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A one word reply?

My best friend can’t be bothered to text me properly. Is she a fake?

Everyone communicates differently, says our elder. But sit down and have a conversation.

Dear EWC

There’s this girl who I thought was my best friend. I’m only in 7th grade which means I’m still figuring this out. Whenever I text her, she only responds with “Oop”, “OK”, “Hehe”, and one word replies that make me wanna tear my head off. I’m a skilled writer, so it’s easy for me to write a paragraph in two seconds. But I don’t get why she can’t take 20-30 seconds out of her day to actually involve herself in a conversation with me. She ignores me all day, and when I ask her why, she says it’s because I’m mad at her! I don’t know if it’s just because she’s insecure or some other reason. I’m scared she’s a fake friend because I’m only somewhat popular and because she kinda hangs with people who aren’t that popular. I’m scared to lose her though. She’s really sweet and funny when she wants to be, but other times she’s just downright heartbreaking. She’s starting to show her true colors, and I just want to know if I should continue being friends with her. She’s done a lot of things to show me that maybe being besties with her isn’t the best idea in the world.

Willow replies

I’ll be happy to share my thoughts on your letter. You are, indeed, a skilled writer and I was impressed with your communication skills. Let’s talk about the details in your letter.

As a 7th grader, you don’t need me to tell you about all the dynamics of friendships at that age. One day you’re friends, the next you’re not and the day after that nobody is sure about anything. The only “certain” thing is… the uncertainty! The good news is that will change with time and maturity.

Without knowing your friend it’s hard for me to know why she responds to your messages as she does. Everyone communicates differently, though, and just because you can easily write a paragraph quickly doesn’t mean she can. I urge you to cut her some slack on that point. It sounds to me like much of your communication is by text message, which (for most people) tend to be very short. While I understand that texting is probably the preferred form of communication between people your age, such brief typed messages can be easily misunderstood. You can’t judge the other person’s tone or intent in a text message and it’s easy to see how bad feelings can arise.

If you haven’t done so already, I suggest you have a face-to-face conversation with her to clear the air. No texts or social media; just an honest conversation about how you’re feeling and why. Gauge her answers and her body language and see if anything changes between you as a result. If you have already done that and nothing has changed, I think that tells you what you need to know.

Let’s look at the bigger picture. Her explanation of why she ignores you — that you’re mad at her — is nonsense. She certainly can’t speak for how you are feeling, and if you were mad at her, I think you would know that! I only have what you’ve written to go on, but in my opinion her actions tell me that she is not as interested in the friendship as you are. Best friends don’t ignore each other and make silly excuses. They don’t act fake. A true friendship should give you positive feelings, and this one doesn’t. The fact that you’ve noticed her starting to show her true colors and doing things that make you question the wisdom of considering her as a best friend are very telling. If the things she’s doing go against your own values or better judgement, it’s especially important that you don’t get pulled into those things. Those feelings you’re having is your intuition, that “little voice” inside telling you that something isn’t quite right with this friendship. Listen to it.
Throughout our lives friendships will come and go. It’s normal. The friends you have now may seem like forever friends but you’ll find as you mature, change and meet new people, new friendships will form as some older ones fade. It can be scary to think about; I get it. But it sounds to me like this besties friendship may have run its course. Of course you can still remain friends if that feels right, but I urge you to be open to forming better “besties” friendships with people who are there for you, who don’t act fake and who make you feel good and positive about the friendship. Please don’t be afraid to pull back from this friendship, or from any friendship that doesn’t feel right to you.
I suspect this may not have been what you wanted to hear, but I do hope you’ve found my perspective helpful and worth considering.

Letter #: 450396
Category: Friendship

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