I am so sorry I haven't been in touch

Not sure if this is worth its own thread but this has been bugging me a lot lately…

A lot of my friends, but some in particular, do this thing which really annoys me.

I message them about something because it made me think of them. It might have been like 8 years since we last spoke, but who cares? It’s nice to get a message out of the blue from someone you haven’t spoken to for ages, even if the only result of it is a half hearted conversation and nothing for another 8 years.

However, there is a subgroup of my friends where every time I contact them, which is sporadic (modern life), they feel the need to apologise profusely for not being in touch more.

Now. This is an apology, this surelu comes from a good place, right? But that’s not how it feels. There’s a subsection of my friends who apologise so consistently when I do talk to them, it leaves me with the feeling that they think that since the last time we spoke, I spent every waking moment waiting for them to message again. Rather than want to communicate with them more, it leaves me feeling like they think my life revolves around them. Once or twice with this, particularly with context, is okay, but for some of my friends it’s 50% of our communication these days.

Is this something other people experience? Part of me wonders if I’m giving off vibes where I give a fuck about this shit, and these messages make me paranoid about it. Honestly, I couldn’t be worse at keeping in touch with people, but when I do, the radio silence needs no explanation. Life got in the way, we’re adults, it’s ok and it’s far more interesting to launch into something like the chat never stopped than to spend your little catch up time placating excuses for not catching up.

Here are some polls to see if this is a common thing, or vibes I give off (please answer honestly, I’d really like to know and address it if the problem is me)

When someone reaches out to you who you haven’t heard from for ages
  • You spend a lot of time explaining and apologising for why it’s been so long
  • You pick up where you left off
  • It depends who the person is, but less of the apology bit
  • It depends who the person is, but more of the apology bit

0 voters

You
  • Good at keeping in touch with people
  • Shit at keeping it touch with people
  • Somewhere in between

0 voters

Idk. If I haven’t spoken to someone in like over 2 years I’m not gonna be speaking to them again or making contact tbh. Too long and can’t have missed each other much to have not bothered.

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I will do a little apology if I sincerely mean it and it’s called for. Some of my friends are really busy with having caring responsibilities or children and such, so in those cases it’s reasonably on me as the way less time poor person to message them if I’ll be in the neighborhood and keep in touch etc. Mostly though if I haven’t spoken to somebody in a while then they haven’t spoken to me either, and that’s fine for people with different lives, would be disingenuous to apologise about it.

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I was in Bath last weekend. I took some photos in places our old band did a photoshoot. Sent it to all the ex-band members. For two it prompted nice catch-up conversations. For the other it prompted massive apologies for not catching up with me and… that’s it

I can imagine that, but for some, it’s such a serial trait that by this point I choose not to get in touch as it winds me up so much. Yes, you haven’t been in touch. Nor have I. It’s okay. Maybe this is something I need to work on…

I think you’ve summed up the nuance very well here, but there are one or two friends of mine who are serial offenders with this, and it leaves me feeling that they think that my life is not complete without their contact and I’m lucky to be hearing from them.

I have honoured you with a reply! My apologies it has taken so long! I cannot imagine what it must have been like for you!

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Yeah, gonna move this to SSP

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Could be that they just think it’s a shame you don’t get to talk as much as you used to?

Now and again for sure, but when this is a part of every conversation for the last 20 years, then maybe it’s time to accept that this is the relationship we have, and to enjoy it for what it is

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Yeah, fair point that it’s coming from a good place. I dunno, I just feel like some people think I’m on a path to self destruction, and that they feel like they were stabilising influences at some point, so now they have to apologise every time because they couldn’t be the hero they consider them to be

You should respond to them with this next time.

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I do! This is my new thing! I have said multiple times to some people now. I want it to reach the point where it becomes a new thing we joke about on those odd occasions.

“Don’t you dare apologise!”

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Anyway, train pulling into Utrecht now. Rant over. Thank you for humouring me :heart:

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I don’t generally apologise for not being in touch because I’m not sorry and I worry that offering an apology would mean more contact in the future.

I do sometimes apologise if I mean it though and maybe I’ve left them hanging in the past.

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I generally don’t like being contacted by people out of the blue after ages, I find it really stressful

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Yeah probably, but some people might feel guilt around it for a variety of personal reasons. It’s way more likely that people are saying it because they’re thinking about their own part in it rather than an imagined effect it’s had on you. Especially over the last few years with people becoming way more isolated and the general mortality of people being a more present thing (sorry, morbid but true). People are more likely to be doing some thinking about the people they know and relationships that aren’t as strong as they once were. My partner seemed to get a shit load of old friends trying really hard to strike up old friendships from 10 years ago recently, and almost unanimously found they were just different people now. But everybody wants to connect more, we live in quite dire times really.

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Sounds like youre over-thinking a lot. I think the issue might be with how you perceive these people. Because if an old friend said that i would just take it at face value and wouldn’t assume anything other than that were sorry the haven’t been in touch and time gets away from you and yknow little things do remind you old friends to get in touch with them and sometimes you have that thought but then get distracted before you send the message.

Unless yknow i always thought the friend was a bit self centred, in which case i probably wouldn’t care too much what they think

You trecht if you want to, the lady’s not for tretching

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I’m alienated from myself let alone everyone else, I’m ashamed to have let most of my personal relationships go but at the same time feel like the past few years have fucked me up too much anyway. I hate all interactions basically whether they happen or not.

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