So many of us can relate to this one. I sure can. It’s a feeling, more than a fact. The friend in question casually acts like everything is ok, while pulling away emotionally and creating distance between you. It seems as if your friend hasn’t even noticed the drift, or doesn’t care, which only adds salt to the wound.
You try to be patient at first and understand what she is going through. You offer to help. She insists everything is fine and she is just “busy.” You get worried and ask her if she is feeling depressed? Her response makes it pretty clear that her main feeling is annoyed – at you! You try to be patient, meanwhile sending her funny or cute texts or messages letting her know that you are thinking of her. She responds in one word answers, never immediately, if at all. Or maybe it's all niceties, but it's just words, never any action.
You start to notice she is spending a lot of time with her other friends on social media, and things pop up about her life that she hadn’t mentioned to you. Of course she hadn’t, she’d need to actually talk to you! You press to meet for coffee and she reluctantly agrees, but cancels at the last minute.
You ask her if you have done anything to upset her, and apologise if you have. She assures you that everything is fine. It feels like you are going crazy! Everything is NOT fine, and she denies this???
The thing is – you are asking her if everything is ok with herself. It is. You are asking if she is upset with you. She isn’t. The reason you are feeling this way is because you are still offering up friendship and she is no longer reciprocating that. If she has other friendships blossoming, she hasn’t noticed a change in her life because her needs are still being met, albeit not by you…
You have picked up on this change because she is no longer meeting your need as a friend and it is triggering your insecurities that this is your fault, that you were not good enough. The best advice I have for you when someone pushes you away, is to go.
I know. That isn’t what you wanted to hear, however the general reason someone pushes you away is because they want you to go. For now anyway. They don’t want to say it and probably don’t have a very good reason aside from they have no need for you in their life right now. No place or no space.
You cannot force yourself or your friendship on people. The more you try, the more they pull away. People are entitled to their opinions of you, and you do not need to defend, nor prove yourself.
It plays out like this – the more insecure you become, the more needy you become, and the more needy you become, the less that person will want to be around you. Even if they do, it will be more like an obligation. Nobody wants to feel like their friendship is an obligation. Either way the friendship will end, and if you keep pushing things, it will likely be a nasty confrontational ending. I know you THINK you want to know WHY?! Honestly, you don’t. You are unlikely to actually hear any reasons and will only defend yourself. This is natural, but the whole conversation is unhelpful, and will leave you even more hurt and insecure. Do yourself a favour – don’t force it.
If you try to see it as the universe pushing you in a different direction perhaps, and expand your options, try to find other people to meet your needs, the angst, and anger will be much less. This leaves your friendship with your initial friend open rather than closed. You have not officially ended, which makes it easier, as times and things change, to “catch up” again in the future and resume your friendship as if nothing had ever happened. If you wanted to. If not, maybe that will be her Karma as she has to feel the insecurity that you initially dealt with.
It may feel like you are letting your friend get away with treating you poorly, which you don’t deserve, but what you are really doing is giving her the space she is quietly requesting. Respecting her need - which isn’t for you right now. And you are actually being much kinder to yourself this way too.
If you came across this post on Google or whatever, please let this be the last article you google. If your friend is pushing you away, like it or not, right now, she wants you to go. Don’t hand her a weapon and make her shoot you with it and then play the victim. Save your dignity and walk away, with love in your heart and hope that one day she will be back for you. You are awesome. Go find people who make you feel that way and stop wasting energy on this.
How do you do that? Stop looking at this one friend, and spend some time making lists of your other friends. Which friendships could you expand? Who could you invite out to that show next week instead? How could you make some new friends?
The helpful answers are most often in the future, not in the past, so try to stay focused on that!
Your Best Friend ForNever