How to Stop Pushing People Away

Four Parts:Troubleshooting why and how you push people awayLearning to trust and stick by peopleMending broken fencesMoving forward

There may be a time in your life when you realize that either people start avoiding you for some reason or they are out of your lives all of a sudden. Or, you've turned your back on your beloved ones, without understanding why. Identifying that you have a problem with pushing people away is the first step to remedying it, through both understanding and conquering it. Fixing it involves dealing with your own confidence level and feelings of self worth, so that you can begin to let people back into your life again.

Part 1
Troubleshooting why and how you push people away

  1. Image titled Act Bossy Step 4
    Understand the motivation that you use to keep people away from you. Identify why you are pushing a person away, without passing judgment on the person. Close your eyes and visualize the person in your head. Then listen to yourself. How do you feel when you see this person's face? Threatened? Nervous? Name that feeling if you can.
  2. Image titled Develop Poise Step 2
    Determine what issue is causing you to push away people you care about. The majority of the time, people push others away because of an underlying issue with themselves. Usually this is a trust issue, commonly found in relationships. If you have been hurt in the past, it is understandable that you are wary of letting another person get that close to you ever again. The thought may even seem ridiculous. As hard as it may seem, you will trust again, provided you are open to the reality that there are many trustworthy people out there. With dedication to overcoming your own issues, you will conquer the negative feelings, to become the confident, strong person you are.
  3. Image titled Stop Pushing People Away from You Step 1
    Identify what actions you use to push people away. Perhaps you fail to keep communicating. Perhaps you say you'll do something but then you fail to follow through. It could even be your entire demeanor and mode of acting, a deliberate set of behaviors of yours, that allow you to treat somebody carelessly and only at a distance. Watch for actions such as: the fact that you keep a lot to yourself, or the fact that people are trying to help you and you just deny their help.
    • For example, if a friend tries to help you when you’ve come out of a bad relationship, but you just refuse to be helped, you have just pushed away someone who could be a source of support and understanding. If you continue this behavior constantly, you risk alienating your friends and friends will not stay on your doorstep forever when you keep ignoring them.

Part 2
Learning to trust and stick by people

  1. Image titled Start a Phone Conversation Step 12
    Talk to somebody about your fears and feelings. Talking about the problem is a major step to opening up. It's simple, easy and incredibly refreshing. You don't have to go into detail; just to unload some feelings can be a world of help, and help you to realize that you're not alone in your feelings.
    • Let out your feelings to a counselor or to your parents or someone you can trust. Explain to them why you push people away. Let the people who are closest to you in, so that they can help you.
    • If you don't like talking to other people about your problems, try talking to yourself in the mirror or journaling to help you understand your feelings about others.
  2. Image titled Stop Passive Aggressive Behavior in the Workplace Step 1
    Value yourself. Learn to trust yourself and believe in your own worth. If you crave the acceptance of others all the time but then fear their rejection, this sets up a vicious cycle of not wanting to get too close to them for fear of them letting you down, and in the process confirming that you're worthless. This is not the case––you are worthy and you are the only person who can admit this and live true to it. Just as the people you care about matter, so too do you.
    • Think positive thoughts whenever you feel down. Make a list of the things that make you special and unique. Ask somebody else to write down a thing or two––this will give you a feeling of self worth.
  3. Image titled Handle Teasing Step 3
    Come to an understanding that not everybody will hurt you in life. Sure, some people will, but by not allowing yourself to get close to anyone, think of all the good relationships and connections you're missing out on. Also consider the overlooked experiences, such as shopping trips with the girls you wouldn't dare talk to in case they didn't like you, dates with the guy you thought was too good for you and making a business deal with the person you felt intimidated by. There are people out there who appreciate and even love you for who you are––gravitate toward them and keep them in your life.
    • Learn to keep your distance only after you've made an effort with people. Be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt at first, and see what happens.
  4. Image titled Have a Stunning Laugh Step 5
    Fake that confidence. If you feel as if you can't face the world today, plaster on a big smile, even when you feel like you want to cry. Confidence is a morale booster, even when it's faked. Repeat positive mantras in your head such as; I am strong and I can achieve anything. You will start to believe it.

Part 3
Mending broken fences

  1. 1
    Be honest with yourself about the mistakes you made. It's hard for everyone to admit their feelings. However, it's essential in order to move on. Where you've treated people like dirt, you need to own up to it and develop a plan to set things right again.
  2. Image titled Stop Pushing People Away from You Step 2
    Consider talking to a specific person you've deliberately estranged from you but whom you care about a great deal. Realize that this will not be easy because the person may not trust you any longer and may be inclined to tell you to leave them be. You will need to persevere and to let them know that you're keen to discuss what made you push them aside and that you're no longer going to do that. It is likely that you will feel anxious and afraid but it's important to try to mend broken relationships that are of great importance to you. Remember that any assumptions you've made about them are quite likely to have been wrong.
    • Convince yourself that if you don’t want to lose a friend forever, you need to make some changes. Realize too that just getting an apology doesn’t necessarily make the offended person feel better and forgiving. Remember that words are just words, it's the actions that rebuild a good relationship.
      Image titled Stop Pushing People Away from You Step 3

Part 4
Moving forward

  1. Image titled Act Bossy Step 1
    Get out there. Grab every opportunity and begin to take risks. This will help your confidence and help you meet as many new people as you can.
  2. Image titled Stop Pushing People Away from You Step 4
    Make it happen. Now that you’ve honestly put yourself in the corner, and realized what you need to do, go for it! Show your people how important they are to you, and that you’d be really sorry to lose them.
    • Remember that your words should reflect your actions. Stop talking and start making things happen instead.
    • Adopt this mantra: What's the worst that could happen?


  • Remember, if someone cares enough to still be around after you've tried to push them away, that says more about them than others who have left.
  • Take time for yourself; Have a long bath, read a book, listen to some music and treat yourself.
  • Fight the urge to push people away. Cancel and replace the thought with something positive about the person.
  • Tell yourself every day that you are an amazing person, and you'll start to believe it, if not straight away.
  • Talk to people-open up, however hard it is.
  • Stop being so skeptical/judgmental. Take time, slowly as you like, to get to know someone.
  • Once you've made things up, you must keep trying. Don't go and make the same mistakes again.
  • Respect other people and their feelings. You don't have to agree with their beliefs or values but do find a way to tolerate and be understanding.


  • You must know that sometimes is not you. Sometimes people just ditch because they can or because they're a swirling mess internally. Maybe it's all about them, so you need to make that clear first. You're not always responsible.
  • Never exploit anyone, especially not if they are just too good to you.

Article Info

Categories: Friendship Problems | Personal Care and Style