Life Advice



Ask Amy: Friend ruminates on social snub

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I'm having a hard time letting go of being snubbed by a close friend of many years.

My friendship with “Shelley” included our spouses and children.

We've celebrated, laughed, shared meals, vacations, worries and mourned together.

Recently I learned from a mutual friend that we both were excluded from two major celebrations hosted by her family.

(Other members of my extended family and friend group were invited.)

Shelley recently saw me at a different social event, ran up to me and said: "Can you forgive me?" without naming the offense I was to forgive her for.

I said, “Yes,” but I'm hurt.

She didn't acknowledge my comment, except to say that she's had a lot on her mind. Then she sort of drifted off.

It was a bizarre interaction and the apology felt glib.

Ever since then she's attempted to interact with me at social events, but I’ve been keeping my distance.

I don't know if I should just move on and simply realize that we are not as close as I thought – or try to discuss it with her.

I appreciate it when you tell people to just get over themselves.

Should I just get over myself and stop acting like a middle-schooler?

– Snubbed in Seattle

Dear Snubbed: You are not acting like a middle-schooler.

You are feeling like a middle-schooler.

Decoding this universal transference, I’ll explain it this way: When adults fall in love (no matter our age), we feel like a high-schooler.

When we are snubbed or excluded, we feel like a middle-schooler.

“Shelley” chose a crowded social event to pounce upon you and ask if you could forgive her. This is a genius middle-school move (also used by trained assassins in action movies) because it prevents you from reacting in front of a crowd.

But Shelley forgot something. She forgot to apologize.

Isn’t an apology supposed to precede a bid for forgiveness?

At this point, you should choose to react like an adult, and say to her a version of: “What’s going on with you? I am completely in the dark about why you have been excluding me. You’ve asked me to forgive you, but I don’t know what I’m supposed to forgive you for because you haven’t explained or apologized. I’d really like to clear the air.”

Once you’ve owned your completely legitimate feelings and used your words to describe your perspective, it will be much easier to let go and move on.


Dear Amy: I have been going to the same car mechanic since I moved to a new city, four years ago.

I know he’s a dad because he has a son, but he has never worn a wedding ring.

The last time I brought my car in, he offered to take it for a spin with me in the car, but I declined.

I’ve had a crush on this man since I first met him. Should I say so, or is this something I can’t pursue?

– Wanting in Oregon

Dear Wanting: I had a crush on the hunky guy who came to renovate my house – and I finally summoned the courage to tell him.

We’ve been married, very happily, for 16 years.

The risk here is that this man might not be available or return your feelings, which might necessitate you changing mechanics.

Dear Amy: I am a man who has been a loyal reader of yours for many years.

I have enjoyed your commonsense approach and candor. Congratulations on your new life adventure.

One question I have is, what happens to all the questions you have received that are never published?

Are they just sitting out there forever, or do you (or someone else) answer them personally?

I can imagine that there are some writers who anxiously await a response to their life issues.

– Curious in Indiana

Dear Curious: I can’t even begin to count the number of questions I’ve received over 21 years. I do read them all, and I often correspond with people privately.

I don’t have a staff – or any outside help – and so my focus has always been on choosing questions that intrigue me, or which describe issues I believe would benefit the widest number of readers.

So yes, the questions sent in to me that I have not answered will be “out there” forever.

This allows me a nice segue to R. Eric Thomas, who is starting a new column called “Asking Eric.”

You can help Eric get started by sending your questions to


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2024 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



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