Don’t Like Your Friends Anymore? Reasons Why and What to Do

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“Lately, I’ve felt like I hate my friends. I don’t feel like I fit in with them, but I have no one else. What can I do if I don’t like hanging out with my friends?”

Have you ever started feeling annoyed or even hateful towards people you used to like? There are many reasons why you may start disliking your friends.

Sometimes, these are feelings we can learn to move past and save the friendship. On other occasions, however, we may decide that the best thing to do is move on. Here are some common reasons you may start disliking or hating your friends and what you can do about it.

Sections

  1. Reasons why you may not like your friends anymore
  2. What to do if you don’t like your friends anymore
  3. Common questions

Reasons why you may not like your friends anymore

1. You’ve grown apart

Sometimes, as we move through life, we grow apart from people we were close to. One typical example is friends from high school and college who used to hang out a lot. After leaving school, they find that when they don’t see their group of friends regularly through shared activities such as classes, there isn’t much holding the friendship together.

You may even find that you have nothing in common with the people you used to hang out with every day. Perhaps you used to have shared interests, but one or both of you have changed. Maybe you used to party or play video games together, but those things no longer appeal to you.

As we grow up, our hobbies, interests, and values change. We don’t always go in the same direction as our friends. Sometimes our friends will get into politics or groups we disagree with. We can often stay friends with people even as we grow to be different people. Other times, it may be too difficult to keep up with.

For more on this topic, read our articles: 10 Signs You’re Outgrowing Your Friends (And What to Do) and how to keep in touch with friends.

2. They did something to hurt you

It makes sense that you will stop liking your friends if you feel like your friends don’t care about you anymore. If your friends purposely exclude you or put you down, being around them won’t feel good.

You don’t have to end a friendship just because someone did something to hurt you. We can learn to overcome some differences. We have a guide on how to deal with flaky friends if your friends are difficult to make plans with.

How can you decide whether to work on the friendship or end it? We have an article that will help you tell apart real friends from fake friends.

3. You don’t like their personality

If you have a rude friend or a friend who has traits that don’t align with your values, you may start disliking them.

Sometimes, it takes us some time to realize we don’t like our friend’s personalities because they are nice to us and we have a good time together.

For example, you can have a great time hanging out with someone one-on-one, but after a few months of friendship, notice that they are rude to service people when you go out. Maybe you notice that they gossip a lot or treat their partner unkindly. As a result, you may start to feel like you dislike them.

4. You see them too often

When we spend a lot of time with someone, we start to notice all their annoying habits. The truth is we all need some alone time, and some people are better at recognizing when that is. Also, different people need different amounts of alone time at various points in their lives. Your friend may be happy to talk to you nonstop while you may need more space.

5. You’re starting to find your friends boring

Finding your friend boring may come from being friends for a long time and getting stuck in a rut. You may be talking about the same things all the time. Or perhaps you struggle to be interested in your friend’s job, hobbies, or when they bring up the same problem for the fifth week in a row.

6. You’re afraid to get close to people

If hating or disliking your friends after a while is a pattern in your life, you may be stuck in some unhelpful ways of thinking.

For example, you may tend to see things in black-or-white, good or bad. You might like a friend until they do something that hurt you or that you didn’t like.

All of a sudden, intense feelings may come up, and you think: “They don’t care about me. This friendship was a waste of time. I hate them.”

You seem to forget all the good times you’ve had together and the nice things they did for you.

Black-and-white thinking is a defense mechanism people use that limits their ability to connect to other people.[1] Being overly judgemental or closed-off and unwilling to be vulnerable are other ways people unconsciously use to try to protect themselves in relationships.[2]

No one is perfect, so ending friendships whenever you discover someone’s flaws is a surefire way to avoid intimacy. Sometimes we need to learn to accept people as they are (and work to build a relationship that suits both people). Our guide on building trust in friendships will help you develop healthier relationships and learn when it’s better to walk away.

7. You find it hard to set boundaries

If you struggle to set boundaries, you may end up resentful of friends who cross them, even if they don’t mean to annoy or hurt you. For example, if you don’t make it clear that you need plenty of notice before having guests over, your friends may offend you unintentionally when they drop by without warning.

On the other hand, your boundaries and preferences might be too rigid. You may be controlling and get upset when other people disagree with your ideas of how things should be. If you have unrealistic standards, you will quickly become annoyed by most people.

What to do if you don’t like your friends anymore

1. Evaluate what you need from your friends

Try to dig deep into why you started disliking your friend and what you truly want.

Sometimes, we may need some time apart from an annoying friend. We may decide we still want to be friends but only see them in group settings (or alternatively, only one-on-one).

Perhaps it used to feel good to see your friend every week, but now you may discover that you need to see them less frequently.

You may discover that you don’t want to be friends with them anymore at all. It can be hard to admit we don’t want to be friends with someone anymore.

We have an in-depth article on what to do if you feel lonely even if you’re with friends, that may help you figure out where the problem lies and what you can do about it.

2. See if you can bring novelty into your friendship

If your friendship feels stale or boring, it’s not necessarily a sign to end the friendship. Sometimes, taking direct action, like doing new activities together or talking about new things, can make a friendship look completely different.

For more, read our guide on what to do if you have boring friends. If you end up finding most people boring, perhaps our article on how to be more interested in others will be helpful.

3. Communicate your needs

Learning how to set boundaries and communicate your needs can save your friendships and even make you like your friends more. For example, if you say “yes” every time a friend invites you somewhere, you may end up feeling overcrowded and resentful, without your friend doing anything “wrong.” Learning how to say “no” can save a lot of resentment.

Sometimes we assume someone will know why we’re upset, but they don’t. It may be helpful to remember that everyone comes with different expectations regarding friendship, and everyone has different communication skills. Your friend may struggle with some aspects that are important to you in a friendship, but they may be willing to work on it.

Our article on maintaining friendships may help you develop the skills you need to make friendships last, including good communication.

4. Practice opening up to your friends

It’s difficult to like your friends and feel comfortable around them if you are afraid of opening up. If you’re afraid to get close to people, practice connecting with them on a deeper level that goes beyond superficial chats.

You could:

  • Share something personal that’s relevant to the current topic. For example, if your friend is talking about their vacation, you could share that you went to the same place as a teenager, and it was the best vacation you ever took with your parents.
  • Use “I statements” to make the conversation more personal. For example: “I personally feel that news channels just try to scare us.”
  • Share feelings as well as facts. For example: “I’m getting a new kitten next week [fact]. I’m so excited because I haven’t had a cat since I lived with my ex-partner [feeling].”

For more in-depth advice, see our guide on how to open up.

Working with a therapist can also be effective if you often feel wary or distrustful of others and it’s getting in the way of your social life. Therapy can help challenge destructive beliefs (e.g., “I can’t trust anyone) that could be undermining your friendships.

5. Try to accept your friends as they are

It’s easy to dislike your friends if you tend to focus on their faults or criticize them.

The next time you catch yourself making a judgment, consider these questions:

  • “Am I leaping to conclusions here? Am I assuming I can read their mind?”
  • “What evidence do I have that my friend really is stupid/boring/shallow/etc.?”
  • “Would I want someone to make a similar judgment about me?”
  • “Am I expecting my friend to be perfect? If so, how can I adopt more realistic standards?”

When a friend annoys you, it can help to remind yourself of their good points and the happy times you have spent together.

Our article on what to do if you don’t like people may help if you struggle to accept and understand others.

6. Start making new friends

If you decide that the best thing for you is to distance yourself from your friend or end the friendship completely, start making new friends to hang out with. You don’t have to wait until your friendship is officially over. It’s good to have several friends!

We have a guide on how to build a social circle from scratch. You can also try to reconnect with old friends, even if you haven’t spoken in years.

You don’t have to wait to make new friends to distance yourself from your current friends. We have a guide on how to cope with having no friends.

7. Distance yourself from your friends

If you have friends that never call you or make serious efforts to see you, not initiating contact with them may be enough to let the friendship die down on its own. Stop reaching out to them. Start sharing less about your personal life. Spend more time by yourself.

8. End the friendship if necessary

Sometimes we have to be honest and tell our friend that we want to end the friendship. It’s not easy to end a relationship, and we may want to avoid the conversation. But our friend deserves an explanation if they ask for one. We should all strive to treat others as we would like to be treated.

You don’t have to directly tell your friend that you don’t like them anymore. That’s harsh and unnecessary. But once you’ve worked out why you dislike your friend, you can use that reason to give them a more helpful, diplomatic answer.

For example, perhaps you feel that your friends are shallow. Instead of saying that, you may instead choose to say something like, “Lately, I’ve felt that we have different interests. It doesn’t seem to me like we’re enjoying our meetings, and that’s no one’s fault. I think it would be best if we stopped spending time together.”

Read our in-depth guide on how to be honest with friends.

Common questions

Is it normal to not like your friends anymore?

It’s normal to change and want different things for ourselves. Sometimes we grow in different directions, and people who fit into our lives don’t anymore. Other times, our friends may have done something that makes us see them differently.

What do you do when you don’t like your friend anymore?

Reflect on your feelings and what has happened between you. How long have you been feeling this way? Have they done something unkind? Could you talk about it with your friend? You may need to distance yourself, make new friends, or have an honest conversation about your friendship.

How do I get out of a friendship?

If you don’t want to continue a friendship, sometimes you can let the friendship fade away by not initiating contact. If your friend asks for an explanation, be kind but honest. You can say that you value the time you have spent together but feel that it is no longer beneficial for you.

Why do I sometimes hate my best friend?

Sometimes when someone hurts us or breaks our trust, we feel intense anger that can feel like hate. The feeling may be temporary and may pass, but it can indicate that something in the friendship needs fixing.

How do you tell if a friend secretly hates you?

Signs your friend dislikes you include canceling plans regularly, ghosting, rolling their eyes or sighing with annoyance when you speak, giving fake smiles instead of genuine smiles, and making snide comments.

How do you know it’s time to end a friendship?

It may be time to end a friendship if you have more good times than bad and your friend doesn’t change when you tell them your concerns. Friendships are a two-way street, and if your friend won’t or can’t take your needs into account, walking away may be the best thing to do.

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Viktor is a Counselor specialized in interpersonal communication and relationships. He manages Socialpro’s scientific review board. Follow on Twitter or read more.

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