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Moondust
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11 Aug 2013, 12:10 pm

When you make a new friend and you're friends for a few months, quite close, then they suddenly start distancing, calling less, not answering all your messages but some, not initiating anything, saying they'll call then they don't, etc. - what's your response?

1. Distance even more
2. Forget about them, stop responding to them at all
3. Ask why
4. Try to match the new level of closeness they want, i.e. call less, etc.
5. Continue relating as if nothing had changed
6. Other


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My5Senses
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11 Aug 2013, 12:20 pm

1 and 2. Yes. Completely. If I feel I am being 'blown off' once, then I cut them off completely!
3. No.
4. No. I am not obligated to follow 'their' choice for tone of the relationship. They do not dictate to me, the mechanics of the 'friendship'.
5. No. I feel at this point, that they do not 'deserve' me as a friend. I in fact, deserve friends that are equal to me, my wants and my needs.
6. I just cut them out of my life permanently.

These are just 'my' reactions. However, I do not have any friends at all. But for me, I would rather have no friends, then 'friends' like this. People who behave this way, (distancing), are toxic to me. If they need to 'change the dynamics' of the friendship, they should inform and let me know. My therapist calls it 'rules of engagement', and these are to be 'AGREED' upon by both parties, not just ONE.

Sidenote- I have not done much 'friendship' work in therapy yet (after 2 continuous years), I have had other priorities first. But, I may be getting to this work soon, and I do not make friends easily. Feeling 'blown off' to me, is a huge trigger point of mine also, and I am not able to tolerate it. Just telling you so you might know what angle I am coming from. But I responded because i think it is a very valid question!! I'm also intersted in others' thoughts on this. Any questions, regarding clarification of my input, if you have any, are welcome.


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MjrMajorMajor
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11 Aug 2013, 12:49 pm

It depends on the circumstances. I have a tendency towards# 1, but I have done# 3 on rare instances.



Moondust
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11 Aug 2013, 12:58 pm

Up until my late thirties, I used to ask why - till I learnt how totally pointless it is.

Nowadays I do any of the list, depending on what my own interests are. I may even feign I'm totally ok with it or haven't even noticed, let alone gotten hurt, and then use the little friendship they still give me to fulfill my own needs. This in cases when having some sort of contact with them serves a specific need of mine. I feel I don't owe any honesty, direct discussion or love to someone who plays with me like this. I've had people distance from me but have the decency to tell me that they were going to, and in one case they even told me why, very clearly, and helped me learn from it. So it means that it can be done. It's just a question of caring for humans in general enough to respect their feelings even if you don't like them.


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greenturtle74
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11 Aug 2013, 1:06 pm

4. Try to match the new level of closeness they want, i.e. call less, etc.

I find it is pointless to ask why. When people want to move on, they want to move on. On one occasion, the distance-er chastised me as being high-maintenance because I responded too quickly. This despite her being comfortable with my response time for many months.



Summer_Twilight
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11 Aug 2013, 3:15 pm

Moondust wrote:
When you make a new friend and you're friends for a few months, quite close, then they suddenly start distancing, calling less, not answering all your messages but some, not initiating anything, saying they'll call then they don't, etc. - what's your response?

1. Distance even more
2. Forget about them, stop responding to them at all
3. Ask why
4. Try to match the new level of closeness they want, i.e. call less, etc.
5. Continue relating as if nothing had changed
6. Other



3. I ask them what am I doing wrong
6. If they lead me around with excuses, I sometimes will yell at them.



Epsilon
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11 Aug 2013, 3:21 pm

If someone says they want to get closer to me but doesn't do anything about it, I move on and would choose 1. If they had a good reason to not follow through on promises I would choose a different option.



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11 Aug 2013, 4:44 pm

Depending on the nature of the relationship, I'd either do #3 (ask why)-
or skip directly to #4 (match the distance level the other person has put in place).

I used to persist more back in the day, but have learned my lesson
so now I just leave someone be & don't bother them with asking.


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Skilpadde
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12 Aug 2013, 11:19 am

Moondust wrote:
When you make a new friend and you're friends for a few months, quite close, then they suddenly start distancing, calling less, not answering all your messages but some, not initiating anything, saying they'll call then they don't, etc. - what's your response?

1. Distance even more
2. Forget about them, stop responding to them at all
3. Ask why
4. Try to match the new level of closeness they want, i.e. call less, etc.
5. Continue relating as if nothing had changed
6. Other


It would depend on who it was and the situation, but either 1, 2 or 4. I would never ask why, I would just accept it and either keep some contact (when they got in touch with me, and only if I could be bothered; if they didn't reply to all my messages I wouldn't bother about the ones from them I didn't feel like replying to either), or stop all contact altogether.
I'm not social, so 5 is also a possibility as I might not realize they were distancing as I'm more into my own stuff. but if I did realize, I'd do as mentioned above. They'd likely be the ones to get in touch as it is though; I'm not a get-in-touch'er.
Most likely they'd disappear quietly out of my life while I didn't even notice it, and way later they'd cross my mind and I'd see that they were gone from my life. Once they were less in touch I'd likely be back to business as usual and not pay it attention.


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Skilpadde
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12 Aug 2013, 11:27 am

greenturtle74 wrote:
4. Try to match the new level of closeness they want, i.e. call less, etc.

I find it is pointless to ask why. When people want to move on, they want to move on. On one occasion, the distance-er chastised me as being high-maintenance because I responded too quickly. This despite her being comfortable with my response time for many months.

Maybe, but just because someone doesn't tell you immediately that they are annoyed by something you do, doesn't mean they aren't. There have definitely been times I have kept quiet about it until I just had enough. Just saying.


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