If your BFF has suddenly turned cold and distant, you need to find out why. So, here’s what to do when your best friend ignores you.
A best friend is hard to find. That’s why you’ve put so much time and effort into maintaining your friendships. You and your best friend have weathered the roughest storms. From bad breakups and family disasters, to hysterical late night rants. Your best friend is the one person you could have fun waiting in a two-hour line with. It is for all of these reasons that it becomes especially hurtful when your best friend ignores you.
Going ignored by someone who’s supposed to have your back feels like a whole new level of betrayal, especially if you have no idea what you’ve done wrong.
Feelings lost about your BFF’s sudden cold shoulder? Here’s what to do when your best friend ignores you, and all of your emails, texts, phone calls, and not-so-subtle afternoon pop-ins.
The 4 G’s to finding out why… when your best friend ignores you
Any good detective knows that the first step to deciphering why your best friend is suddenly flying under the radar with you is to find out what’s wrong. This becomes increasingly difficult when they won’t respond to any of your texts or calls.
#1 Guilt. If your best friend isn’t talking to you anymore, they could be suffering from a guilty conscience. Think back: when did they first start acting strangely toward you? Was it after you asked your best bro to drive your girlfriend home? If so, who’s to say a little hanky-panky wasn’t had in the car? He may be ducking you to avoid revealing a bad deed.
Your best friend may like your mate, have cheated with your mate, might be lying to you about something important, or is in some way keeping something from you that is causing them to harbor a guilty conscience. In that case, it’s best to ask around and see if your mutual friends know what might be up.
#2 Growing up. Best friends for life! Right? Wrong! Sometimes besties just grow up and grow apart. Maybe you’re married with kids, and your BFF is still living the single life. They may feel like they have nothing in common with you anymore. [Read: 14 signs your best friend isn’t your best friend anymore]
You may have different goals or understandings of things. In the end, friends break up for much the same reasons relationships do: jealousy, disagreements about fundamental ideas, lack of respect, and boredom.
Growing apart is natural, especially if you have been friends since you were very young. Puberty, high school, college years, and the endless pursuit of love tend to bond us to our BFFs.
It seems to be when we accomplish our goals of meeting our forever-mate and getting an ideal job that our friendship seems to take a hit. After all, there is no more need for guidance, company from loneliness, or confirmation of a life direction. [Read: Are you losing a friend or are you two just drifting away?]
#3 Getting laid. The facts are sad but true: we usually drop our friends when we get into serious relationships. Getting laid usually outweighs hanging out on your friend’s couch. Sorry. The treatment is hardly fair, but baby, that’s life. Don’t act like you’ve never done it!
If your friend is in a new relationship and starts ignoring you, just roll your eyes and continue on with life. Odds are they’ll come back around once the puppy-love phase settles down, or when the relationship ends.
If it continues on longer than a month, it could be that they’re significant other isn’t comfortable with your friendship. This possibility increases tenfold if you are her ex, professed a crush on them at some point in time, or are the opposite sex/could be attracted to them. [Read: How to make new friends as an adult – 15 ways to do it right]
#4 Going through trials. Your friend may be ignoring you in lieu of a much bigger problem they’re having. Don’t think this couldn’t be true just because your BFF normally shared everything with you.
So, when your best friend ignores you, it may be a sign that they’re going through an enormous trial and they don’t know how to reach out. Or maybe they’re not ready to talk about it yet.
Your BFF may be going through a monumental trial such dealing with a serious illness, caring for a sick family member, a death in the family, loss of employment, divorce, issues with sexual identity, or issues with their children. The list goes on and on. [Read: How to meet new people – 16 exciting ways to find a new crowd]
What to do when your Best Friend ignores you
Now that you know the potential reasons why your best friend isn’t talking to you, it’s time to start taking action. If you want to salvage the best friendship you’ve ever had, then we suggest these foolproof ideas:
#1 Talk it out. This is hard to do when your best friend is, well, ignoring you. But, try your best to get into contact with your BFF with a clear message: I want to understand what’s wrong. Try and find them on Skype, Facebook, Instagram, text, email, or by phone.
#2 Set things right… AKA… apologize. One giant reason your friend might be ducking you is because they’re mad at you. Look back and try to identify what you might have done to put them off of your friendship.
Did you confess your love for them? Tell them a harsh truth? Say something you didn’t mean? Tell them you don’t like their mate? Any of these actions may warrant an angry or confused best friend. The best thing to do is to apologize and assure your friend you’ll give them the space they need.
#3 Be a better friend. How good of a friend are you? A couple years back, you once thought of your best friend as the PB to your jelly, but… how much of that still stands? It could be your friendship isn’t as give and take as you might have thought.
#4 Take a break. Just like in romantic relationships, sometimes friends just need space. Your friend may be stressed or annoyed and just wants to be alone at the moment. They may just want to hang out with other people.
Or, as mentioned before, they may have a new boyfriend/girlfriend that’s occupying their time. Either way, sometimes it’s best to just accept the random cold shoulder and wait for your friend to cool off and come back around.
#5 Examine the friendship. If your friend has been ignoring you for a while, you may want to take a step back and examine how great your friendship actually was. Sure, you had fun together and you’ve been friends for a long time, but was everything still running smoothly?
If you felt drained after hanging out, don’t like who you are when you’re around them, or feel like there is an imbalance in the ‘give and take’ aspect of your friendship, then this friendly breakup may be long overdue. [Read: How self-respect affects you and your relationship]
#6 Forget them. Usually, when your best friend ignores you, the most common reactions usually go like this: You try to contact them. You complain/guilt trip about how you never see them anymore. You get upset. You resign to your broken friendship and let it go.
If you’ve tried reaching out, apologizing, and offering your support to your friend and they still seem to be ducking you – it might be time to end this friendship. You deserve more than someone who is going to throw years of friendship down the gutter.
So put your social face on, because it’s time to go out and meet someone new.
It can be hard when your best friend ignores you. Try as best you can to right any wrongs that have occurred between the two of you. Be the listening ear you always have been and support your friend through any trials they’re facing. Hopefully, you’ll be back to late-night drunk calls in no time. If not? C’est la vie.
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