How to Deal With a Friend Who Has Changed

Change is a normal part of life. However, sometimes the ways in which people change can affect their personal relationships. If you find that a friend is acting differently toward you than they did in the past, or if your feelings toward them have changed, it may be time to examine the relationship and determine whether you need to make changes in that aspect of your life.


[Edit]Addressing Problems with a Friend

  1. Discuss your problems with a mutual friend. You might find that you're not the only one having issues with a particular person.
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    • Sharing your problems can make both of you feel better. Together, you might be able to determine the best course of action.
    • You don't want to be accused of gossiping or talking behind your friend's back, so seek the advice of just one mutual friend.[1]
  2. Ask your friend if anything is wrong. The direct approach is often the best one. If someone who was once a close friend has suddenly become distant, ask them if something is wrong.
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    • If you feel that your relationship with someone has changed, chances are they have noticed a difference too, and will be willing to talk to you.
    • Try not to be accusatory or confrontational, just ask if they feel that something is wrong between you.[2]
    • You might say something like, "Hey, it's been a while since we've talked. How are things? Is everything ok?"
  3. Consider possible medical issues. If a friend's attitude toward you has changed radically, it might be a sign of a deeper problem like depression or bipolar disorder.
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    • If you really think that your friend might have a medical disorder, encourage them to seek professional advice.[3]

[Edit]Talking About Issues with Your Friend

  1. Reach out to a friend if you are having problems with them. You don't need to be pushy or insistent, simply let them know that you are concerned and would like to talk with them.
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  2. Begin by saying something that you like about your friend. This can set a positive tone for the conversation and soften your criticism of them.
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    • If the issue is that you no longer see your friend, you might say, “I really liked when we used to spend time together, but lately it seems like you've been avoiding me.”
    • If you are still spending time together but their behavior has become hurtful, you might say something like, “You have a great sense of humor, but when you make fun of me it hurts my feelings.”
    • Use a specific example of a time that your friend's behavior has upset you.[4]
    • Reassure them that you are still their friend. You might say, "I will always be here for you, but I want to make sure that you're doing well."
  3. Listen to what your friend has to say. Their reaction—even if it involves criticism of you—can be key to repairing your friendship.[5]
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  4. Apologize for your past mistakes. Taking responsibility can show someone that you care about how they feel.[6]
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[Edit]Moving Forward with Your Friend

  1. Suggest doing an activity that you both enjoy. For example, if you and your friend first bonded by going to the movies, suggest an upcoming film to see together.
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  2. Try new activities together. If your friend's interests have changed, try something new that they like to do. Ask them for ideas of fun activities. Keep an open mind. You might enjoy it!
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  3. Make new friends together. If your friend is hanging out with a new group of people, try to get along with them and become part of the new group.
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  4. Plan to see one another at a social event. If you think you are both going to an upcoming party or other event, suggest that you will see them there, even if you're not going together.[7]
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[Edit]Moving on from a Friendship

  1. Create distance. This is a big step, but if someone is affecting your life negatively, limiting the time you spend together might be the best thing for both of you.[8]
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    • If talking to your friend doesn't work or they don't want to see you, not being around them will be a natural result.
    • If you decide that you don't want to spend time with a former friend, you may have to turn down their invitations and explain why you are doing so.
  2. Plan ways to deal with a former friend in the future. If you have mutual friends, you will likely see this person again.
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    • If you see a former friend in public, be polite but don't pursue a one-on-one relationship with them if you don't think it is a good idea.[9]
  3. Strengthen your other friendships. Moving on from a friendship can be difficult, so it is important to cultivate other, more positive relationships.
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    • Spend time with your current friends who share your interests. Try doing activities that you enjoy with a new group of people.
    • Find ways to meet new people. You might take a class in a subject that interests you, take up a new hobby or sport, or spend time with friends of friends who share your interests.[10]
  4. Avoid dwelling on the loss. If you have lost a friendship that was very dear to you, it can be hard moving on. While you can grieve at first, try not to obsess or worry about the lost friendship. Understand that it is natural for friends to grow apart. You are still worthy of having friends.
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[Edit]Quick Summary

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