17 Mar
High Maintenance Friend Gives Silent Treatment

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I have a friend from college who has always been sweet and fun, and in recent years helped me tremendously with my boys while I finished a degree. However, she can be a bit sensitive (read: paranoid) and motherly (read: irritating) at times. We had a falling out after college over a trivial email I sent.   Fast-forward about 4-5 years later and I randomly find her again through MySpace.   This time she answered my email, so we met up for coffee. We cried, hugged and apologized, and everything was better.

I figured we’d both grown and all that, but I’ve recently found myself on the receiving end of her silent treatment once again. It’s been a few months now and I still haven’t heard from her after repeated attempts to contact her. Frankly, I’m getting a bit annoyed that I have to work so hard to keep this friendship alive. What should I do? Is this something I need to walk away from, or should I try–once again–to track her down and work things out?


Friendship in Limbo


Dear Friendship in Limbo,

When first reading this I thought TMH had received a new reality TV pilot in our inbox. But before I could pretend spend the royalties we’d collect off of this obvious future hit series, I realized this is a real problem from a reader. Now I’m pissed.




That’s me giving you the silent treatment. Now it’s your turn to repeatedly call, text, and/or email me in a sad attempt to gain my attention, but it will be no match against my imaginary powers of pettiness. Not even skywriting to me can diminish my powers!

You said it yourself – you’re both grown. At least you’ve grown. It sounds like your friend is caught in a junior high time warp and stuck at the age fourteen. No one should work that hard to keep a friendship. Yes, relationships take effort, but let’s remember the difference between effort and being jerked around by the other person.

You’ve made several attempts to confront the situation and resolve the problem. If she’s not willing to meet you half way, there’s nothing else you can do. So I say save your energy for something more fun. And let’s face it, clipping old lady toenails would be more fun than this.


Heather, TMH

7 Responses to “High Maintenance Friend Gives Silent Treatment”


Comment by Jill.

Having been in the same situation as “friendship in limbo”, I know how difficult it is to walk away … but I agree. For now, she needs to do just that. Friendship is a 2 way street … and if her friend isn’t willing to do her part, she’s not worth the energy.

However, when she does finally come around (which she will if the friendship means something to her), be the bigger person and be ready to go grab coffee and reminisce. Life is too short …


Comment by Lynn MacDonald (All Fooked Up).

I’ve been in this situation myself and was just recently reminded again why “you can’t go home again.” No matter who caused what, it’s been my experience that the resentment stays and that you can NEVER fully resolve these issues without an open discourse.

My advice. Steer clear of her unless you’re willing to constantly deal with that crap.


Comment by Bean.

When someone does this in the context of a romantic relationship, we call it emotinal abuse. It’s a petty power play. Life is too short for lousy friends.

Bean Reply:

It would be so nice if I could spell without two cups of coffee.


Comment by Wendi.

Great advice, but can we leave my toenails out of this?


Comment by Rojopaul.

I have lived this scenario, MORE THAN ONCE and what I have finally learned is that it’s better to let it go. People like this are toxic and it spreads. It’s just not worth the drama, time and energy that is being wasted. Life IS too short. And if (when) you hear from her again, you can respond nicely without getting sucked into her drama all over again.


Comment by A Studio of My Own. Until He Took It | The Mouthy Housewives.

[…] and have taken to sending emails to my husband to let him know when I’m giving him the Silent Treatment. (He usually replies […]

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