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Communication Skills/to re-communicate or to not re-communicate


Dear Peter,
I have a quick and general question regarding re-initiating contact with someone I much respected.
I am an adult female, who had a great rapport with her former male boss (we are both single - although our rapport was strictly platonic - I'm pretty sure he's gay!)
Anyway, several months ago he left the company & we wished each other well.  A month ago, to my surprise, he sent me an e-mail (through his personal e-mail) while in France.  It was only a couple of the effect of Paris for the week...thought of must see this were made for soon...���� was pleasantly surprised, as I always felt an affinity for him.  I responded something to the effect of..󷨡t a lovely surprise...can't believe you're in Paris...interested to hear about the research you're doing...let's grab a coffee sometime when you get back􍊗ell it's been over a month, he's back, and no response.  At this point, should I re-send another email - or did I basically put the invitation out there?  Is the onus on him to now respond, or was I not specific enough with my coffee invite?  I know this sounds a bit juvenile, but I am a very guarded person, and I wouldn't want him to agree to a coffee date out of pressure.  Could it be that his previous email was intended to only remain an email...and no contact??
Thanks in advance for your response!

Hi Olivia - I cannot know what motivated him to email you. Your invite sounded friendly and clear. His silence IS a response, and can be interpreted in several ways.

I propose that your real issue is why you don't trust your own judgment about if, how, and when to communicate with him. Another issue is why you take responsibility for his feelings and behavior [e.g. "responding to pressure."]

How about emailing something like "I'd enjoy hearing about your time in France. If you'd like to chat sometime, let me know." No pressure.

Which is better for your self-respect: assert your interest [communicate] or don't?

With an open mind, ask yourself "What should I do?" Note the first thing that comes into your mind - that's your answer.

Respectfully, Pete

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Peter Gerlach, MSW


I can answer questions about how to significantly improve your thinking and communication effectiveness, and your relations with adults and kids. I cannot answer legal, medical, grammar, punctuation, spelling, or spiritual questions.


I have studied and taught communication and relationship skills for 40 years, and have been a professional family-systems therapist (MSW) since 1981.


I am a past Board member of (a) a large suburban community mental-health center and (b) the Stepfamily Association of America, and I am a current member of the National Stepfamily Resource Center (NSRC) Experts Council

I have published 6 books, including one on communication skills: Satisfactions ( 2nd ed., 2010); and over 150 articles in the nonprofit educational Website Break the Cycle! -

I have also published articles for and over 150 educational YouTube videos.

BSME, Stanford University, 1959 MSW, George Williams College 1981 Clinical internship U. of Illinois Institute for Juvenile Reasearch (IJR) 1981 Over 100 post-grad courses on a wide range of human-relationship topics

Past/Present Clients
over 1,000 self-referred Midwestern-U.S. adults, kids, couples, and families

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