DEAR MISS MANNERS: A friend of mine asked me to join her and another friend in starting a podcast. This was about 10 months ago. I did join, somewhat reluctantly.
I told them in the beginning that I did not like discussing my private life on a global platform. Eventually, I started becoming irritated with my friend, which led to my leaving the podcast abruptly, via text.
She was upset with me and I think we are no longer friends. I did apologize, via text, that I was sorry for the way I handled the situation. To be frank, I think I should not have started the podcast in the first place.
But anyway, if I come across this friend in social circles -- we have some friends in common, who occasionally go out to dinner together -- what should I do? Should I approach her and smile, as if nothing happened? Should I cower in the corner, afraid she will throw a drink in my face? Should I pull her aside and say “Look, I just want to make sure we are OK”? Should I wait for her to make the first move?
And what do I tell our mutual friends? I am worried they will choose sides, as people often do in situations like this. Should I try to get them to see my side, or just not bring it up?
GENTLE READER: Public feuds are not much fun, so Miss Manners would advise you not to start one. Especially as you are the one who abruptly walked out, and thus unlikely to inspire sympathy. Apologizing by text is minimal for leaving someone in the lurch.
So not only should you avoid starting a scene, but you should be careful not to provoke one from your former friend. The demeanor to follow is Proceed With Caution. Greet her pleasantly, but be prepared to back away if she is cold to you.