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When Your Best Friend Ignores You Suddenly: The Whys & Ways to Fix It

Your friend is acting weird and won’t talk to you, but you don’t know why. So, here’s why they are and what to do when your best friend ignores you.

when your best friend ignores you

A best friend is hard to find. That’s why you’ve put so much time and effort into maintaining your friendships. You and your best friend have weathered the roughest storms. From bad breakups and family disasters to hysterical late-night rants. Your best friend is the one person you could have fun waiting in a two-hour line with. It is for all of these reasons that it becomes especially hurtful when your best friend ignores you.

Going ignored by someone who’s supposed to have your back feels like a whole new level of betrayal, especially if you have no idea what you’ve done wrong.

Feelings lost about your BFF’s sudden cold shoulder? Here’s what to do when your best friend ignores you, and all of your emails, texts, phone calls, and not-so-subtle afternoon pop-ins.

[Read: How to respond like a grownup when someone ignores you on purpose]

Why your best friend ignores you

Any good detective knows that the first step to deciphering why your best friend is suddenly flying under the radar with you is to find out what’s wrong. This becomes increasingly difficult when they won’t respond to any of your texts or calls.

Luckily for you, it isn’t going to be that hard to figure out. When your best friend ignores you, it often has to do with a number of different things. [Read: What to do when your relationship ends without warning]

1. Guilt

If your best friend isn’t talking to you anymore, they could be suffering from a guilty conscience. Think back: when did they first start acting strangely toward you? 

Was it after you asked your best bro to drive your girlfriend home? If so, who’s to say a little hanky-panky wasn’t had in the car? He may be ducking you to avoid revealing a bad deed.

Your best friend may like your mate, have cheated with your mate, might be lying to you about something important, or is in some way keeping something from you that is causing them to harbor a guilty conscience. In that case, it’s best to ask around and see if your mutual friends know what might be up.

2. Growing up

Best friends for life! Right? Wrong! Sometimes besties just grow up and grow apart. Maybe you’re married with kids, and your BFF is still living the single life. They may feel like they have nothing in common with you anymore. [Read: 25 signs your best friend isn’t your best friend anymore and why you drifted]

You may have different goals or understandings of things. In the end, friends break up for much the same reasons relationships do: jealousy, disagreements about fundamental ideas, lack of respect, and boredom.

Growing apart is natural, especially if you have been friends since you were very young. Puberty, high school, college years, and the endless pursuit of love tend to bond us to our BFFs.

It seems to be when we accomplish our goals of meeting our forever-mate and getting an ideal job that our friendship seems to take a hit. After all, there is no more need for guidance, the company from loneliness, or confirmation of a life direction. [Read: Losing a friend – 30 ways to face the pain of best friends drifting away]

3. Getting laid

The facts are sad but true: we usually drop our friends when we get into serious relationships. Getting laid usually outweighs hanging out on your friend’s couch. Sorry. The treatment is hardly fair, but baby, that’s life. Don’t act as if you’ve never done it!

If your friend is in a new relationship and starts ignoring you, just roll your eyes and continue on with life. Odds are they’ll come back around once the puppy-love phase settles down, or when the relationship ends.

If it continues on longer than a month, it could be that their significant other isn’t comfortable with your friendship. This possibility increases tenfold if you are her ex, professed a crush on them at some point in time, or are the opposite sex/could be attracted to them. [Read: How to make new friends as an adult – 15 ways to do it right]

4. Going through trials

Your friend may be ignoring you in lieu of a much bigger problem they’re having. Don’t think this couldn’t be true just because your BFF normally shared everything with you.

So, when your best friend ignores you, it may be a sign that they’re going through an enormous trial and they don’t know how to reach out. Or maybe they’re not ready to talk about it yet.

Your BFF may be going through a monumental trial such as dealing with a serious illness, caring for a sick family member, a death in the family, loss of employment, divorce, issues with sexual identity, or issues with their children. The list goes on and on.

5. You have been a bad friend

No one likes to think that they are a bad friend. But sometimes we lack the self-reflection to know how our behavior affects other people. You might have just been going through life without thinking about your friend and their feelings.

So, you should really sit down with yourself and ask some questions. Reflect back on your conversations with your friend and take a look at your behavior. Did you do something wrong? Or maybe you said something wrong? Were you self-centered? [Read: Am I a bad friend? 16 bad friendship skills that push people away]

6. You’re filled with drama

Some people just love drama. It’s almost as if it follows them around. They claim they don’t like it, but somehow they just keep talking, and talking, and talking about it. 

So, you have to think about whether you are this kind of person. Were you always complaining to your best friend about things going on in your life? Maybe you were doing it to ask for advice.

Either way, when someone is around all of your negativity, then you are an “energy vampire” to them. They don’t want to be around you anymore. [Read: What is an energy vampire? 19 signs to spot them in your life ASAP]

7. They are threatened by or jealous of you

Maybe you just got an incredible new job or you met your soul mate. You would think that your best friend would be happy for you, but sometimes it doesn’t work that way. They could just be jealous – or even threatened by you.

This is due to no fault of your own, however. You can’t help that your life is going great but theirs isn’t. But, it could be one of the big reasons your best friend ignores you. [Read: 25 secret signs of a jealous friend and how to deal with their envy]

8. They found another BFF

Hey, it happens. It’s unusual for two people to be lifelong best friends. Instead, most people have a BFF for the moment. It could be a BFF for high school, college, work, or any other phase of your life. 

We always meet new people, and sometimes the old friends just sort of fall to the wayside. So, maybe your best friend met someone new who has taken your place. That doesn’t mean they don’t love you anymore, it’s just a part of life.

9. They fell in love with you

If you are the opposite gender *or even if you’re not*, maybe your best friend fell in love with you. You might be oblivious to this, or maybe you’re not. Either way, this is one of the reasons your best friend ignores you – because they feel rejected. [Read: Falling in love with your best friend? The right words to help you]

This isn’t uncommon. Friends fall in love all the time, and sometimes it’s only a one-way thing. And when the person figures out that the love is unrequited, then it is uncomfortable to remain in a friendship with a person they have feelings for.

10. They can’t be honest with you

This reason is actually the underlying reason for all the rest of them. If your friend ignores you and you don’t know why, it’s because they are running away and can’t be honest with you.

It takes courage to speak up and have a direct conversation with what is bothering you. Some people just don’t have that in them, so they give the cold shoulder because they think it is easier.

That doesn’t mean it’s easier for you, but unfortunately, that’s just the way some people handle things. [Read: How to have a difficult conversation without losing your nerve]

What to do when your best friend ignores you 

Now that you know the potential reasons why your best friend isn’t talking to you, it’s time to start taking action. If you want to salvage the best friendship you’ve ever had, then we suggest these foolproof ideas:

1. Try to figure out why

When a friend ignores us, sometimes we have no clue why. So, that is the first step. Try to get them to talk to you. If you don’t, all you can do is play the guessing game to try to figure out why you are being given the cold shoulder.

It’s best to call them to speak to them directly. If they won’t answer the phone, then you can send them a text.

And if that doesn’t work, then you might have to actually go over to their house in person. It’s best to talk about it face-to-face, but you’ll have to get them to agree to a conversation first. [Read: How to deal with difficult people while keeping your cool and sanity]

2. Stay calm and don’t overact

It’s normal and natural to get angry when someone is purposely ignoring us. We think, “how dare they! It’s so immature for them to avoid me and stop talking to me!” And of course, you are right. But don’t let the crazy out just yet.

If you want them to talk to you, then you will have to remain calm. Don’t get defensive and start attacking them for ignoring you. Instead, let them talk, and be a good listener. Then you can try to work things out.

3. Talk it out

This is hard to do when your best friend is, well, ignoring you. But, try your best to get into contact with your BFF with a clear message: I want to understand what’s wrong. Try and find them on Skype, Facebook, Instagram, text, email, or by phone.

But whatever you do, don’t try every option. This will make you look like a stalker psychopath – not something you want your, already annoyed, BFF to deal with. [Read: 18 insightful reasons why you don’t have any friends]

4. Set things right… AKA… apologize

One giant reason your friend might be ducking you is that they’re mad at you. Look back and try to identify what you might have done to put them off of your friendship.

Did you confess your love for them? Tell them a harsh truth? Say something you didn’t mean? Tell them you don’t like their mate? Any of these actions may warrant an angry or confused best friend. The best thing to do is to apologize and assure your friend you’ll give them the space they need.

5. Be a better friend

How good of a friend are you? A couple of years back, you once thought of your best friend as the PB to your jelly, but… how much of that still stands? It could be your friendship isn’t as give and take as you might have thought.

Maybe you often say thoughtless or offensive things. Maybe your friend finds you judgmental. As humans, we always need to self-examine ourselves and refine our personalities to be the best we can be. That includes when dealing with our BFF. [Read: Am I a narcissist? 10 straight questions that reveal the narcissist in you]

6. Take a break

Just like in romantic relationships, sometimes friends just need space. Your friend may be stressed or annoyed and just wants to be alone at the moment. They may just want to hang out with other people.

Or, as mentioned before, they may have a new boyfriend/girlfriend that’s occupying their time. Either way, sometimes it’s best to just accept the random cold shoulder and wait for your friend to cool off and come back around.

7. Examine the friendship

If your friend has been ignoring you for a while, you may want to take a step back and examine how great your friendship actually was. Sure, you had fun together and you’ve been friends for a long time, but was everything still running smoothly?

If you felt drained after hanging out, don’t like who you are when you’re around them, or feel like there is an imbalance in the ‘give and take’ aspect of your friendship, then this friendly breakup may be long overdue. [Read: How self-respect affects you and your relationship]

8. Forget them

Usually, when your best friend ignores you, the most common reactions usually go like this: You try to contact them. You complain/guilt trip about how you never see them anymore. You get upset. You resign to your broken friendship and let it go.

If you’ve tried reaching out, apologizing, and offering your support to your friend and they still seem to be ducking you – it might be time to end this friendship. You deserve more than someone who is going to throw years of friendship down the gutter.

So put your social face on, because it’s time to go out and meet someone new.

[Read: How to get your best friend back – 12 calm steps to win them back]

It can be hard when your best friend ignores you. Try as best you can to right any wrongs that have occurred between the two of you. Be the listening ear you always have been and support your friend through any trials they’re facing. Hopefully, you’ll be back to late-night drunk calls in no time. If not? C’est la vie.

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The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...