An Old School Friend Wants to Meet Up With You – Do You?

Sticky Etiquette Situations

etiquette rules

An old friend from high school contacted me through Facebook.  I really don’t want to meet up with her.  What do I say so I don’t hurt her feelings?  Asked by Maria – Colorado

With all the social media available to us to reconnect with people, it brings up new etiquette issues.  Read what our panelists had to write…

friend contacts you on social mediaFacebook does make some people come out of the woodwork.  It’s like a class reunion on steroids.  If she just put through a ‘friend request’ just hit ‘Ignore’.  If she already is on your friend list, you have some choices: 1. Just don’t respond and she’ll get the hint.  2.  Be honest and say you are uncomfortable meeting up.  3.  Fib, and keep telling her you are busy.  There are people who ask me for a ‘friend request’ who I don’t remember at all. Facebook is a tool for reconnecting and connecting people.  But it is in your power how those connections are made.  Megan – 30 something


Amy BrownI’m sure somewhere there are blogs or books in the works about Facebook etiquette – we all need help with various scenarios that Facebook has introduced! In absence of the nuggets of wisdom that might be contained in said forums, I’d probably use the ‘I”m sorry now is not a great time. Life is so busy, let’s reconnect when things get a bit saner’ excuse.”  While I’m not normally an advocate for being indirect, I admit I too get stumped with the unwanted ‘reach outs’ that seem to be part and parcel with being on Facebook. Alternatively, if the reason you don’t want to meet her is related to a past wrong, there could be merit in some transparency to allow you to move on. However, that looks like a further investment of time, which may not be worth the investment. I wish you luck managing through this in a way that allows you to be authentic. Amy B. – 40 something

Amy C.I had someone contact me through Facebook that I hardly remembered.  I did not reply, as it made me very uncomfortable.  I’d think of a way to get out of it without making it personal.  Think of it this way:  if you had bumped into her in the grocery store, how would you respond to an invite?  Use the same kind of response, keeping it light and kind.  The fact of the matter is, we are all very busy these days, and time can be precious.  Spend your time with the people who light up your life.  Amy C. – 40 something

Marge G.Probably the best thing is to make up excuses, just like you do in any other situation where you prefer not to enter or re-enter into a relationship.  The dog died, the kids have all run away, your house was recently burglarized, etc.  If that doesn’t work, go ahead and meet her and discuss old times but make it clear that although the visit was enjoyable, you schedule is booked and you don’t have much time at this point in your life for many social things.  If Facebook is the first time you’ve heard from her in years, you won’t have all that much in common and most sharing can be done over a lunch.  Suggest keeping in touch via Facebook.  It’s great for noncommittal friendships.  Marge – 70 something