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Trouble reading the intentions of a friend

  1. Aug 21, 2009 #1
    I am having trouble reading the intentions of a person I thought was a friend, but now I am not really sure what to call him. I am not sure whether he is avoiding me on purpose because he's too shy or doesn't want to talk to anyone or he has reasons for not contacting me that might be beyond his reach; We used to go to movies regularly and enjoyed each others company; We shared similar interests and shared some of the same personality traits; He was so eager to really hang out with me again, when we lost contact for several months that he would be waiting for me in the mathlab room where I would work my mathlab shift, ready to begin our luncheon. He is more introverted than me and once confessed that the reason he missed some of our outings together is because he avoids socials situations frequently because of trusts issues. I am not sure if he is telling the truth; He was the only person I considered a real friend in college. I am certain he felt the same about me; I tried contacting him through phone and email, and he never answered his phone; His actions have really frustrated me for months and I don't understand why he just stopped returning phone calls out of the blue;.IS there some psychological reason why some people would exhibit this type of behavior, i.e. being a genuine friend and show them you really want to spend time with them and then one day out of the blue just stopped contacting them all together?
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 21, 2009 #2


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    First, take a breath! I need to reread that to fully understand what's going on. Do you realize you just wrote a paragraph-long sentence?
  4. Aug 22, 2009 #3
    Sometimes after major life events (and graduating college would be one of those) some people just have tendencies to disappear and drop contacts. This is especially true if you (or they) have changed locations. I'll confess to being one of those people.... even with people I've considered good friends.

    Heck.. I even took a hiatus from physicsforums after I finished graduate school.
  5. Aug 22, 2009 #4
    time to move on .. :biggrin:
  6. Aug 22, 2009 #5
    Yeah, true. But it's troubling and disturbing when people you were very close to (or you thought you were close to each other) simply vanish one day without a word. Whether it's a friendship or a love relationship, it's easy to sit back say, "Bah, forget it; move on" but that's easier said than done. You wonder what happened. You wonder if it was something you did or said to make them go away. You wonder if something untoward happened to them, and, when you find out it didn't, you get angry about that. You wonder why, if the person had some issue, why not just come out and say, "This makes me uncomfortable, I'm going to move on. Thanks for all the fish."

    Truly, when someone simply disappears from a long standing relationship without so much as a word, it's really troubling and really difficult to deal with. There's no reason and no resolution. And I personally think that people who behave that way are gutless.

    But, meh.
  7. Aug 22, 2009 #6


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    It sounds as though they suffer from social anxiety disorder and quite possibly depression. It could be depression right now that prevents him from responding. Some people become "emotionally overloaded" and although they still care, they can't respond. Only time will tell. In the mean time, move on with your life, but it never hurts to contact them once in awhile to let them know you're still a friend, they might need that assurance and eventually respond.
  8. Aug 24, 2009 #7
    Out of curiosity...are you male or female?

    If it's the latter: he wanted to go out with you but never gathered the courage to ask you out and now feels that it would be too hard to do so instead of facing rejections he's simply ignoring you to push you out of his life so he can move on.

    Or I'm just making things up, but seriously that could be an option.
  9. Aug 24, 2009 #8


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    It could just as well be the case if noblegas is a male. (In fact, it might explain the odd behaviour even better.)
  10. Aug 24, 2009 #9
    How do you know he is not dead, seriously sick or injured?
  11. Aug 24, 2009 #10
    I am female; Are there really guys like this who will hide in their shell and are unable to express their true feeling to a degree that they just avoid you all together?
  12. Aug 24, 2009 #11
    We really don't know enough about this guy to comment, but yes, it does happen. You seem to have implied he exhibits a social ackwardness? I'm wondering if you're his only female friend?

    Sometimes young guys start out as your friend/equals/buddies, and then a realization that you're a girl (or something?) happens and they start thinking about you as a girl first and a friend second. If you are the only girl he spends time with - it's very possible this happened.

    Give him some time and decide if you want to be friends or something else- I'm guessing it's your choice.
  13. Aug 24, 2009 #12

    Edited to remove rant.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2009
  14. Aug 24, 2009 #13
    Yes, I should know - I used to be one of them.
  15. Aug 24, 2009 #14


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    *guesses at source of rant* :rofl:

    And, indeed, yes, there are men who will act like that when they don't know how to handle an emotional situation. Far too common, I might add.

    Though, it's really too difficult to speculate on this particular case. There are too many possible reasons. Everything from he's gotten busy and just means to call and forgets or only remembers at times that would be inconvenient for a call, to he has a new girlfriend and she's jealous of this stranger to her leaving phone and email messages, maybe even to the point of erasing before he sees them. Or, he may have just drifted away and doesn't really know what to say anymore, so doesn't bother to call back. Some people also just really change when they leave home...or perhaps more appropriately, reveal more of their real adult personality when they kept that more hidden when at home with the pressures and expectations of family and friends who have known them since childhood, so choose to just break ties with people from home who they fear might not accept them for who they really are now.

    Also, do you actually get his voice on voicemail? Maybe he's moved and you're leaving messages on the wrong number.

    See, lots of possibilities, some good, some bad, some in between. You've tried, and it's now up to him if he wants to respond.
  16. Aug 24, 2009 #15
    1) I got busy
    2) drifted and don't really know what to say anymore
    3) changed and become more open

    I don't know what made the girl, in my case, (unintentionally) force me into friendship that I initially avoided - either curiosity or sympathy. I was more introverted then and so was wrong in giving in.I don't feel like going back when I am just starting a new good and healthy life.

    One of my friend also met a girl when young whom he hates so much that he don't even want to see her ever (he was bullied in his younger years). He is also changed.

    @ OP:
    I would ask did you also initiate the friendship? If true it is likely that he is changed.
  17. Aug 24, 2009 #16
    yes I left a voice mail and I emailed him on facebook, but he never responded to any of my messages; As I said before, he did tell me that he flees frequently from social situations because he has trouble trusting people ; I reallly think he is avoiding me because he is uneasy in social situations and thats all; I created this thread because I really wanted to know if this was some sort of psychological disorder people possess where people avoid people just because they are afraid if something will go wrong in the friendship/intimate relationship they are in; Thank you all for your advice on how I should approach this dillemma
  18. Aug 24, 2009 #17
    There are actually a couple. Self-described 'nice-guys' tend to be prone to walking away without a word. They think it's 'kinder' than being straightforward and breaking things off point-blank....

    Okay look, don't get me started. :grumpy:

    I'll land at the happy rolling face at some point. Honest.

    noblegas, do yourself a huge favour. He left a trail of breadcrumbs for you to follow. Follow them. He set you up telling you about his in-built 'trust issues'. Take that at face-value, and know that there's nothing you can do to change that, or save him, or prove to him that he actually can trust someone (that someone being you) nothing. Get on with your life.
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