When a friend doesn’t respond

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When a friend doesn’t respond to your text it’s on them right? Or do some people want you to try to reach out to them? Like they want you to say, “What’s wrong?” Or “I haven’t heard from you” when they drop your text?

I have always assumed that a dropped text means no further communication is desired. But I’m trying to understand and balance out knowing when a friend is a real friend and doesn’t understand why I won’t reach out to her, versus a friend who is passive aggressive or manipulative and is trying to get me hooked into enabling her.

Not sure if this makes sense... I will try to explain further if needed. I guess what I’m trying to get at is figuring out various neutral responses for dropped texts. In my past experiences time would go by and I would text them as if nothing happened and we might resume a friendship before it gets dropped again. I’m trying to figure out what’s best for me and what best supports friendship.


Sometimes a text comes at a moment one is not available, or doesn't feel like responding. I have a friend who makes this a rule of freedom: they will respond, but three days, or maybe three weeks later. I know that, so I don't make a problem of it. But then again, I'm not such a texting person. Maybe you can give them a call, if you really feel you need to talk to that friend. Feel free!


Continue reaching out. When I’m having bad spells I shut everyone out for several reasons.

1. think I’m doing them a favor. I do this because I don’t want to bring them down. Would I want them to do that to me? No. But I still do it
2. I’m in such a bad state of mind I can’t even function enough to read the text. Much less respond.
3. I’ve lost my phone or read the text and forgotten about it completely. Or sometimes I think I’ve responded but never did.

Does any of this help?

You are an amazing friend to even ask.


It depends totally on the person. My friends know if I don’t text back it’s nothing personal I’m just not capable at the time. Continuous texting would be the absolute last thing I want it just gives me more anxiety and makes me feel guilty. My friends know because I’ve explained it to them there’s no point mind reading. I also get back in contact eventually explain why I was incommunicado and apologise if appropriate.

If someone doesn’t text me back I adhere to the same thing tbh. If they need me they know where I am. I’m not about to perster anyone and I can’t read minds. I’m not going to be annoyed if someone doesn’t text back but the ball is in their court.


I’m a little less forgiving...

Even if someone is in the middle of an episode, they still have the ability to text back when the episode is over. This is 100% on them.

I’m just sick of reaching out to multiple people and getting no response. I’ll text 2-3 times, but after that, I’m done.

It feels like total shit to have a one sided relationship where someone never contacts you first and you always have to initiate the conversation. This is not a quality relationship that you want to keep. It says “I’ll talk to you when I have nothing better to do, but I don’t care enough to reach out to you first”.

Of course one can argue that mental health issues make it hard to reach out, but if one never has good days where they will reach out to friends? These people aren’t healthy enough for friendships.

Of course I’m not talking about severe incidents like being hospitalized or in a coma, lol.


When a friend doesn’t respond to your text it’s on them right?
That might depend on what they're not responding to. If they don't respond to a direct question, that's one thing. But, it's possible for a specific conversation to end for now, but not forever too, isn't it? "Real life" can interrupt an electronic conversation without it having a deeper meaning.

Do you have other reasons to doubt the relationship?


Use the phone for its original purpose: CALL.
Stupid electrons get lost.
Or better yet, go visit in person and remove all doubt.

If I haven’t answered a text that’s literally a sackable friend offence. Thank god my friends are understanding.

That’s just not the type of friends I want. I’ve felt manipulated and coerced into contact when I didn’t feel capable before. Someone calling a bunch of times then cone round to my house when I don’t answer. Maybe if it was very out of character but I’ve always said if you text or call and I don’t answer it’s because I’m not upto it at the moment.

What does it matter if they feel overwhelmed and can’t deal leave them alone. If they’re being manipulative and leave them alone. If they need help they have to ask like everyone else does. Unless that person has said when I’m overwhelmed I can’t text back but I like to be kept in the loop do can you keep texting, when I feel better I’ll text back.


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When a friend doesn’t respond to your text it’s on them right? Or do some people want you t...

No no no no no. They will take it wrong. Let them be. They need to recharge. Don't say anything. I know you love your friend, but they are not in the present if they are isolated, they are thinking bad things, and you will attribute to the "delusional thinking" (if you will and for lack of a better word), just leave them be. No offense I do not understand why people want to interact with someone that chose not to interact with someone. Your friend is not stupid, they are not retarded, they are free thinking, and their feelings right now are in control, not their cognitive processes, trust me their brain is preoccupied on surviving and that's all it knows how to do. In their past that tactic has worked, that's why your friend is doing it. Do not worry, but then again maybe call whoever they live with, *67 and tell them okay look don't tell my friend i am calling i do not want to "trigger" them, but on the down low how are they doing? You know be smart about it, but don't really worry too much about it. Maybe if they don't have anyone living with them, bring them water, toilet paper, or a home made warm meal, ring the door bell and run.


Unless that person has said when I’m overwhelmed I can’t text back but I like to be kept in the loop do can you keep texting, when I feel better I’ll text back.
My supporters had to train me to do this. I honestly didn't think they noticed/cared/wondered where I had gone. A big part of my ptsd revolves around handling crisis on my own so the idea that I go dark and they notice? Totally foreign to me. When I finally figured out they actually worried it really threw me. So now I try to send out a text if I'm getting twitchy. If it hits me unexpectedly they will give me a day or two and then send me "all ok" type text. And I am expected to answer - even if it's just ..yep - just dark.
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