When you reach out to friends and the... - Mental Health Sup...

Mental Health Support

30,712 members16,830 posts

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

ilovemusic profile image
26 Replies

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?

26 Replies
Dylon19 profile image

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

ilovemusic profile image
ilovemusic in reply to Dylon19


sweetiepye profile image

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

ilovemusic profile image
ilovemusic in reply to sweetiepye

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

PeekabooFace profile image

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 :)

ilovemusic profile image
ilovemusic in reply to PeekabooFace

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.

Satsuma profile image

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

ilovemusic profile image
ilovemusic in reply to Satsuma

That's awesome!

copasedic profile image

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.

ilovemusic profile image
ilovemusic in reply to copasedic

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. :-)

Rm31 profile image
Rm31 in reply to ilovemusic

I’m absolutely there with you. I spot people who need help quickly. In a group, I try to go talk to the quiet ones consciously. And the fact that nobody is hearing my cries for help makes me sad, paranoid, even angry. That’s today. How can I go reach out to someone in such a tough time? I don’t feel safe reaching out to work people because it can affect my job. And new friends probably feel like I’m too pushy. I asked a friend from a few years ago let’s meet. I don’t think she’s going to make plans for a long time. I’m in urgency. I can’t ahare it.

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.

ilovemusic profile image
ilovemusic in reply to

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).

in reply to ilovemusic

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.

0101 profile image

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!


ilovemusic profile image
ilovemusic in reply to 0101

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!

Bambi1989 profile image

This is pretty much how I feel. I have few friends as it is and none of them are in the same friendship groups. My closest friend moved away and I was talking to her a lot over messenger when she lived at her old house which got her down. Since she's moved and has made friends with her new house mates, I barely get a response.

My other "friend" only wants to do stuff with me if it fits around what she wants to do. The amount of times I get told she's doing uni work then later I see on Facebook she's gone out. I wanted to go to a gig on my birthday and she's been invited to something else. She asked me if I wanted to go to this event and she'd buy my ticket but essentially she's saying she'll go out with me as long as I change my plans to suit her.

My other friend also has a family like myself and works, so although I see her when I can and we try and get our kids together, I also know she is like me and tries to juggle things around.

Then there is my husband who I love dearly but he mainly works evenings or weekends which leaves me to soley look after our daughter as I work when she's in school. And then in the evenings he plays his PS4 online with his friends.

So yeah it sucks when you try to make an effort and its not returned. Its hard to make friends as an adult.

Sunshine71 profile image

It does suck big time! And it's been going on for some time now. I said this to a friend the other day, and she replied that she thinks most people are in their own bubbles, just not thinking of others. I find this to be sad :( guess what, I arranged to see 2 friends as we haven't seen each other for months, never again!! One of them, was talking about her ex all the time, whenever I tried to change the subject, she talked about him, even though she has a new boyfriend now! She never asked me anything. It was torture. I tried talking about other things and listened to her, but nope it was so one sided. I rather be on my own then listen to that all the time, that's not being a friend. Even if you are on Facebook, friends don't respond. I don't get it or understand it. I think it's a sad world we are living in. I say, do what you want to do, what makes you happy. Take up an interest, but don't rely on others. I think it's the only way forward.

seetheshine profile image

It is great to hear from others here who all seem to share a similar experience. It makes me feel better. I realize recently that I feel like I am grieving losing so many friends in the last few years. I feel like not in the too distant future I had what felt like a community and now, in my thirties, one by one my friends move away, become busy, have families, you name it... and over time we lose touch. In addition, I am so busy with my own life that I rarely have time to go out to meet new people and when I do I am often too tired to put my best foot forward... so it feels like this debilitating cycle. What do I do? What do we do? I oscillate between trying so hard to reach out, send little messages, call, you name it and then sort of pulling away and not trying anymore because this voice in my head says "well if they don't care about you and want to know what is up in your life, why do you care about them?" Ack. I do agree we are living in times that make genuine, heartfelt and enduring connection very difficult. Big hugs to you all.

Sunshine71 profile image
Sunshine71 in reply to seetheshine

Yes its not nice to feel this....that when we reach out, they just don't reply back. I asked a friend out for coffee, sent a nice text, she lives in the same area, but no reply! She doesn't go out to work, and spends most of her time online.....she has a family, well so do I and I go out to work every morning. As someone says it's about priorities, i'm obviously not very high up on the list 😢 she rather be online ranting and gossiping, rather then seeing a real friend with a cuppa and chat..... got the message loud and clear.....

tjohns61 profile image

My uncle and aunt gave me $500 when I was in my mid twenties. It meant so much to me at the time. I've tried to pay that kindness back by giving to their children... my cousins... I've literally given hundreds of dollars in "aid" to my cousins, without ANY thanks. It sounds weird, and hard to believe that they haven't thanked me, but it's true. It hurts a lot that they haven't seen fit to thank me for my kindnesses. I'm at the point where I'm going to stop contacting them, and will not help them any more. It sucks, but I don't think it's fair for me to continue to provide my cousins with attention and financial resources when they don't even send me a simple text message or call me to thank me for helping them.

LoveJoy07 profile image

This is an old post so I hope someone is still following. I've been going through this too for a while with multiple friends. Still, there were a few I was holding out hope for but I think I'm having a major wake up call this time for real. My daughter is having a cancer scare right now and these friends i have reached out to in my torment and my fear, have either not replied and my best friend said, after me explaining in detail what we are going through :'Wow! I sure will be wishing you all the best!' Wt actual f? I can't even reach out to other friends. My best friend from school has not celebrated my endeavour to become a nurse, in spite of the fact I travelled several hundred miles to celebrate her achieving her PhD. She then told me she admired me for not being bitter, because my ex from twenty years ago, according to her, had apparently ruined my life - well that was news to me. I haven't spoken to her since. Another girl who I've been friends with since we were small children shows no interest in me or my life. I travelled a hundred miles to see her recently and she and her husband asked me nothing while I was there, I get they were distracted by their children, who I paid a lot of attention to also, but it was totally and utterly weird. I later sent a lengthy text regretting that and explaining why I couldn't attend her birthday party this week due to shift work and how much I hoped she had a really fabulous time. She replied with one short sentence saying thanks and hoped the job was going well. Our mutual friend makes excuses when I visit every single time, and mostly ignores my texts even though she sends me a Christmas card,whats the point? She obviously doesn't like me.

I do not understand, no matter how good or bad their lives may be, how people can care so little and give no thought. It feels like they are either just this way and insularly happy /stuck up, and/or they just don't like me. I spent years trying not to think such things, but Im left with no alternative thoughts.

So I guess I just have to hope my daughter will be OK. And if so, focus on her and my own life. It's a slap in the face once and for all but I'm done. At least this cancer scare is making me realise what's really important. However if she's not OK, nothing will matter. That's how serious this is, and no one cares. Unbelievable.

Sunshine71 profile image
Sunshine71 in reply to LoveJoy07

So sorry to hear about your daughter, really hope she will be okay. Yes you must concentrate on your own lives now I think. Friends are strange at times, even the ones who you think would always be there for you. It's very sad, but I think people have changed.....It hurts and it sucks. I have sent 2 messages now to 2 different friends, they have seen the messages but haven't replied and this is how it goes on. Why am I still bothering? It's time to forget these friends and move on with our lives. I'm upset that they don't answer but what can we do about it? We can say what's on our mind, but do they really care enough, probably not and we have probably tried so many many times with these friends. I think now we need to accept that they are not interested in us and our lives anymore, if they cared they would have got in touch more, and be there for us like we are there for them. It should be a 2 way thing but unfortunately these days friendship is one sided. But there are better friends out there, don't settle for the crappy ones because it's not fair on you. Really hope things will improve for you, I know it feels awful, it really really gets on my nerves but I think we just need to find better friends if possible and concentrate on our own lives. Wishing you well and a happier life.

LoveJoy07 profile image
LoveJoy07 in reply to Sunshine71

Thank you Sunshine71, for taking the time to reply, I'm glad I found this thread. It's comforting to know I'm not alone. It's great advice for us both and I hope also you have lots of happiness ahead.

andrsndj profile image

Hi I know this is an old post but just want to say it has really helped me tonight.. thank you xx

Gabriel_ profile image

I can relate to this a lot. It is so disheartening to reach out to old friends or current friends and not to receive a reply. I don’t do this to people ignore them if they reach out. It seems like my good karma has not returned to me. When I was a kid I felt like it was easier to make friends. You knew where you stood with people. Now people can’t even be honest and upfront anymore. I miss the good old days. This is the world we live in now I don’t understand why it has to be like this. I’m beginning to think it must be where I live. But, I am so sick and tired of being a social failure I’m even considering moving abroad and starting my whole life again.

You may also like...