Wedding Woes

Tell them you need to back-off and ask if someone else wants to take over.

Dear Prudence,

In the first weeks after the pandemic first began, I panicked and reached out to many old friends and friend groups, setting up Zoom calls to check in. These were generally fine, if a little awkward because of the videoconferencing setup. However, as the weeks have passed, I’ve found myself wanting to go back to my old introverted ways. Each of these friends and friend groups have already set up multiple recurring checkins (some as frequent as twice a week) and now it’s to the point where I spend all day on Zoom for work and then again for multiple hours each night. I’m tired of it. I’m glad my friends are OK, but I’m not interested in maintaining these checkins. Is it rude to cancel? Would it be insensitive to their mental health? What’s an appropriate way to back out of a commitment that I was the one who initiated?

—All Zoomed Out

Re: Tell them you need to back-off and ask if someone else wants to take over.

  • Talk to the friends.   See if they're open to adjusting the cadence or leave it as an open drop in during the times.   We all have days we want to be social and days we don't.   See how they feel and tell them that even though you're not seeing people you are going to love some quiet screen free time. 
  • Just say you can’t make it this Thursday but look forward to talking with them the following week. Not a big deal. 
  • Hi all. It seems I'm busier than I thought I'd be during this time and need to back off these semi-weekly check-ins. I'm going to leave the recurring to every other Thursday, but if someone wants to step in and run more frequent check ins, you're welcome to. 

    I get this. I'm "in charge" of several recurring check ins because I'm the one who knows how to set up a zoom call. I've showed my mom and one other friend how to do it so that I don't always have to be there. I love that we're staying connected, but sometimes I just want to binge watch tiger king with my husband!
  • “I can’t make this weeks video chat, I’ll catch the next one”. 

    But also I get this and I’m generally an extrovert. I’m on video calls all day long so by the end of the day I want to sit quietly in the dark. 
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