Article posted Thursday, October 7, 2010 1:04pm

Dear Mary Pat,

I got a friend request on Facebook from an old classmate that I haven’t spoken to for over 14 years. The last time we spoke, she accused me of doing something that I didn’t do. She put more weight in idle gossip than the word of a close friend. Apart from being hurt for her not believing me (as she openly admitted), I was really mad. Nothing I said would convince her that I didn’t do anything wrong. I was convicted without proof and sentenced to stony silence. Our friendship didn’t survive in case that wasn’t obvious. She lives half way across the country, and I haven’t given her a thought in over a decade. Now with this friend request, all my annoyance has come back to the surface. Nothing drives me crazier than being accused of something I didn’t do. Should I accept her request or leave her hanging?


To Friend or Not To Friend?

Ephraim, WI

Dear To Friend or Not To Friend,

I don’t blame you for being annoyed. She didn’t put much value in your friendship. There are people who belong firmly in your past. I don’t believe you have to be friends with everybody indefinitely. People move in and out of your life. The friends who value you, know who you are, and support you are the people that you keep around. The ones who don’t should just fade away. There doesn’t always have to be a big confrontation or break up so to speak. Who needs the drama?

Maybe this old friend feels bad about how things were left. Maybe she feels a little guilty about the things she said. Maybe she forgot all about how things ended. The point is, you don’t know. Hitting a friend request tab on Facebook is possibly the easiest thing you can do. For all you know, she may have searched for 19 different classmates when she came across your name. My advice is to leave it for now. As you said, you haven’t thought of her for years. If she really wants to get in touch and have a real conversation, she can pick up the phone or send you an email. Until then, I would ignore the request and focus on the friends in your life now.

Good luck,

Mary Pat