How to respond to being ignored

“The opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s indifference”

~Elie Weisel

I’m sure we’ve all been there. One moment everything is going great and you’re feeling sure of your relationship with another person–whether it’s a best friend, boyfriend, girl friend, family member, etc.–and the next moment something seems…off.

They stop talking to you, won’t respond to texts, or show no interest in spending time with you. Often times this happens for a reason; however, sometimes this can be the result of miscommunication or misunderstandings.

Recently, I’ve been on the receiving end of the silent treatment due to my inability to provide enough support in the eyes of my friend. I can understand that the individual may be feeling that way due to my recent circumstances which have left me with very little extra emotional capacity to be a metaphorical shoulder to cry on. I recognize the fact that I have not been as available to my friend in terms of providing emotional support; however, I refuse to let myself feel bad about this because I’ve been dealing with quite a lot of my own stressful circumstances over the last week.

While I believe that it is incredibly important to be able to provide support and receive it from close friends, I think we also need to be considerate of what everyone else is going through as well. We all face stress in our daily lives so it is inevitable that at some points we will not be able to be the supporter because we may be dealing with our own overwhelming situations.

In these cases, I think that we need to cut ourselves and our friends/family some slack. If one of my close friends is dealing with a lot of stress then I will undoubtedly not turn to them to place my own burdens on them to help me work through. For this reason, it’s great to have more than one support system such as multiple trustworthy friends, family members, or a therapist. In fact, over the last week I have needed to draw on all three of the latter sources of support in order to handle my own emotional burdens.

While it upsets me that I was unable to provide my friend with the support that she needed in the moment, I keep reminding myself that I cannot be there for everyone during every moment of the day while also managing to take care of myself. As a result, I have decided to deal with this situation by giving my friend some distance for a few days before reaching out to her again. With that being said, I can only reach out to her so many times before I have to cut my losses and move on. I can’t change the fact that I was unable to support her and I cannot force her to move on and mend our friendship. There is only so much that I can do before I just have to accept the fact that the friendship is over. I hope it will not come to that, but I can’t blame myself for it if that is what ends up happening.

I can’t dwell on a past which I can do nothing to change. Sometimes you just need to acknowledge the mistake and move forward.




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