No one cares anymore

Dear Annie: I am a 75-year-old woman in good health, and I’ve been married for 54 years. I have wonderful children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. My problem is that many lifelong friends and most of my family members don’t seem to want to maintain a relationship with me. When I contact them, they seem glad to hear from me, but for the past three or four years, there has been no effort on their part to keep in touch with me.

My siblings and I have always been very close and shared things going on with our children and grandchildren. My siblings still talk to each other often, and my one sister-in-law keeps me informed about what’s happening in the family. I love my family and friends, but I am about ready to give up on those who don’t seem to want to have a relationship with me. I have asked a couple of family members whether they have a problem with me, and they deny there are any issues. I think they probably love me but for some reason don’t like me. I have examined my actions and spoken to a counselor and simply cannot find a reason for their distance. Any suggestions? — Feeling Rejected

Dear Feeling Rejected: You’ve done all the right things so far by talking to your family about this and consulting a counselor. You mention this has happened only in the past few years, which leads me to think it may just be because everyone’s busy with children and grandchildren of their own. Or it could be because the advent of social media has made us lazier about reaching out in general. We check our Facebook feeds and feel content that we know what’s going on in loved ones’ lives.

Regardless of the reason, your recourse is the same: Get out there in your community and make new friends. Volunteer at a local shelter. Join a book club. Start a neighborhood walking group. And be doubly thankful for all the people in your life who are always there for you. You’ll be half as bothered by those who aren’t.