Do you have acquaintances where you are the one who always initiates contact? Are there certain people where the only time you get an e-mail from them is when they are responding to your e-mails? Should you continue to always be the one to make the first move?
Hey! It’s me — again!
I can understand how frustrating that must be. Makes you start wondering if they really care if you contact them or not. Otherwise, wouldn’t they at least contact you every once and awhile? If only to see if all is well?
In most cases it is just that the other person is busy. No one would argue that we live in a very narcissistic culture. But we always seem to make time for those we really care about, right?
It could be taking the first step is appreciated as that provides them with the opportunity to communicate with you. If they do respond promptly, with enthusiasm, that would indicate they are pleased that you e-mailed them. I guess you have to decide if that is the type of one-way friendship you want to continue to nurture.
How They Respond — If at All
When the other side responds in kind with details, is chatty and really seems to enjoy your e-mail, why not continue? However, when no response arrives or if the replies are terse or abrupt, that is a different story.
Yeah, we are all busy and have to make choices about how we spend our time. That requires you thinking not just about what is convenient for you but what will be the courteous action to take. Not responding promptly and in a tone that reflects you care — speaks for itself.
If someone doesn’t reply promptly and in a way that you can recognize as pleasant and open to conversation, maybe just forget about it and wait until they contact you. It’s called taking a hint.
Sometimes, Once and Awhile is Enough
There are several folks from my past that will e-mail me on occasion. I don’t mind replying to them and do so in a way that let’s them know that.
I never e-mail them first primarily because they are not an active part of my life. In most cases, even if I am not really all that interested in reinstating a close relationship, I am cordial and polite. I have a hard time completely ignoring folks who reach out. It’s just not who I am.
Rarely do I entirely ignore someone who emails me. For those uncommon situations where I do not respond at all it is because we really have no relationship or anything in common to continue communicating. In that case what is the point? Both sides need to be realistic in that regard.
I think you know in your gut based on the replies (or lack thereof) if the other side wants to continue to hear from you. And, if they don’t – who cares – that is their loss! Spend your time communicating and forming relationships with those who appreciate and are open to your efforts.
The path of social advancement is, and must be, strewn with broken friendships.
~ H. G. Wells