A good friend is priceless. When a friend cares, they have your back in times of trouble. They support you in whatever you choose to do with your life. They can pick you up when you are down and keep you grounded when you go off track. They are someone with whom you can share your deepest vulnerabilities and someone to whom you can offer the same support in return.
Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.Eleanor Roosevelt
Still, not everyone whom you call a friend is there for you. Some people seem like friends, but when push comes to shove, you start to see signs your friend doesn’t care about you as much as you thought. It is sad when a friendship ends because one side realizes that the other does not care, but it is also good—the truth hurts, but it also sets us free.
This article will look at some subtle and obvious signs that your friend, or at least that person you thought was your friend, does not care about you. Later we will offer some practical advice on dealing with that realization.
Clear Signs Your Friend Doesn’t Care About You
1. They Only Reach Out When They Need You
One of the great things about having a true friend is that they will be there, or at least try to be there as much as is possible when you need them. Equally, you offer that in return, resulting in a good friendship. However, some friends only ever seem to reach you when they need you for something.
2. They Ignore You When They Don’t Need You
When they do not need you, you might as well not exist. They know you will help them with emotional problems, such as a breakup or a fight with their boss, but they do not call or hang out to see how you are doing. When you help them fix their problem, they simply go, and you do not see them again until they have another issue. This is unfortunately one of the tell-tale signs your friend doesn’t care about you.
3. They Criticize You
A true friend cheers you up. They make you feel like a worthy and loving person and constantly remind you how important you are to them. These are not the qualities of a fake friend. A fake friend is someone who claims to be your friend but seems to make you feel worse about yourself. They might offer unconstructive criticism when trying new things or having a new idea.
A real friend would not be afraid to criticize you, but they would do it constructively. They would ask questions to inspire you and make you think about your idea from different angles. Fake friends shoot your ideas down and do not take the time to explore them with you.
4. They Insult You
Insults are one of the most obvious signs your friend doesn’t care about you. For example, imagine you buy a new dress for a party, and you are excited to show it to your friends and see if they like it. You do not mind if they do not like it because you know what you like, but you still want to show it to them.
A good friend would tell you how beautiful you look. Alternatively, if they did not like the dress, they might not say you look gorgeous in it, but they would notice how much you enjoyed it and be happy for you. A good friend might even be honest and say that it is not their taste, but they can see it from your perspective.
A bad friend would outright insult you. They might say that you look ugly in your new dress or make fun of it. Worse, they might not tell you directly that they do not like it, but say it to other friends behind your back, which leads us to the next sign.
5. They Gossip
A friend who talks negatively about you behind your back is not your friend. Some people can be friendly to your face, even to the point where you trust them with personal information, but then the next day, they turn around and share your personal stories with someone else.
Sure, sometimes we talk about our friends to other people because we share news, but there is a well-defined line. When something is clearly said in confidence, whether a wish for discretion was explicitly expressed or not, it is rude and highly inconsiderate to share that news or story with another person. Sometimes it is a mistake, but usually, it is not that hard to tell when something can be shared and when it is better to keep quiet.
6. They Don’t Let You Express Yourself
A clear sign your friend doesn’t care about you is when they keep cutting you off when you start to express yourself. Say you are in a group and everyone shares their opinion on a subject. The loudest in the group tend to share their opinion first, but each time you open your mouth to share your opinion, your friend suddenly interrupts you.
It is not much of a cause for concern when it only happens once or twice, but when they keep doing it to the point where it is obvious, that is a clear sign of disrespect. A better friend would not only allow you to express yourself, but they would also show genuine interest in what you have to say.
7. They Disrespect Your Boundaries
Personal boundaries are how we respect and protect our time and energy and show others to do the same. Essentially, how we treat ourselves tells how we want others to treat us. So, if you have boundaries in your life, such as behavior from another person that you will not tolerate, such as shouting, insulting, or gossiping, it is essential to let your friends know about it.
A good friend respects your boundaries. They might have a healthy conversation with you about how they disagree with some of your viewpoints, but they will still respect your right to set those boundaries in the first place and will understand that you are fully entitled to it.
A bad friend who does not respect you will consistently cross your boundaries. They know your boundaries, but they do not care and act like those boundaries do not exist. Worse is when they cross a boundary, and they do not bother apologizing to you. They might even make fun of you or judge you for being too serious or too dramatic, even though they knew what would happen if they crossed your line.
8. They Don’t Apologize for Their Mistakes
It is human to make mistakes. Even the best of friends slip up now and again. Making a mistake, saying the wrong thing, or being late on occasion does not have to be the end of a friendship. It is relatively easy to save a friendship when the wrongdoer owns up to their mistake and tries to make amends.
That is a mature thing to do, and the very act of apologizing and trying to make up for things is a sign that the person cares about the friendship. So when your friend makes a mistake, that is not a sign that they do not care about you. The sign that they do not care is when they make a mistake, but they make absolutely no effort to apologize and show no signs of remorse.
9. They Don’t Celebrate Your Wins
Real friends celebrate your wins. They see you succeed at something you have poured your heart into, and they feel as though they have succeeded too. This is a supportive friend who is very much worth having around. However, some of your friends will not be so happy when you succeed.
If they are the type of friends we talk about in this article, they will feel jealous when you succeed. They might even wish for you to fail, just so they do not have to feel bad about their lack of success.
10. They’re Not Interested in Your Life
Have you ever been in a friendship that felt extremely one-sided? One where it felt like you were asking about the other person and expressed genuine interest in their stories, concern for their troubles, and happiness for their good news, but they rarely, if ever, showed the same feelings towards you.
This happens to some friends, and the person who cares more often does not realize it for ages. A one-sided friendship can last for months or even years before the more-interested friend realizes how little the other person cares and eventually moves on.
11. You Feel Alone When You’re with Them
If you spend much time with someone who is not a true friend, you will probably feel lonely even when you are in their company. That can be a confusing situation because you think that you have this friend nearby to share your time and energy with, but you end up feeling like you are talking to a wall. You might even feel lonelier than you would if you were alone. You start to realize that maybe you are not so important in that person’s life.
How to Deal With a Friend Who Doesn’t Care About You
Realizing that someone with whom you thought you were close does not care about you can be heartbreaking. The loss of a friendship, even if they were not indeed a friend, can be hard to deal with, and there is nothing wrong with you if you find yourself having a difficult time over it. Still, as disappointed as you may feel, this is an opportunity to learn and grow as a person.
Remember that someone else’s lack of care and respect for you is not a reflection of your self-worth or validity. Let this be an opportunity to reinforce your sense of self-worth without needing other people.
Connect with Those You Love
Relationships are deeply important to all of us. As such, this may be a good time to reach out and reinforce your other friendships. Let those who love and care for you know just how much you appreciate them and how grateful you are to have them in your life.
Regarding that friend who does not care about you, please do not feel bad about cutting them off. They may be using you for their sense of validation or gratification, but if you decide that such behavior is not okay with you, it is well within your right to set a boundary. That might mean limiting the amount of time you spend with them, but it can also be a complete disconnection.
There are only two kinds of people who can drain your energy: those you love and those you fear. In both instances, it is you who let them in. They did not force their way into your aura, or pry their way into your reality experience.Anthon St. Maarten
How to Let Go of Someone Who Doesn’t Want You
Here are some practical ways to let go of someone who doesn’t want you:
- Allow yourself to reflect on how you feel and let yourself feel the pain that you are experiencing – Let all of your emotions out as they are manifestations of valid feelings. Suppressing and ignoring our emotions only hurts us more.
- Remember that some people are just meant to be part of your life temporarily – If people decide not to stay, your value as a person does not diminish. Bear in mind that not all people think, feel, and act the same way you do and it is okay for some people to only be with us for a season.
- Eliminate any form of communication you have with that person – If this person has made it known that they don’t want a relationship with you, than allow yourself some space away from this person. Give yourself time to heal and begin to move on. Continuing communication often times will just make it harder for you to move on and doesn’t make the person want you any more than they already do.
- Get rid of the things that remind you of the person – By getting rid of their memorabilia, you are no longer constantly reminded of them and the pain that they have caused you.
- Write about/journal the pain or anger you feel – Releasing what you feel through writing is an effective way of releasing the toxic emotions, hurt and memories you have about the person.
- Seek support from those who genuinely love you – Tell someone you can trust how you feel, and ask them for guidance or support. Their words may help you or they may simply be able to be there for you when you need a friend the most.
- Try to explore new environments by yourself or with other friends. Allow yourself to experience new and different surroundings, as this removes you from dwelling in your pain and helps you to see the beauty of other things as well as begin creating new memories.
- Be kind to yourself – It is important not to blame yourself for the end of the relationship. When we are hurting, it is so important to be kind to ourselves. Allow yourself a self-care day and remind yourself that this is just a season and that the pain will pass.
Life is far too beautiful to waste worrying over people who do not respect you. Sure, the end of a friendship can be disappointing, but when it ends because you realize that your friend did not care, that is a blessing in disguise. It means you do not have to put up with having a fake friend in your life anymore. You can move on with your life and focus your energy on people who genuinely care about you. On a final note, reflect on the following quote from a life coach.
How would your life be different if you walked away from gossip and verbal defamation? Let today be the day you speak only the good you know of other people and encourage others to do the same.Steve Maraboli
So, let go of that disrespectful friend, focus on those you love and those who love you, and be open to a new friend, a better friend, coming along. And if you are thinking, ‘all my friends do not care about me,’ remember that might just be one bad person, and there may be plenty of people in your life who genuinely care. Remember that even one friend who cares about you is better than ten that do not.