Sometimes friends can take each other for granted. Then all of a sudden, without even realizing it, you find yourself home alone on a Friday night without a girlfriend in sight. But what if there were ways to prevent the slow exit of your gal pals from your life? What signs may have you missed that were pointing to your friendships heading south?
These 5 subtle insights show that you may not be the awesome friend you think you are.
1. Lost invites
Have you found your girlfriends are "forgetting" to invite you to their group outings? Haven't had lunch with them in forever? Didn't know about that great party until you saw it on your Facebook feed?
When you're not getting the open invitations you used to, your friends may use the excuse, "Of course you're welcome, you don't need a formal invite." But the truth is a single click or text isn't that hard, and they're likely going out of their way not to include you. If you're presence is no longer requested, it means you're making your gals uncomfortable, likely by saying or doing inconsiderate, unkind or simply annoying things.
2. Cut to the quick
If your girlfriends are keeping your convos short, sweet and detail-free, you've got a problem. Being curt with a soon-to-be former friend means they no longer enjoy talking to you. Maybe you talk too much- inject your opinion when it's not needed, or give little back in the way of response. In any case, the art of conversation is being stilted on one side and that is driving your squad the other away.
3. Deafening silence
This isn't simply about keeping quiet; it's more about specific silences- like avoiding touchy topics or staying mum on a certain subject.
For example, if you can't seem to get anyone to open up about their love life around you, it means you're not the right person to give good advice. Or that you're just not that good of a listener. People don't take too kindly to someone else telling them how to run their relationship. Sound familiar?
Another situation could arise when you express something about yourself that your girlfriends can't seem to get on board with. They won't directly challenge you on your (probably positive) self-assessment, but they won't agree with you either. See a lot of heads turning to look down or around and no one speaking up for you? Then your friends see you as defensive and lacking insight, so they won't bother chiming in.
I've been that person to let a girlfriend know everything she couldn't see about herself. Things her other friends also saw but were unwilling to show her. We're no longer friends. But that's the risk in saying your peace. So most won't do it. They'll just phase you out.
5. New friends
If your old chums don't seem interested in introducing you to their new friends this unfortunately means they are moving on — without you. It's possible these new gal pals have different personalities, values or lifestyles, and you may not get along all together in the first place. But it's more likely your unknown antics will harsh the new comfortable vibe and turn the night sour.
If you're experiencing any of these subtle signs from your best girlfriends, take it as a note you need to step up your efforts and change your friendship tactics. How you define friendship is no longer working, and your lady loves need more, or sometimes less, from you. Be bold and ask why you've been left out in the cold. Keep your composure in the confrontation and make it about the way you feel, not what they have or haven't done. And if you can't get a straight answer but still feel shut out, maybe it's time for you to venture out and make new friends of your own.