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Why the Cold Shoulder?

Dear Sugar
I have been friends with a girl since I was six years old. We are from the same town and have grown up together and our families are extremely close. We're now both in college, so we rarely talk to each other anymore, though we still see one another when we are both home for break.

Several months ago, she decided to stop being friends with me, although she has never verbally said this to my face. She removed me from all of her on line social networking communities and stopped taking my calls. It has been four months since we've spoken and every time I try to confront her, she give me her fake politeness that she gives to people she can't stand.

I don't know what to do anymore, and I know I will continue to see her at our family parties in the near future. She has torn this friendship in half, and though I wish I could salvage it, I feel too hurt to work at it any longer. How should I handle this gracefully and not have to avoid all our family gatherings? Bewildered Beckie


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Dear Bewildered Beckie
It sounds like your friend is experiencing some sort of funk and is taking it out on you. Has she shut out any of her other friends like she has you? Since your families are close, could you ask them if she has experienced a major change in her life that could be attributed to her attitude towards you?

Your friend's distance makes me think she is struggling emotionally. Sometimes people pull away from the ones they love and those who know them best because they are afraid to confront what is bothering them. Since your attempts to talk to her were denied, unfortunately, you are going to have to give her space until she is ready to open up.

Since it is inevitable that you will be around your friend at family festivities, perhaps you should write her an e-mail or a letter to get out your anger and frustration. Try saying something like this:

"I understand you want to keep your distance from me, but I just want to let you know that I miss your friendship and if there is something I have done to upset you in any way I would really like to know about it. I am always available to talk."

If your friend still chooses to ignore your attempt to mend this broken friendship, unfortunately, you are going to have to accept her decision. I have a feeling more will be revealed from this, and hopefully she will come around. Good luck.

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