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What to Do With a Friend Who Shuts You Out

When Friends Stops Talking to You

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Female friends sitting on stairs in a school
ONOKY - Brooke Auchincloss/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Your friend is going through something, and you want to be there, but he or she just shuts you out. Sound familiar? There are many reasons why a friend might do this, from the simple solution to something more dramatic. Most of the time, a friend is either really upset with you, or it has nothing to do with you at all.

But how can you tell? What's more, what should you do?

Communicate a Different Way

There's always the possibility that your friend really hasn't shut you out completely, but that they are done with a certain form of communication, like texting or Facebook. People can get burned out on social media and technology and sometimes they take a break from it. Try a different method to reach your friend before jumping to the conclusion that they've shut you out.

Has There Been an Underlying Current of Tension In Your Friendship?

Has your friend been upset with you for awhile? Would you get it if they were?

Not all people yell and scream when they're upset. Some will talk to you calmly about something you did, but if you fail to hear exactly what they're saying, or you keep doing the same thing over and over, they may move on with a complete shut out rather than announcing you're officially "over" as friends.

The reason many people get so confused and hurt when a friend shuts them out is that they either genuinely don't know what they did, or they lack the ability to fully self-reflect. If you really believe that there were no issues in your relationship (or that you did nothing wrong), then perhaps the issue is with your friend, and it's just something they are going through.

Find Out If They've Shut All Their Friends Out, Or Just You

It's important to figure out if your friend has moved on from everyone, or just you. If it's just you, then you probably did something at some point. Own up to what you did by acknowledging what happened and go from there. If you feel it was something bad, apologize for it. Be honest with yourself here. If the same thing happened to you, would you want a friend to apologize? If so, then make it happen.

Avoid calling your friend out on Twitter or Facebook in front of your other friends. The same goes for telling "your side" of things to mutual friends. People do this to try and get others on their side, or to talk about how ridiculous their friend is being in shutting them out. But you never know what that friend has said (or failed to say) to anyone else. If you go and blab about all your problems, it will only make you look bad, especially if your friend has chosen to take the high road.

If, on the other hand, your friend has shut everyone out, then you know it's just something they are going through, and probably has nothing to do with you.

Let Your Friend Know You're Open to a Friendship Down the Line

If you can't get a response out of your friend but would consider reconciling with them at some point in the future, send them a note and let them know you care about them and will leave the door open for them. You can say something like:

"I'm not sure what's going on, but it appears that you're not speaking with me. If at some point you'd like to talk I'm open to that. I'll be here."

However, if you're angry with your friend and hope they contact you just so you can blast them with ("Why did you blow me off?" "What did I ever do to you?") chances are they'll block you out again and just move on for good. There was a reason they shut you out, and until you know what that is, you can't jump to conclusions and get angry. Forgive them for ending the friendship this way and move on.

 

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