I have anxiety and depression, and difficulty making friends.

I texted two ex-coworkers who I considered friends (not great friends - we never hung out outside of work, but definitely more than acquaintances) and asked if they wanted to get lunch. They both replied something along the lines of "Yes, would love to! But I need to check my schedule." Their responses seemed genuine to me. That was on January 2nd and neither has sent anything since.

Now I don't know what to do. I'm hurt that they forgot but I don't know if I should tell them that. I'm afraid they'll just think I'm guilt tripping and/or needy. And if we did end up getting lunch I wouldn't want it to be awkward. Although at this point I don't think I'll be able to pretend that they didn't forget about me and even enjoy myself.

  • 1
    Are you actuall asking "How to remind them?" ? In that case a little more context what you considered how to remind them and where the problem with doing so is, could help making the question more clear. Or are you asking if you should remind them at all? What in that case would be off-topic for the site.
    – dhein
    Commented Jan 21, 2019 at 6:34
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    Was your question as open as "Do you want to get lunch someday?" ? Some people may consider this kind of questions not binding and though they genuinely are interested in meeting you, they may need a more concrete appointment (more precise date, name of a restaurant,...) in order not to commit and not forget. Though unpleasant, their lack of reply may not necessarily mean anything about your relationship.
    – Taladris
    Commented Jan 21, 2019 at 7:17

3 Answers 3


How to remind people / (ex) co-workers who forgot to reply to a personal note?

This is more or less the heart of the problem. It's about a non-business related matter in a professional setting, because they most probalby get your message while at work, and still see you as a co-worker. In this situation, I use the "TOROFAI" method (Tell Once / Remind Once / Forget About It). Give people a chance to say no without being rude, or forget about it.

What does that mean? As it's not business-related, and because they interacted with you at the workplace (and can still see you as a "co-woker"), people can react like:

  • I haven't seen it / forgot about it -> hence, the reminder.
  • It's not important right now (and piled up at the bottom of the stack) -> hence, the reminder.
  • I don't want to answer (means "no, I'm not interested, but don't want to tell them / want them to forget about it / want them to not ask again") -> hence, the forget-about-it part.

What's important is to not bother them, and don't wait for an answer, as they may not be willing to. If you really want to softly push for an answer, give them an opportunity to deflect. I'd ask them, the first time (or as a reminder, but better at the very beginning), if they want to come out for lunch on day D / Time T. Maybe you've been too broad, and people may not have time to deal with unclear question.

When specifying the day/hour, you let them find an excuse about the job, so that they can use a little white lie (that you'll have to interpret as such) without (they think...) hurting you.

I've done that many time in big companies, and/or with people I wanted to keep in touch with (don't burn bridges), and always got my answer, be it said/written or untold. Hope that you can read the signs though :)


Tl;dr: My recommendation is to wait for their response; don’t remind them. If it doesn’t come it’s not a big deal. It might hurt for awhile considering you thought they were more than acquaintances, but you’ll soon realize that it’s better for everyone. You’ll be happier with people who are happy with you.

I’ve been in your shoes many times; but, there’s one thing I’ve learned from all of it and that’s: letting go. Reminding people unintentionally would add pressure and make things worse in most circumstances. They will contact you when they feel comfortable doing so - rushing it will only upset the situation.

I know it hurts to not receive a reply from someone after they’ve seemingly expressed interest. You can’t take it personal though. People can have many reasons to not respond. It could be work, school, mental health, anything.

They will get back to you when they can or wish to. You’ve already let them know a time and they’re aware of it. If they wanna make it happen they will. Remember: if someone really feels like you could be their new best friend, they won’t let you go. If there’s a possibility in their head for a good relationship they won’t let it fall through.

This is actually a really good thing. Why? Because, interpersonal relationships are two way streaks. If both parties aren’t into it, you aren’t going to have a genuinely good time.

I’m not saying whoever you’ve messaged doesn’t wish to be friends. It could be a number of things inhibiting them from responding soon. But, if they do end up falling through the cracks: don’t sweat it. There are people out there who do care and will care about you. Look for those people. Don’t waste time on people who won’t be the best for you. It’ll save you from a lot of trouble :).


It doesn’t sound like you actually asked them to lunch so much as you asked if they object to the idea of lunch.

Don’t remind them. Reinvite them. Possibly separately, and for a definite date not too long in the future. Ask on Monday for a time between Monday and Wednesday.

If they say no or that they can’t make it accept, wait a while and try again. If they can’t do it after several attempts either they don’t want to or your schedules don’t fit. Either way, drop it and let them make the next move.

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