DEAR ABBY: I used to be close friends with "Colette." We were so close that I asked her to be a bridesmaid in my April wedding.
Over the last several years of our friendship, Colette became selfish and domineering. It didn't bother me so much before, because I felt her positive qualities outweighed the negative. However, after several recent incidents, I finally told her I was upset. She offered a cop-out response, and we have not communicated since then. That was a month ago.
How do I let her know that I want to withdraw my request for her to be a bridesmaid? I don't want to hurt her feelings, but my wedding will be a small, private affair, and her presence would be painful and disruptive to me and another bridesmaid who recently had a similar experience with her.
Colette may not be burning with desire to come anyway, given our falling out, and hasn't yet incurred any of the expenses or spent any of the time and effort associated with being a bridesmaid. I don't want to act unkindly, even though I don't plan on rekindling the friendship. -- NEEDS PERSPECTIVE IN KANSAS
DEAR NEEDS: Tell Colette politely that your plans have changed and that you have decided to "scale back" the wedding; therefore your wedding party will be smaller and you won't need her after all. It's euphemistic enough that it could be taken to mean that finances have dictated your decision, which would be face-saving for her.
If she feels as you suspect she does, she may be relieved to be let off the hook. And if not, well -- you don't plan on continuing your friendship with her in any case. Do not make the conversation anything but polite and brief.