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My friend suddenly shut me out of her life

September 11, 2010 | By | 372 Replies Continue Reading
When you just can’t understand, sometimes it’s prudent to ask.


Dear Irene,

I have a friend that I felt was my best friend. She was in my wedding and we were pretty much attached at the hip. She called me a couple times a day, texted me, hung out with me or talked to me online (Facebook, AIM) almost every day.

Her grandmother died of cancer almost a year ago now. My husband and I were the only ones out of our mutual friends that were at the funeral and wake with her and her family the whole time. My husband actually was laid off the next day from work because he took the day off to be with her. Ever since then she has shut us out, she hasn’t called, text, come over, or talked to me when she is online.

I see her when we go out with mutual friends sometimes and this is when she talks to us as if nothing has happened. She says she’s been busy, but she goes out every other day with a couple of our mutual friends. Do you know why all of a sudden she would shut me out? I do not understand how you can get close to someone and then just stop talking to them and then say that you have been too busy when your clearly not to other friends. I would appreciate any kind of advice you can give. Thank you!!

Signed, Kelly


Dear Kelly,

Yes, this is an odd situation. It sounds like your friend dropped you like a hot potato so something must have happened that upset her. Have you explicitly asked her privately, when you’re not with other friends, if you did something to offend her?

Another thought: Did you tell her that your husband lost his job because he took off from work to attend the funeral? If so, I could see how that might have upset her. It is unfortunate that it happened but it was his decision to attend and be with her and you, not hers.

You are absolutely correct in thinking there is something you don’t know. The only way to find out is to ask. Otherwise, you will likely remain as distant as you are now.

Hope this helps.

My best, Irene

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Comments (372)

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  1. Eloise says:

    Hi, I want this to be anonymous
    I’ve got a problem
    I had a best friend, who I couldn’t deal with she used me and ditched me and got angry with me for the smallest things so I let us have space from eachother.
    When we changed schools ironically we went to the same school and were put in the same class…
    I made 2 lovely friends in which I was proud to calls best friends! They knew my story with this girl and I did 100% trust them to stick by my side!
    Quite frantically this has changed as the time has gone on as I make new friends it seems to be, the girl that I had a bad history with gets awfully attached to them! And now I feel like I’m just in the middle feeling uncomfortable all the time, and I do try to say something but it never usually works! One of the girls I thought would never leave my side has done and is now FACETIMING the other girl 24/7 they do really love EACHOTHER and I do want to get in the way of it but I don’t find it fair how this girl gets what she wants.. Please help

  2. Venkatesh Ramoju says:

    Glad that I found a place to tell my problem.. My name is Venkatesh and Im from India.. I have a friend from Germany and I met her in Facebook. We have been normal when we met in 2011.. But in last one year, we became best friends because of my kind nature and I always want to make her laugh. She says she always enjoy my company in chat. She always say that she can’t pass a day without chatting with me but now just within a one day she changed completely. She don’t even reply well, she just give one word answer and she don’t even text me after I go to sleep because it became a habit to read her messages after I wake up and she too wait for my messages when she wake up. She use to tell me how much she enjoy my chat and as a best friend.. but these days she is completely chatting different. She has no boyfriend and she is not interested too. But still she act weird. When I asked her many times about it, she say nothing and she say she is normal. She is speaking harsh to me.I was not able to stop thinking of it or not able to be normal. All I want is her friendship. I never spoke anything bad to her or I never spoke anything that could insult her. I speak so nice to people.Now she says that she don’t want to use mobile much but she stays online and chat with her friends. But trust me she always use to chat with me then she reply her friends. Now the scenario is reverse. Someone please help me :(. If u need any further information, Please let me know

  3. lola says:

    my bff and i were like soul mates. we did everything together and would text all day every day. i helped her through quite a number of low moments throughout the years (a significant break up and a depressive episode). we actually grew closer after that breakup. one day she started seeing this guy and dumped me like a sack of potatoes. i tried to ask her to bring him around but she would make excuses and excluded me. they have been going out for almost a year now and i have only met him once. she never talks to me anymore and our relationship has changed dramatically to the point where i too became depressed. i tried to explain to her how i felt and that i missed her but she does not seem to understand. she says we are still best friends but i do not feel close to her anymore and she no longer tells me anything about herself. i barely know her anymore. our encounters are awkward and forced now.
    i am at a loss here and do not know if i have energy to even fight for our friendship anymore. she does not seem to be bothered by the distance between us at all.

  4. Madeline says:

    Something is certainly going on here with me. I have an array of friends and they are all different from each other. But I have to say that I was the one that had to let a few friendships go. They all 3 felt the same–greedy. I love people and I’m also a writer performer–so I can listen fiercely, and loyal to the bone, a fool’s errand. Anyway, what is it that People just are not genuinely interested in OTHER people?! I find them fascinating, even the kooky ones, but REALLY you can’t ask me how I’m doing!! Can’t they hear themselves? I also had a very dear friend who moved away, but I realized that after 5 years she never read any of my stories. I understood that her first language wasn’t english-but still. I see a pattern here with me…I want new and equal freinds. Mutual respect, and a lot more laughs!

  5. Clarisse says:

    Hi! I have a best friend that I’m not really sure if she really is. But we hangout a lot. and Talk everyday.

    My problem is, she always brags me about my clothes when we’re going out she wanted me to wear pants and she will wear shorts. She don’t allow me to wear clothes that I like. She will say she don’t want to get attention because of me. And I can’t be my true self around her! In concerts she also brags me when boys are asking for my number and rolled her eyes! Why do I feel like sometimes she’s my best friend and sometimes not?
    When we talk she’s always talking about herself and her other friends. And when it’s time for me to talk she will cut me out and say “change topic” and start to talk about herself her crush and her other friends again. When she finally say “do you have anything to talk to?” and when I’m going to open my mouth she’ll interupt me again and say “oh well I guess no..” and start talking about herself and others again. I’m so confused about her and our friendship. please help me should I leave her? please I really appreciate your advice..

    • Angela B says:

      Hi Clarisse, your friends behavior as you describe it is extremely critical, controlling, self-centered and disrespectful. That is probably not healthy. If we feel uncomfortable a large percentage of the time we spend with someone, or if we always feel uncomfortable when we are in a common circumstance, like going out in public, that is not a good sign of a positive supportive relationship. Critical and controlling is the opposite of accepting and respectful. Friends should be mostly accepting and respectful, if not all. This type of person will wear away at your self-esteem.
      it would be better to seek out friends who make you feel that your needs,thoughts feelings and plans are equal in importance to theirs. Friendship is a gift, and a privilege. Real friends know this, and act accordingly.

  6. Mary says:

    LOL, I just noticed the date. Silly me.

  7. Ria says:

    I have a friend when i first started living with a group of strangers other students. she was very supportive and listened to me we both told each other put problems and didn’t judge each other for them or our opinions we had a laugh as well things were great several months ago i told her i had a life long dream of going to paris when i wasn’t able to go to a high school trip. She clearly said that she could not afford it i understood that. I then tried to organise a day trip in the same country the british countryside, she initially said Ok and was rather excited as it leaded up but always said i don’t know whether i can i will ask my mom. Every time she asked her mom she came back to me saying no and that she can’t and it isn’t the right time for her. I am really stressed after exams and need to relax and go to the beach where it is quiet no cars and less people. I don’t understand whats going on i have offered her several options to go for 2 nights 1 night day trip etc. She has a busy week ahead of her next week family birthdays and fathers day i get that but why not go this week. She says her mom said it is too short notice since when is 7 days short notice i told her two weeks ago that i wanted to go. Can anyone help? i am very very confused.

    • Leeanne says:

      You can come right out and ask her why. Some people simply like to stay close to home. It might have nothing to do with you but she feels anxiety about going away. Just adk her.

  8. austin says:

    a friend of mine (girl), we were set to date in a few months, she’s been through tough stuff and I was the one there for her. then all of a sudden she shut me out and we aren’t going to date anymore, she rarely will talk to me and we are very distant. what do I do

  9. That Girl says:


    My friend and I have only been friends for almost 2 years. I really consider her my best friend. I never really have any close friends since I move a lot. Every year when I change class, I’d get myself a new so-called close friend from that class. Somehow all of those friends became acquaintance after we change class again the following year.

    This friend and I met last year when we were in the same class in sec school. Under the new system, we will be in same class for 2 years. She and I became close as we share the same sense of humour. We got some rough patches at first when she told me about her depression and self-harming. I didn’t believe her at first because I got some trust issue, so there was a time she was really on the verge because of me. I tried to solve that problem too. It seemed to work, but it was not until now that I noticed how much she changed after she came back from the mental hospital. The doctor said she would be ok if she takes her med.

    When I first met her, she was this caring human being. One who was charming, sweet, had a great sense of humour. Everyone knew her. She was friendly and kind to everyone. I admired her for that, because I could not do the same. Trust issue. She never judged me for that, even though I’m extremely judgemental. Instead, she would try to understand me, as I try to do for her.

    After she came back though, she seemed fine for a while ,with me I worrying about her. Still do. She used to have attacks and I try to be her support when she does. I was there throughout the process of her getting better. But as she get better, her attitude gets negative. She started to ditch us (group of friends) for her online friends. She would make plans and cancel it with some lame repeated excuses. She would tell me about her day, the stuff she’s watching, her cosplays… when we text, but when I get started on mine, she would not reply. She did not reply unless she was interested in the subject or was involved. When we talk, she talks a lot about herself, but when I said something that does not concern her, she would either gives me a ‘K’, or not listen, or cut me off by speaking in gibberish until I stop talking. Sometimes, she would command our mutual friends to go to her when I was talking to them. Just recently, she told me to “stop expecting people to care about you”. She got herself a new replacement for me too, one of our mutual friends. Now, when I talk when we go home, she would not talk to me unless I start the conversation. She would also say goodbye to me even though neither her subway nor mine have arrived, an go back to using her phone and ignore me. The most frustrating thing that I don’t want to say anything to trigger her because of the depression mentioned above. I’m going through some rough things at home myself, but whenever I want to share, she gives me a ‘K’ and goes back to her universe. I understand maybe my problems are not as serious as hers, but friends should sometimes listen right? (Coming from a person changing friends every year)

    What should I do with her? Am I in the wrong? I know I should be understanding, but listening to someone else’s life 24/7 is tiring, and I have my own crap to deal with.

  10. sita says:

    Thanks for your replies,that sure helps and now I have another friend ,a neighbor who has recently taken a flat in our building .She is of this nature ,that she only speaks about herself and her family in high regards but does not give me a chance to talk about mine in return

    When I make an attempt to say something about my son or my work,she imemdiately switches the topic to irrelevant things .Also she keeps saying that she is very popular and has lots of friends ,her kids are the best ,her job is the best etc etc that I cannot take it more than a limit .
    How should I deal with her

    Thanks in advance

    • Massana says:

      This person sounds like they have narcissistic tendencies. Conversation and friendship is a two-way street… it sounds like this person is trying to divert it to a one-way street. I’d avoid this person at all costs. A person who truly cares about you will be interested in what you think and what you say and want you to speak. If she is cutting you off and doing all the talking, she is only interested in an audience. This is a HUGE red flag and it doesn’t bode well for the friendship.

  11. She17 says:

    Kelly, I could be the very friend that you describe in your post. My mother died less than a year ago and I had a friend who attended the funeral. She is the kind of person who does what she thinks you want and would be quite hurt if you told her that this wasn’t what was needed. When I think about it, it was nice that she attended the funeral but it was a time that I wanted to bury my mother so her attendance wasn’t even on my radar, I had more important things to worry about. To have voiced my thoughts would have meant she would have been hurt and then it would have all have been about her, when it was supposed to be about my mother.

    My most recent insensitive moment from her was an email a few weeks back she sent to a group of us saying she couldn’t attend a planned gathering as it was due to be held on mothers day, she signed off her email by saying “..not sure if that effects anyone else or just me?” My mother hasn’t been gone a year yet and this would have been the first mothers day without her. I would most probably say that out of all the people that received the email i would have been the one that would have been well aware what day mothers day was this year. Needleless to say out of the 8 people that received the email none of them felt able to reply directly to it, they were quite shocked by its tone. That email was sent over a month ago and the next communication from that person has been a “fancy a catch up” text. I haven’t engaged with that person since that email and there is apparently no realisation on her behalf that maybe her email was at best badly phrased. I have replied saying I’m busy but can talk on the phone, which apparently isn’t good enough for her!

    It took something as important as my mother passing to realise that life is too short to put up with someone else’s (repeated) insensitivity. I feel emotional drained and don’t want to have to point out what she has done so now I am in the process of distancing myself so she wont have the opportunity to do it again. Maybe like you Kelly, she will eventually realise that she may have contributed to this distancing and maybe by the time she does I may be willing to try and rebuild the friendship, but I’m not holding out for this. She is not a horrible person but when you have a life changing event something you were willing to overlook before can soon become intolerable and you are not willing to suffer it any more. I have changed, maybe your friend has too, maybe you need to change if you want to get back your friendship?

    • Mary says:

      She17 if you say your friend is repeatedly insensitive I’m sure that’s true, but I recognized absolutely none for the mother’s day scenario. It seemed your friend was stating something common to most people, that she’s busy on mother’s day, and asked the question if that affected everyone else because in a group of people it would likely affect more than her. She didn’t ask a whole group to reschedule for her own needs,or express upset that no one thought some people probably wouldn’t be able to make something on Mother’s Day if they have or are a mother.

    • Suri says:

      Interesting post. I’m very sorry to hear about your mom’s passing. I’ve been reading posts on this blog and a lot of women write about being dumped by a friend without knowing why. They’ve been understandably hurt by this and their trust is shaken. The friend who dumped them never communicating the reason why. I agree that it’s often easier to just say you’re busy than to really talk with your friend about what’s bothering you. We often built up anger, disappointments and hurt feelings for years without ever letting the other person know what’s going on. We have our own reasons for this and feel justified in them. But I think if we’re really honest with ourselves, the real reason might be that we just don’t know how to communicate this. Also, telling someone they’ve hurt your feelings, shows a vulnerable side of us. And it’s not easy to be vulnerable. Your insensitive friend will never know why you dumped her. And if you want to pick up this friendship later on, she will not have changed. Instead, her trust in you will be broken and she’s right about that. You’ve harbored resentments for years and you’re inability to bring it up with her, has caused the friendship to end. Not your friend’s insensitivity. Now I wouldn’t recommend you just dump all your frustrations on your friend and call her insensitive. She will be very hurt and not know what to do with it. There are some books out there on how to have difficult conversations. I highly recommend you read one of them and hopefully you can open the conversation with this friend who must be a nice friend otherwise you wouldn’t have hung out with her for years and put up with her in-sensitivities. Sometimes it also helps to stand in the other person’s shoes. We all think that everyone should know how to treat us, be sensitive to us, and read our minds. It would be great if they could but in my experience most people have no clue they’ve offended someone. What if we give the other person the benefit of the doubt, they probably didn’t do it on purpose. If you start that difficult conversation, it might save the friendship and actually build a stronger friendship. Thanks again for your post.

  12. Sita says:

    I have been observing a certain pattern with my friend.She is in another country and we are pretty close.However I find her sometimes very close to me and sometimes so distant and aloof.There are periods when she constantly messages me to say that she misses me and she makes all sorts of programs when I visit her,so on and so forth.There are other times when she suddenly becomes aloof and when I message also her replies will be crisp,one word answers.
    I am unable to come to terms with this kind of behaviour from her.What could be the reason and what should I do in this case
    Waiting to have your comments

    • Darlene says:

      I have had a few friends who behaved inconsistently like your friend. While frustrating, you friend is probably preoccupied with something at times. Why not have a gentle conversation about this? Maybe mention that it’s a little uncomfortable for you and you are curious about what the reasons might be.

      Another option is to accept this as a peculiarity of this friend, it sounds as if she does care about you.

    • Lauren says:

      Hi Sita,
      Don’t forget about the international time table.Maybe when you WhatsApp her, message her,etc, it’s actually in the middle of the night where she lives, then she has to dash off to work/school the next day and so it takes time to get back to you. Don’t forget that ppl have busy lives. So stay cool and don’t read too much into it. Enjoy your friendship, and don’t forget about her timetable.
      Best wishes to you.

  13. kshitij says:

    Hey… I just came across this blog and I also have a problem
    Seems like you can help
    I have a best friend
    .it’s been three years now
    A guy from her college proposed her
    I was perfectly OK with it.
    I updated a status “best friends never propose each other but they feel sad when either of them gets commited.”
    She thinks I am narrow minded.i am really sorry for everything.
    I didn’t know she was gonna feel bad about it.
    She took it seriously and thinks I miss possessive for her
    She is not talking to me since then.
    How is that can I clear the misunderstandings.
    I apologised but she’s not ready to accept my apology.
    Please help me.

    • Clara says:

      Most friendships have disagreements and misunderstandings. If your friend is the type of friend who is quickly hot tempered, then you should wait for her to cool down. If she’s the type of friend who really was hurt by what you said, then you should take time to slowly let her realize that you were not throwing any dirt at her for your facebook status. What you said in your status is true, in my opinion, but it doesn’t mean that you aren’t happy for her, right? I think with some time, you two can make it up again, as it it just a misunderstanding and you meant no harm.

    • Mary says:

      Your friend gets a marriage proposal and you say “I was perfectly OK with that.” OK, I’m sure your friend was pleased of your approval. Then the other comment I don’t know why you would post that on FB. To me that is a personal comment about them. I gotta say, I’d be upset with you too. If I misunderstood the latter, are you saying that if one of you gets involved in a relationship the other is sad? IMHO friends don’t get sad over something good that happens to them, your suppose to be happy for her/them. IF, I am misunderstanding you, I’m sorry, but that’s what I got out of what you wrote.

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