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Is it normal to feel friendship may fade when giving a friend space


Yash

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I have a close friend and we’ve had a long distance friendship for a few years now but regularly stayed in touch and talked almost every day. A month ago, she suddenly pushed away and started to not reply/respond and ended up muting me on socials as well. After some time I asked if she needed space and if there was something I may have done. and she kindly said it wasn’t me as she’s going through personal tough time and doesn’t know when she’ll return to talk.  I’ve noticed she’s the kind to limit her contact to very few people in her life when she needs space even if she’s active on social media with other people, so I understand her reasoning but this is the longest she’s taken a break (over a month). I’ve been trying to respect her boundary but also part of me is anxious not being able to support her or to communicate not knowing what’s happened. Anyone else gone through the feeling that space could impact the friendship and make it more distant? Would it feel too clingy to check in again? 

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21 minutes ago, Yash said:

After some time I asked if she needed space and if there was something I may have done. and she kindly said it wasn’t me as she’s going through personal tough time and doesn’t know when she’ll return to talk.  I’ve noticed she’s the kind to limit her contact to very few people in her life when she needs space even if she’s active on social media with other people

I can understand this..so much can be overwhelming, where we need some down time - peace & quiet.

don't bother reaching out again leave it be.  IF she feels okay to talk again, she will.

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I don't put any more effort in than I get in a friendship. If I invite somebody to do something and they can't, it's their turn to invite me to do something, and if they don't, I get the feedback I need. Don't always be the first to initiate contact. Let the other person make an effort to be the first, sometimes. Make sure you don't overdo it, relying on one person for the majority of your social life. If you have at least a few more friends, it won't be as devastating to lose one of your friendships, which sometimes happens.

I'm not the type to have discussions when friendships begin to fade. I let the actions speak for themselves, and you won't often get the real story anyway.

I like the saying: Your feet take you to where your heart is.

If someone wants to be and stay in your life, that's where they'll be. If there was a problem, and a person actually cared to salvage things, they'd speak up to rectify the situation. If they fade away, it's either that they don't care enough to fix a problem or they've just outgrown the friendship and would rather walk away.

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I had to do this to a friend of mine. We were close, went on holidays together, chatted regularly, but she lost her job and then became so clingy & needy I couldnt cope.

She would message me while I was at work, and when I couldnt answer she would send more & more messages. I asked her not to message me at work, but then the moment I got into my car to drive home the barrage of messages would start again.

I decided to step away from FB & Messenger and told her I was doing this, as I had a few personal problems I needed to deal with. She went into melt down mode, telling me I couldnt do that, that I needed to tell her how she could help me, that friends help each other during these times etc etc etc.

That did it, I deleted both & while I miss her, I dont miss having to be her constant companion. 

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15 hours ago, Yash said:


 

I've had friends give me the cold shoulder and I admit I've done the same to others.  I can't speak for others.  However, whenever I've drifted apart, faded away and disappeared into oblivion, it was either for very negative or positive reasons.  My negative reason was due to overwhelming stress which was so bad that I no longer had brain space for extraneous friends.  All of my former social graces were pitched out the window.  I confided only to immediate family members and at the most, a local best friend; no one else.  Or, I didn't confide in anyone except my husband and contained my very private anguish, turmoil and pain.  If I had positive reasons, it was because my life was full, content and frenetically paced during my supremely happy years.  I really didn't need friends and if I had any, only a select few local friends were permitted in my packed schedule.  There are only so many hours in a day and I didn't have time nor energy for a lot of people in my life. 

Don't contact and check in again because you'll be perceived as an insecure, hounding, clingy irritant.  Either she'll come around and contact you someday or it's her choice to move on without you in her life.  You're also long distance and many times geographical distance causes two people to become strangers.  Your intentions are good.  Restrain yourself and practice self control.  Don't take it personally.  What you're experiencing is very common.  People are very busy with their own lives. 

If she needs your support and communication, she knows how to contact you.  Leave her alone and don't bother her otherwise you're annoying. 

Always follow other people's cues.  If they wish for you to back off, then back off.  Give them time and space.  If they explain to you that they're dealing with personal issues, exercise discretion and give them a wide berth.  If they're in the mood to engage in a conversation with you, then resume correspondence.  Until then, do nothing.  Focus and concentrate on your own life and stop feeling consumed over your friend.  She's not immersing energy into you so do likewise and don't expend energy obsessing over her anymore.  Friendships should have mutual effort put forth in order to thrive.  If one party drops out, then it's time to go your separate ways.  You don't have to like it but you have to accept it because that's life. 

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As adults, our time of forming the kind of 'best' friends that we had as kids is no longer practical. Nobody wants to be another's 'everything'. Accepting varying degrees of common ground with acquaintances, even while we respect another's limitations and limits, is how we form multiple friendships to meet different needs over time.

Phone calls every day may have been okay at the start of the pandemic, but as this thing grinds on, that's too much of an obligation for most of us.

Even during non-pandemic times, it's necessary to allow for the ebbs and flows of attention that another adult can pay over the course of their own changing needs and demands. This is why tight college buddies often diverge over the course of career, love life and family development. The love may remain, but the focus cannot.

When we can allow friendships to diverge over certain periods, we don't burn bridges, and we make room for future possibilities over the course of our lifetimes to revisit a new version of an old friendship.

I wouldn't reach out with any demands of acknowledgment or questions of accountability, but rather, I'd send an occasional text with a pic or a private joke that simply says, "This reminded me of you. Enjoy!" or something else that's lightweight and doesn't ask for reciprocation.

Beyond that, I'd move my focus onto developing new interests and cultivating new acquaintances. These transitional times between friendships are often when people hire therapists. This can take the weight off of those in our lives who don't feel or want to be qualified for any heavy lifting. 

 

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I'm very fortunate to have a best local friend from ever since we were 9 years old.  It's very rare and I'm incredibly blessed.   However, we don't correspond and contact each other excessively.  We were close especially pre-pandemic when we saw each other at least twice a month for all day outings which included shopping and dine out meals.  That was fun.  Still, in between those get togethers, we exercised discretion.  Neither of us partook in a constant, steady stream of texts, emails, messages, voice mails and phone chats.  We are mature enough to realize that everyone is frenetically paced.  If they're experiencing personal upheaval at the home front, I mind my own business and don't bother.  Then when she comes around and contacts me, we pick up right where we left off, all is well and it's as if there wasn't any "pause" at all.  This is what I meant when I referred to following other people's cues.  Be easy going.  If you sense they don't wish to be disturbed then remain silent and never take any action.  Concentrate and focus on your own life, get busy, become industrious and carry on. 

You need to lower your expectations of others and your long distance friend.  If you expect too much from others, you will forever feel hurt and disappointed by human nature, weaknesses, foibles, character defects / flaws, offenses, insults and shortcomings.  I'm wary and jaded when it comes to human nature and it's a good thing because I'm no longer shocked nor surprised by people's reactions or non-reactions.  In fact, I expect the WORST in people so nothing is startling to me anymore. 

It truly pays off to pull back and focus on yourself, your health, your mental well being and immediate life in your home and midst.  Most people are doing the same the world over. 

Always remember that many times, rejection is nothing personal.  It's nothing against you personally.  Many people have to deal with their own severe troubles which is overwhelmingly stressful, painful and burdensome.  Many times, the best thing to do is to simply leave them alone and let them live their life.  If you risk bothering them, then be prepared for their irritable, nasty backlash in order to silence you.  This is how the world operates.  Grow accustomed to it. 

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