Ask Kari: How can I talk to my best friend who suddenly backed away from our friendship?

Dear Kari,

I have been best friends with my friend Lisa for the past five years, but lately she has pulled herself away from me and I am not sure why. I have asked her if something is wrong and she says no, but I don’t believe her.  We did start socializing with some other friends in our neighborhood a few months back, and there is one woman that I think talks badly about me behind my back to others including Lisa. But, I can’t believe that my best friend would side with someone else’s viewpoint over me.  What can I do to get her to tell me the truth?

No Longer BFFs

Dear No Longer BFFs,

You appear to be distraught that your friend Lisa has backed away from you without telling you why. It can be hurtful when friends pull away, especially ones who we feel a bond to. I recommend that you invite your friend to coffee and warmly ask her how she is feeling about your friendship. Be honest, let her know that you miss spending time with her and feel a distance between you. Also, be open to whatever she has to tell. Maybe there is a past issue that you need to apologize for, or maybe she is having personal challenges that she feels she can’t share with anyone else. Just try to be genuine and caring. I wish you good luck and many years of friendship together in the future.


As published in the June 2014 issue of Connections.


About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a licensed independent clinical social worker and a resident of Issaquah Highlands.

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