Disclaimer: Just because somebody shows these signs, it doesn’t automatically mean that they don’t want to be friends. Some people may suffer mental health issues that overlap with these signs – so it’s best not to jump to conclusions.
Are you worried that your friend might not actually want to be friends with you?
Losing a friend is hard, especially if you’ve built so many fond memories with them. But life is shifting and fleeting, with no year similar to that of the past. No one is a stranger to losing a friend or two along the way, and that’s ok.
Here are six signs that your friend may not want to be friends anymore.
The conversation is dry
Do you feel as if there’s nothing to talk about anymore?
Conversations are two-way streets. When someone doesn’t put in the effort to communicate, it can be difficult to have a deep connection. Oftentimes, it may feel like they’re keeping their distance, making it feel as if your words mean very little to them. If you’ve noticed your friend sending shorter texts to you, or their eyes glossing over you during face-to-face conversations, chances are their mind’s already set on ending the conversation to move on to something else.
They are always busy
Does your friend make excuses often?
School, career, and hobbies can occupy people’s time, and it’s understandable if people get busy. But when you invite them to hang out and end up hearing the same excuses again and again, there may be underlying reasons for them not wanting to see you. You may feel like you can drop anything for them; but if they don’t feel the same with you, it may be worth talking to them about it.
They don’t have these qualities of a friend
Does your friend celebrate your accomplishments?
According to Lydia Denworth, a science journalist and author, there are three basic things a friendship must entail: time investment, participating in positive activities, and equal cooperation. You don’t need to share the same humor or same ideas all the time, but if one of the three basics is lacking, the foundation your friendship stands on may be shaky.
They don’t share the same energy
Have you ever a connection where you just “clicked” with someone?
You may be experiencing a phenomenon known as brain coupling, wherein two brains share connections that would otherwise not have been experienced in isolation. (Hasson et al.) In a study led by Princeton University psychologist Uri Hasson, there have been signs of measurable signals in our brain scannable in fMRI machines that show whether we click with someone or not. The greater your brain’s signal, the more connected you feel with another person who shares the same experience with you.
If your friend doesn’t have the same energy, on the other hand, it could be a sign that things just don’t click between you two. It could also mean they may have mental health problems stirring underneath – so try to find the source of the issue by having an honest conversation with them.
Their words don’t add up to their actions
Has your friend ever told you an excuse not to see you, only for them to post themselves on social media with another bunch of people?
Someone who deliberately lies to you isn’t someone you’d like to be around. According to a study published in the Journal of Adolescence led by Victoria Dykstra, frequent lie-telling leads to poorer social relationships and more depressive symptoms over time. This can not only distort your idea of what makes a good friendship, but it could also lead you to suffer from burgeoning mental health issues.
Their body language shows disinterest
Do you feel uneasy with your friend, but can’t pinpoint why?
If your friend isn’t interested, they may follow certain body language patterns that show that they want to exit the conversation. They may nod or smile a lot – but they could fail to actually listen to what you have to say. While sometimes of it could just be awkwardness, disinterest shows in other ways as well. Their body stiffing up, long, drawn-out smiles, body turned away from you, or fidgeting are some signs of disinterest.
We hope you’ve learned about these signs. Do you know anyone who shares them? Keep in mind that your friend might also be suffering a mental health disorder, so keep that in mind before jumping to conclusions.
That’s all for now, Psych2Goers!
Tenorio, I. (n.d) 13 Subtle Signs Someone Doesn’t Want To Be Your Friend. YourTango. Retrieved at https://www.yourtango.com/2020335580/subtle-signs-someone-doesnt-want-be-your-friend
Goudreau, J. (June 11, 2014) 7 Signs Someone’s Not Listening To You. Business Insider. Retrieved at https://www.businessinsider.com/signs-someone-is-not-listening-2014-6
Densworth, L. March 3, 2017. The Three Basics of Friendship. Psychology Today. Retrieved at https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/brain-waves/201703/the-three-basics-friendship
Hasson U, Ghazanfar AA, Galantucci B, Garrod S, Keysers C. Brain-to-brain coupling: a mechanism for creating and sharing a social world. Trends Cogn Sci. 2012;16(2):114-121. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2011.12.007
Victoria W. Dykstra, Teena Willoughby, Angela D. Evans, (2020)
Lying to friends: Examining lie-telling, friendship quality, and depressive symptoms over time during late childhood and adolescence, Journal of Adolescence, Volume 84. Pages 123-135,ISSN 0140-1971, Retrieved at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2020.08.003.