Why You Might Push People Away (And How To Fix It)

Even the friendliest and most extroverted people can sometimes behave in ways that push people away, whether or not they realize they’re doing it.

If you’ve noticed friends seem more distant than they used to, it may be time to evaluate your own behavior. These are just a few of the ways you might inadvertently be pushing friends away—and ways to remedy them.

Do you only engage when it’s about you? Do you only initiate with a phone call or text when you have news to share? Are you chatty when they ask about your day, but you don’t reciprocate?

  • It can be disheartening when a friend only seems interested in talking about themselves and rarely seems interested in how you’re feeling.
  • Next time: Call or text to ask how they are. Ask follow-up questions. Be attentive to spending as much time listening as you do talking. Clear your mind of other issues and focus on their words.

Do you complain every time you talk to friends? Do you vent about a bad work or relationship situation during every conversation? Are the complaints similar each time?

  • Everyone needs to vent now and then, but if you repeat the same complaints and never attempt to change the situation, that’s an unpleasant (and monotonous) monologue to hear.
  • Next time: Consider solutions to the problem so you can discuss how it changes. If possible, try to reframe it to see any positives. Also, focus on something not about you!

Do you try to solve all problems by yourself? Do you think things won’t be done properly if you don’t do them? Do you ignore advice from others?

  • Working together on a project may mean doing something differently than you would have done if you were solo, but different doesn’t mean worse—and cooperation builds personal bonds.
  • Next time: Ask for help, and then listen carefully to others’ suggestions. Make implementing the solution collaborative.