My Friend Suddenly Stopped Taking to Me

Reasons and Solutions When a Friend Breaks Off Communication

Pay attention to how you act.
Pay attention to how you act. Alberto Guglielmi/Getty Images

It can be maddening when a friend suddenly cuts you off and stops talking to you, especially with no explanation. You try to figure out why, but you might never know. It can leave you confused on what to do next. This is especially rough if your friend is going through something, and you want to be there. There are many reasons why a friend might shut you out, but basically, your friend is either really upset with you, or it has nothing to do with you at all.

See some common reasons why a friend might stop talking to you, and what you can do.

Communicate a Different Way

There's always the possibility that your friend really hasn't shut you out completely, but that the person is taking a break from a certain form of communication, like texting or social media. People can get burned out on social media and technology. Try a different method to reach your friend before jumping to the conclusion that your friendship is over.

Is It 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. If your friend has shut everyone out, then it is probably something they are going through and has nothing to do with you.

You Are Having a Conflict

If you gossiped about your friend, betrayed her, failed to support her, or committed any other major friendship mistake, your pal may decide to end all communication.

It could even be a lingering issue that you thought was in the past, but something triggered it with your friend. Sometimes you can make amends and move forward after a mistake, but not always. Your actions have consequences and it can end a friendship.

Not all people yell and scream when they're upset.

Some will talk to you calmly about something you did. 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 shutout rather than announcing you're officially "over" as friends.

Own up to what you did. Send a text or note asking whether the issue was why you haven't heard from your friend. Make an honest apology. Ask what you can do to make things right and move forward.

Avoid calling your friend out on social media or in front of your other friends. The same goes for telling "your side" of things to mutual friends. It will only make you look bad, especially if your friend has chosen to take the high road.

Your Friend Is Focused on a Problem or Situation

Not everyone responds the same way when there’s a problem. Sometimes friends will go through a life event that causes them to pull back from people, or to cut themselves off from everyone but a few very close friends.

If you suspect this is the reason, send your friend a card, text, or email with a message that lets her know you’ll be there for her. Don’t speculate about why she isn’t talking to you in the note. If you’re wrong you could make your friend feel worse.

Instead, say something like:

“I haven’t heard from you and want you to know whatever happened that I’m your friend and if you need me to listen, just let me know.”

With this note, you’ll leave the ball in her court about how to proceed. You can’t force someone to respond to you, so all you can do is leave things open for her to come to you when she is ready.

Your Friend Wasn't That Into You

Still another possibility is that the person you thought was a good friend really wasn’t. Perhaps you’ve been trying to get closer to her and she decided that she wasn't interested. In this case, the person will pull away from you and just try and avoid you.

It’s easy to get upset when this happens, but try not to take it personally. She is probably trying to be as kind to you as possible by not telling you straight out that she isn’t interested in being your friend.

Maybe she has enough people in her life already or perhaps she just doesn't feel like you two would have anything in common. Rather than tell you this directly, she ignores 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 a note saying you care and will leave the door open. 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."

What to Do When a Person Still Won’t Speak to You

If you’re the type of person who obsesses about why someone has suddenly stopped talking to you, take heart—you’re not the only one. But at the same time, you can’t live your life based on what other people do. If you don't hear from your friend after sending a note, you have to leave it with them and not push it.

Accept the fact that you might never find the real reason, or when you do find out, you won’t like it. Sometimes it’s a gift when people walk away from you, even when you feel the grief of a friendship lost. Not everyone is meant to be in your life forever. Forgive your friend for choosing to communicate with silence, and move on to other people who want to be in your life.