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You Asked: Is It Too Late to Mend Our Friendship?

Dear Sugar,

Last year I went to visit one of my best friends in Chicago. Before I had arrived, she mentioned that she cut her hair really short. A few years ago when I did the same thing, she would tease me about it, so the night I arrived, in joking, I said something about her new "boy" do. I reassured her later that night that I was just teasing, but during my visit I couldn't help but feel that she was distant towards me.
After I left, she stopped returning my phone calls and when I would see her online, she would not respond to my IMs. After about a month, she finally called me to let me know that I had really hurt her feelings. I apologized and I reiterated that I was only joking with her, but I'm not sure I made things better because I pointed out that she had teased me when I had my hair cut that short, too. She reminded me that she's a lot more sensitive than I am and told me I should have known better. I apologized and thought we had worked everything out, but I haven't talked to her in over a year. I left her messages on her birthday, on Christmas, and on New Year's last year, but I haven't heard a peep in response so I decided to give her some space.

I miss her terribly and want nothing more than to have my friend back so should I call her and make another attempt to mend our relationship, or should I just respect her obvious decision not to talk to me and just leave it at that? — Cut Out Constance

To see DearSugar's answer


Dear Cut Out Constance,

It sounds like your friend was incredibly sensitive about her new hair cut and, in my opinion, overreacted. Are you sure there was nothing else bothering her? The fact that she's gone radio silent for over a year makes me think there is something deeper behind her anger towards you. It's pretty clear that she isn't going to make the first move to rekindle this friendship, so if you miss her, I say reach out again — you have nothing to lose.

Since she doesn't seem to answer her phone when you make attempts to call, I'd write her an email or send a card. She's explained that she's more sensitive than you so I advise you to take a tender tone — I might not even talk about the incident at all. What happened is in the past now, so try to focus on the future. Let her know how much you miss her friendship and ask what you can do to make things right in the new year, for a new friendship. Unfortunately, friends grow apart, so once you say your piece, it'll be up to her if she wants to mend things — I hope she does. Good luck!


Join The Conversation
tinyspark tinyspark 8 years
POISON. Be glad you're rid of her.
totygoliguez totygoliguez 8 years
I heat people like that if you can no take jokes then don't joke around. I notice that most people treat you the way you treat them, if I make some kind of joke about someone I'm giving them permission to make that same joke.
apothecary06 apothecary06 8 years
Your friend's statement that she's "sensitive" rang empty to me. What she doesn't realize is that sensitivity goes both ways - it's sensitivity in actions towards other people as well. If she saw fit to tease you about your hair, why does she suddenly think it's inappropriate when it's about her? I can't even begin to guess what this is really about, but this cannot just be about hair. She sounds pretty self-centered.
dm8bri dm8bri 8 years
Unless this "friend" has a personality disorder, I doubt the joking "boy" haircut comment is the only issue. Really, it may have been the tipping point - the moment that convinced her to cut you out of her life. That said, rather than dwelling on her inability to communicate what's going on, I say MOVE ON. If she has other reasons for dumping your friendship, given all of the time that has passed and limbo you've felt, they'll probably be too painful to hear. Especially since you've exhausted efforts to reach out and she hasn't taken the bait. What's the point of a letter or phonecall when it only opens you up to more rejection and guilt? Leave it alone and focus on friends who make as much of an effort as you do.
mix-tape mix-tape 8 years
That sounds so petty to end a good relationship over a comment about one's hair! I would bet that she already had some issues with you beforehand and never mentioned it as she seems like the passive type. If you decide to pursue the friendship again I would ask her if there is anything else you should apologize for in addition to the hair comment. Otherwise, I don't think this is worth pursuing, it seems like a lot of work to maintain.
Akitkat118 Akitkat118 8 years
my approach to people like this nowadays is to cut them out. Seriously. If someone is going to be a "poison friend" and all of a sudden drop communication, it's not worth having that person in your life. i have a similar situation in a way... i was best friends with this girl for a long time growing up..once we hit teen years she turned into all obsessive boy lover and always HAD to have a boyfriend. She hooked up with them and had sex at a really young age too. I was different, had higher standards or something, and we started drifting b/c I simply wasn't interested in only talking about boys. In college we drifted even more but got together every so often. Shortly after college she started dating this guy who is very... metrosexual. Likes tight shirts, playing jazz on the piano.. etc etc. I lived in Washington DC for 8 years (where 80% of the men are GAY and I lived with a gay guy so I had good gaydar) and as a joke one night on the phone i asked her if she was sure he wasn't gay due to his demeanor. She got like, SUPER pissed and didn't talk to me for a while...finally we started talking again a little and I moved back to NY and she helped me get contacts to find a new job and we talked a bit, even got together a few times. About 6 months later, I started dating someone and it was my birthday.. not being familiar with NYC restaurants I asked her for suggestions and she gave me some, asking if i was having a party. I said no, it was just me and my boyfriend this time. After that last e-mailto her when i said it was just us... that was it. For some reason, she never wished me a happy birthday a few days later and just never spoke to me again. This is now 2 years later and still not a peep. Since we'd drifted in the past, I basically said "if she stopped talking to me for no reason, well, screw her, i don't need her in my life." was I upset by it though? yes. and to this day I sometimes still wonder why she just cut me out suddenly. but i think i am better off not dealing with the drama either.
divinelight divinelight 8 years
I have a former friend like this. We were actually best friends from middle school up through our first years of college. Then last year we had an issue with communication and got into a fight. We got together and talked everything out and I thought we had patched everything up, but apparently not. She has started ignoring me and even gets upset when one of our mutual friends talks to me (he was in on the original argument but has gotten over it). We share a best friend who has done her best to stay out of this and remain friends with both of us. She told me that the friend who is ignoring me though is doing so because she holds grunges against me about things from HIGH SCHOOL. When we "made up," she did bring up things from high school and I apologized for them because I wanted her friendship back more than I cared about her bringing up things from years in the past. But I've decided that I'm finished being the one who apologizes for everything and I'm not going to bend over backwards for her anymore to only be ignored. I did my best to salvage our friendship and it wasn't good enough for her. I made one last attempt over Thanksgiving to see her and she blew me off. It's her turn now if she wants to be friends again. So, yes, you should attempt to contact her one last time if you really want to. But you need to tell yourself that this is it. You can't waste all your energy on a one-sided friendship or let it bother you for the rest of your life. You've done everything you can to mend things, if she doesn't want them mended, then you have to accept that and move on. It hurts, but I've found my other friends are a great support system and even better.
GScott86 GScott86 8 years
^ Heh, even four year olds are more mature though -_-, this whole thing is just silly. You def deserve better OP.
Meike Meike 8 years
Oh boo hoo! She's more 'sensitive' than you. If she can't take joke, she herself should not joke about others in the same fashion. You had done nothing wrong, OP. And, if she continues to be a four year old about this and not talk to you for over a year, then I suggest you just leave her alone like she wants. She's no friend of yours if she cuts you off like that.
macchiatolove macchiatolove 8 years
haha, I know! like the other posters, this woman annoyed me and I don't even know her! let her go! it's hair! it grows back. It's ok for her to dish it but not take it? she needs to grow the hell up. It's ok because 'she's more sensitive than you'?? Maybe she totally hurt your feelings back then! I do think there is probably some underlying issues but you've done your best to fix it and I'd be over it by now. She was overreacting and you've don't everything you could to apologize and repair the rift, so it's her loss, not yours.
Alyssa9986 Alyssa9986 8 years
Your friend needs to grow the F up. Really though, take a damn joke. It's not about "he said, she said", it's about 2 grown women that are friends...clearly this woman is looking for a friend to walk on ice while pampering her a** for her. Sorry if this sounds mean, but there are wayyyy too many people out there that see a situation in which they can manipulate the person in order to verify their own significance. Move on, wish her well, and keep that sassiness!
GScott86 GScott86 8 years
LoL, and that "known better" comment, that's just a clever thing people do to absolve themselves of guilt. They make a mistake and you even try to mention that they hurt you too, they snap at you and run away, trying to leave you looking like the bad person. Never fall for this, stand your ground no matter what. It's a cheap trick. Makes me smile all the time :).
GScott86 GScott86 8 years
Seriously, that chick needs to grow up, people go through much worse things then one silly comment over a hair cut. You did what you could, you actually apologized. If she's not even willing to go even a little bit to be friends or mend things, then she's definitely not worth it. No real friendship ends over something so stupid. Doesn't matter how sensitive you are. I am very very sensitive, and people have stabbed me in the back 100x worse but I at least cared enough to let it go. The fact that she can't let something this minor go is just ridiculous. You're better off finding real and mature friends.
myystque myystque 8 years
I agree with the other posters--it sounds like she is extremely sensitive and overreacted or is upset about something else entirely that she feels she cannot discuss with you. Since you miss her a lot, I'd say try contacting her once more but if that doesn't work, let it go, even if it is difficult for you.
candace87 candace87 8 years
I agree with RockAndRepublic. I was annoyed reading it. Seriously, you can make fun of her "boy" cut but she can't make fun of yours? Too bad, that's not how it works:)
queenlizzie queenlizzie 8 years
I'd let her go, too. All that drama just isn't worth it, and the friendship would never be the same after this anyway. Best to start the year anew and find some new friends worthy of your attention.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 8 years
I say let it go and don't bother with the letter. Why should you keep kissing her a$$? She is either incredibly immature, self-absorbed, and/or insecure...are these qualities you really want in a friend? Give it up and find other friends who actually possess a backbone.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
I'm aghast because it just seems so juvenile, "you made fun of my hair! I don want to talk to you ever again."
lolliriots lolliriots 8 years
The fact she's been mulling over this says one of two things, or maybe both. 1.) Too sensitive. Can't take a little? Don't give a lot. 2.) Underlying issues. Mature way to handle things. I am with Rock - but this greatly pissed me off (Okay, not that it effected me, but it did make me cringe) to know how "hurt" she was. Well, babes. What about the OP? I'm sure sometimes that teasing hit a tender spot. Sure, we're not all overly sensitive like the person this is about, but hey, if you scratch a scab too much, it can bleed just like any other. I feel bad that she gave you a huge guilt trip over it, and you didn't have a clue until she became an adult and said something. She "told" you that you should've known better? How exactly is that when she couldn't be bothered to say it after it happened? Waiting months before saying something - then that means you should drop it, esp. if it's a stupid thing like this. However, OP - next time; you said you noticed something wasn't quite right. Ask what's up. I'm sure the next person you befriend will be more adult about it. Definitely something else. I'd just let her go.
k8-rckstr k8-rckstr 8 years
lilprisci lilprisci 8 years
Hey, a very similar thing happened to me with a former best friend, except in my case she never told me what was bothering her to begin with! Cutting someone off is immensely immature, especially if it was a very good friend. I've let go of the fact that we will never be as close as we were (she only sends a Happy Birthday message once a year, obviously) and maybe it's for the best. Here's how I see it: are other friends cutting me off? No. Then it must be her problem and not mine.
austerity austerity 8 years
It's unfortunate that this happened, but it really doesn't sound like it was your fault. And if she is repeatedly ignoring all your messages, it's time to let her go. How long can you go begging after her? She sounds like quite a baby.
krae85 krae85 8 years
LOL Rock
geebers geebers 8 years
I agree with dear- it is strange someone would let go of a good friend over such a stupid thing. Sounds to me there is another reason - and you may as well write her and ask what it is and how you can move on. If she really cares, you will move past it. If not- then you are better off without her.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
Not worth it, let her go. Hell, she annoyed me and i dont even know her.
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