Author Topic: Contacting old friends  (Read 1787 times)

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Offline suicidal_orange

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Contacting old friends
« on: Tue, 25 August 2020, 15:06:53 »
Looking for a reality check on how normal people think about contacting old friends.  To me (having thought about it for a couple of weeks) there are only three reasons to contact someone after many years:

1 - your life sucks and you're hoping someone you used to enjoy spending time with hasn't changed and is willing and able to pull you out of it
2 - you need someone to help and you remember someone you used to know knows about the problem
3 - your life is great and you've run out of people to brag about it to

Have you ever contacted someone or been contacted for another reason, or can you think of other reasons you might contact someone?
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Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Contacting old friends
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 25 August 2020, 16:19:02 »
None of those, not necessarily.

Personally, I could quickly think of dozens of people who I have not seen or heard from in years, but I would like to know what became of them. I don't search them out because of what would probably best be described as embarrassment.

In fact, just a couple of hours ago I was thinking about a handful of guys who were in a karate club with me in the early 1980s. I have a sketchy knowledge about the more recent life of two of them, but nothing about the others.

As for long-ago girlfriends, I would be genuinely curious to know how their lives have unfolded, and I would only wish good for them.
The difference in characterization of crime and who commits it skews what criminality looks like demographically. "What we're seeing so far is very similar to the process that we see with Islamic violent Jihad radicalization," said former FBI Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi, "This wanting to belong to a cause greater than yourself, wanting to get affirmation from a group who may not even know who you are or ever met you. And then feeling like you're part of this deployment, this cause. You heard him say on the clip 'It's my job to protect this.'
No, it's not your job. But you think it is. And video last night shows him walking around roaming around with the assault rifle not really doing much of protecting anything." Figliuzzi made it clear that calling these characters "troubled" is a misnomer. "I would assert," Figliuzzi continued. "that it's time we stopped using the word ‘troubled’ with regard to white young people who act out like this and start thinking about the radicalized term that we used when people of color or people of Islamic faith act out like this. This is a radicalization process that's happening. It happened with the El Paso shooter in Texas. We kept hearing he was troubled. No, he was radicalized. And it's happening online."

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Contacting old friends
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 25 August 2020, 22:36:56 »
4. your visiting the area and just want a friendly face.
5. a mutual friend has died and they may want to know and/or attend the funeral.
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Offline noisyturtle

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Re: Contacting old friends
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 25 August 2020, 23:01:45 »
1 - your life sucks

I quite literally avoid contact with people I used to know for this exact reason. Any time someone asks what I've been up to it's just embarrassing, and the only way I can see holding a convo with someone from my past that doesn't end up being pathetic and awkward is if I am actually doing well in life. Which is never the case.

Offline Dongulator

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Re: Contacting old friends
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 25 August 2020, 23:11:13 »
I have zero problems contacting friends I haven't talked with in a while. Most of us started family's or moved away for work and frankly sometimes life comes before some people. Anytime is a good time to talk with a friend. Also 'friends' mean something different to everyone.
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Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Contacting old friends
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 26 August 2020, 00:26:32 »
Personally, I could quickly think of dozens of people who I have not seen or heard from in years, but I would like to know what became of them. I don't search them out because of what would probably best be described as embarrassment.
...
As for long-ago girlfriends, I would be genuinely curious to know how their lives have unfolded, and I would only wish good for them.
This is definitely an insight into 'the other side', the world of people oriented people.  It's a strange place...

4. your visiting the area and just want a friendly face.
5. a mutual friend has died and they may want to know and/or attend the funeral.
Very reasonable, as always.

1 - your life sucks

I quite literally avoid contact with people I used to know for this exact reason. Any time someone asks what I've been up to it's just embarrassing, and the only way I can see holding a convo with someone from my past that doesn't end up being pathetic and awkward is if I am actually doing well in life. Which is never the case.
If I'm honest this is probably why I'm resistant to being contacted, I'm just trying to give myself an excuse and feel good for not 'wasting their time'.

I have zero problems contacting friends I haven't talked with in a while. Most of us started family's or moved away for work and frankly sometimes life comes before some people. Anytime is a good time to talk with a friend. Also 'friends' mean something different to everyone.
Another social person who's just interested in people, like fohat?  I rarely contact people I'm in contact with (that means spoken to them within a year), the idea of wanting tocontact someone from the past is just... weird.


Thanks all :)
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Offline Dongulator

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Re: Contacting old friends
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 26 August 2020, 00:37:34 »
Personally, I could quickly think of dozens of people who I have not seen or heard from in years, but I would like to know what became of them. I don't search them out because of what would probably best be described as embarrassment.
...
As for long-ago girlfriends, I would be genuinely curious to know how their lives have unfolded, and I would only wish good for them.
This is definitely an insight into 'the other side', the world of people oriented people.  It's a strange place...

4. your visiting the area and just want a friendly face.
5. a mutual friend has died and they may want to know and/or attend the funeral.
Very reasonable, as always.

1 - your life sucks

I quite literally avoid contact with people I used to know for this exact reason. Any time someone asks what I've been up to it's just embarrassing, and the only way I can see holding a convo with someone from my past that doesn't end up being pathetic and awkward is if I am actually doing well in life. Which is never the case.
If I'm honest this is probably why I'm resistant to being contacted, I'm just trying to give myself an excuse and feel good for not 'wasting their time'.

I have zero problems contacting friends I haven't talked with in a while. Most of us started family's or moved away for work and frankly sometimes life comes before some people. Anytime is a good time to talk with a friend. Also 'friends' mean something different to everyone.
Another social person who's just interested in people, like fohat?  I rarely contact people I'm in contact with (that means spoken to them within a year), the idea of wanting tocontact someone from the past is just... weird.


Thanks all :)

I mean, the people I would contact are still friends, just not people I talk to that often probably once or twice a year. I am a fairly anti-social person but I spew random nonsense quite a bit, so I might seem more social than I am. Example why contacting an old friend; last Saturday I reached to an old friend I used to watch the UFC with, we chatted a bit then he brought up him and his wife expecting their first child. I would have never found that out if I hadn't jut reached out to him, I say reaching out to an old friend is a good thing and there is nothing to worry about.
Thank you for reading my post

Offline jamster

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Re: Contacting old friends
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 26 August 2020, 00:58:16 »
Quote
This is definitely an insight into 'the other side', the world of people oriented people.  It's a strange place...

I would never call myself people-oriented (nor would any of my friends).

Of old friends I have fallen out of contact with, it depends on the reason. Sometimes it was because of something that was definitely a failing on my part, and I stay away out of lingering embarrassment. Others, we just drifted in different directions across different countries.

If it's the latter, I will occasionally make an effort just to say hello. Just because we haven't seen each other for a decade doesn't mean that we didn't have a lot in common and have some good times together. I travel a lot (or rather used to) so I would still manage to see people once every five or ten years. Everyone has moved on in their lives, but we can still talk. I accidentally pocket dialed one friend the other week who I've seen twice in fifteen years, and we had a good catch up.

Ex girlfriends are interesting. I've stayed in touch with some, simply because we made for pretty good friends. Sometimes I contact them, sometimes they contact me. We definitely like to know that the other is doing okay. Contact is usually around birthdays. Others I'd prefer to forget ever existed (with the feeling likely being mutual).

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Contacting old friends
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 26 August 2020, 05:47:33 »
ALL previous females friends of Tp4 calls to chk if he died.

//memorable relationships



Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Contacting old friends
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 26 August 2020, 08:13:56 »

Another social person who's just interested in people, like fohat? 


It is startling for me to see this on the page in front of me. I do not think of myself as a "social person" at all, I think of myself as an introvert and an intellectual and that my life takes place primarily in my mind. Being a voracious reader and having a keen interest in art (especially music) and science (especially natural science) is what makes me want to get out of bed in the morning.

That said, heading towards 70 years old, having raised 2 kids, and having been employed at a number of companies, and types of companies, I have a sizeable back story and (still) an excellent memory.

So it stands to reason that curiosity and nostalgia would find their way in there, especially as recognition of my own mortality looms ever larger.
The difference in characterization of crime and who commits it skews what criminality looks like demographically. "What we're seeing so far is very similar to the process that we see with Islamic violent Jihad radicalization," said former FBI Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi, "This wanting to belong to a cause greater than yourself, wanting to get affirmation from a group who may not even know who you are or ever met you. And then feeling like you're part of this deployment, this cause. You heard him say on the clip 'It's my job to protect this.'
No, it's not your job. But you think it is. And video last night shows him walking around roaming around with the assault rifle not really doing much of protecting anything." Figliuzzi made it clear that calling these characters "troubled" is a misnomer. "I would assert," Figliuzzi continued. "that it's time we stopped using the word ‘troubled’ with regard to white young people who act out like this and start thinking about the radicalized term that we used when people of color or people of Islamic faith act out like this. This is a radicalization process that's happening. It happened with the El Paso shooter in Texas. We kept hearing he was troubled. No, he was radicalized. And it's happening online."

Offline Findecanor

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Re: Contacting old friends
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 26 August 2020, 08:34:19 »
1 - your life sucks and you're hoping someone you used to enjoy spending time with hasn't changed and is willing and able to pull you out of it
2 - you need someone to help and you remember someone you used to know knows about the problem
3 - your life is great and you've run out of people to brag about it to
Those reasons seem to me as a bit selfish and one-sided, wanting something out of someone and not obviously for something that would benefit both of you. I think those are the worst reasons for reconnecting with someone.

I've reconnected with old friends to reminisce about old times, and to share new "war-stories" and how my hobbies have progressed. Not to weigh them down with my problems.
There are people from my past that I definitely don't want to talk about my current life with, but those were never any good friends to begin with, just people I have socialised with.
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Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Contacting old friends
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 26 August 2020, 12:19:52 »
1 - your life sucks and you're hoping someone you used to enjoy spending time with hasn't changed and is willing and able to pull you out of it
2 - you need someone to help and you remember someone you used to know knows about the problem
3 - your life is great and you've run out of people to brag about it to
Those reasons seem to me as a bit selfish and one-sided, wanting something out of someone and not obviously for something that would benefit both of you. I think those are the worst reasons for reconnecting with someone.
Exactly the reason for this thread!  I've had three people from my past try to contact me over the years and each time I can think of no reason that I should want to talk to them, so I haven't. 


What I'm seeing here is a universal opinion (excepting noisy and his bad luck) even among those who describe themselves as I would that living in the past is good and knowing what other people are doing now is interesting just because our paths crossed in the past.  I'm not sure this 'social orientation' as I call it can be learnt, I feel like a camel being told about the sea.
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Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Contacting old friends
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 26 August 2020, 13:07:18 »

I can think of no reason that I should want to talk to them,


Then it might be best to describe them as "acquaintences" rather than "friends" ....

But, as the old saying goes, "in order to have a friend, you have to be a friend" and that necessitates a 2-way street. That notion might imply that it would be flattering to receive the overture, but, conversely, insulting not to acknowledge it.

Perhaps they want something from you, perhaps not, but if you "can think of no reason that I should want to talk to them" then there was probably no substance to the relationship anyway.
The difference in characterization of crime and who commits it skews what criminality looks like demographically. "What we're seeing so far is very similar to the process that we see with Islamic violent Jihad radicalization," said former FBI Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi, "This wanting to belong to a cause greater than yourself, wanting to get affirmation from a group who may not even know who you are or ever met you. And then feeling like you're part of this deployment, this cause. You heard him say on the clip 'It's my job to protect this.'
No, it's not your job. But you think it is. And video last night shows him walking around roaming around with the assault rifle not really doing much of protecting anything." Figliuzzi made it clear that calling these characters "troubled" is a misnomer. "I would assert," Figliuzzi continued. "that it's time we stopped using the word ‘troubled’ with regard to white young people who act out like this and start thinking about the radicalized term that we used when people of color or people of Islamic faith act out like this. This is a radicalization process that's happening. It happened with the El Paso shooter in Texas. We kept hearing he was troubled. No, he was radicalized. And it's happening online."

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Contacting old friends
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 27 August 2020, 18:05:01 »
I can think of no reason that I should want to talk to them,

Then it might be best to describe them as "acquaintences" rather than "friends" ....

But, as the old saying goes, "in order to have a friend, you have to be a friend" and that necessitates a 2-way street. That notion might imply that it would be flattering to receive the overture, but, conversely, insulting not to acknowledge it.

Perhaps they want something from you, perhaps not, but if you "can think of no reason that I should want to talk to them" then there was probably no substance to the relationship anyway.

That would require making the overly dramatic statement "I have no friends" for these people were, in their time, as close as anyone's ever got.  By my definition it's true but clearly I did enough "being a friend" at the time or they wouldn't want to contact me years later.

The latest one I've still not replied to is still playing on my mind, if you hadn't guessed.
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Offline Sintpinty

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Re: Contacting old friends
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 27 August 2020, 21:17:01 »
All my friends are stuck at home now and all do sports.. losing their minds

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Contacting old friends
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 27 August 2020, 21:38:44 »

the overly dramatic statement "I have no friends"

these people were, in their time, as close as anyone's ever got


My comment was not that you have no friends, it was just that those people may not be them.

It would take most of the fingers on at least one of my hands to count my "people <who> were, in their time, as close as anyone's ever got" who I lost track of over the decades.

And I would be curious to learn about where they are now.
 
The difference in characterization of crime and who commits it skews what criminality looks like demographically. "What we're seeing so far is very similar to the process that we see with Islamic violent Jihad radicalization," said former FBI Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi, "This wanting to belong to a cause greater than yourself, wanting to get affirmation from a group who may not even know who you are or ever met you. And then feeling like you're part of this deployment, this cause. You heard him say on the clip 'It's my job to protect this.'
No, it's not your job. But you think it is. And video last night shows him walking around roaming around with the assault rifle not really doing much of protecting anything." Figliuzzi made it clear that calling these characters "troubled" is a misnomer. "I would assert," Figliuzzi continued. "that it's time we stopped using the word ‘troubled’ with regard to white young people who act out like this and start thinking about the radicalized term that we used when people of color or people of Islamic faith act out like this. This is a radicalization process that's happening. It happened with the El Paso shooter in Texas. We kept hearing he was troubled. No, he was radicalized. And it's happening online."

Offline jamster

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Re: Contacting old friends
« Reply #16 on: Thu, 27 August 2020, 22:08:49 »
Quote from: suicidal_orange link=topic=108323.msg2950993#msg2950993
The latest one I've still not replied to is still playing on my mind, if you hadn't guessed.

At the risk of sounding dismissively blase (which I do not intend to in the slightest because I have somewhat been there and it's not fun), why not bite the bullet and reply in a polite but not overly committed fashion? Just to find out what's going on.

Delaying a response has its own cost, and if you just try to put it out of your mind, it will likely take ages. Even if the interaction is overall irritating, at least it'll be finished instead of lingering.
« Last Edit: Thu, 27 August 2020, 22:27:02 by jamster »

Offline Kavik

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Re: Contacting old friends
« Reply #17 on: Fri, 28 August 2020, 00:50:54 »
I used to try reaching out to certain people every once in a while. This would typically result in several exchanges of emails or Facebook messages of ever increasing length to catch up, which would always invariably come to a sudden end when (I'm assuming) the length of the responses just became too long to maintain. Nothing like a five or six paragraph essay with no response to end a conversation.

For some reason, I always felt I had to keep in touch with these people, but, the whole time I wrote those emails, I knew neither of us would make a plan to hang out; at best, we'd run into each other by chance at some point. So there was really no point. The few times I have tried to organize something, either it's been a one-off or the other party feigns interest and never commits to anything.

As I've aged, I've realized there are limited resources, such as time, to dedicate to people, and I barely get to dedicate the time needed for people I really care about, so why waste this time on tier 2 and tier 3 friends? A couple months ago, I heard someone say something to the effect of it's ok for people to be in your life for just a particular period of time, even those you really connect with. Not everyone has to stay around forever. Not everyone can stay around forever.

I suppose I also share the feeling of embarrassment when I talk to someone from, say, high school. When people ask what I do for a living, I can't even fake enthusiasm or interest in my own profession because it's so boring and ultimately meaningless.

All that said, my close friends already know who they are, and, up until recently, it has been rather effortless to stay in touch. Over the past three or four years, I'm finding it takes some deliberate action not to let six or eight months go by without talking or doing some activity.

Coincidentally, I came across this just before I read this post: https://waitbutwhy.com/2014/12/10-types-odd-friendships-youre-probably-part.html

Now I feel I've just rambled and not contributed to the thread. Maybe this is why people stop responding   :p
Maybe they're waiting for gasmasks and latex to get sexy again.

The world has become a weird place.

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Contacting old friends
« Reply #18 on: Fri, 28 August 2020, 02:25:27 »
My comment was not that you have no friends, it was just that those people may not be them.
This looks like my standard text chats - we're both at least reasonably intelligent people and we both speak English as a first language, yet we both don't quite respond in the expected way resulting in each message starting with clarification or correction :(

At the risk of sounding dismissively blase (which I do not intend to in the slightest because I have somewhat been there and it's not fun), why not bite the bullet and reply in a polite but not overly committed fashion? Just to find out what's going on.
I'll rewrite the whole message (so it can't be searched - yes, I'm paranoid she's looking, she knows me well enough) and you'll see why.
Quote
Hi,
Not sure this is you but if you're [name] and you remember a [name 2], please get in touch if you want to.
This actively says "don't if you don't want to" and a silent ignore (when she's not even sure I got the message) seems less mean than anything I've started to write.

Coincidentally, I came across this just before I read this post: https://waitbutwhy.com/2014/12/10-types-odd-friendships-youre-probably-part.html

Now I feel I've just rambled and not contributed to the thread. Maybe this is why people stop responding   :p
Not at all!  I'd be interested if you're conscious of why you feel/felt the need to reach out, especially the third+ time once the pattern started to appear, but the rest is perfectly relevant.  The listicle needs another read through after some reflection.
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Offline Kavik

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Re: Contacting old friends
« Reply #19 on: Fri, 28 August 2020, 10:25:36 »

Coincidentally, I came across this just before I read this post: https://waitbutwhy.com/2014/12/10-types-odd-friendships-youre-probably-part.html

Now I feel I've just rambled and not contributed to the thread. Maybe this is why people stop responding   :p
Not at all!  I'd be interested if you're conscious of why you feel/felt the need to reach out, especially the third+ time once the pattern started to appear, but the rest is perfectly relevant.  The listicle needs another read through after some reflection.

I think the reasons were maybe threefold: 1. I felt an obligation since we were once friends, 2. Friends are hard to come by, so I'd better do some maintenance to keep these just in case, 3. I thought it would be mean or rude not to reach out (as if it had been my responsibility to maintain contact and not theirs, I guess).

Now that I think about it, I don't recall if I was always the one to initiate contact or not. And for what it's worth, the same thing seems to happen with my own brother, but now I don't write him anymore. I just wait to see him on holidays basically.

One notable exception to this is one of my best friends I made later in life. Somehow, we went four and a half years without seeing each other despite numerous attempts to plan something. I got to the point of giving up on him. We eventually hung out again, but it turned out his seemingly happy third marriage is not happy, and he basically has to have permission to do anything, which has led to some serious mental issues, to which he was already prone. I'm not sure I'm helping, but I think I'm one of the only people he has "on the outside" as it were, so it's good I didn't give up on him.
« Last Edit: Fri, 28 August 2020, 10:27:32 by Kavik »
Maybe they're waiting for gasmasks and latex to get sexy again.

The world has become a weird place.

Offline iri

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Re: Contacting old friends
« Reply #20 on: Thu, 03 September 2020, 04:02:59 »
None of my exes is friends with me


hmmmmmm
(...)Whereas back then I wrote about the tyranny of the majority, today I'd combine that with the tyranny of the minorities. These days, you have to be careful of both. They both want to control you. The first group, by making you do the same thing over and over again. The second group is indicated by the letters I get from the Vassar girls who want me to put more women's lib in The Martian Chronicles, or from blacks who want more black people in Dandelion Wine.
I say to both bunches, Whether you're a majority or minority, bug off! To hell with anybody who wants to tell me what to write. Their society breaks down into subsections of minorities who then, in effect, burn books by banning them. All this political correctness that's rampant on campuses is b.s.

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Offline Olumin

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Re: Contacting old friends
« Reply #21 on: Fri, 04 September 2020, 13:58:23 »
Don’t ever contact anyone. It’s a trap.