6 subtle signs someone is trying to distance themselves from you

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but sometimes, people we care about start pulling away from us.

This distancing can be hard to detect, especially when you’re emotionally involved. It’s often cloak-and-dagger stuff, with signs so subtle they are easy to miss or misunderstand.

With this in mind, I’m going to share with you seven subtle signs someone is trying to create some space between you and them. 

Knowing these can help you understand what might be going on.

Let’s dive in. 

1) Decreased communication

Communication is the lifeblood of any relationship. So, when someone starts distancing themselves, the first sign you might notice is a decrease in communication.

You might find that their text messages, calls, or emails become less frequent. Perhaps they don’t respond as quickly as they used to, or their responses are shorter and less engaging. It could be that your conversations feel strained or shallow.

This isn’t to say that everyone who doesn’t reply to your message immediately is trying to distance themselves. People get busy; it happens. The key here is a change in pattern.

2) Avoidance of personal meetings

Now, this one hit close to home for me. I had a friend, let’s call him Mark. We used to hang out all the time, grabbing coffee, going for walks, watching movies. Suddenly, he started canceling our plans.

At first, it was a work emergency here, a family issue there. But as time went on, the excuses seemed to pile up. He was always too busy or too tired or had some other reason not to meet.

He wasn’t cutting off communication entirely. We were still texting and talking on the phone occasionally. But those face-to-face interactions? They were once in a blue moon. 

That’s when I realized he was trying to distance himself. It wasn’t about him being busy; he was subtly avoiding spending time with me in person.

The point is that if someone always has an excuse not to meet up or keeps rescheduling your plans, they might be trying to distance themselves from you.

3) Body language tells a tale

Our bodies often speak volumes, even when we’re silent. Research shows that most of our communication is nonverbal. Basically, we can communicate a lot without uttering a single word!

If someone is trying to distance themselves, their body language might give them away. They might avoid eye contact, cross their arms defensively, or lean away from you during conversations.

In fact, a shift in body language can often be one of the first signs that something’s off. It’s as if our bodies react to our emotions before we can process them fully.

4) They are less interested in your life

Remember those days when this person was genuinely interested in your life? They asked about your day, your dreams, your concerns. They were fully present in your conversations, showing empathy and compassion.

But now things have changed. They seem less interested in what’s going on with you. Your stories are met with disinterest or, even worse, total indifference.

They no longer ask about the details of your life and when you share, they don’t engage in the conversation as they used to. It feels like they’re just going through the motions or not really listening at all.

Sound familiar?

This sort of lack of interest is another sign that someone is trying to distance themselves. It’s as if they’re withdrawing their emotional investment in the relationship.

5) They no longer confide in you

There was a time when my sister and I shared everything. We’d talk about our fears, our hopes, our dreams. We were each other’s go-to person when life got tough.

But then, something shifted. I started noticing that she wasn’t sharing as much with me. She’d respond vaguely when I asked about her life and she stopped confiding in me about her problems or plans.

It felt like she was holding back, like there was a wall between us that wasn’t there before. It was a slow and painful realization to come to, but it was clear she was distancing herself from me.

As sad as it may be, when someone stops sharing their life’s ups and downs with you, it could be a subtle sign they’re pulling away

6) They start to exclude you

This is a big one, and it can hurt.

When you find out that the person you thought was your close friend or partner is making plans or decisions without including you, it’s a clear sign they’re trying to distance themselves.

Maybe they’re hanging out with mutual friends and not inviting you. Or perhaps they’re making big life decisions without consulting you. They’re essentially creating a world where you’re no longer a key player.

This exclusion is often a deliberate choice to create distance. It’s their way of slowly easing out of the relationship without a direct confrontation.

Wrapping up: It’s all about understanding

That just about wraps it up for this one. 

Recognizing these seven signs that someone is trying to distance themselves from you is not about assigning blame or making assumptions. It’s about understanding and empathy.

People often distance themselves not because they want to hurt you but because they are dealing with their own issues. 

If you spot these signs in someone you care about, it might be a cue for a heart-to-heart conversation. It’s about opening up channels of communication rather than closing doors.

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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