21 Things To Do When Friends Distance Themselves From You (2024)

Have you ever had a friend stop talking to you, out of the blue? 

When friends distance themselves from you suddenly, it can feel hurtful and confusing. 

In this article, we share a few ways to overcome and cope with this period in your friendship.

Why Would A Friend Distance Themselves From You? 

There are many possible reasons a friend distances suddenly.

Some events in life can cause even a good friend to back away. This can be hard to accept at first, but understandable. 

Sometimes it can be because of the relationship with your friend. Maybe some harsh words or offensive behavior occurred, and you’re not aware of it? 

If you reach out to your buddy, and all they offer are one word answers, it could point to something that you may have said or did. 

Before we jump to conclusions and panic, it’s always helpful to step back and reflect on the friendship.

How Do You Deal With A Friend Distancing From You? 

When friends distance themselves from you, there are various ways to cope.

What you choose to do depends on how you decide to move forward in the friendship with this person. 

If you believe the friendship is worth saving, then you can take steps to un distance yourself. 

But if you agree that it is not worth saving, then it’s time to move on with new friends and acquaintances. 

21 Things To Do When Friends Distance Themselves From You

1. Reach Out To Them Casually

When friends distance themselves from you, you may feel uncomfortable just reaching out to them. But it doesn’t have to start with a hard conversation. 

You can simply start off by mentioning something that reminded you of them. 

Send a casual and friendly “long time no see” type of text, and their response can tell you a lot.

If they reply with one word answers, it could indicate that there is something wrong. 

2. Invite Them To Hang Out One-On-One

When Friends Distance Themselves From You
Photo by Elijah O’Donnell on Pexels

The best way to sort out the problem when your friend distances themselves from you is to get them to talk in person.

You can invite them to do something casual that you’re both interested in. 

In this digital age, it’s easy to rely on texting, but it will mean much more to the friendship when you spend time in each other’s company.

When you’re together, making eye contact and having meaningful conversation, you have the opportunity to hear their side of the story.

3. What To Say To A Friend Who’s Distancing Themselves From You? – Express Your Feelings In Simple Terms 

It’s important to express your feelings about how the avoidance of your distant friend affects you. 

Try to use softer language when talking about it.

Something like “I feel sad because I hardly see you anymore,” is more sensitive than “You’re never around and and you always avoid me,” which is quite harsh.

When friends distance themselves from you it can make you feel like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster.

So let them know how their behavior makes you feel about the friendship.

4. A Close Friend Acting Distant All Of A Sudden? Reflect On Your Recent Behavior 

When a friend distances themselves from you, it may be because of something that you’ve said or done. 

Reflect on your own behavior around them recently since they started drifting away. 

Maybe you said or did something very offensive to them without knowing. 

If you’ve reflected and are unaware where you may have gone wrong, it’s also your friend’s responsibility to talk to you about it and not just pull away.

Related Article: Signs Your Friend Doesn’t Respect You

5. Ask Them For Honesty

When you get a chance to talk to your friend that has distanced from you, it can pay to be direct. 

Try asking them why they suddenly became distant from you. 

Start off gently by first telling them how much your friendship means to you, and letting them know your feelings. Then ask them why they pulled away. 

Be prepared to listen and accept their reason. All close relationships involve some vulnerability, so let your friend be open with her explanation, and listen before passing judgment.

6. Give Them A Heartfelt Apology

After reflecting, maybe you understand the reason that your friend doesn’t want to communicate with you anymore. 

Maybe it is something that you did. Maybe you were the person who distanced away from the friendship first because of a new relationship or life event. 

If you know where you went wrong, then it’s the perfect time to open up and apologize. 

When your friend distances themselves from you, it may be hard to get them to see you in person, much less answer your texts. 

But an in-person apology will always be better than a phone call. That said, a phone call will always be better than a text. 

A text apology lacks a little bit of sincerity, so only use it as a last resort.

7. Don’t Blame Or Condemn Yourself

When friends distance themselves from you, it can be tempting to see it as a reason to blame yourself.

Because they left you behind, you can start to think of yourself as a terrible friend or person. 

Maybe this pattern of thinking sounds familiar to you? Whether it’s your fault or not, practice some self-compassion. 

Know that making a mistake doesn’t mean that you’re completely an awful person. 

No friendship is perfect. Know that some things are out of your control, and the only thing you can control is your thought process.

8. Make Sure It’s Not All In Your Head

When Friends Distance, Not All In Your Head
Photo by Kristine javashvili on Pexels

Never assume anything. It’s easy to make complete dramas and tragedies out of our thoughts and imagination. 

So a friend doesn’t seem to spend time with you as much as they used to.

Instead of thinking that the friendship is completely ruined or that your distant friend hates you, try to look at things objectively. 

CBT introduces a popular way of questioning your assumptions through mindfulness and self-reflection. 

Simply notice the event that caused your thoughts. In this case, the event is your friend distancing from you. 

Then notice your thoughts you have in reaction. You might end up thinking things that you have no evidence for. Such as, “my friend hates me, and the relationship between us is ruined.” 

Try to question this kind of thought. What evidence is there that it is true? What evidence shows that it’s not? What other possible reasons could your friend have for keeping their distance? 

Even the simple act of thinking about your automatic thoughts allows you to slow down and think more rationally.

9. Think About What Else Might Be Going On With Your Friend

Since your friend’s distance may not be about you, try to think about any other thing going on in your friend’s life.

Things that might take a higher priority than spending time with you. 

Maybe they’ve recently lost a loved one, started a new job, or moved to a new neighborhood. 

Perhaps you’re not the only one that your friend is distancing from. Rather than it being about you, perhaps they are pulling away from everyone in their life. 

If they are, there might be a good reason.

10. Know That External Events Might Be The Reason For The Distance

New life events can cause your friend to have to change priorities. 

A big life change like moving, marriage, or having children can be a factor into why your friend distances themselves. 

Starting a family can mean that they will have less time or energy to go to the pub with you or go on a shopping spree. 

It may be a stressful or tough time for them at the moment. 

If you feel comfortable, you can help your friend by taking her out once in a while. Or offer to look after her children, house or pets, so she can spend some time away to relax.

11. Practice Self-Love And Compassion

Instead of blaming yourself for a friendship gone cold, try to spend time doing things that soothe you. 

Your friend no longer being interested in reaching out to you, can have a devastating effect on your confidence. 

But be kind to yourself. Focus on healthy habits, such as cooking healthy meals, or working out. Maybe you could join a health club and get the chance to meet new friends. 

Try not to spend too much time ruminating and thinking yourself into depression.

12. Don’t Beg Them To Stay

If your friend is perfectly okay with letting your friendship fade, then the last thing you want to do is bombard them with messages and calls, begging them to stay. 

In life, we can accept that many things come and go. We can accept that relationships will fade, but many of us have the expectation that a friendship would last forever. 

But this just isn’t realistic. Even a person who was once close friends with you can eventually move on. 

13. Don’t Take It Personally

Don’t take it to heart when friends distance themselves from you.

If they can walk away that easily, maybe it means that they weren’t the close friend that you thought they were. 

It may hurt, but know that you have the strength to heal and move on. 

Focus your energy on building new friendships, and working on your relationship with yourself.

14. Avoid Gossiping Behind Their Back

Avoid Gossiping About Distant Friends
Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

Your friend has decided to give you the cold shoulder instead of explaining herself. 

It may be tempting to complain or gossip about her to your new friends or even a person you both know. 

But it’s not worth it. Talking behind her back can ruin your own reputation and eventually your friend may hear what you’ve said. 

Do yourself a favor and let the two of you move on with your lives in peace.

15. Avoid Checking Their Social Media Accounts

When your friend decides to distance herself from you, you may want to find other ways to know what she’s up to. Like checking her online profiles. 

But seeing her latest stories and pictures of her new friends won’t make you feel better. 

It might make you feel a lot worse, knowing that she’s having fun with someone else, while completely ignoring you. 

Rather try to block notifications from her account, so you lower the risk of seeing her online.

16. Be A Little Vulnerable

Your friendship is important to you, even more so than a relationship sometimes. 

If your genuine connection is worth saving, then now is not the time to be shy about how you feel. 

Let your friend know that they are an important person to you, and that you want them to remain in your life. 

Sometimes raw honesty is necessary, especially if your friend is pulling away because of their own insecurities.

17. Show Them That You Still Care For Them

Only you know how much your friendship means to you, and how best to express this to your friend who’s growing distant. 

Often, people distance when they’re going through a tough period. It helps to put in the effort to show your friend that you care for them. 

Let them know you’re available for spending time with them, and are ready for any conversation they want to have.

18. Indulge In Your Favorite Solo Hobbies

When we’re too invested in a friendship, it can feel like there’s a huge gap in our lives when the other person is no longer interested in hanging out. 

Now that you have all this free time, you can focus on the most important person in your life who you may have neglected. That is you! 

Spend time on your favorite hobbies. Maybe join local clubs for them, so you have the opportunity to rebuild your social life.

19. Spend Quality Time With Family And Friends You’ve Neglected

When you’ve put too much effort in one person, it’s possible that your family and other friends feel hurt that they’re being ignored. 

Make a point to schedule them in, and spend time rekindling those relationships. 

The conversation may not be as easy and free-flowing as it was with your old friend, but give it time, and you may find real chemistry.

20. Accept Their Feelings And Decision

When Friends Distance Accept Their Feelings
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Not all friendships will go the distance. We can understand this when we see it in another person’s life, but it may be a hard pill to swallow when you’re the one being ditched. 

When your friend keeps their distance, and makes no effort to contact you, it’s a clear sign that the friendship has run its course. 

Your friend may not be a bad person, but they just don’t feel the same way about you anymore. 

When you can accept that you’ll be okay even if you seperate, you can be at peace about her decision.

21. Let Them Go With Grace

Your feelings were hurt when your friend distanced herself from you for new friends, new relationships, or major life events. 

You may want to lash out at her in anger, but if you say words you regret, you can permanently damage the connection between you. 

Instead, let her go with dignity. 

Rather than showing her your ugly emotions, vent by writing a goodbye letter (that she doesn’t have to see), or even speaking to a life coach or therapist. 

Trust that not all friendships will end this badly. Let her move on, and be willing to open yourself up to new connections.


When is the best time to stop reaching out to a friend?

When you realize that you’re actually a happier person without them in your life. 

Some people don’t realize they have toxic friends until they’ve been ghosted by them for no apparent reason.

How do you tell if a friend is distancing themselves from you?

You can tell when the person you used to talk to a lot suddenly starts canceling plans and avoiding you. 

They usually do this without giving you a warning or explanation.

What are some signs you’re not friends anymore?

They don’t make an effort to be there for big events. More importantly, their presence doesn’t make a big difference. 

You don’t even have the energy to pick fights when you disagree.

Remember, the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference.

If you feel nothing when they cut ties, the friendship was probably not worth it.

Why am I distancing myself from my best friend?

When you push people in your life away for no logical reason, you may be dealing with a mental health issue, like depression or low self-worth.

Why is my female friend acting distant?

Your female friend may be having issues that she finds hard to communicate to you in person. 

If you sense she’s acting distant, just gently ask her about it.


In this article, we explored what you can do when friends distance themselves from you. 

It can be a hard thing to accept, but know that there are many healthy ways to cope and communicate, whatever you decide to do. 

Let me know what you do to cope with distant friends in your life, and share this post with those who may need it!

About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.