What to do when a friend gives you the cold shoulder

Getting the cold shoulder from a close friend? Check out our expert tips on how to handle the situation.

By Jen Kirsch

What to do when a friend gives you the cold shoulder
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In this day and age when everyone is so accessible, it's hard not to think you're getting the cold shoulder from a friend when all your calls to her go to voice mail, your messages and texts go ignored and she doesn't even offer an excuse for not responding. If the situation sounds familiar, we have some solutions.

We turned to psychotherapist Nicole McCance to find out what to do when a friend is acting distant for what feels like no reason.

1. Take time to reflect
When you take the time to reflect, you might pick up on something you did that would cause your friend to pull back or misinterpret a situation.

"Take a few moments to ask yourself if there is anything hurtful that you have said or done recently," advises McCance. "Is there anything that you need to apologize for?" By digging deeper into the time you've spent together lately, you will be better able to understand what may be going on.

2. Ask your friend about what happened
Although you might easily judge her actions as being standoffish, we often make assumptions that are unfounded. McCance suggests breaking the silent tension and asking your friend what's going on. We can get so wrapped up in our concerns that we end up creating conflict out of nothing. Meanwhile, simply asking if everything is OK can alleviate all of that tension and anxiety. Just keep in mind that, if you go the direct route, the sooner you ask the better. "You want to do this as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more the tension will build," McCance says.

3. Don't take it personally
Not every unreturned text or ignored email will be directly related to something you did. "When you ask, you may find out that her mood or behaviour change has nothing to do with you at all," says McCance.

By talking to her about it, you are giving her the opportunity to open up and confront the issue if there is one, but perhaps something else is going on in her life and she needs space -- not just from you but from others as well.

"Give her space and, when she is ready, she may open up and need you to lean on as a friend," explains McCance. Know that you did your job as a friend by reaching out and checking in. The next step is all up to her.

Page 1 of 2 -- Discover more great tips for dealing with a friend who's giving you the cold shoulder on page 2.

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