Was I out of line in asking this?

<p>So, it's been about three weeks or so since I sent a certain email to friend of mine and have gotten no response. The funny thing, though, is that last week, she answered a question that wasn't addressed to her at all, just BCC'ed to her (it was a question about her research methodology which I sent to her advisor), but the answer was very straightfoward. While I know it's entirely likely that she just hasn't had the time to respond, I'm wondering if part of the reason for the delay is that in my last email, I asked her a really difficult, abstract question ("What does it feel like to run?"--she's a runner and a talented writer, so I told her that if anyone could even attempt to answer this question well, it would be her), and I wonder if the depth of the question could have "scared her off" from answering. Was I out of line in asking this type of question?</p>

<p>Doesn't sound "out of line", but what was the context of the question? Was it sort of randomly out of the blue? </p>

<p>Maybe you could write her again, ask if she got the email and apologize if you asked her something that would take more time to answer than she can spare right now.</p>

<p>it could have come across as condensending- So, what you get out of running anyway? </p>

<p>and did you really want an answer? are you trying to flirt with her? or have you had these kinds of esoteric discssions before</p>

<p>I'm quite short. If I asked a very tall person what it feels like to be tall, they might not answer because they wouldn't want to make me feel badly. They have something that I don't, and it's out of both of our control. So if they enjoy being tall and write rejoicingly about it, they might woirry: how will I feel to read that? Would their honesty appear like gloating?</p>

<p>Maybe you have to explain the "meta-cognitive" or why you want to know, to reassure in advance that no matter what she writes, you'll feel comfortable to read her ideas.</p>

<p>"While I know it's entirely likely that she just hasn't had the time to respond"
This is probably the reason she hasn't gotten back to you. Is she in college?Does she have finals right now? OR could it be something she would rather "talk" to you about, rather than respond in an email? I prefer to pick up the phone and have a conversation when the subject is complex and/ or just because it takes me [personally] far less time to say something than to type it. Just a thought.</p>

<p>She's a grad. student on internship (clinical psych. thing, kind of equivalent to residency), so she's very, very busy, yes. I don't think the question would come across as condescending--she loves to write me about her running when she writes and obviously loves it. I can't--and will never be able, barring some huge development--run or even move like "normal" people, so I wanted to ask her because I want to understand what brings her such... joy. I described writing to her (it what brings me joy), and we've talked about a lot of abstract, hard to pin down things. I do worry that the question may make her squirm, as my disability is only something I bring up (though she said she appreciates hearing about my experiences), and it's something most people treat only with kid gloves, if at all. This isn't something I usually ask people (the only other people I've asked are my family, but they aren't runners--or writers--like she is), but our relationship is such that I did feel comfortable asking her... Maybe I was wrong to think she could "handle it"?</p>

<p>Maybe she is uncomfortable with the relationship getting too personal? (Are you trying to get closer to her by asking this?)</p>

<p>The OP is female, btw.</p>

<p>Usual scenario:</p>

<ol>
<li><p>Person receives e-mail and reads it.</p></li>
<li><p>Person realizes that response to e-mail requires some thought.</p></li>
<li><p>Person thinks, "I'll have to answer this later, when I have more time."</p></li>
<li><p>Person forgets all about it.</p></li>
</ol>

<p>Maybe you should forget all about it, too, unless there is a compelling reason why you need an answer to your question.</p>

<p>My sister and I live on opposite sides of the country, and we talk to each other mostly by e-mail. Sometimes, our e-mails are very long and elaborate. Most of the time, I really enjoy "talking" with her this way. But occasionally, when I am very busy, reading a long e-mail from her or responding to something complex is irritating rather than interesting. I know that there are times when she feels that way about my e-mails, too. Sometimes, one of us will send a brief, unsatisfactory answer or no answer to an e-mail just because we don't have the time to address the topic properly. Probably something like this happened with your friend.</p>

<p>I think Marian has hit the nail on the head. It's not that the question is out of line, it's just too much trouble to answer and has fallen to the bottom of the to be read pile.</p>