Relationships: Love & Friendships

Long-time friends who cut you off for no reason. Why’d they do that? (Updated Feb 2020)

When long-time friendships end, it is always so sudden and out of the blue, so why do people do that? Let's explore the psychological reasons behind why friends resort to doing this and how once-treasured friendships end.

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Have you had a long-time friend cut you out of their lives totally for no reason at all?

If you have had that unfortunate experience, you will know how painful it really is.

You’d never know what really happened. Your friendship was here today, gone tomorrow.

I had one. We knew each other from when we were 7. Had rows (like all normal friends do). But she saw it necessary to not only cut me off totally but chose not to invite me to her wedding. Other friends who weren’t as close were invited though.

So the friendship ended, just like that, at 24.

When something like that happens, it always leaves you wondering why it happened and how could you not have seen it coming.

In this post, I touch on why people who do the cutting off do this. And why

What does it mean to cut off someone?

First things first.

I see some people confusing this with friends who naturally drift apart. But they aren’t the same at all.

When people drift apart:

  • It’s usually gradual (ie: contact steadily reduces over time or becomes relatively more sporadic)
  • It’s natural (ie: someone moves away, has kids, you guys no longer like the same things that used to bond you etc)
  • It usually happens both ways. Meaning both of you could have sensed it coming – and let it happen
  • The friendship takes on a different form, friendship may still be good but on a less intense level
  • There may be less intense emotions involved. No anger, blaming, jealousy and all of that

Being cut off

  • It’s done suddenly and abruptly without warning, usually with no reason or no explanation given
  • There was no prior communication or sign that this was going to happen
  • It’s always, ALWAYS one-sided, leaving the other quite blind-sided
  • The damage usually cannot be reversed, and both parties rarely become friends again
  • Emotions involved are always complex and intense, involving confusion, guilt, anger, sadness are commonly experienced.

As you can see, both are very different things, involving different contexts, reasons and eliciting different intensities of emotion.

Here, I’m talking about cutting off a friend whom you’ve been really close to and have shared a huge part of your life together, with no reason or explanation whatsoever.

I’m not referring to the rude guy/girl you went on 3 coffee dates with and subsequently blocked on WhatsApp or a colleague you’ve known for 2 months who recently started ignoring you.

I’m also not talking about the rude, negative, toxic and hostile personalities that warrant you cutting them out of your lives.

I’m talking about the close, intimate relationships which were fine one day and gone the next.

The nature of friendships…

One of the most crucial things about being cut off by someone is that if you had looked closely, you might have actually seen it coming.

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Unless you were unnecessarily rude, inhumane or really toxic in some way, most of the “victims” of being cut off are usually close people who done nothing that wrong to warrant this sort of treatment.

In friendships and relationships, disagreements and rows are common, depending on your dynamics.

There are always ups and downs.

People who have a healthy sense of self and know what a healthy relationship looks like won’t let a row or disagreement affect their opinion of you or your friendship.

They (both of you) deal with it, apologise if you need to, talk through the issues and move on.

If the friendship had a real solid base, with open communication, things usually can heal with time. Cliched but true.

So why do long-time friends cut you off?

There are many reasons and whilst it sometimes is due to something we have intentionally (or unintentionally) done to hurt them, it sometimes has got nothing to do with you. Let’s explore some reasons here:

They keep score

People who initiate the sudden cut-off have a sort of mental credit/withdraw system approach to friendship. When the going is good => credit in! When things aren’t going well => withdraw!

And the worse thing about this whole setup is their behaviours change according to how they think they are being treated. They can be great friends one minute and a complete stranger the next.

They might have internal rules and tests for friendships. Rules and tests you never know about until you cross the line one day.

And that might actually be too late.

They might also unpredictably moody around you, making you feel like you are

Question is, do you want to be around someone who sees you as a kind of financial transaction?

They are emotionally unavailable, can’t communicate and/or handle conflict

They refuse to tell you what about you is bothering them and probably never will.

It’s the fear of being vulnerable, or the incapability of being vulnerable.

They are unable to handle conflicts in an assertive manner and are usually passive-aggressive.

Another sign of this emotional unavailability is them resorting to the silent treatment or the cold shoulder. Leaving the other party constantly wondering what went wrong.

The way we handle our relationships as we grow up have a lot to do with how we were taught to handle relationships with our family when we were younger.

People who develop emotionally unavailability or an inability to communicate effectively during a conflict probably picked up similar habits from their relationships with their family.

They might have a parent or sibling that treats them in the same way. We tend to model our relationship patterns from the one we’ve experienced in childhood.

READ ALSO:   Long-time friends who cut you off for no reason: Red flags & How to deal (Updated Feb 2020)

So, that is what they are probably used to and in their eyes, is what is seen as normal and healthy.

They are users

Some people are just incapable of forming healthy relationships and see all relations in terms of what can you do for them or what use do they have for you?

Once that is attained or accomplished, you are no longer needed and are tossed aside.

I used to know “friends” who would declare you their BFFs when you guys shared classes (and they had no one else).

But once they were assigned a new class in a new school term or whatever and had other friends, they’d bump into you in the streets and totally blank you.

It’s an extremely unpleasant feeling to know that they probably didn’t see the “friendship” in the same way that you did.

But, just like a lot of things in this list,  it’s not something that you have very much control over, unfortunately.

They want to punish you

Sound harsh? Perhaps. But when they think you have “wronged” them in whatever manner, they want you to pay for it.

This is someone who has a quite warped sense of what justice or fairness means. And take it to quite an extreme in personal relationships.

I mention some people setting silent tests for their new friends above, but people in this group take it one step further.

They take revenge.

And they can do that by resorting to some vicious methods like spreading malicious gossip about you, cut you off from your social group or be just plain mean and intimidating.

Also, if you see someone behaving like this to a friend of theirs, and you might be thinking you are safe?

Nah.

The individual I mentioned at the beginning of this post did all of the above and more when she found out her best friend was dating someone she didn’t like.

The “best friend” was cut off before you could even bat an eyelid.

I thought that was really scary and lo and behold, I was the next victim.

If someone can do this to another, they probably could do it to anyone, including you. It really doesn’t matter how close you guys once were.

They want to be in control

There are people who feel like they should be the one calling the shots in all their friendships.

They want to dictate and make all the decisions – what to do, where to hang out, what their friend should wear or do. How the friendship should play out.

And if you are no longer behaving in a way that pleases them?

Then you no longer need to be friends, pal.

I’ve only met one such person in my life – fortunately – who treated her friends this way. One of the most domineering, condescending and well, controlling person ever.

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She straight up decided one day that another member of the group needn’t hang out with us anymore, cause she wasn’t as cool or as funny. Which was what she wanted the group to be seen as.

I think what was particularly uncomfortable about the whole situation was how ruthless it came across.

But people who always need to be in control don’t really see it that way.

They are protecting themselves

Sometimes the reasons aren’t as dark as the ones listed above.

Sometimes, people initiate the cut-off because they feel some sort of way about your friendship. And have been for awhile.

Maybe they’ve been feeling neglected, maybe you’ve been really overbearing (and didn’t know this), maybe you were really insensitive (and weren’t aware of this). Etc.

Maybe, just maybe. You might have been the cause of the cutoff.

I know sometimes that is a hard pill to swallow, but when we’ve been friends with someone for so long, it’s easy to take their friendship for granted. It’s also easy to assume that you can do whatever the heck you want and the other party is supposed to be a-okay with it.

Unfortunately, not everyone is going to be up to talking about their feelings/issues about you, with you. For whatever reason they might just feel it’s easier to just run away.

That’s the fight-or-flight response and sometimes people choose to protect themselves by just removing themselves from the situation, and in this case, the friendship.


What about you? Have you had someone cut you off before? Do you think they fit some of the characteristics listed above? Or were other factors at play too?

What next? 

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Check out the second part of this post: Long-term friends who cut you off suddenly: Red flags and how to deal

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46 Comments

  1. Dylan Olsgaard

    at 12:58 pm

    I had a friend named AJ that cut me off recently and I was incredibly saddened by it. He was my best friend and probably the greatest friend I’ve ever had. I would’ve died for him I love him so much. It hurts going from that to being complete strangers to each other when we used to hang out all the time and I miss him so much it has been so hard to let go. I’m really hoping the friendship will rekindle one day :((

    1. Cody O'Quinn

      at 9:27 pm

      Hey Dylan. The same thing recently happened to me. If you ever wanna talk about it I would definitely be willing to listen. It really sucks, I know how you feel. I hope you are doing ok.

      1. Shannon

        at 11:56 am

        Hey Dylan. Hi Cody. This too has happened to me recently and I have no idea how to feel but kind of shocked with no answers. I would love to talk to anybody about it, if they would like to!

  2. Albert E.

    at 12:37 pm

    I’m a single 62 yr. old man, not in search of a partner, but a young lady friend (38yr) that I’ve known for 17 years, with two children, 5 and 11 yrs that I have never met just cut me off. I don’t think I was overbearing or neglected her in anyway so I know the feeling. We would speak on the phone or email once a week and meet once a year before the Holidays for dinner and gifts. I would always be there for her when she needed someone to talk to or had problems. Being her friend would make me feel good as a person. Her friendship was all I needed in return. It’s very hard to understand why people
    just cut off friends without knowing why. Being 62 years old makes it ever harder for me… not knowing why I lost a friend.
    I had just gotten her and her children Christmas gifts the week before she stopped talking to me. I think I will donate them to a needy family cause seeing the gifts in my living room is very sad for me. Hope to hear from someone that could maybe explain what happened and should I try to make contact with her again. Thank you

    1. Brittany Teague

      at 6:03 pm

      this happened to me on Saturday this last week. it has been so hard to cope with. we were friends since third grade and now i’m a junior in college. it felt like we were drifting apart, but then we hung out for a little while and everything seemed fine. because of that, i thought we were doing really well but we weren’t. i miss her terribly. she was my best friend and i went to her when ever i was sad, mad, or what ever else. she was there one day and gone the next. i tried to talk to her but then she went ahead and blocked me on everything, including my cell phone number. she has been having struggles with her home life but i has been helping through it. i don’t think i was helping at all, though, but i don’t really know. we even went to the same college and walked each other to classes but not anymore. i don’t understand what happened. you said that a lot of the time when friendships end like, it isn’t likely it will be able to rekindle. do you have any advice? we had an 800+ streak on snap chat which meant we were a bit passed two years and now it’s gone. i have helped her through so much and vice versa. my life seems empty with out her. we rarely argued either. i have been so depressed since then. i have so many photos of us on my walls in my room and i don’t know if i should take them down or leave them. it makes me sad to look at them, but it would also be really hard to take them down. she was even my lock screen..it doesn’t help that it’a the holidays too..please help me. thank you for your time.

      1. Len

        at 7:31 pm

        Good lord, this is too common. I am a retired MD and went through this in June after a 5 year close friendship. It was done via text and was totally blocked in all ways. One possible “Hoover” with a cryptic text to me 3 wks. later. I have gotten weekly counseling. You may want to read about the discard of Narcissistic Personality Disorder and see the many NPD videos on YouTube. It is their mental illness and you were possibly a victim of an individual with a serious and very common disorder.

        1. Sara

          at 11:34 pm

          Hi Len, indeed, people like that are users – a very common trait of Narcissists/people who run on the NPD spectrum. They often display very similar patterns in their life and their relationships with others. Discarding people once they are finished “using” them, trying to use all sorts of control tactics to “rein” the other party in and punishing people who have “broken” their invisible “rules”. Often you’ll find other traits as well – emotional unavailability, over-dramatic/over-emotional behaviour in reaction to very small issues, a streak of vindictiveness/vengefulness, control issues, incredibly poor communication skills, transactional behaviour (this relationship will only exist if we scratch each other’s backs), unpredictable, erratic and instable with stormy moods as well as a focus on short-term gratification.

          You will notice some or many of these traits/behaviours if you examine these people closely. Some of these people tend to be pretty broken inside, and there’s always something in their childhood and/or family dynamics that they did not deal with properly that has made them this way.

  3. Keely Rae

    at 3:42 pm

    I, up until just recently, had a best friend of 45 years. I thought of her family as my family, Her daughter was my Goddaughter. We all took vacations together, spent holidays together. We met in 7th grade, and are now 59 years old. It would take me pages and pages to explain all that has happened in those many years. Towards the end…the last 10 or so years…I was ghosted so many times by her. I never ever understood why. I would write her a long letter…I would get a letter back from her…we’d get together and then things would be okay. I married an alcoholic (everyone loved my husband, including her) she was supportive, but also had much advice…from I can’t believe you’re still with him…to I can’t believe you’re leaving him. I finally got a divorce, and I never had children. She, on the other hand is still married (although not happily, but making it work), has 2 awesome kids, and now a son in law, and soon to be daughter in law..oh and a granddaughter. She has a bunch of friends (amazing your social circle when you have children and meet all your children’s parents, etc.). I took care of my Father, who passed away 4 years ago of Alzheimers. My Mom now lives with me (she’s had 3 strokes and a broken back). I don’t ever think I am the person that complains about my situation, in fact when I would get together with her I always tried to be positive and ask about her life. She would say I never invited her over to my home, yet anytime I would…she would have an excuse to “just come over to her house instead”, so I stopped asking. She said at one point, toward the end, that the friendship was “lopsided”…she said she was always the one making the effort. So…I had always always been there for her, would do anything for her family…and when I took family medical leave to care for my dad…in 12 weeks I never once heard from her (it was so so upsetting). I could go on, but you get the picture…lopsided? I was so confused. I was also noting that her daughter was acting differently around me (we used to be really close)…I anticipate that much has been said about me and much of it is probably far from the truth. She told me more than once that her daughter said she just shouldn’t try anymore. Well anyways, I could go on and on, I am just heartbroken that I lost my best friend, my family, my Goddaughter (she won’t talk to me either), her son (I was very close with him as well). She also blocked me on Facebook..if you’ve never had that happen, it is devastating. I cry myself to sleep, I cry when I wake. I have no closure. I have absolutely no idea what I did. 45 years of my life has been washed away. I would have, never in a million years, believed that I would be in this spot today. We always talked about getting old together. I did not receive a Christmas card from her or her kids this year. It will take me a long long time to get over this heartbreak! I wish nothing like this to happen to anyone in their lifetime!

    1. Miss W

      at 6:45 am

      Your ex-friend sounds like a narcissist. Narcissists discard people when they no longer have a use for them (or that person is no longer a narcissistic supply) and they also make sure to turn others against you (i.e your god-daughter and the rest of her family).

      My so-called best friend discarded me after I left for college. I was always there for her and we’d never had a single argument since we met in middle school. I tried my best to keep the friendship going but she eventually just stopped responding, so I stopped reaching out. Years later she messaged me on Facebook and I found out she’d gotten married. I wasn’t invited. Browsing through her wedding photos I saw that she had replaced me with someone who looked JUST like me. It was disturbing. I thanked her for reaching out, congratulated her on the wedding, and then never looked back. She cut me off because of her own insecurities and thought I would come crawling back. No ma’am. Once a ghost, always a ghost.

      My senior year in college I rented a house with 4 friends. I wasn’t particularly close with any of them, but we got along well (or so I thought). One morning the phone rang and I happened to be the one who answered the call. It was the mom of one of my roommate’s. When I answered the phone, her mom asked to speak to her daughter, she never told me WHY she was calling. So I took the phone to my roommate and told her it was her mom. Come to find out later, my roommate’s father had passed away and she was devastated. Now mind you, I never knew why the mom had called…I just happened to answer the phone that morning. Well the roommate secretly HATED me from that day on and waited to get her revenge. I hadn’t really spoken to that roommate much in the year after graduation. When my best friend from high school passed away that same year…she was the first person to contact me with the news. She called me out of the blue on the day it happened and said “Hey, did you know that your best friend died?” Like she was gloating about…there was no empathy at all. I have not been close to anyone since then and it’s been 15 years. People who choose to hurt other people intentionally are not worth your time or your hurt.

      Many blessings!

    2. Chumley

      at 12:52 pm

      It sounds like you have become too dependent upon that person for your own identity. Do you have a job, other relatives of your own, friends, hobbies? If that person is/was so critical of your married life, perhaps something should have been done on your part long ago by setting boundaries. They can’t comment on your marriage, etc? It almost sounds like have let your self esteem become a doormat in other relationships in your life. Are you now seeking to make others a doormat to you? It sounds like you weren’t spending much time around your friend, but you were around her daughter and saw reactions to you from the daughter. How does that work? I do not believe that a person can have low self-esteem and live vicariously through other people’s children or grandchildren. Your post seems like you put a lot at stake in this friendship without having maturity enough to know that doing so, you were setting yourself up to be needy. My take is that you are complaining, and denying that you have, by the wording you use, and exposing yourself that the conversation you are presenting about your friend, is all about you. You are complaining by saying that she is happily married and has children, but you aren’t and don’t. You are criticizing her marriage and her kids without saying reasons why you think they don’t have any interest in you. You have “always been there.” But are you sure? Looking up to someone overly much, does not guarantee that it will magically put you in a place in someone else’s life. You seem to rely on too much like Facebook (are you texting too much also?) and cards and letters. Did you ever pick up the phone? You don’t mention how often you would get together, but what circumstances was there that you spent time with her kids? (or was this just electronically also?) You were “noting” that her daughter acted differently? Blocked on Facebook is devastating? Oh, my. It sounds to me that you are the narcistic one that feels like these people owe you a life in the supposed absence of your husband, lack of children etc. Writing letters and asking a friend’s family about “what have I done” is disrespecting people. Dragging someone else into your situation is totally uncalled for and will just compound people not wanting to correspond with you in any way. People have no control of what gets in their mailbox at their homes or messages sent to their Facebook. You said you were ghosted so many times in the past ten years, so did she block you ten years ago, did kids cut you out ten years ago? Some people like you just want to be rewarded for every little thing, and I bet your conversation, as this post is also, are all about you and the little things that you want to bring to everyone’s attention that you do for them (or complete strangers) to be rewarded for. It gets tiresome and after a while the normal person at the recipient end of your self-induced drama will realize that they need to set some boundaries. If a Christmas card totally turns your world upside down, you should really examine your expectations. And if someone doesn’t want to come over to your house, what condition is your house in? Some people might have seen it once (like if you are a hoarder for example) and don’t want to go back. If people in your life have been giving you signals in the past, and you want to ignore them because it reminds you of other rejections you have encountered, perhaps you should think that yes, old age is coming around. Your post is all about you, wanting rewards for being there, and not finding your own resources, but not wanting to give too much so that you can do what ever you want to in life and still expect someone to be there when you need a target to vent on. You seem to be envious of the kids and the grandchildren that your friend has. That was your choice to not have children (you didn’t give any reason why you didn’t or defend why you couldn’t). Did you ever pick up the phone since this has happened to you? Perhaps they blocked you for a reason. Or did you inundate them with phone calls, messages, mail, sticky notes, Facebook,, email? And yes, it sounds like they have an awesome family that cares about each other, so yes, they are going to talk to each other. They do not owe you some invisible role that they are going to announce that they are going to leave a toxic relationship like you out of their conversation. They sound like a mature happy family that will protect their members from people like you.

      1. Keely Rae

        at 6:08 am

        Dear Chumley….You leave some very interesting comments and thoughts to ponder…if only they remotely reflected my situation and who I am as a person. How interesting that you feel comfortable making such strong inferences about a 45 year friendship and the people involved after reading a paragraph summation. The one area you are correct on is my sincere sadness of not having my own family, and yet in much reflection, know I have never projected that on to others. I have found that many people (much like my ex friend) have an expectation of how lives should be led…if one doesn’t meet those expectations they are looked upon as less than a person worthy of their friendship. I could rebuke most all of what you wrote including that my home may possibly be that of a hoarder…what?!…but it’s not worth my time. I wish you a new year surrounded by others that respect and value you as a person. Happy, soon to be, New Year!

  4. Albert E.

    at 12:55 pm

    Hello Brittany, my advise at this time is for you to be strong, don’t drift away from a possible rekindling by forcing for answers or explanations. I know that I can’t force someone to be with me that doesn’t want to be with me.

    There are somethings in life that we will never understand why they have happened, but we must accept them and put them behind us in order to move on in life.

    Look at this issue as a ‘time out’ in your friendship with her, and if she really cares about you, she will, in time reach out to you. And if she doesn’t, …write/mail her a simple letter asking her why she abandoned you without an explanation, tell her that you would like closure to a friendship that came to an end in a blink of an eye. After so many years of being friends I think she should answer you if she has a warm heart and has you in her thoughts.

    Please give her some time because her abandoning you might have been something that was out of her control.
    Keep in mind Brittany that time is the world’s greatest cure.

    Don’t remove any pictures yet, just consolidate those pictures to an area that you will not have to see them all the time.
    Do some volunteer work during the Holidays if you enjoy helping people and make new friends, keep your mind busy and you will get through this.

    1. Granny Jan

      at 2:30 pm

      Gosh, I hate to rain on anyone’s parade, but I don’t agree with some of your advice. People that do not like being put in their place “as in cut off” like to think that every thing will be okay after they let the other person “cool off.” It’s such a cliche way to think. Writing a letter is just another way of taking advantage of being able to invade someone’s privacy, or sticking a note on their front door or their car. You would not do this to a complete stranger so “no trespassing” means the same thing for you. The person that this “innocent victim” is thinking they have unfairly “cut off” by, needs to realize things. These compulsion to try and try, and keep trying are just going to make it worse. The cut off person needs to realize that they need to get some self-respect, perhaps they have never had any. They need to realize that the silence of the other person is going to continue to drive them batty, but they also need to realize that the best offense in any situation is to keep your mouth shut (no response, no endless phone calls, messages, letters, texts, facebook posts, pleas to other people) is going to do a bit of good, and that silence is the biggest and best, most mature response that anyone can do. Why would you send someone incessant texts or leave messages where your words are there for prosperity to find? You are only making a fool of yourself. Plus, on the opposite side, if you feel that someone is treating you so poorly, why would you want to keep going back for more? Ask your self, and decide why someone else has gotten your goat and you just don’t want to let them win?!

      1. Sara

        at 4:07 pm

        Granny Jan/Charity/Chumley – all the SAME DUDE. You are ALL OVER this page and the other one making passive-aggressive attacks and comments on posters who came here for empathy and help – not to be talked down to angrily by some random internet stranger – despite knowing absolutely NOTHING about their situation, making condescending comments about what they should or should not do as if you knew them from Adam, and making all sorts of wild assumptions about them and schooling them on what you think they (and I) should do. Did any of them cut you off recently or something?

        I don’t appreciate the aggressive tone of your comments as I want my blog to be a psychologically safe space for people to discuss and post about their situations. It’s best you take some of your own advice and deal with your anger on another platform.

        BANNED.

  5. Olivia

    at 10:56 am

    I had a best friend named Brooklynn. We had known each other since preschool. (9 years) Now, I know that i’m 12 and shouldn’t be worrying about these kinds of things, let me give a bit a of back story. We were the best-est of friends. We had a friend ship that I thought would never break. We had sleepovers, play dates, google hangouts and all of that. We were also on the same softball team! (That will come into play as I explain.) We both had played softball for 6-7 years. We had been on a few teams together but one team we got into together was a very important one. We were so excited and practiced with each other almost every day. But when the teams seasons were done, we had to tryout for another league. Unfortunately, she didn’t get accepted into the team. This is where everything goes down hill. She stopped playing with me, texting me, and didn’t invite me into any of her activities. She also made a “best friends group” video but never included our pictures or memories we had. This leads to now, still grieving over her cut off. I cry almost every night because I remember all the memories we have had and how she just threw them away like trash. Every time I text her and she responds (She doesn’t normally respond. Only if she is annoyed of me), she always sounds so stern. For example, ill ask how she is doing and she will reply, “Its none of your business” and leave me on read. I need some advice of how to get over this and maybe an explanation of why she cut me off over a softball team. Thank you for reading. 🙂

  6. tasha

    at 5:51 pm

    It’s been almost 2 months that I feel like I’m being cut off. It happened when we have a lil argue. Im not sure if it’s my fault or her. I think we both are. everytime this things happen, I’m the first one that apologize to her because I can’t stand being a stranger to each other and I know that she’s not the type that gonna talk and solve our conflicts. but this time it’s different. I ask for forgiveness and she did too but we didn’t get to be a very close friend like we were before. I wonder why and I kept on thinking about it and it made me sad. should I confront her and ask her why and then tell her how I feel? I really want to but I didn’t have the courage. I miss her.

  7. Sam

    at 1:36 am

    45 years and done. My best friend cut me off she says to a mutual friend, because she didn’t like a 2 sentence text I wrote about my own life. Fortunately I was already at a point where I was able to let people go who were not good for me. And I realized quickly she was not talking to me so I stopped as well. I let her go. She has her own life to deal with and as much as I love her, our friendship will never be as it once was. 45 years is too long to just dump someone when you were in regular contact and were always respectful support honest yet conscientious of each other’s feelings. I dont even need to know more about why she made this choice. I will respect it and my life will go on as it should. (1974-2020)

    1. Chumley

      at 3:43 pm

      Sounds like you are only thinking of yourself and denying that you had anything to do with it. What did that two sentence text say? You didn’t seem to want to own up to that by divulging any part of the details that made it worthy that someone would not “dump” you. Were you dragging others into it? It sounds like it if you got info from a mutual friend as you put it. Sounds like perhaps you said something because you had your own agenda in the texts. Was texting your only form of communication? It sounds like you wanted to be the one in control of the texting and cut them off whenever their response didn’t please you. If a friend has “their own life to deal with” it sounds like you were not willing to be in their life, they were just a convenient form for you to communicate with via text when you felt like it. And you were cutting people out already and don’t want to know the consequences of your supposedly inadvertent offensive text. So I would suggest before you make it any more toxic, take your own advice and move on. Sometimes people that you think are respectful to your communication style just know that if they say something to you, you are overly sensitive and the best way to deal with that is to cut you off. Have a great day!

  8. Susan Freeman

    at 2:41 am

    I have cut off a few people my reasoning is I bring a very high level of kindness, consideration, loyalty, and quality to a friendship. When a close friend really oversteps my kindness I will remove myself from the situation maybe not with the intention of leaving forever but I need a break like a month or so to thoughtfully think about how to approach the situation. Unfortunately for me I wait until I’m furiously mad/hurt and feel wildly taken advantage of and my boundaries have been pushed to the limit so much that I need time to cool off and think about the best way not to offend them but in the meantime they always call 500 times and get furious with me for not responding. Ultimately that is what ends the relationship. I’ve cut a life long friend off that constantly made fun of me and put me down in small ways which didn’t bother me much when I was mentally well but at some point grew depressed and they were aware of my depression and continued to make jabs at me when I really needed them to be there and lift me up. I also have done it after someone didn’t respect my time and would have me waiting around for them constantly and also never paid me back, never considering I was more financially strapped then them. My suggestion is if you feel someone pulling away relax and give them time. Respect and trust the relationship by giving it time. When they demanded my time and energy after pissing me off it made me feel like they didn’t care about me and more about getting there demands meet.

  9. Mishal Raza

    at 8:42 pm

    HI, while all of this may be true in 99% of the situations but there are more reasons to sudden cut off. sometimes your friend goes through something devastating and traumatic which leaves them completely shattered. to move on from that experience, they might disassociate from any person who’s related to the time when that specific incident or any unfortunate event happened. In these circumstances i feel it is not anyone’s fault. your friend might not be able to find the solace or peace when certain people are around them who remind them of that time.

    1. Sara

      at 2:54 pm

      Hi Mishal, yes of course there are specific reasons that individuals may have for cutting off people. And it differs across people and their situations. In my post, I’m offering the common observations that people use to cut off friends.

      Still. Even if you may have special reasons for cutting someone off, my point is that it’s extremely poor behaviour to cut someone off and leave them in the dust with no explanation whatsoever. It’s just as bad or even worst than ghosting, is disrespectful, rude and can cause alot of psychological and emotional damage to the person on the receiving end of this sort of poor behaviour. It took me awhile to get over my experience, and I’m sure it’s the same for alot of people out there. And to your point as well, I have actually distanced myself from the people who hang out with this girl, though I was friends with them. And I explained myself when asked about it, and they understood.

      Second, it’s about respectful communication. People who cut others off have no clue about how to communicate their feelings. While I don’t think lots of people are expecting their friends to “report” their difficulties to them all the time, it isn’t too difficult to just text close friends to say you need space and you may not be too available to hang out with them as much. I’ve had friends who tell me they disappeared due to some personal issues which they had to settle, but they always let me know at some point. They never leave me wondering what on earth happened to them.

      This is a whole wall of text, but I have alot of feelings about this. And how people communicate in general, and the respect that people have for their friendships – which is at the core of my post. Of course you can always choose to disappear whenever something happens to you/don’t want to be reminded of someone – but then how much are you really growing as a person? And really, how many friends do you truly have? Many people who cut others off have very little friends in their lives – for obvious reasons.

  10. Mishal Raza

    at 4:05 pm

    You are quite right, and it shouldnt be this way that you block and move on without any explanation. The person who did this quite recently is me. i blocked a whole bunch of close friends because i have been in a position for 13 years which has mentally and physically drained me and i couldnt grow or move on in the same pool i have been for the last 13 years. you have been quite right that they deserve a text and after reading your comment i texted them once to let them know. i love them and appreciate them but the pressure of what i have been going through lately has been so grave that i could not function as a normal human being and was not able to think about the value of friendships. Sometimes its necessary to pick up your bag and just go.

    1. Sara

      at 4:20 pm

      Hello Mishal, Ahh now that puts whatever you’ve said into context! I’m not sure if what you meant by being in the same position for 13 yrs – as in same friends? 13 years is super long! And if someone/something is draining us for that long, and we have better choices, it’s always best to make peace with those situations and let go of them if we can. Here’s hoping that some of your friends do understand the situation that you are in and give you the space you need. You are right – in some circumstances it’s necessary to pick up our bags and leave.

      I’m not exactly sure what you are going through, but I hope that you pull through and that there are better days ahead for you 🙂 Take care!

      1. Debo

        at 1:31 pm

        My best friend that I’ve ever had since 2nd grade (currently 18 yes old) cut me off about a year or so ago during my sophomore to junior year. We would always go to each other’s houses and we had a ton and I mean a ton of common interests. Imma back track a little to a different situation before I continue, an ex friend (who I wasn’t anywhere as close too) would constantly talk behind my back all the time about anything, I don’t even know what I did to him, one day he started saying some ruthless things, after I jokingly told him he was trash at a certain game, I got mad and socked him a few times on the face before I was separated by him, this ex friend of mine had also recently broke up with his gf and joined the friend group i was in after this all happened. Anyway, back on track, this best friend of mine got really close to him, and I no longer got invited anywhere, every time I tried to talk to him, he would give me very short answers and ignore me, he would make plans without me literally right in front of me, and I still tried my best to maintain our friendship. I recently moved a few months ago to a different state, and I still talk to other close friends of mine all the time. I tried communicating to him a few times, but all he does is give me short answers or leave me on read. I recently stopped attempting to communicate with him, and I unfriended and blocked him on everything since for some reason he hasn’t done that already. It sucks, because I believe that I’ll never in my life have a friend as close as him.

  11. Long-time friends who cut you off for no reason: Red flags & How to deal (Updated Feb 2020)

    at 7:45 pm

    […] part 1, I talked about why people, specifically long-time friends cut you off for no […]

  12. Anonymous

    at 5:38 pm

    I am a person who recently cut a ex friend who I considered a sister out of my life with no explanation. It wasn’t because I used them but it was because they were becoming destructive and dangerous to be around. We were friends since 1st grade and she left for a few years and by 5th grade she started doing drugs and other things. By 6th grade if someone did something she didn’t like she would start fights with them.

    1. Anonymous

      at 5:41 pm

      Also, she twists everyone’s words so that she is the victim and everyone else is the bad guy.

      1. Anonymous

        at 2:35 am

        Not a close or long friendship, but I did have to cut someone off last year. After a few months of knowing her, a pattern emerged where she was always asking for something. Also, we have a hobby in common and I found out she was constantly trying to screw over others in the hobby. The asks got bigger to the point she wanted to borrow my vehicle (she had one of her own that was just fine). The final straw was when we got a phone call at home from one of her bill collectors because it seems she told them she worked for us. Nope never. So I cut her off. Then the messages started “oh if I’ve done something wrong, please tell me.” Really? You lied about me behind my back and now I’m supposed to believe if I just talk to you that you’ll tell the truth? Generally when there’s a problem I do try talking to the other person first but I couldn’t trust her and wasn’t about to entertain a bunch of lies and drama.

  13. Chloé

    at 5:52 pm

    I was in a mentally abusive friendship where the only choice I had was to cut off the person with no explanation. I used to consider her my sister but she changed into a completely unrecognizable person when we got into 5th grade and she eventually started doing all kinds of Self-destructive and destructive to those around her. By the time we got into high school every other day she had ended up getting into fights and bullying others just because they had different opinions than her. My personal experience was I would tell her a secret or tell her about my fears and she would find a way to make those fears come to life and would tell everyone my secrets.

  14. Joan Holker

    at 11:31 pm

    CRABACCA did you ever say something to him? I had a 50 year friendship in which she ended it because It was, as she puts it, “lopsided”. Meaning she made all the effort. My reply was “I completely understand….I think you know for the past 10 years I have been dealing with my elderly parents”. Seriously I was working and caring for my Mom and Dad with strokes, broken backs, hips, and femurs, alzheimers, and so much more. Never once did this so called best friend call to check on me, stop by with wine to laugh and talk…never a support. I was always always there for her. So sorry for her that I hadn’t called in a long while or made fun plans, but she knew very well I was up to my eyeballs in caregiving. Shameful really!!! Anyway…talk to people…let them know how you feel. You may be surprised to find out they’re going through a lot of stuff and just don’t want to be a burden!!!!

  15. Rebekah Baker LaSala

    at 5:38 am

    I am really struggling today. It has to do with a friend of 30 years who said “Bye Felicia” b.c he chose to listen to another friend he is close to who has always been jealous of me and buy into her hate of me. Also, it was unwarranted and I did NOTHING to deserve it as I did nothing to him. I am feeling emotionally raw. Coronavirus has taken such a toll b/c I have three high risk conditions and I am scared every day of getting it, which is fatiguing. I need human connection. My husband and I have not been able to touch each other since February b/c I have three high risk conditions and he is an essential worker. I need some serious prayers. So here it is: I was born into an alcoholic and abusive family and was a warrior and fighter out of the womb. My sister and I had no guidance. My grandfather, who was 100% Cherokee, Chester, truly loved me and taught my sister and I so much about the Native way and respect and love for animals and all things. He died when I was 13 and I tried to commit suicide the next day. I am 47 now. There was a shame thing about being Native in my family and I took that out of the closet and said “No, I will not be ashamed of who I am” and I became an activist for Native American rights. I met my beautiful friend John when I was 18 in college through crazy boyfriends and relationships… How do I have compassion for myself when I lost a friend who I have been friends with for almost 30 years who was always there for me. I do not know how to process it…I am beating myself up even though I do not deserve that. I know I deserve love. So what would you do? Do you have any advice spiritually? John and I became friends when I was 18 years old and he was always there for me. He beat himself up for being gay back then and I was there for him. He came to my mother’s funeral with me and defended me against my abusive hateful grandmother, told people off, told my alcoholic father off who sexually abused me among many other things…just so much…then he just suddenly dismissed me for no reason. I thought it (our friendship) would ENDURE. How do you love yourself when it seems like everyone crucifies you for being who you are? I am a Native American activist for 30 years and I have stood for my people and I was a National Bernie Sanders delegate and I deserve love, but I was silenced, had the mic taken away, got sexually harassed by those in the Democratic party who thought I was too progressive and wanted to silence what I had to say for my people, punched in the stomach by higher ups in front of other higher ups (National names in politics) and nobody did anything…blasphemized online… I walked across the country for Native American rights when I was only 19 years old. I am an empath and a sensitive person I have been crucified in the political realms for standing up for my people and . I just want to know what your advice would be. I walked across the country for Native American rights when I was only 19 years old until my feet bled into the ground. I am an empath and a sensitive person. I just want to know what your advice would be.I am poor and unemployed. I am an empath and a sensitive and loving person. I am a writer with three college degrees but could not find a job in my field BEFORE Covid. I am also a writer.

  16. Anonymus

    at 8:15 am

    I was recently cut off by my best friend, She was my rock and I loved her for being there when I needed her. But I shared too much of depression and she considered me toxic. I was so kind to her and I guess she saw it differently. I texted in confusion and sadness. I had known her since kindergarten and its so hard, Her other got into it and was so cruel to me about the situation, I don’t think i can ever forgive that girl for the things she said. I told my (old) friend that I respect her decision, hoping she would change her mind. Its just so heartbreaking from the way she told me it was over. “I dont think we should be friends anymore.” That’s all she said and then nothing since. This was in like April. Almost a month I poured my heart out hoping she’d come back. Then I noticed I was too pushy. I will always love her as my best friend to this day. It will still hurt, but at least I was proud to call her a friend.

  17. John

    at 12:19 pm

    Long time friend cut me off but I know why.

    Basically we had moments of really closeness, she seemed super interested in our friendship and we talked on the phone quite often like 1 or 2 times a month, when she went out for trips I asked her if we could talk about what happened and how it was, so our calls were anywhere from 10-70 minutes long. We seen each other monthly or every few months but kept the talks going and if we didn’t talk because I passed out she would be sad like when she came home from teaching bellyfit. Anything important that happened to her I would call her up and we talked about it, including 1 time we had a moment together on the phone. She would text me but was never much of a caller (except her family, she’s 41 as of today and I am 36) unless I asked to talk.

    Anyway, she never told me she had a boyfriend, found out a month later from someone and apparently she did not feel like telling me 1 month into their relationship she got engaged, she told me when they broke it off many months later because they went too quickly and ran into problems and now anytime I ask how they are she takes a while to answer and says “we are ok…”, so obviously not good. But ever since he found out about me hanging around her (they were a few months into a relationship) she’s not made time for me anymore, which will be 14 months. She tells me she hangs around her neighbour that’s in her covid bubble because they are BFF’s and she’s been hanging around other friends but never wants to see me in person, half the time she’s not really into the phone calls anymore. Pretty sure she’s cut me off because this loser she’s dating that’s ended us a few months into their relationship and we have known eachother since I was 21 and I wish nothing but bad things for him. If that makes me a loser I am fine with it but i’ll never forgive him.

  18. Julia

    at 9:24 pm

    Me and one my best friends for over 7 year have been recently getting into small fights for no reason. Than we would always forgive each other, and be friends. She was a very good and sweet friend in General. We did everything together like go to the park and once we even went to Canada together. One of the best days of my life. Anyways we got into another small fight which lasted 1 week about a pencil or something. In that fight I know I didn’t do anything wrong since she just randomly started sending me hate and I fought back saying I didn’t do anything. She started blocking me everywhere and she said she didn’t want to continue our friendship. It was the worse day of my life. I honestly wanted to kill myself. I kept crying and praying to god she would come back… if I had the chance I would text her on Tiktok, snap, Instagram etc. she usually responded with “ don’t talk to me” and than blocked me. I honestly dread no apologizing to her when I had the chance even though I did nothing wrong. I mean she was a good friend. So that’s like half of the story. One day the the friend that left me ( let’s call her sally ) so sally requested a request to my friends private acc. So I was just like yea let her in like I really don’t care. So the friend that sally requested the request into the private acc ( call her Sara ) well sara texted me and said “ hey so sally is taking shit about you. She added me to a group chat with all of your friends and they are talking trash about you “ when I read that I though it was fake….. in that groupchat is also one of my ex friends which now we know left me since sally told her FAKE things about me. Anyways the groupchat was so fake and I wanted
    To punch sally. The girl doesn’t have to be friends with me but she can’t spread fake lies about me… I don’t know what to do. I honestly want to kill myself but it’s not worth it for her. Anyone has advice?

  19. Katie

    at 12:43 pm

    This happened to me very recently. There was a recent outbreak of drama in a group of online friends I had made, with one accusing the other of being manipulative, controlling, and borderline abusive because of their BPD. I had felt uncomfortable about the accuser for a while, due to them comparing themselves to me in a negative way both “in my face” and behind my back. Because of this, and because the friend being accused was able to show me screenshots disproving the claims, I decided to stay by his side.

    I was told, as were the two other friends who were warned of this “danger”, that they would all understand if I still wanted to be friends with both them, and the accused. This suited me well, and for another two weeks I was on friendly enough terms with them, chatting at least once a day. Then, after being asked why I had been avoidant the past few days (I am struggling with mental health issues that cause me to feel socially overwhelmed and withdrawn), I was told that I could be open with them and share my feelings, and they “weren’t going to rip my head off”.

    So I opened up to them about how I was struggling, how I felt guilty for burdening my friends with my feelings, and that I was scared that one day they would grow tired of me and leave.

    By the next morning, the three of them had left the group chat without a word, and blocked me on all their social media accounts.

  20. Annie

    at 5:47 am

    Friend who did the cutting off here.

    My best friend and I have known each other for 20 years. The last couple years things have gotten really… unique. They moved 2,000 miles away and we’ve been talking less and less ever since. Despite the distance and the dwindling contact, they are convinced that they know every aspect of my life. So we go through cycles where everything’s fine and the next moment they are telling me everything they think is wrong with life, with me and demanding I make the changes they see fit. Usually based on 30 minute conversations every other month. And these things are usually non-issues; I post about fitness and they feel attacked, I really need to move to the big city with them because their hometown (where I live but didn’t grow up in) is the worst, they don’t like me volunteering for a group so I need to quit. The fighting is always followed by long periods of ignoring each other, stewing, etc. Most recently they have been blatantly harassing me about doing something I don’t want to do. I told them that while I appreciated the suggestion I didn’t think it was right for me. They blew up.

    I love them. Don’t get me wrong. But they can be incredibly arrogant and often fail to see things from other people’s perspective. I could continue to this cycle but it’s exhausting. I’ve been trying so hard to work on myself and, in many way, they use this cycle to try to goad me into past toxic behaviors that I don’t want to engage in anymore. So after they finished yelling at me, I temporarily disabled all my social media accounts. I’m taking a break. Afterwards, I will decide whether this is really worth it or whether it’s time to sever the bond.

    1. Sara

      at 11:31 am

      Hi Annie! You did good in cutting them off. Seriously – trying to control your life from a distance?!

  21. evegoesratata

    at 4:45 pm

    Hi! I love your post and I can see where you’re coming from. But I hope the option “you may have done something very bad to them and haven’t apologized yet” is an option here too. I admit I’m bad at communicating my feelings so it’s wrong of me to cut them off like that without trying to resolve anything. I never said a thing about their bad traits or talked about why I thought what they did was wrong to them, was also mostly because I was a pushover and also in a depressed state and don’t have enough energy to have another drama in my life (I just want to sleep all the time and everything to be as peaceful as possible but I guess it was wrong of me to did that too). And I also happen to know, that they’re arrogant people who can’t accept they’re wrong (each time they fight each other, as I watch them from the sidelines, nobody ever back off, admit they’re wrong or apologize), so I thought, what was the point? And isn’t it too much to be friends with people who always degrade your worth? I let it pass as I remind myself it’s a ‘joke’ but it’s so hurtful. I broke down crying and suffocating when I think about it again. I think it’s common sense to not say anything very hurtful, especially to someone who’s clearly depressed (at least in my case I know when someone is, even if they aren’t my close friends). I go around with the principle ‘how you treat others is how they will treat you too’ but I guess it won’t always be true. It all accumulates till finally one incident happened and I thought “this is it”. I thought this relationship is wrong and we aren’t really ‘friends’. What they did hurt me, and it’s also wrong of me to never say what I really meant to them too. We weren’t meant for each other.

    1. Sara

      at 11:30 am

      Hello! Yes of course, that’s also another option 🙂 There are a myriad of options unique to each situation, I was listing the super common themes I’ve personally experienced in my post.

  22. Jessica

    at 10:24 am

    I just cut off a friend of 7 years. Here is why. Yes I did “keep score” but not in the way described above. I just picked up on patterns of behavior. I noticed over time when I was in tough spots this person would be absent but then gleefully return when my tough time had passed. I noticed they could never handle me talking about sadness, stress or any other not pleasant emotion. And I did bring this up to them. They acknowledged they did this and said sorry but kept doing it. I just started talking to them less when I needed help and kept the friendship topical. I kept thinking I wanted to end it, block them, cut them off for good but stuck it out another year or so. Until I had enough. I got sick of having a “friend” I could not go to when I needed someone to talk to. So I cut them off. Block on social media, phone etc. When I make a decision like this with a person it is permanent. If that is this person’s nature to just bury their head in the sand when times get stressful then this is not the type of person that I want in my life. so maybe people cut you off for reasons that you’re unaware of, or maybe you became aware of at one point but then forgot about. I don’t think it’s just because. It probably is because the other party did something or didn’t do something and over time the person who cut off just got sick of it.

    1. Sara

      at 10:28 pm

      It probably is because the other party did something or didn’t do something and over time the person who cut off just got sick of it. –> yup of course that is aboslutely possible. There are so many different reasons why people cut others off. I was in a similar situation as you when I cut some friends off and it was because they were never there when I was down. But now that I’m older and have a bit of perspective, I probably came off really negative to them and it drained them talking to me.

      It’s fascinating reading alot of the comments here. There’s always two sides to the coin, the cutter and cuttee (for lack of a better word) will perceive the cutting off in drastically different ways. And at the heart of it, it always seems like a complete lack of or breakdown in communication and quite a bit of mind-reading/assumptions on everybody’s parts. Interesting.

  23. Jessica

    at 11:21 pm

    Yes this is true the cutter and the cuttee have different experiences. I’ve been on the receiving end of being cut off as well and I know it’s very painful and confusing.
    And it’s true with my friend maybe I was draining to them as you said. But what the hell is that friend there for then? Aren’t your loved ones supposed to be there for you in the good times and the bad? I considered this before I decided to end things with them. But then I thought about any of the times they came to me with their problems and how I sat there with open arms, I never complained, I never ignored. It was imbalanced. But yes maybe in their head they didn’t see it this way. Either way that’s not a friend I want. I’d rather have people in my life that can handle me talking about whatever because thats what I have to offer as well. Thanks for the response and your thoughts on the issue!!

    1. Sara

      at 11:04 pm

      Hi Jessica, haha, friendship can be a very interesting experience for all of us, and I’ve noticed over the years, that people define it very differently. My definition of friendship in the past was very much like yours. And I had (ex) friends who were similar to your former friends too. I actually had one tell me that I always only talked about negative stuff and she wanted me to tell her more positive stuff. I was going through a breakup at that time, and treated her like a confidante, but she found it irritating. I remember thinking that comment to be really odd. But her definition of friendship seemed to be very different from mine, and in the end, after quite a number of very dramatic episodes over tiny issues (including her sending a 6 page email over how wronged she felt in our “friendship”), I had to stop talking to her.

      She felt I drained her, but I was experiencing her behaviour as bullying, petty and incredibly toxic (of course she didn’t agree with my asssessment :). It came to a point where I had to admit to myself that this is not what I wanted from a friend, and I don’t want to be around someone who made me feel bad for being myself. My real friends on the other hand, ones I had healthy relations with, never once said that my life’s problems annoyed them.

      If there’s one thing that you take away from this friendship, is that if someone isn’t showing up the way you want them to, it’s best to acknowledge that and let them go. Other doors to better friendships will open 🙂

      – Sara x

  24. Emily

    at 12:19 am

    My long-time friend, who i was dating the last few months before she left, complitely cut off me from her life. She started it by blocking me on social media, for example Instagram, TikTok and in this one game, Identity V. Before that, she didnt answer to my phone calls, messgaes, Instagram messages, WhatsApp messages or game messages. After few weeks she blocked me on WhatsApp. Few days later she went off from all our group chats. She also blocked our friends. She didnt say anything. She just left with no reason, leaving me and my friends feeling guilty and confused, especially me. I asked her online friends, have they heard about her and they lied that they didnt know, because few days later i saw her and her online friends chatting on this one Instagram posts comment section. Im really confused and insulted. The hurting part is that I still love them really much and i cant really live without them. First time i met them, i instantly felt connection with them, im so confused.

    Any advises what happened??? 🙁

    1. Emily

      at 12:22 am

      (when i wrote they/them at the “The hurting part is that I still love…” part, i meant the same person, my friend. Ive just so used to using they/them pronouns instead of she/her, sorry for confusion!)

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