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Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Friend has gone distant and I’m not sure how to address it

Home Forums Advice & Chat Friend has gone distant and I’m not sure how to address it

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  • #1110846 Reply
    A
    Guest

    A friend of mine (online) has become sort of distant towards me as well as in our mutual chat space which is out of character. I am concerned about this, and I’d like to address it, but I’m really struggling with how to do that most appropriately because I don’t want to overstep anything, be a clingy idiot, or assume there’s an issue where there’s not.

    This is still a relatively fresh friendship, we only met a few months ago but have grown close in that time, at least in my perspective. We used to talk daily but haven’t much in the past few weeks. I’ve sent them a few things I’ve seen around the internet that made me think of them so they knew I cared about them , and I’ve assured them I was there for them if they needed me (and I’ve helped them through stuff before). But I’m still worried about them and I miss them a lot… would it be wrong to just tell them straight that I miss them and I’m worried about them? Or what’s the best way to address this?

    My concern is that I don’t want to accidentally push too hard and turn them away (made that mistake in other friendships in the past, meant well but tried too hard) and because of that it’s made me hesitant on saying anything at all. I don’t want to accidentally repeat that past mistake. But at the same time I don’t think it’s wrong to miss my friend and I don’t just want to be silent or to be dramatic and assume it’s all over just because we’re not talking right now.

    I’m having trouble helping myself find the line between “if you miss someone, you should tell them” or “leave people alone, let them come to you”. I just want to do this right, and I’m appreciative of any advice.

    #1110847 Reply
    Miss MJ
    Guest

    I think it’s fine to send a “Hey, are you okay?” message. I see that a lot on sites when someone disappears. No big deal.

    But also, sounds like you have some social anxiety, which may be best alleviated by starting to interact with people in person (insert COVID disclaimer here). The reality is you don’t know who you’re talking to online, so you can’t really know what’s going on with this friend. But you can meet people in person and read their social cues and develop relationships that way.

    And if the thought of dealing with people in person as opposed to online is too stressful, even in small steps, it may be helpful to seek out a therapist to help you!

    #1110853 Reply
    Anonymousse
    Guest

    I think if you think you’re about to push too hard, and you know you have a tendency to do that, that you should take some time and think about honoring the response your getting-none- and consider leaving it be.

    Have you written in before? Because this sounds like a post recently in which it was pretty clear the friend was doing a fade. Respect the slow fade or ghost. An internet friendship of a few months should not elicit this much care and worry from you, I don’t think. It’s clear they are ignoring you, and I would stop sending messages.

    #1110854 Reply
    Anonymousse
    Guest

    If you are not the person who posted before, maybe one last “hey, I think about you often and hope you are well.” And then leave it be.

    #1110855 Reply
    A
    Guest

    Sorry, I don’t feel like I explained part of this well. We are in a group together and they were distant from the whole group, other people became concerned as well since it was not typical of them. That was what started the concern.

    #1110858 Reply
    Anonymousse
    Guest

    Have someone else reach out them?

    How do you know what’s typical? You’ve only know them online for a couple months, right?

    So are you the person who wrote in before? Just curious. No judgement.

    #1110859 Reply
    Anonymousse
    Guest

    It’s interesting that in your post you really focused on your relationship with this person and you did say that, “…just because we’re not talking right now.” That really seems like a you and this friend thing and not you and the group are very worried together and want to reach out. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

    If you give detail and are totally honest it helps with the advice giving.

    #1110866 Reply
    A
    Guest

    I don’t think so. Since the post yesterday they have returned and explained they just had some life stuff going, looks like I was worried about nothing (I hadn’t said anything yet either) but still feel like I learned from this post to be careful in the future! Thanks

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