Having loving, supportive friends who care deeply about you is part of what makes your world go round.
It makes you feel loved and valued.
You thought you had that, but lately, you’ve been getting the feeling that what you actually have are friends who don’t care about you.
And it’s painful, to say the least.
Let’s take a look at possible reasons they don’t care, signs to look for, and what to do about it.
Why Does Your Friend Not Care About You?
It’s downright hurtful when you feel like the important people in your life don’t care about you the way you care about them.
It can leave you feeling powerless, befuddled, and lonely.
Every person and relationship is different, and it can be difficult to decipher why people think and act the way they do.
If the reasons for their uncaring attitude aren’t obvious (for example, you fought), you’ll need to dig a little deeper.
Doing so can also be painful because it requires a high level of self-awareness and accountability to determine if one of you is at fault or if the friendship simply wasn’t meant to be.
If you find yourself saying, “My friends don’t care about me,” check out the list below for possible reasons.
- You have nothing in common
- You’ve drifted apart
- They’re going through something personal
- They don’t know how to show they care
- Their priorities changed
- They’re selfish and only care about themselves
- You’re needy or clingy
- You hurt their feelings
- You’re surrounding yourself with the wrong people
- They or you have unrealistic expectations
- You’re misinterpreting their signals (meaning they do care)
15 Hard-to-Face Signs Your Friend Doesn’t Care About You
Life is too short for crappy friends who treat you like dirt. If you want to know how to tell if someone doesn’t care about you, these common signs will help.
1. They’re not there for you.
Whether you’re struggling or something wonderful has happened, your friend doesn’t provide the support you need.
When you try to talk to them, they don’t listen, brush it off, or change the subject. Maybe they speak over you, cut you off, or become annoyed at what you’re saying.
Random occurrences like this are possible if they’re busy or have their own things to deal with, but if it seems like they never offer a shoulder to lean on or want to celebrate your wins, it’s a sign your friend doesn’t care.
2. They don’t try to get to know you.
True friends want to know the real you. Sure, there are varying levels of friendships.
You might reserve certain things for your best friend and refrain from talking about every aspect of your life with other friends, but if it seems like your interactions are very surface level, you might want to consider if the person in question really cares.
Do they know what you do for a living? Do they know your dreams, fears, values, and beliefs, all the things that make you who you are?
3. They use you.
One of the classic signs your friend is a user is they only come around when they need you for something, whether that be a favor, advice about a problem they have, or an introduction to someone in your network.
Though there’s nothing wrong with asking a friend for help, they only seem to reach out when you conveniently have something to offer them.
Otherwise, you never hear from them. Then once they don’t need you anymore, they disappear until they need something else.
Not only that, but they don’t appreciate you. They don’t repay the favor and rarely thank you for your time or efforts.
It’s expected that friends celebrate the good times with you. But when you’re excited about something and they’re always negative, or they make backhanded or deprecating comments, it’s a sign they don’t care about you.
Maybe your success makes them jealous or insecure so they undermine it and avoid any kind of praise or adoration.
They don’t congratulate you on your promotion, weight loss, or new home but instead make subtle jabs that indicate it’s less than a big deal.
If your friend invalidates your feelings and accomplishments, you might want to find a better friend.
5. They’re unaccepting of you.
It’s natural for misunderstandings and disagreements to occur within friendships. It would be unrealistic to expect to get along all the time or never have different opinions.
But no matter what you do, it’s not good enough for them. They don’t try to understand your choices, beliefs, values, or dreams, but instead, they criticize you or laugh at you.
You might even feel like you have to hide certain aspects of who you are so you don’t feel judged or insignificant. They do this because they want to feel superior.
Friends should accept you for who you are, even if they don’t always agree with you.
6. They don’t make time for you.
Everyone has responsibilities and priorities– work, school, health, personal things, and family. Another item on that list? Friends.
Does your friend always cancel, never show up, or rarely reach out to you first? Do they take days to respond to a simple text message? Are you ever a priority for them?
People make time for important people and events in their life.
Whether they’re not there for you when you’re going through something difficult and need a shoulder to lean on or they never have time to hang out, take it as a sign that they aren’t a true friend.
7. They’re unwilling to compromise.
Sometimes friends disagree on things. It’s common to have different values, beliefs, opinions, and ideas on what fun things you can do next weekend.
Good friends are willing to give in and do what you want to do sometimes. You would do so for them, right?
But when everything must happen on their terms, whether it’s the restaurant you eat at, the movie you see, or the activity you do, their opinion is the only one that matters.
It is a big red flag and a sign of an uncaring and disrespectful friend.
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8. They purposely bring you down.
You want the kind of friends who will build you up, encourage you, and stick by your side. That’s what good friends do.
Not-so-good friends, however, might criticize your decisions or accomplishments, telling you that what you want to do is a waste of time or over your head, or even encourage you to make poor decisions.
They point out the negatives when good things happen for you and try to make you feel less than them. It’s as though they’re actively rooting against you and want to see you fail.
The bottom line, if someone negatively affects your mental and emotional health, they don’t care about you.
9. They disrespect your boundaries.
Honoring your wishes and what you do and don’t like is a sign of a caring friend. That’s called respect and is an integral part of friendship. Violating your boundaries is clearly the opposite of that.
You ask them not to call after 9 pm, but they do it anyway. Or you share something personal and ask that it stay between the two of you, but they blab to mutual friends. Perhaps they use derogatory language they know upsets you.
You can’t control other people’s behaviors. All you can do is set clear expectations. You may want to find better friends if they don’t behave accordingly.
10. They gossip about you.
Friends should be trustworthy, period. You can trust a good friend to be honest and kindly tell you their true opinion.
A person who says one thing to your face but something entirely different behind your back is not a good friend. They might make fun of you or belittle you to make themselves look and feel better.
Or maybe it’s other people doing badmouthing about you, but this person doesn’t put a stop to it.
They let others talk poorly about you without sticking up for you or even letting you know it occurred.
11. They ignore you.
Regular communication can look different between friendships. Maybe you prefer to talk every day or can go a week without speaking. This sign isn’t so much about how regularly you interact but the quality of those interactions.
You might want to reassess this friendship if your calls or texts go unanswered longer than acceptable.
Are they always on their phone when you’re together? Do they ignore your comments and tags on social media or turn the other way when you see them at the grocery store?
These aren’t the actions of a true friend.
12. They always blame you.
Conflicts occur all the time in relationships. People have disagreements and make mistakes. It’s human nature.
True friends own their mistakes when you call them out on something they did to hurt or disrespect you. They’re willing to accept responsibility for their part in the fight.
But when something goes wrong, or you disagree about something, an uncaring friend suggests it’s always your fault. They never admit to being wrong because, in their eyes, they’re always right.
Or maybe they avoid you until they feel you’ve had enough time to “get over” whatever was bothering you.
Either way, a lack of accountability in a friendship suggests they don’t care.
13. You’re their Plan B.
There’s nothing wrong with having multiple friend groups. Sometimes work, college, or road trip friends won’t mesh well, so it makes sense to keep them separate.
But with an uncaring friend, you’re never a priority. It’s not that they’re too busy, although they may claim that’s the case. Instead, they keep you in their life as a backup.
You’re more of an afterthought or someone to talk to when they have nothing better to do or someone else cancels on them.
They might ditch you at the last minute when they feel like something better comes along.
14. They disappear for long periods.
You don’t need to know where they are or what they’re doing all the time. But good friends keep in touch, even when life gets hectic.
And if they can’t or won’t be present for some time, they let you know rather than leave you waiting and wondering what’s going on.
Disrespectful friends, on the other hand, may disappear for months or weeks without so much as a quick text to let you know they’re not available. Maybe they started dating someone new, are super busy at work, or have family issues to tend to. Either way, they leave you in the dark.
15. They exclude you.
As mentioned in #13, sometimes friend groups are kept separate for a good reason.
Personalities can easily clash and cause undue stress for everyone involved. But a good friend wants to spend time with you and includes you whenever the situation fits.
Suppose you find that a friend fails to invite you to their birthday party or holiday get-together but includes mutual friends or has invited you in the past, or they block you on social media or in a group chat. In that case, you can safely assume they do not care about you.
What to Do When a Friend Hurts You and Doesn’t Care
The signs are there: someone you thought was your friend doesn’t care about you.
Now, what do you do? You are not a doormat. You can and should take action.
Here are a few things you can do:
- Talk to them. Some conversations, while difficult, are necessary. Maybe it’s something your friendship can survive. But you’ll never know what’s wrong if you don’t ask.
- Set clear expectations. If you feel like mending the friendship may be possible, let them know how their behavior makes you feel and that you won’t tolerate it any longer. If they continue to treat you poorly, let them go.
- Distance yourself. Why would you waste your precious time and energy on someone who isn’t good for you? Stop calling, texting, and inviting them to hang out. Make new friends and focus on people who do care about you.
- Practice compassion. Easier said than done for sure, but do your best to be kind to yourself and the other person rather than let it affect your self-esteem or stoop to their unkind level.
- Seek help. Realizing a friend doesn’t care about you can be difficult to overcome, especially if you thought they were a good friend. Consider visiting with a therapist to help you through.
Everybody wants and is worthy of meaningful, two-way friendships that are supportive, encouraging, and fun.
If you’re not getting that from your current social circle, address it and then, if necessary, move on and find better friends who do care about you.