How to Forget People Who Don't Want to Be Friends with You

Three Parts:Finding Ways to Let GoManaging Your EmotionsLearning from the Experience

Friendship can be a difficult thing. You may think you're establishing a friendship with someone, only to find they're not interested in your company. If someone rejects your friendship, work on forgetting about it. There are many reasons that someone would not want to be your friend. Most of these reasons have nothing to do with you. Try to let go of the lost friendship. Acknowledge it's not personal and focus your energies elsewhere. Be kind to yourself to help manage your emotions. When you're ready, think about anything you could learn. Maybe there was something you could have done differently. In the future, try to be more aware of your behavior.

Part 1
Finding Ways to Let Go

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    Avoid dwelling on what occurred. If someone did not want to be your friend, you may find yourself dwelling on this. If a potential friend rejected you, you may have a lot of questions as to what went wrong and why. However, try to avoid dwelling. Unless they tell you up front, you will never know for sure why someone rejected you. Therefore, there's little point in worrying.[1]
    • Think about how close you really were to this person. If you were just getting to know someone, only to find they weren't interested in your friendship, how well did you really know them? You may be better off forgetting what occurred and moving on.
    • Be aware of your thoughts. When you find yourself dwelling on something, do something to distract yourself. Read a book or watch television.
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    Limit social media interaction. If you're online a lot, avoid looking at social media profiles of the person who rejected you. Pouring over someone's Facebook profile will only re-open old wounds. You may start wondering why they rejected your friendship all over again.[2]
    • Try to block seeing the person's updates for awhile. This will help you from inadvertently seeing their pages when browsing social media.
    • You might want to stay off social media altogether for a bit, especially if you're struggling to accept the rejection.
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    Reframe how you view the situation. If you view rejection as solely negative, you'll have trouble forgetting it. Instead of seeing rejection as a failure, see it as one in a series of endeavors that did not work out. This way, it'll be easier for you to forget and move on to the next thing.[3]
    • Think about it this way. You pushed yourself out of your comfort zone and tried to make a new friend. Many people are terrified of opening up their social circles. You deserve some credit for trying to meet someone new.
    • This friendship did not work out. That's normal. Many people have a lot of commitments and relationships to attend to. If someone simply did not click with you as a friend, they may have decided to move on.
    • Look towards the future. While this new friend did not work out, there are plenty of opportunities left to meet people and make new friends.
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    Embrace the pain and then let it go. It's okay to feel pain after being rejected. If you try to completely forget negative feelings, you may end up feeling them more. If you really want to let go, embrace the pain briefly. This will allow you to release any anger and resentment and take steps forward.[4]
    • No one likes being rejected. It hurts when someone does not want to be your friend. Allow yourself to be human and grieve the loss. Give yourself a few hours or a day to be sad.
    • Then, focus your energies forward. Think something like, "That was sad. I wish it would have ended differently, but I need to move on now."
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    Expand your social network. If you're shy by nature, and have difficulty making new friends, someone rejecting you can hurt more. A good way to forget someone who did not want to be your friend is to try to expand your social network. Find places where you can make new friends.[5]
    • Make a goal of interacting with people more. You can start small. For example, promise yourself to make more small talk at work this week.
    • From there, push yourself more. Try to, say, go to a party you were invited to, or head to a social place, like a coffee shop or a community center, alone and chat up others.

Part 2
Managing Your Emotions

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    Avoid taking it personally. You may feel personally rejected if someone did not want to be your friend. However, this may not be personal. Try to look at the situation somewhat objectively. If you're being honest with yourself, was the rejection truly personal?[6]
    • Think about relationships in your own life. Chances are, you've rejected someone's friendship in the past. Maybe a classmate or co-worker kept asking you to hang out, and you kept making up excuses. Was this personal? Probably not. You likely just did not click with that particular person, or were too busy for new friendships.
    • The person who rejected your friendship may have done so for similar reasons. Maybe they have a lot on their plate and aren't looking for new friends. Maybe they thought you were perfectly nice, but did not feel a strong enough connection with you. There's a good chance the rejection was not a reflection of your worth as a person.
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    Boost your own self confidence. Rejection can cause a major blow to self confidence. You may be left feeling bad about yourself in the wake of a rejection. Instead of indulging feelings of self-pity, try to find ways to build your self confidence.[7]
    • Make a list of everything you like about yourself. Think about everything you've done well throughout the week. Take stock of your talents and abilities. This will all make you feel like a worthwhile person.
    • You should also strive to remember your current relationships. Chances are, you have a lot of good friends now. Just because one person was not interested in your friendship does not mean you're not a good friend.
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    Engage in positive self talk. If you find yourself engaging in a negative internal monologue, stop. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. This will help bolster your confidence and sense of self-worth.[8]
    • Notice your thoughts throughout the day, particularly in regards to the failed friendship. You may, for example, hear the person who rejected you made plans with a friend of yours. You think to yourself, "I guess I'm just not cool enough to be friends with this person."
    • Stop and redirect your thoughts. Replace negative thoughts with more positive ones. For example, "I didn't click with Sharon, but I know how much Felice values my friendship. I must be doing something right to have a great friend like Felice."
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    Remember emotions are temporary. Just because you're feeling rejected now does not mean it will last forever. When you start to indulge feelings of negativity, stop and remind yourself of your worth. You are not going to feel bad about this rejection forever, even if it feels that way now. Eventually, you will move on and find new, better friends.[9]

Part 3
Learning from the Experience

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    Embrace rejection as a way to grow. You can learn from being rejected. Instead of seeing it as inherently negative, see it as an opportunity to build your resiliency.[10]
    • Rejection is a part of life. A fear of social rejection can lead you to limiting your social circle and interactions.
    • The more rejections you get, the better you get at handling them. Therefore, see this rejection as practice. You've learned what it's like to have a potential friend reject you. Now that you've survived this, you'll be less nervous about it happening again in the future.
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    Think about anything you could have done differently. No one is perfect. Most of the time, rejection is not a reflection of you. However, could you have done anything differently? If you can think of any ways you can grow, you may benefit as a person from this rejection.[11]
    • Think about your interactions with this person. Did you make crude or negative comments that may have made someone uncomfortable? Did you share too much information too soon? Were you flaky on plans, or maybe too rigid about plans?
    • Much of the time, a rejection is not about you. However, if you think you did something, recognizing what it was can help you grow.
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    Consider attempting to repair the rift. How important is this person to you? If you had your heart set on being their friend, you may want to repair the rift. This is especially useful if you believe you did something to cause it.[12]
    • You can try sending a quick text or email addressing the issue. You don't have to go into too many details.
    • Try something simple. Say something like, "Hey, I'm sorry if I was a little flaky about plans. I do want to work on being friends, even if it didn't seem like it. Let me know if you want to get coffee sometime!"


  • Be brave enough to move on and end a friendship if you have tried to resolve it and it hasn't worked. You will ill feel better and know in your heart that it was the right thing to do.
  • If the mistake is on your side, apologize. If they don't accept your apology, leave them be. A good friend forgives mistakes.

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Categories: Changing and Losing Friends