Most of us know this feeling all too well. We have a family member, friend, or significant other who becomes quiet, reserved, and slowly distances themselves from us.
How does the distance of others affect you? Do you pull away, do you reach out, or are you filled with many emotions? Maybe all of the above. Family and friends that become distant from us are very common. How do we handle this situation?
We all have ways of dealing with negative emotions and life events, some of us withdraw and some of us seek others for comfort. When our loved ones choose to withdraw from us, it can leave us wondering what to do.
I am currently in this very situation. A friend of mine whom I met at a past job became distant with me several months ago. It is upsetting as I value our friendship very much. Right now, the friendship is at a standstill, not on my part, but on hers and I have to accept that considering I have done everything that I could.
When I notice that someone that I care for has become a little quieter than usual, I usually wait a little while to see if they come around on their own. If not, I always reach out to see if they are doing okay. Most of the time, I will find that the individual is going through something, and they have taken a moment to reflect. I let them know that I am there for them, and I give them space.
What happens if this pattern continues? I may wait a week or two, sometimes longer, and reach out again to check on them if they haven’t made any contact with me. Rarely do I have to do this, but in some cases I do and sadly some people remain distant from us for months, years, possibly forever.
It is a very uncomfortable feeling when someone chooses to remain distant from us. We may not understand why, but there is always a reason whether it is related to us or not. Much of the time, it is something personal that our loved one is dealing with and not related to us in any way.
So many emotions can be felt when someone we love pulls away from us. We feel sad, angry, confused, and frustrated. It is very stressful figuring out what to do and trying to cope with the feelings that take over. Our self-esteem may even take a nosedive.
One thing is for sure, we can only control ourselves and our actions. We need to do everything that we can to salvage the relationship so that we are not left with a guilty conscience. We are then left knowing that we did everything we could, and the ball is now in the other person’s court.
We are not able to control what others do and as hard as that is, it is a reality. We cannot make someone talk to us, be friends with us, or want us in their lives. For whatever reason they have chosen to leave or distance themselves, it is for a valid reason to them.
If this situation has happened to you before, it is hard to accept. Try to process your feelings and know that not everyone is meant to stay in your life. There comes a time when a one-sided friendship is noticed and the constant reaching out takes a toll on us. There comes a point in time when we realize that some people are too far to reach.