I have a dear friend who has an extremely important position within her company. Therefore, I understand that she doesn’t have as much time to get together and socialize like before. On the few occasions we have managed to get together for lunch, she spent the better part of our time taking calls which upset me. I didn’t say anything because I know she is extremely dedicated to her job. Do you think her actions are appropriate?
Dear Frustrated Friend,
I feel your pain. Your adult mind is justifying her behavior because she has such an important job, but your child-like mind is saying, “Hey, pay attention to me!” We need to bridge the two with some caring communication. I suggest that you share your feelings with your friend. For example, “I want you to know how much I look forward to us spending time together – especially given your busy work schedule. Given the short amount of time we get to be together, would you be willing to let your calls go to voice mail so we can truly connect? If we need to meet at a different time of day or for less time to make that happen, I understand.” Or try a simple statement like, “Let’s put our cell phones on mute so we can really connect through this lunch.” You can always be humorous, too (more my style) and just say, “Hey, Ms. Important. Call me high-maintenance, but when we get together I want all of you, so unless it’s a national crisis, put that sucker on vibrate and tell me what’s happening in your life!” Either way, be brave and bold or remain on hold.