If you have trouble reading social cues, it can be hard to tell when a friendship has started fizzling out. While most people won’t directly tell you that they don’t want to be friends anymore, they may begin to show signs that they don’t want to continue your friendship.
But how do you know that someone is no longer interested in being friends with you?
Here are the top 8 signs that it may be time to cut ties and make room for new people in your life.
8 Signs Someone Doesn’t Want to Be Your Friend Anymore
No matter how likable you are, not every friendship is right for you. As people grow and change their life trajectories, friendships often fade, and priorities change.
At the end of the day, your time and energy are finite resources. You probably want to share them with people who genuinely want to be around you.
As you grow, it’s important to nourish your true friendships and let go of people who don’t value you. If someone doesn’t want to be your friend anymore, they’ll tell you with one or more of these 8 signs.
#1 You Put in Most of the Effort
One-sided friendships can be detrimental to your mental health and self-esteem.
When one person is more dedicated to a friendship than the other, it can often feel like you are being rejected or taken advantage of.
For example, take a look at your recent text messages or phone calls with this person. If you are the one who is constantly reaching out (i.e., you always text or call first) and they are not reciprocating your efforts, this could be a signal that you are in a one-sided friendship.
Action Tip: Go through your phone and list the top 10 people you communicate with every month. Tally up how often you initiated the conversation (text, call, email, or in-person) versus how many times they did.
Don’t be upset by the results—instead, use this as a guide for who is putting in the most effort in your close relationships. If you notice that you are the one doing most of the work in some areas, consider backing off a bit and redirecting your time into relationships founded on mutual efforts.
#2 They Actively Avoid Connecting Deeply with You
Pay attention to what happens when you are with your friend:
- Do they pretend not to see you if you run into them in public?
- Do they tend to keep the conversations super short?
- Do they avoid eye contact?
- Do they make up weird reasons why they need to leave or stop talking?
- Is their body language signaling avoidance rather than interest? Learning to read the body language of rejection is just as important in your friendships as in the dating world. For example, your friend may turn their torso slightly away from you toward the door while you are talking. Perhaps they have their arms crossed or look tense and uncomfortable. They may dart their eyes and avoid looking at you.
These indicate that your friend may be trying to avoid deeply connecting with you because they don’t want to be friends anymore. If someone is ignoring or avoiding you, it’s best to give them space and redirect your energy elsewhere.
Check out this video for more tips on reading body language:
#3 They don’t ask about you
Another sign of a one-sided friendship is a constant focus on the other person. You may notice that they are always talking about themselves:
- their job
- their significant other
- their passions
Do they ever even ask about you!?
When someone doesn’t ask about your life or your passions, they may be demonstrating that they don’t value you as much as you value them.
For example, if you are chatting with your friend as they go on and on about their new job, a recent raise, or a project they’re working on, but they never stop to ask about your job or passions, this could be a sign that they are more interested in themselves than in your friendship.
If you are prone to people-pleasing, you might subconsciously play along with this pattern because you want to be liked and make others happy. But in reality, you could be hurting your own self-confidence by putting the other person on a pedestal.
Learn more about how to stop people-pleasing in this video:
Action Tip: Take all the energy you usually put into listening to another person’s life and begin channeling it into yourself. Smile and nod, then begin to celebrate your wins, practice self-care, work on your self-esteem, or try out a new hobby.
Remember that you are the most important character in your story; therefore, you don’t need to put anyone on a pedestal by only listening to their life experiences.
#4 They Stop Reaching Out or Making Plans
Are you always inviting them, and they are never asking you? Friends who are genuinely excited to know you will probably reach out to spend time together and initiate hangouts equally.
If they turn down your plans one night, they might offer an alternative by inviting you for coffee or offering to watch a movie and catch up the following week.
But if you notice that your friend is no longer reaching out or that you are the only one who tries to make plans, it could be a sign that they don’t want to be friends anymore.
Maybe they are busy, or they just don’t vibe with you anymore. Either way, don’t take it personally when you find yourself in a one-sided friendship. Use this as a sign to redirect your focus toward relationships in your life that have balanced efforts from both parties.
It is an act of self-respect to acknowledge and accept that a friendship does not rely on mutual effort anymore. Friendships take time and work. You deserve friends who put in an equal amount of work as you do to maintain your friendship.
Action Tip: Avoid reaching out to this person for a month and see how (or if) they react. During this time, invite other friends to hang out or focus on making new friends.
If they don’t reach out for 2-4 weeks after you cut off communication, it’s probably a sign that they’re either really busy or aren’t interested in your friendship anymore.
#5 They Regularly Cancel Plans
Avoiding plans, canceling plans, or no-call-no-shows all hurt. Ouch! Research shows that rejection triggers the same parts of your brain as physical pain.
But it is absolutely crucial to recognize when someone isn’t following through on their plans with you. Perhaps they are just flaky or unreliable with their time, but if they don’t apologize or try to create new plans, it could be a signal that they’re not that invested in your friendship.
Action Tip: Everyone has experienced rejection, yet we don’t often have coping methods to deal with it. Use our guide on how to help overcome the pain of rejection: Why Rejection Hurts So Much and How to Heal the Pain
#6 They Make Excuses
People who aren’t interested in spending time with you may not be as straightforward as you would like. Instead, they might make excuses for why they can’t hang out or why they haven’t contacted you in a while.
For example, if you reach out to a friend a couple of times and invite them to hit the gym with you, they might respond that they are busy with work or injured their shoulder. Either instance could be true, but it could also be a signal that they’re avoiding you if they have made a similar excuse on multiple occasions—how many times could they REALLY injure their shoulder?
Notice the signs of excuses and avoid probing or taking them personally. Instead, invite out a different friend or do something to celebrate yourself.
#7 They’re Always Busy
Life happens. Everyone can get busy and overwhelmed at times. Often friendships start fizzling out because someone is focusing on other relationships, or they simply don’t have the time in their schedule to connect right now.
Maybe they are overwhelmed or undergoing a major life change, such as starting a new job, moving to a new place, or having a baby. On the other hand, they could just be using their busy schedule to avoid you without hurting your feelings.
Ask yourself: Are they trying to reschedule when they are too busy to hang out or are they constantly canceling and never getting back to you?
Action Tip: Create your plans by yourself or with other people and invite them to tag along. This is a key habit of how popular people bring others together. For example, “Hey, hope you’re doing well! I’m meeting up with some friends tonight at the brewery, and you’re welcome to join us!”
If they don’t show up or don’t respond, it is a reflection on them, not you.
At the end of the day, just about everybody in the modern day is busy. You make time for people and things that you care about. If someone isn’t making time for you, move on down the line! There are over 7 billion other potential friends out there!
#8 They Don’t Respond or Lack Enthusiasm in Responses
When people aren’t super stoked to talk to you, you can just feel it.
Maybe you ask them, “what’s up?” or “how are you?” or “I’m so excited about this new project I’m working on. What are you excited about these days?”
If their response is bland, vague, or surface-level, this could be a sign that they don’t feel that enthusiastic about talking to you. They may be super short with you, using words like “good,” “cool,” or “I’m busy.” Or they may not engage at all.
If they don’t respond to your conversation starters at all, this is an even clearer sign that the friendship is dwindling.
Action Tip: Wean yourself off of communications with this person. Instead, if you feel lonely, call a friend or family member and remind them how grateful you are to have them in your life.
Remember, you are important, and you deserve relationships with people who feel genuinely excited to hear from you!
Become More Likable
It’s OK if someone doesn’t want to be your friend. You CAN make new friendships. Becoming more likable is a big key to making fresh new friendships.
Be The Most Likable Person In The Room
Learn the skills we’ve taught 500k+ students to become more charismatic and successful—including:
- 💝 5 phrases that will make you instantly more likable
- 🤯 Our secret likability strategy for introverts
- 💬 The #1 trick to never running out of things to say
If you’ve noticed that one of your friends is signaling that they don’t want to continue your friendship, don’t take it personally.
- Stop putting effort into your friendship
- Avoid you in public
- Stop asking about you
- Stop reaching out
- Cancel plans or make excuses
- Lack enthusiasm
- Stop responding
The only constant in life is change, and people will inevitably move in and out of your life as you both change and evolve. Sometimes people outgrow friendships or find themselves on a different path.
Instead of fighting to hold onto these dwindling friendships, think of these signs as guideposts that redirect your path toward more fulfilling new relationships. signs someone doesn’t want to be your friend
Once you cut out friendships that no longer serve you, you can begin putting more effort into growing your confidence and making new friends that truly want to spend time with you.
If you’re looking for new friendships, you might enjoy our guide on The 50 Best Ways You can Meet New People in ANY New City.