DEAR HARRIETTE: I tend to miss out on messages that people send me on Facebook because I rarely log in. A few months ago, a former friend sent me a heartfelt message expressing how much she missed our friendship and how sorry she was for our estrangement. Unfortunately, I missed the message. She messaged me again more recently, and this time she sounded hurt and disappointed that I had ignored her first attempt at reaching out. I felt terrible, as it really was a big misunderstanding. I did find the second message a bit pushy, though, and it reminded me of why I chose to end my friendship with this person in the first place. Should I try to explain why I missed her first message, or is it better to just ignore her? -- Misunderstanding
DEAR MISUNDERSTANDING: What do you want? If you would rather not strike up a friendship with this woman again, you can ignore her social media entreaties. Chances are, she will not send you a third message if you do not respond to either of the previously sent notes. If you see her and she brings it up, you can apologize and say you don’t often read direct messages. Don’t lie, though. If she presses you in person or again on social media, respond to her. Tell her you are sorry that you missed her first message. You did not mean to ignore her, but you do not have space in your life to welcome her into your friend group. Be honest. If you don’t want to be friends again, don’t give her any sense that you do. It may hurt her feelings in the short term, but being specific will make it easier for both of you to move on.