What do you do when you are visiting your hometown and don’t have time to see everyone?

Pot calling the kettle sensitive

Dear FP,

I moved away from New York about 10 years ago but I’m still super close with friends that still live there.  

I go ‘home’ about 4 or so times a year for events, holidays, or just to say hey.  In a perfect world I would LOVE to see everyone each time I go back in for a visit but that is not possible.  Most people understand this. Some friends, however, still don’t understand when I can’t squeeze them in, even if they’re willing to drop everything and come meet me.

Here’s my pickle.  I’m heading to town in a few days and I haven’t told one of my most sensitive friends that I’m coming. I won’t have time to see her and I’m afraid she’ll get upset. We speak often and have many friends in common so she will likely find out that I’m in town.  The truth is I just want to relax and have a drink with my sister and pet her dog. I don’t want to schedule something with this friend.

Can you please help me figure out a way to tell her I’m coming to town without getting her upset?

Thanks FP.


Shady and Sorry


Dear S&S

It’s not your job to keep all of the 40 year old women in your life happy.   It sounds like you care deeply for your friend and by virtue of that fact you are doing enough.  If she is upset that you are coming to town and don’t have enough time to see her then that is her problem, not yours.  I’m not trying to sound harsh, but her happiness should not depend on anything you do and you should never have to prove yourself or your loyalty to a true friend.  My suggestion is that you tell your friend the truth. That not only are you coming to town but that the reason you waited so long to share that was because you knew there wouldn’t be time to see her and you didn’t want to make her upset.  I’m not judging your friend, I think this FP is quite relatable. I have to remind myself all the time not to take things too personally. But this isn’t about me, we’re talking about your friend here. And your friend needs to take a chill pill.  But come to think of it, your friend hasn’t actually done anything all that sensitive and off-the-wall yet. You’re anticipating an over-reaction from her when right now this whole scenario is something you created in your mind. Perhaps you’re being a bit sensitivo yourself?  Maybe you’re the one that needs to take the chill pill and tell your friend that sometimes you just want to pet your sister’s dog.  Maybe your friend will surprise you and understand.

PS- Where do you get your chill pills? My guy moved.


1 thought on “What do you do when you are visiting your hometown and don’t have time to see everyone?

  1. Dear S&S and FP:

    Projection is a dangerous weapon. I was once told by a friend that I wouldn’t assume someone would feel a certain way if I did not feel that way myself. Admit that you have anxiety when you are omitted or excluded from an invitation from an old friend. Does it hurt? Sometimes, but you obviously recover. So will your friend…and if she is your true friend she will continue to be. We cannot save ourselves or others from disappointment. The hardest is when we watch our own children go through rejection by not being invited to a friend’s party. But hey, how will they deal with breakups and job loss unless we are there to stand with them and let them know they are loved and accepted by us. Old hurts run deep and we are all children at heart. So embrace the child within you and your friend and enjoy your visit with your Sister.


    Mamma J

    Liked by 1 person

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