Could they be pretending not to know who I am?

DEAR HARRIETTE: Once a year, on her birthday, I have dinner with my best friend and her family. Every year, her family her acts like they barely remember me.

Harriette Cole

I’ve seen them every year for the past six years, and they always treat me like a stranger.

My friend says not to take it so personally, but I can’t help but feel insulted. I have no idea why they act this way or whether it’s really an act. What should I do?

Not a Stranger

DEAR NOT A STRANGER: Talk to your friend a bit more about this situation. You say that you are best friends. Press her to say more about her family her. Remind her of how close you two are and how weird it feels that her parents her are oblivious to you and your importance her in their daughter’s life her.

Tell her that this hurts your feelings and makes you uncomfortable. Ask her to talk to you about them and about her life her as she was growing up. Learn some context about her family — anything that may help you better understand the dynamic.

Your friend is right in one respect: Most people think about themselves more than others, which means you probably shouldn’t take their snubs personally. It could be that they are focused on something entirely different than you. It could be that they have a short list of people they think of as close friends of their daughter, and you aren’t on it. It could be that so many people come for the birthday that, in their eyes, you blend in.

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