• Other Friendship Advice

Adjusting to a more distant relationship with a friend

June 18, 2016 | By | Reply Continue Reading
It can be tough to adjust to a distant relationship after you’ve been close.

QUESTION

Hi,

I am having difficulty dealing with a friendship breakup with a person I used to hang out with a lot.

Recently, my friend and I have been more distant, giving each other the cold shoulder and ignoring each other. I am not really upset with him and he doesn’t seem angry with me but it just appears that we aren’t as close friends anymore.

He was a little too clingy sometimes and I had to break away at some points. I never was rude to him; we both handled it maturely.

One day he stopped texting (I texted him back a lot), and stopped interacting with me except for a few words here and there. This hasn’t really happened to me before even though I am in high school.

My problem: We both have the same friend circle that we like to hang out with at lunch and outside of school, and I don’t want to lose my other friends. I am not really sure how this situation can end with the both of us just kind of burning out considering he is in most of my classes and lunches and I have to see him most of the day.

Thank you so much for your help I could really use it 🙂

Signed, Martin

ANSWER

Hi Martin,

It seems to me that you and your friend are learning to adjust to a change in the status and intensity of your friendship, rather than you’re no longer friends. Dealing with clingy people can be really challenging and I wouldn’t be surprised if your friend picked up on some of your discomfort.

Because you travel in the same circle of friends, maintaining a cordial relationship is important. Neither of you seem angry, so being acquaintances should be relatively simple.

Start by saying hello or goodbye when you see him in class. Smile and make eye contact. Treat him the way you would any of the friends in your group with whom you feel less close. This might feel uncomfortable at first, given that your friendship has gotten more distant but try to act as natural as possible. Within time, you’ll feel easier about it.

You and your friend should both proud of yourself for behaving in such a mature, healthy manner. I think you guys will do okay staying in the same circle.

Signed, Amy Feld


*Amy Feld, PhD, MSW has trained and worked as a child psychologist.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this or any other post is intended to substitute for medical, psychiatric or clinical diagnosis/treatment. Rather, all posts are written as the type of advice that one friend might give to another.

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Category: OTHER ADVICE, Teen friendships

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