Are my friends inconsiderate -- or am I overly demanding?

Dear Ms. Demeanor:

My problem is that the people I consider to be my friends do things that make me think they are not my true friends. For example, if they go out of town for the weekend, they don't tell me until they get back. When I question them about why I wasn't told, the answer is always, "I forgot." Should I just be unconcerned, or is this a sign the friendship is over?



Dear Friendless:

If you see yourself as friendless, you will end up that way. Frankly, you do sound pretty demanding. Where is it written that friends must report each move to each other?

Perhaps your fear of losing your pals is actually pushing them away. Usually, when others demand explanations from us, we become defiant. Defiance leads to resentment. Resentment creates a no-win situation.

Friends support one another and celebrate one another's differences. It's the diversity of our experiences that makes friendships -- and friends -- interesting. Even if you find it difficult, ask yourself how you would feel if your friends treated you as you treat them. Would you feel smothered? Maybe that's the message they're trying to send you.

Why not take the cue and, instead of confronting anyone, be genuinely enthusiastic and interested when they get around to telling you what they've been up to? Don't pry. Don't gossip about them. I'll bet that if you change your behavior from clingy and possessive, you'll have the invitations you want and deserve. Good luck.

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