DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: I know it shouldn’t be a big deal, and I shouldn’t take it personally, but I have a friend who NEVER directly responds to texts or voicemails or snaps. I know she’s getting my messages, because she’ll reply immediately, but it’s almost guaranteed to be something completely off-topic. I’ve heard some of our other friends complaining about her doing this, especially when it messes up getting together. She insists she wasn’t told something about time or place and gets all pissy because she says I don’t tell her anything.
I like being with my friend, but I wonder if she’s really not getting what I’m trying to tell her or just trying to shove the blame on me when something goes wrong, even if I show her the texts we both sent. What can I do to get this woman on track? --- FRUSTRATED FRIEND
DEAR FRUSTRATED FRIEND: One thing you can try with a reliably unreliable responder is to keep it simple. Don’t cover more than one point per message, which makes it easier to piece a conversation back together, should the need arise.
The other thing you can do is to ask her, repeatedly if necessary, to confirm that she got the message.
Neither tactic is a guarantee, but maybe if she gets tired of being babysat and badgered, she’ll start getting the message ─ in more ways than one.