Harriette Cole: What if she doesn’t even know she’s being ghosted?

DEAR HARRIETTE: I’ve been friends with someone for a while, and we speak regularly when things are going well for her, though I often find myself initiating contact.

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However, whenever she faces challenges or inconveniences, she completely disappears for extended periods, ranging from three months to more than a year at one point.

I’ve come to the decision that I no longer want to continue this friendship, but I feel guilty about it because I know communication isn’t her strong suit.

How can I handle this situation without feeling like it’s my responsibility to overcome her communication difficulties?

— Ready To Say Goodbye

DEAR READY TO SAY GOODBYE: The good news in this situation is that you may not have to say a word.

This friend comes and goes at will, and you don’t like it. The next time she comes back, be unavailable.

You do not have to pick up the phone, respond to her texts or agree to hang out just because she reaches out. You don’t have to respond at all if you don’t care to do so. Or you can simply state that you are not free.

Over time, your friend may notice that you have not connected on the various occasions when she has reached out. If she ever approaches you about the disconnection, that’s when you can say that you got tired of having a friendship only at her convenience, so you decided to step back.

If she has decided it’s time to be attentive to your friendship, the two of you can revisit it — on mutually agreeable terms.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I’ve spent my entire life in a small town, but I’ve reached a point where I’m eager to embark on a journey for personal, professional and spiritual growth by moving elsewhere.

The idea of this transition excites me, yet I haven’t shared my plans with anyone in my close circle. I fear I won’t receive the support I deeply crave for this significant move.

How can I manage this situation and find the encouragement I need to pursue this new chapter in my life?

— Making a Move

DEAR MAKING A MOVE: Think about one person in your life who will support you. Confide in that person so that you don’t feel completely isolated.

Don’t ask that friend to co-sign everything you are planning. Instead, ask the person to listen and provide honest feedback as well as confidentiality. You want to be the one to share your plans when you are ready.

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Harriette Cole: I made this resolution, then I struggled all year

As you consider where you are going, do your research. In addition to work opportunities, look for civic and cultural activities that interest you. Figure out if you know anyone who lives in the places you are considering.

Schedule a visit to each potential location so that you can scope them out and narrow down your choices. Decide how far away you will feel comfortable living. Can you afford a plane ticket, or is a long car ride more appropriate?

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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