I retired from a long teaching career at the end of September. My decision was made quickly when the circumstances of my teaching role were arbitrarily changed.
Though I’d been speaking of retiring for several months, it was still a difficult transition with little time to mentally prepare.
I’m now settling, but incredibly disappointed by my friends' and colleagues' lack of acknowledgment of the retirement.
These "friends" include a person for whom I hosted a large retirement party at my home several years ago.
I also attended her retirement celebration a few months later, contributing to the gift. In the past, I also arranged a 60th birthday party in her honour. I didn’t even receive a card.
I’m now finding it very difficult to maintain that friendship. Though it was a difficult and unhappy decision, I feel that at least a simple expression of "best wishes" would’ve been appropriate.
Am I being overly sensitive? I don't seem able to forget the slight and move on.
If you’re going to cut the friendship completely, at least do so in a way that helps you move on.
Tell the person directly that you’re deeply disappointed that she’d accepted your celebration of her retirement, yet hasn’t acknowledged yours.
Unless she has some credible reason of which you weren’t aware, say straight up that you can no longer consider her a friend.
Then, focus on this new phase of your life.
“Retirement” has become a word from the past that’s all about leaving something behind.
But today’s “retirees” are moving forward instead. They’re pursuing new opportunities, in other fields, taking up interests for which they didn’t previously have time, even altering their lifestyles in varied ways.
So long as you’re healthy, there are endless possibilities. However, you need to free your mind from sadness over other people’s lack of social graces.
You’re in transition now and need to apply your energy and imagination to enjoying the process.
If you’re still stuck on this over time, get “retirement” counselling to deal with what amounts to grieving over the loss of your old life and the disappointment from others’ indifference.
My frustrations show in the way I deal with people. But the more I behave that way, the more I’m being labeled a drama queen and difficult.
Also, people have looked down on me in the past, so I act as though I don't care, by seeming standoffish.
But at 21, I don't want to be not taken seriously. I want people thinking I’m a good person.
How can I turn it around, and be kind to people without them thinking that I’m sucking up? I do notice people concluding that.
I just want to be on good-terms with everyone, but friends with only a few.
No Drama Queen
It’s not uncommon at 21 to be introspective, especially if you think people are seeing you only through one perspective.
But the way to change their view is not to come up with grandiose goals of being entirely different, but to simply stop the problem behaviour.
No drama. No aloofness, no falseness; just normal kindness when it’s appropriate.
It’s too big a leap from feeling frustrated over others’ attitudes to get on good terms with “everyone.”
Deal with friends individually and don’t judge their every reaction to you.
Meanwhile, work on boosting your self- confidence by staying active, and involved in work and studies that can improve your future.
FEEDBACK Regarding the guest upset at being invited to a wedding on the February long weekend (Dec. 22):
Reader #1 – “That weekend is what worked for the couple’s schedule.
“I got married on Easter weekend 37 years ago because that was what worked for us.
“Since I worked in a hospital, I could combine my days off with a few vacation days, and so was able to have a honeymoon.
“I’d just started that job a few months prior, and hadn’t accumulated very many vacation days. Those extra days helped us immensely.
“None of our family had a problem with that.
“The writer would do the couple a favour by not going, if she has that mentality to be upset.”
Reader #2 – “Ease of out-of-town travel is precisely why we chose a long weekend for our wedding. There were many friends from out of town who found the extra day made their travel to our wedding much easier!”
Tip of the day:
See “retirement” as a time for new opportunities and interests, not for nursing old hurts.