When you reach out to friends and they don't answer

It sucks! If you open your heart and begin to really be fond of people, and then reach out only to hear absolutely nothing back, it hurts. I'm really feeling this lately because I can think of four people in my life who I've reached out to over the past few months who simply haven't responded. It's confusing because they either called me, texted me or expressed interest in hanging out with me when I ran into them, and then when I initiated or returned contact, just...nothing. Crickets.

It has me questioning my own self-worth. Why don't these people I really like care enough to just send me a simple one-sentence text at least? I feel so sad, resentful, and my stomach feels nauseous. Ugh, this is why it's so much easier to just harden your heart against feelings for people.

Sorry for the rant, everyone. I don't want to be bitter or overly-sensitive but I really value these people and their good qualities and it just feels like c*** that they won't put in the effort for me that I would put in for them. Fixating on the bad feelings isn't helping but how does one stay positive in the face of rejection from friends?

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15 Replies

  • Awww :( well I personally have done that and it hurts , I drink koolaid juice boxes to fix problems :3

  • LOL!

  • Is that code for something (koolaid juice boxes) ? Some people are better at maintaining friendships than others. I'm not very good at it, just lazy I think. Could it be that kind of thing? I'm sure it's not you, I suspect you are a little sensitive . Most of us anxious ones are. Oh , and depressed people too, don't want to leave anyone out. Pam

  • Haha...yep, got the best of both worlds over here. I'm definitely sensitive.

  • Hi I have some friends like that I've known since school, and I'm just out of my thirties....so these are life long friends. I understand how you feel about wanting to harden yourself. I do the same thing. But I think probably people don't know what to say or how to act so they say nothing. And don't understand the need we have for contact and connection. You concentrate on being strong and if these people make you feel negative emotions, then maybe don't reach out to them for a while and try to find positive people and influences around you. It's really hard, but talking to like minded people on here can be a good thing because you are not alone and others do understand :)

  • Thanks so much for your kind and thoughtful reply. I think your advice is spot-on. It's kind of what I've been thinking I need to do all day.

  • I have discovered that friendships I have formed often back away because they too don't put in the effort and/or end up abusing me.. Hence living for some time disassociating with anyone and using the internet for communication .. Now things are falling into place for me , I am getting stronger and am making changes into my life to aid it all for the better now

  • That's awesome!

  • Many times the other people are waist high in their own sh** that they tune out those around them. (Even though they had just reached out to them previously) Try to keep in mind that most times, it's not about you, even though perceived rejection always feels that way. The same way a nasty look from a stranger simply means the stranger is having a bad day.

  • I am guilty of tuning others out myself, but if some one calls or texts me I will get back them eventually as long as I like or respect them. When I personally don't respond to some one at ALL, it's because (a) They've done something to REALLY hurt me, like more than just not return a call! or (b) They annoy or even scare me. These are rare instances though. Hence, it's hard for me to understand not answering some one at all if you don't dislike or fear them. Not every one behaves the same, though. (Obviously)

    Anyhow, thanks to you and every one who had the consideration to respond to my rant. You guys restored my faith in humanity a bit. :-)

  • Some people just dont understand depression and it scares them..They only want purely positive happy people in their lives. It's sad but true. I've been where you are now, yep it makes you feel worse and question yourself but people like this really don't think twice. They just don't want it in their lives as harsh as it sounds. To me people like this are fake and I can't relate to them anymore. Even though after many years of depression and now finally feeling better I wouldn't choose people like these as friends. If someone is down I'd want to know and help. It's a painful process but it's the hard reality of life.

  • That's great you're feeling better. And you are kind and considerate for wanting to help those who are down. I feel like people who are suffering could use support and kindness the most. But people will generally gravitate to an outgoing, charismatic socialite who's already having a great time over a person who's in a slump. I do it too, especially when I'm not depressed. Positive people are fun when I'm not depressed. When I AM depressed, positive people sometimes seem like...aliens? Haha.

    I've actually been feeling pretty good, positive and sociable for the past few months and gave no indication to friends otherwise. NOW I'm depressed because they didn't answer. Hoorah.

    I'm trying to think of the broader picture, like what are THEY feeling or thinking or going through, not just what am I feeling and thinking and going through. And I need to go out and socialize with some other people to get my mind off it (and off myself).

  • The only way you are going to know is to ask them how they are and just let them know you hope they are ok. They will get back to you. If they don't they really are not worth your second thought. It's hard isn't it? I over analyse everything and I am so good at saying things and them coming across different to how I mean it. That can annoy people and I am aware of that so I think over in these situations what I may have said. Question if I've upset them anyone unintentional.

  • Hello ilovemusic

    Hope it's helped posting here - I want to thank you as I've asked myself the same far too much and there are some wise and kind responses.

    I've been brave and honest with some very old friends and they've said yeah yeah of course but not actually listened even when I've tried to repair misunderstandings or try to get to understanding each other or admit/explore if we want to stay friends. I realise now

    how there needs to be action after this. Not much, just a quick message to check in from time to time. Or what feels right. When you like people and invest in them over years it's truly difficult when you grow apart or they let you down. You sound like a lovely, open, funny and honest person. Have courage that other, more suited people will come into your life. Just look at the people on this site.

    I don't want to sound trite...it's not easy... but have courage.

    Keep speaking up for yourself and what you need and want!


  • Aw, thanks. Posting here definitely has helped. Seeing the kinder side of humanity is a relief.

    I know what you mean about opening up to people to just have them not really hear you or seem to care. It's sooo tough when you really open up, make yourself vulnerable and try to repair misunderstandings with some one you value deeply only to be met with them barely even listening. Ugh...ouch. I had to let go of a friend because he had a pattern of doing this. I still miss him.

    Your encouraging reply made me smile. :-) Thanks!

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