Do you have a friend who would remain silent, dormant for a long period of time and then suddenly appear, complaining ‘why didn’t you contact me?’ Some people have this strange nature of coming back for complaining. They remain incommunicado for weeks, sometimes for months, and when re-surface, they put all the blame on us. ‘You don’t remember me. You didn’t even ask how I am doing.’ types of statements and allegations flow irritatingly from them before you can say anything. 

I am sure all of us come across such friends or acquaintance, and sometimes we find them irritating but they being close to our heart, we do not want to shut them down. So, we explain why it happened. They listen to the explanation and sometimes forgive us! But they keep the blame alive by saying, ‘This is last time. Don’t do it again.’ And we have to take the crap unwillingly. But at a time we are tired of such people and want to say, enough is enough. How do we do it? How do we decide whether it’s time to say goodbye? From recent experience, here are some tips (use them with your discretion):

1. Is the person emotionally and in relationship indispensable?: This is the first question to ask honestly to ourselves. Is the person so important in our life? Can we take a risk of doing away with that particular relationship? Are we emotionally so much involved with him/her? If not, is the relationship, in our social system, so important to accept that behaviour again and again? If the answer to both these criteria is NO, it’s time to show them a mirror. 

2. Discuss with a fair amount of transparency: Once you have decided that the individual and relationship needs to be put into order, plan to discuss the issue frankly. Ask the person you need to speak about it. Without being emotional, explain the factual position. Tell very clearly that relationship is a two-way responsibility. You alone are not under any obligation to play your part, while the other one keeps avoiding. Do not try to enter into any argument. Your intention is to correct the behaviour, not win a debate. Hear him/her out and then decide.

3. Give another chance: Once things are explained to the person with enough clarity and have heard the response, say that you intend to maintain a healthy relationship. It takes two to tango – so only one person can neither spoil nor improve any relationship. ‘Let’s forget whatever has happened, and vow to not repeat it again, from any side.’ – This can be your penultimate statement. Let’s see what happens next time.

But while applying this suggestion, remember one thing: It is only if the person has done it as a habit, without any constraint on his/her side. If the person was hospitalised or had lost your contact or had any other genuine reason, do not use this harsh tactic. Similarly, the purpose of this exercise is to improve the equation between the two of you, to strengthen relationship, not to spoil it. So use discretion and required amount of warmth while discussion. Make sure you have conveyed, repeatedly and emphatically, during the conversation, that relationship matters to you. 

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