for four months is a bit much as a reaction to the above.
Bleh. I wouldn't bother. But that's me.
posted by CitrusFreak12 14 August | 00:45
Oh! I know how this goes...

I'm having similar issues at the moment, similar deal.

Old friend, different state, talk on the phone. I told her that getting into a serious relationship with someone after less than a week of being separated wasn't a great idea. Since then, she hardly ever answers when I call, and often takes weeks to respond to messages. She's visiting at the moment, and I just don't have anything in common with her.

It sounds like your friend just was irritated that you were logical - you weren't being unsupportive - just because you said something she didn't want to hear for some reason.

Sometimes I wonder why some friendships are just so much hard work.
posted by jonathanstrange 14 August | 00:48
If it were me, and I was interested in re-establishing contact, I'd probably respond with something like, "Of course! I know you're looking for a job, which is stressful enough, and it's weird to have Google turn up results like that. I know you were super-stressed the last time I talked to you -- how're things now?" In other words, just write off her annoying behavior as job-search stress, mainly because job-search stress really really really really does suck.

But if it were actually me, I'd probably not be all that interested in reestablishing contact, so... I dunno.
posted by occhiblu 14 August | 00:50
To be honest, I would have been supportive of her decision--if she had made a decision. It seemed like it was something she was still thinking about and I thought that she should really listen to herself. It's not like I was saying that the jobs sucked--she was.

I don't really see her reaction as an unforgivable offense and it's the only time we've ever had a spat, so I can swallow my pride and do something along the lines of what occhiblu said.
posted by grouse 14 August | 01:02
What I'm inferring is that you used "I" messages (which I know firsthand don't always work) and don't need to apologize. I know what happened hurts, but this is her issue, not yours.
posted by brujita 14 August | 01:13
There's nothing you can do except remove her photo and accept her decision. It sucks, but some people will fall out with you over nothing. If the friendship is real on her side, she'll come back to you. If not, it wasn't meant to be & you're better off without her.

Just do the right thing & also refuse to get pulled into her drama. You did nothing wrong.
posted by seanyboy 14 August | 02:19
She's sensitive. She flew off the handle. I like Occhi's suggestion.

She probably wasn't looking for advice but it was still unfair for her to react this way.
posted by LoriFLA 14 August | 04:32
By all means take every opportunity to take offense. It's the cornerstone of all great friendships.
posted by Eideteker 14 August | 06:40
I'd write her off, but then I'm not much of a friend myself.
posted by Hugh Janus 14 August | 08:17
Your friend is totally overreacting. Good grief.
posted by Orange Swan 14 August | 08:27
Occiblu's got the best advice for this. Then take it from there. It may be that the friendship's run it's course, or it maybe that it really was stress and she's still feeling off about the whole thing. Good luck, but don't blame yourself it the friendship isn't resolved. People have issues.
posted by redvixen 14 August | 18:33
I sent an e-mail similar to what occhiblu suggested, so a big ol' Best Answer for her. My friend hasn't written back.
posted by grouse 14 August | 19:11
Tomorrow is "Meet the Teacher" day || Please not Biden