Do you feel that someone you have a friendly relationship with is trying to cut ties? There are some specific things that happen when friends distance themselves from you. All it takes is to recognize these behaviors.
No one likes to feel unwelcome, neglected, or left out by their friends. But at the same time, it’s easy to misinterpret other people’s behaviors.
To make sure you have a clear idea about what’s happening in your friendship, check the signs below.
What Happens When Friends Distance Themselves from You?
1. They don’t seem interested in spending time together
In the modern age and world, it’s easy to get too busy to find time for social activities. But you can always tell a friend who is just buried in responsibilities from someone who doesn’t want to see you.
The difference is that a real friend will show interest and willingness to be a part of your life, no matter how busy they are.
Yes, they may turn down your invitations from time to time or cancel some activities you planned together. But they will be willing to arrange something new and interested to know how you are doing.
A friend who is trying to keep their distance won’t seem interested in maintaining any contact with you. Instead of using every opportunity to see you and find a free minute to talk to you, they will just disappear from your life for long periods of time.
2. They turn down your invitations
Maybe you get sad because your friend doesn’t invite you anywhere anymore. It could be that they are too busy at work or are going through a hard time in life.
So you decide to take the lead and invite them instead. But even when you offer them something to do together, they ignore it or give you some kind of excuse.
If it happens on a regular basis, then they simply don’t want to spend time with you. This is what happens when your friend distances themselves from you.
3. When you meet, they try to dodge the conversation
You may stumble upon your friend at a social event or somewhere outside. But when it happens, they don’t look very excited about seeing you.
You can tell it from their facial expression and overall attitude. For example, they might make little eye contact and exhibit closed body language cues such as crossed arms or turning away from you.
Your friend may look tense, bored, or uncomfortable in general. They will barely ask you any questions and the conversation will probably center around small talk topics.
But the most surefire sign that your friend is trying to distance themselves from you is that they will make attempts to escape the conversation. They will give you one-word answers or shift their attention onto someone else at the social gathering in order to stop talking to you.
4. They show no interest in your life
As we said above, a busy friend will still show interest in you and your life. Someone who wants to stay away from you won’t do this.
Whether you want to share a personal problem with a friend or just tell them about your news, they won’t look interested. Their responses will be short and indifferent and the conversation just won’t flow.
It may be quite disappointing to see such a difference in your friend’s behavior, especially if you used to talk about everything. But a lack of interest is a huge sign someone no longer wants to be your friend.
5. They don’t share anything personal with you anymore
Another frustrating sign that your friendship is fading is that someone no longer shares personal things with you. You used to tell them about your most intimate problems, and so did your friend. But they no longer do.
Your conversations have shifted to small talk topics and day-to-day happenings. It means that they no longer consider you to be a person they could confide in.
It doesn’t always happen on purpose – sometimes it’s the life that distances us from other people.
For example, you may have moved to a different city, and it’s difficult to maintain the same level of emotional intimacy in a long-distance friendship. Maybe your friend started a family and you no longer have common interests and topics to talk about.
6. They give you excuses
If you want to spend time with your friend, you may be the one to offer them things to do. But they always seem to have a good excuse to give, even when you invite them to your birthday party.
For example, your friend used to invite you to social gatherings and offer to spend time together regularly. Now he barely returns your calls. Whenever you try to reach him out and suggest an activity or event, he says he is busy or has family issues.
Yes, this may happen once, twice, or even a few times. But if your friend sticks with giving you excuses for not showing up after multiple invitations from your side, then they are most likely intentionally distancing themselves from you.
7. They don’t want you to be a part of their life
Finally, a key thing that happens when friends distance themselves from you is that they don’t care to let you know about important changes and events in their lives.
For example, your friend didn’t tell you about her engagement and you learned it from a Facebook post or your common acquaintance. It could also be that your college buddy didn’t invite you to his birthday party.
All these situations leave you feeling excluded and ignored, but they reveal a lot about your friend’s real attitude. Most likely, they just no longer want you to be a part of their life.
What to Do When Friends Distance Themselves from You?
If you recognize your situation in the signs above, you may want to know what to do next.
1. Make sure it’s not a made-up situation
As we said, people don’t always make a conscious decision to distance themselves from you. So the first step is to make sure that your friend is indeed not interested in maintaining contact with you.
If they turned down your invitation a couple of times, then probably it’s too soon to draw conclusions. In this case, look for other indicators such as a lack of interest and desire to talk to you.
If you are sure that they are trying to stay away from you, then decide for yourself whether this friendship means a lot for you. Do you want to continue to be their friend? Do you believe that you two have a genuine connection that should not be wasted?
2. Analyze your behavior
When friends distance themselves from you, there could indeed be reasons for that. They could find some of your behaviors annoying or be bothered with something you recently did.
For example, if you are too pushy or intrusive with your quiet friend, they may find your behavior too overwhelming. They may finally decide to cut ties.
Maybe you talk about yourself all the time and don’t show interest in the other person. What if your friend is facing adversity and you offer them no support? It could also be that you are too negative and complain a lot.
There are multiple examples of annoying behaviors that push people away. Sometimes we wonder why we lose friends because we don’t even realize that the things we do or say bother other people.
3. Talk to them
If you really value this friendship, talking to the other person would be a good idea. But make sure to not sound demanding or angry. You don’t want to call them out; you just want to make sense of your friend’s behavior.
Expressing your concerns in an open and calm manner will help you avoid misunderstandings.
Maybe your friend is having a hard time at work and is not in a mood for social activities. It could be that he is indeed annoyed by some of your behaviors. Finally, they could feel like you no longer resonate together and they have a better time in other people’s company.
Having an honest talk with your friend will help you figure it all out and realize whether your fading friendship can be saved.
4. Let them go
Sometimes friends don’t distance themselves from you intentionally. It just happens. The person who was your best friend in college is no longer the same easy-going guy. He now has a family to support and a business to run. He is overwhelmed with obligations.
People change, life circumstances change, and it doesn’t always have to do with us. Sometimes people just drift apart. It’s sad and disappointing, but it happens a lot in life – not only in friendly connections but also in romantic and family unions.
So ask yourself if you are genuinely interested in maintaining this friendship. What if it has become more of a social obligation? Do you gain things from each other emotionally and intellectually?
A fading friendship could be a natural consequence of a change in yours or the other person’s life. Maybe you are no longer the right company for your friend, and neither are they for you. Perhaps they have already realized it and so they are trying to cut ties. In this case, the best solution would be to let them go.
Be grateful for the great time you used to have together and move on with your life. After all, not all friendships are meant to last for a lifetime, and it’s fine.