There can be many reasons a friend asks for space but the options for responding are few.
I have a friend who is giving me the cold shoulder. We were fine when she came back from vacation. Then, all of a sudden, she gave me the silent treatment.
I asked if I have done something to hurt her. If I have, I would like to know what it was so that it doesn’t happen again. I told her that the way she is treating me is hurtful to me.
She responded that she needs to spend time with her family and her intention wasn’t to hurt me. She said that friends give each other space. But what does that mean? She is very vague about her explanation.
When a friend gives you the cold shoulder and asks for space, it may or may not have anything to do with you, per se. The only way to find out is to ask, so you did the right thing by doing so.
If your friend is vague or doesn’t tell you why she needs distance, you have no alternative but to step back. Coming on too strongly will only make her more distant. Sometimes people have family problems, personal demons, or other secrets they are reluctant to talk about or share with friends. She may simply need time and/or space to work out her issues.
Another explanation is simply that this friendship is less important to her than it is to you right now and she doesn’t want to tell you so. In either case, don’t take it too personally. Maintaining a friendship, like any other relationship, relies on a bit of chemistry and good timing. Friendships can change over time.
In your case, I would wait a couple of weeks and extend yourself again to see if she’s in a better (or different) frame of mind. If she still asks for space, it may be time to give up on resurrecting the friendship and try to maintain a neighborly connection.
Hope this helps.
Other posts on The Friendship Blog about friends acting distant :
- My friend is acting distant and giving me the cold shoulder
- Confused and upset over being rebuffed by a friend
Category: one-sided friendships