General Question

zander101's avatar

Why do people get upset, when you don't contact them and it's clear that they have moved on?

Asked by zander101 (627points) September 26th, 2013

I’ve noticed allot of people that I used to hang out with clearly move on with their life and they don’t make an effort to contact me, but when I contact them, they complain that I don’t make an effort. I swear communication is a two way street, I feel it’s up to me to make first contact.

Express? Opinions?

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11 Answers

funkdaddy's avatar

What would you like them to say when they haven’t seen you for a while? Maybe your folks are different, but I’d guess most people aren’t actually that “upset” they just need a quick reassurance that you aren’t avoiding them, upset at them, or think they’re lame.

So they say “why haven’t you called?”, go through the motions, let them know what you’ve been up to, ask what they’ve been up to, and get down to whatever you want to do.

Or don’t, and tell them you have no time for their pesky emotions.

JLeslie's avatar

Because people often don’t look at their own behavior. Or, they say stupid things and don’t know how it makes the other person feel.

Do they actually complain? Or, are they just saying things like, “I haven’t heard from you in so long,” and you take that as, “why haven’t you called, you aren’t a good friend?”

I suggest next time someone says something along the lines you are talking about say right back, “I haven’t heard from you either,” or “I could say the same to you.” there might be a little risk it pisses them off, you know better how they might react. You also know if you are willing to take the risk.

My husband used to call his parents or his dad would call us on most Sundays. Once in a while he woulld call a different day of the week, and if his mom answered she would answer, “Oh what a miracle,” and it really bothered my husband, like he is the bad son. She never called us. So, he told her one day how much saying it was a miracle he called bothered him. Nothing much came of it, I don’t think she really understood. Then there was another incidient where my husband and I were accused of not doing enough for the family, which if I told you the reality you would call her ungrateful, but I won’t tell the whole story. One day, when something came up about phine calls again I asked her, “is it some cultural thing where the children are supposed to call the parent, the responsibility is on us?” if that was the case I was fine playing along with it, but her answer was, “no.” About two years later she admitted or had some sort of epiphany that she doesn’t call and took some responsibility. I don’t mean we didn’t see her for two years, I just mean the topic came up again and she said it without provocation.

I have no idea what the real situation is with your friends or you. Maybe they called last time and were waiting for you to call, and when you didn’t they took that as you didn’t want to be in contact. It can easily all be a big misunderstanding.

My advice is when people do call you, always be happy to hear from them. You get what you give. I’m not assuming you don’t do that.

Give it two or three tries, you call them, and then see if they reciprocate. Or, at minimum if they are happy to hear from you and you talk talk talk. If not, I guess they suck as friends. Or, they have young children.

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snowberry's avatar

I have a slightly different problem. For whatever reason, I always seem to end up making friends with people who NEVER call me. I always call them. Some of them even mention of how they missed me, but few seem to realize that they don’t call me to see what’s up. With new friends I sometimes state up front that I want my friendships to be reciprocal. I want it to be “I call, then they call”, so I’m not the one making all the phone calls. When I say that, I hear, “Oh, I don’t call people much.”

At this point, if I’m not getting enough juice out of the relationship to make up for the fact that I’m the one doing all the contact, I say goodbye.

dabbler's avatar

It always makes me crazy when someone does that, and I (ironically?) tend to avoid people like that if possible.
If being in touch is so precious to them, then they wouldn’t piss all over the occasion with complaints about it not happening often enough.
“So happy to see you, it’s been too long!” is one thing. “Why do you never call?” should not be the first thing out of their mouths.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Most of what I call my “old” friends never made any effort to call or otherwise hang out. So I gradually stopped making any effort. Occasionally I’ll run into them and they typically complain like that. The reality is that life gets busy and complicated as you get older especially in your thirties and forties and neither they nor I have much time.

marinelife's avatar

I would say “I haven’t heard from you either.”

KNOWITALL's avatar

It’s up to both parties to keep in touch absolutely, but in a few cases, if you’re the last one to text or call or make an attempt and you are ignored or put off, it may feel like rejection, so why bother to try again? That’s how it is in a few cases I’ve been involved in, and I’m not begging for anyone’s friendship, no matter how much I care.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

Maybe they never really moved on. Maybe they were confused why you stopped talking to them… even if you were the one to always or mostly always make the first contact. Maybe you could say you noticed that you had to be the first one to contact them in order for you to talk to them at all, so you felt like they didn’t want to talk to you (if that’s true), but you reached out because you missed them.

Gabby101's avatar

Over the years, I have had a couple of friends get angry at me for not keeping in touch, who, in reality, were just as guilty as I was. If someone calls you a couple of times and you ignore them, that’s one thing, but if you just gradually drift apart, then I’m not sure how one person can blame the other.

I had a friend become very angry with me when I tried to get back in touch. I initially apologized and explained that if I had missed responding to an email or a phone call, I was sorry and that it wasn’t intentional. I explained that I remembered how much fun we used to have and would love to see her again. She responded back with more anger and even accused me of emailing her for personal gain. After that email, I did intentionally blow her off! If someone can’t meet you half way, then it’s not worth it.

People are just weird.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Well it falls a little bit on both sides of the fence. You did say you finally contacted them when they did not contact you; you could have done that sooner. Were they really so busy they could not send an email, or make a call or even send a text? I don’t know. If they got indignant because you asked them what happened, it my opinion it is mostly, a defense mechanism, because they were exposed in fault. The best way to play defense is to have a strong offense. If they did not get indignant then it was you, feeling because they ask and not gave you the answer you wanted to hear or an apology. If I think of someone I have not heard from in a long while and I have a contact for them, I use it.

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