I'm thinking about asking a question about an issue that I've had for a while now but I'm not sure if our users' would agree if it is an IPS problem or not. Can you let me know what you think and offer advice on how to change it if you feel it isn't (or let me know if you don't think it can be posed as one).

Please don't try and answer the actual question it is going to pose! Save that for when / if it gets posted!

The crux of the question is:

I've fell out of contact with a close friend I went to school with many years ago. We've always spoke on and off but for about 3 years now I haven't heard from them. There are circumstances that make me think this may be intentional on their part (I haven't always been a great friend, I think they've blocked me on social media) but I'm not certain as I've never had a direct 'Don't contact me' or similar message from them.

I've tried a few different ways to get in touch, texting them via mobile phone, email, messaging via social media (before presumably getting blocked) but nothing that specifically let me know they got the message and have ignored it.

If it was anyone else I would probably stop there but this friend means a lot to and I hate to think our friendship has ended on bad terms, I'd also hate to think our friendship hasn't ended but that through a series of unfortunate communicate problems I think it has! As such I'm thinking of making a 'hail mary' effort to get in touch with them, perhaps by contacting their parents or their partner to see if they can clear things up or put us in touch.

Am I breaking a boundary by continuing to try and contact them?

The reason I think it isn't Interpersonal is because at this stage it isn't 2 people, it is just me trying to contact someone (which kind of is 2 people hence I'm torn).

The reason I think it is Interpersonal is because it is me trying to contact someone and as soon as I do it will become so, and even if I don't contact the person I am aiming to it will still be their boundries I'm pushing.

  • 1
    Hey Ryan! We actually just opened our Sandbox exactly for this purpose. If you don't get the feedback you're looking for here, feel free to post over there! Also if you have any questions in the future like this, you can always drop in to make a post like this over there ;)
    – scohe001
    Commented Jul 16, 2018 at 17:36
  • @scohe001 interestingly I was just reading about the sandbox on World building. Will see how things go here but possibly do a little cross posting there, thanks! Commented Jul 16, 2018 at 17:43

2 Answers 2


I think it is a valid question; it is about a relationship, whether there are multiple parties involved or not. Some questions are on communicating with multiple fellow workers or classmates, for example. In your case, first comes the etiquette of the hail mary (How to ask for help from the parents of a friend, or the partner of the friend, or a third friend-in-common). That would clearly qualify. Then if that develops into a meeting, how to deal with your friend (apology or not, pretend nothing happened, make amends, or whatever).


I think it's perfectly reasonable question, and you might get help on few sides:

  1. how to approach contacting third party, what language can be appropriate
  2. what constitutes harassment in trying to contact someone / when you need to stop
  3. how to make amends

PS: recently i went through similar situation. You will probably ask more questions on IPS, if the person will be OK with resuming relationship.

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