What To Do When A Friend Pulls Away

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When you notice that a friend suddenly won’t answer your text messages, tweets, texts or emails, this can be an unnerving and disturbing situation. According to About.com, the first sign that something could be ‘wrong’ with a friendship is often when you just don’t hear from your friend. Some people are not good at initiating conversation when something is wrong, so watch for these subtle signs that your friendship may be in trouble.

8 Signals That Tells You Your Relationship Is Over

Emails and Phone Messages Go Unanswered

When your friend just doesn’t return your messages, it’s a sign that something could be wrong. But, then again, your friend could just be busy. Or, it could mean that something is wrong. If your casual (“Hey, how’s it going?”) emails aren’t getting a response, try sending a more direct note indicating that you are worried about your friend. Don’t send a message that is angry or assuming, however.

Avoid saying:

“Why haven’t you emailed me? How come I always have to email you a couple times to get a response?”

“What’s going on with you? I haven’t heard from you in ages?”

“Aren’t you getting my messages? Why are you ignoring me?”

These types of responses are worded to start an email fight rather than show concern about your friendship.

Instead, say:

“I haven’t heard back from you in a while and I’m concerned about you. Is everything okay?”

Your Friend Is Going Through a Rough Time

If your friend doesn’t get back to you, it can be very easy to assume that they are upset with you, but in fact, it may have nothing to do with you at all. Perhaps your friend is going through a rough time and for whatever reason (embarrassment, shame, shyness) they do not want to share with you. As a friend, you naturally want to help, but if your pal doesn’t want assistance, there is not much you can do besides let them know you are there for them.

When Your Friend Is Angry With You

It’d be great if all our friends could calmly tell us when we have done something to upset them. In reality, everyone is different, and they process anger and hurt in unique ways. Some people can recognize and address a situation right away. With these people, it is easy to work through a falling out.

Other friends, however, will pull away in reaction to something we did. In these cases, when you send an “Is everything okay?” type of email, you’ll probably be met with anger. You might be confused since the last time you saw this person everything seemed fine. Before you get angry in return, try and calmly listen to what is being said. Perhaps your friend’s resentment has been building for a while and they just never expressed it before. Some people say nothing the first few times they feel slighted, only to “erupt” later on. In these cases, their habit may be to pull away and then become angry when you don’t automatically know what happened.

When you and your friend have identified the problem, you can work through it. Then, make sure that you come up with a different way to communicate from that point forward, so that your friend will feel comfortable talking to you right away when there is an issue, rather than pulling away.

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