This is funny, because I'm not one much for words. As far as friends go, I pay a lot more attention to their action (or inaction) and determine what I need to know from that.
We all make commitments. We all try to do things that we say we will do. And honestly, we all fail at some time or another. Life tosses us stuff, and sometimes all we can do is juggle. Sometimes we drop things. Sometimes the desired thing, or the thing that was committed to, just isn't going to be possible. Sometimes we just can't do that thing, even though we don't want to hurt our friend.
Based on a black and white review of actions, one could easily get hurt by the action taken, or the failure to act, of a friend. It forces both parties into a no-win situation -- succeed or lose a friend. Wow, that's very harsh.
This is why I believe that Acknowledgement is so powerful. It's the way we have to say I know this matters to you or I do care about this, but ... It's the only tool we have to show someone that we do care about them, when the obvious action isn't available to us.
And acknowledgement is so easy to give. The hard part is for the receiver. The receiver has to be willing to accept the acknowledgement. Has to put aside their fears, and be open to receiving the love that the giver is trying to give. That's hard, when the receiver may be dealing with self-respect issues already.
Wow. Powerful. So easy, and yet so hard.
The only thing that is clear, obvious and straightforward is when there is no action, and no acknowledgement. Then you know that there is nothing there, and the only hard part is learning to accept that the person just doesn't care.