How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dear Debra Your Own Question

Dear Debra
Dear Debra, Advice Columnist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1838
Experience:  I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
57081136
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Dear Debra is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I live next door to a Phd, a physician, a heart surgeon, and

Resolved Question:

I live next door to a Phd, a physician, a heart surgeon, and a retired horse breeder. I have known the Phd for eight years, and the others for about 17 years. They are distinguished people and friendly, I did not have enough time and did not spend what I had of it to do things that would create a stronger friendship. In high school and college I was acceptable by the most popular people but was always too busy to do very many personal activities with these people outside of school. I had a well known former Mayor and Senator over to meet the Phd, (I did not know he was friends with Nobel Prize winners and his best friend was a knight - the Phd, a real knight like Sir. Elton John, but a philosopher. They went to the same church and I think they may have became closer friends with each other. I did not have enough contact, my own fault with the Senator and the Phd has grandkids and is helping them, they are well off. For some reason, I think the Phd wife is good at this, he was a former teacher and they had other businesses, she became very busy with her family and as time went on, we all exchanged gifts, she started giving gifts to the neighbors which, first she favored one neighbor, the next time, she favored two of them and not me. Just something small like the color, but it made you think. I thought it was not necessary after so many years, but I know that one of the neighbors started keeping their dog inside and another made noise when mowing the lawn, after that so I want to know what to do. I asked one of them who said, please call them, and have not said anything to the other ones yet. They are also busy so hard to tell what is going on. I know that even if I'm not as distinguished as these people that I always fit in with the best people, and could have been friends had I wanted to. Maybe there were some who were so popular it was a little out of reach for me but I was in the same class. The Phd said we are friends. Would they say that then wait for me to get the message that we aren't? Would his wife try to do that and they know there are better friends, I'm afraid they are competetive and like to keep people in their good graces by drawing attention to a lesser person if necessary or keeping some people on their toes and not others, how nasty does it have to get? How to deal with it when they said they are friends? Accept that? The others could draw them away from us too, I think we are all beyond that and the few of us who are should get along...more relaxed like, or will someone always take the advantage? How can I convey we should all be friends, if the more distinguished wants to compete? Or has already? If it's not clear to me, maybe it has happened with some people, and if the dog is being kept inside and it seems to make a point, what should I do? Ask them about it? How do I win? Is it too late, and I think if it's left alone they won't be friends any more, it's so easy to have someone come between people, how to deal with that? We're all older too, not as much time for activities. How to not let someone make you feel bad and do some people do that and act that way all the time? Also, this is so important: If I call and leave a message that says, we may not talk that often, but will see you around and call if anything happens or you need something, I can't remember if I said I would call them if anything, even if I did not ask for a call back, wouldn't you call the person and leave a message or talk to them, quite soon, and say yes, we'll see you and call if you need anything like we have...if there is no call, isn't that a little different from usual, and means you are not "in" with them, then of course after time it will be a small problem and then they have an excuse not to call or to fear you even for some timid people...what to do? Call again and say feel free to call, ask what it is, etc.?


They only live two houses away and we know one of their relatives.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 1 year ago.

Deardebra :

Thank you for your question. I would call them and just leave a friendly message. I feel that you all could be friends and I do believe they want to be friends. They said you were friends of theirs.

Deardebra :

They might think you do not want to be friends with them, this is why you need to take the initiative to call them.

Deardebra :

You want to leave a nice message something like this, "I haven't hear from you in awhile our lives get so busy I find it hard to keep in touch. I just wanted you both to know that I am here if you need me. Maybe we can try to put some time aside to have dinner together. It would be nice to catch up on our lives."

Deardebra : You also might want to maybe send a little gift. Like a flower or a card like a just thinking of you. That would let them see you want to be friends.
Deardebra : I think the friendship needs to start over. You can ask them questions that you want to know ifcsomethingbis bothering you. That way there will be no misunderstandings between eachb other.
Customer:

What about the dog thing, and lawnmower, I would not do those things, isn't that something that is easy to do and people should be aware of it? If it happens, it's too late. I've lived where it never happened to me, and here, and why after that long would that change? It does not seem normal to me...

Customer:

If you ignore it and follow your advice, will it change? Can you have friendships where they won't change if other factors go well? I know this isn't that difficult for other people, in groups someone is always leaving or there is conflict, does this mean I'm the one that has to go? Also, if I never get the story, a lot of times I think something is one way and it's not that way. The way I used to make judgements about situations is kind of hidden and it takes time to ask about what is going on, and it was nothing like what was happening. Then these judgements about people, if that is what they are, are being done without information...which worries me, is that a problem? How?

Customer:

What do you think of something starting over after 17 years?

Deardebra :

People and their lifestyles change all the time. You asked about something starting over after 17 years. Yes, of course things can always start over it is never too late.

Deardebra :

Some times friendships have to be rebuilt. People have very busy lives and often get caught up in those lives. So some times people have to be reminded that they have put their lives on hold. You can be friends with someone for so long and then all of a sudden life gets busy, before you know it years pass by and you think you can go back to how things were, but you really just have to start over again as friends.

Deardebra :

The reason is life changes and you need to catch up on people's lives.

Deardebra :

I would ask about the dog and the lawnmower. You want to know the reason why because you will always wonder.

Deardebra :

There are also friendships that just always remain the same because their are friends that just have a very strong connection, so when time passes some friendships feel like there was never any time passed.

Deardebra :

You always want to know what is going on so when it comes to getting information you want to ask people direct so that there are never any misunderstandings.

Deardebra :

What you want to do is reconnect the friendship, let them know that even though time as past you still want to have a good friendship, one that you both can count on.

Customer:

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX feeling about this at this point, isn't it true that you would not ask questions about the friendship if it was a good one? How to make everything stick so there is no question, is there a way? I'm like other people maybe in that I was busy in school and my school friends often went away with a new school year. I also had some that I did things with outside of school and knew the family but not that many, and there was some competition with that. I had good friendships but in adult life some of them were so important and others, very similar people, I could not trust and also relate to (different type of career), should you have many friends, how many is good? I know good friendships are very important and know what that is like, do they differ?

Customer:

Sorry, what if 17 years have passed, it's a long time before expressing an opinion.

Customer:

Also, I had introduced someone to another person and the other person, after I did not attend one of her events, did things with the other person, and did things I wanted to do. Very hurtful because I wanted to do those things. I think she knew that, one of them, then there is always that issue, well she couldn't like us any more because of this, let's leave her alone and it was not as fun, and now I don't like her anyway any more. Is everyone friends now with the changes in culture, the awareness of expression through fashion like wearing animal prints or large jewelry or red?

Deardebra :

I want to talk about your first paragraph.

Deardebra :

I think in friendships there is always going to be questions.

Deardebra :

Some times someone says something or does something where you question their actions or words. It is best to always ask and confront the situation before too much time passes. When you feel like you want an answer to something you want to ask it right away.

Deardebra :

Some people are very happy with having just one close friend.

Deardebra :

It all depends on your personality. Some people seem to be only able to handle that one on one friendship while others have many friends that they go out with and take trips with.

Deardebra :

It is never too late to express an opinion even if it has been 17 years because this is something that has been on your mind and you need to resolve it.

Deardebra :

You mentioned you did not attend one of her events so because you didn't she figured that you might have been to busy so she decided to invited the other person to do things.

Deardebra :

That is hurtful because she still should have asked you even if you might have said no. It is just a nice suggestion to offer.

Deardebra :

People often change with fashion styles. things are in style one minute and then things change and people move onto the next hot fashion item.

Deardebra :

I feel this friendship just needs to start again.

Deardebra :

I know some times has past but it is never too late to reconnect.

Dear Debra, Advice Columnist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1838
Experience: I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
Dear Debra and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Last | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dear Debra

    Advice Columnist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1719
    I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DE/deedeeham/2011-1-24_51523_408.64x64.JPG Dear Debra's Avatar

    Dear Debra

    Advice Columnist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1719
    I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy's Avatar

    Kate McCoy

    Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    1235
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1215
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CO/CoachJenK/2012-3-9_31019_Jen.64x64.jpg Coach Jen K.'s Avatar

    Coach Jen K.

    LMSW, CPC

    Satisfied Customers:

    726
    Providing the utmost care and support.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IN/intrapsyc.com/2012-2-20_161928_RGMTPicturex5002012.64x64.png Rafael M.T.Therapist's Avatar

    Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    549
    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/HU/hungryjack20/IMG_1281_edit_2.64x64.jpg Dr. L's Avatar

    Dr. L

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    349
    Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/SU/suzmsw/2011-9-2_184634_Thisone.64x64.JPG Suzanne's Avatar

    Suzanne

    Therapist, LCSW

    Satisfied Customers:

    338
    Experienced in treating trauma, relationship issues, co-dependency
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Counselor
Dear Debra
Dear Debra
Advice Columnist
1810 Satisfied Customers
I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.