DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a neighbor I used to be close with, growing up in the same apartment building, but we grew apart when we got older. I want to rekindle our friendship, but I have no idea where to start. We have taken vastly different paths in our lives and lack any common ground. He doesn’t seem to be very sociable nowadays, and our small talk has been trite. How can I get him to open up to me so we can be friends again? -- Friendly Neighbor
DEAR FRIENDLY NEIGHBOR: It is natural for some people to grow apart as they grow up and their lives change. This doesn’t mean that either of you did anything wrong. It could simply be that your lives have naturally evolved in different directions.
Since you are missing the camaraderie you once shared with your neighbor, you may want to say as much to him. Instead of allowing the trite, superficial conversation to become the norm between you, tell your neighbor that you miss him and wish that you could rekindle a friendship again. Invite him to hang out with you, and see what happens. You may want to start by asking him questions about his life and what he has been doing of late as you share details about yourself. See if this gesture leads to more space for the two of you to enjoy each other’s company again.