Are friends who don’t return phone calls rude? Are they really your friend?
It’s certainly inconsiderate and can be considered rude, yes.
Before jumping to conclusions or saying something you’ll regret, however, it’s worth exploring why they aren’t returning your calls.
There may be an innocent explanation, here’s how to handle friends who don’t return your phone calls and what you should do about it:
5 Innocent Reasons Why Your Friends Might Not Be Returning Your Calls
As I mentioned, it’s worth exploring some of the innocent reasons why your friends don’t return your calls.
It’s not always going to be because they’re avoiding you, it might be due to one of the following reasons:
1. They Always Forget to Call You Back
This is a more common reason than you may think.
Your friend might be meaning to call you back but always gets distracted and forgets.
It depends on how many calls they’ve missed and how long this has been going on as to how likely this is, but even I’ve been guilty of this from time to time.
I feel bad when my friend finally catches up with me and there’s no real excuse for it, but it happens!
2. They Prefer to Text and Not Call
In our fast-paced society, some people just prefer texting as their main form of communication.
If your friend texts you a lot but never calls, even if you call them and ask them to call back this might be the reason.
Just ask them outright if this is the case and don’t be offended if they say they only like to text, it’s becoming more and more common.
3. They’re Cheap and Don’t Want the Charges
I’m not sure if this paints your friend in a good light or not if it’s true, but they might not be calling you back because they don’t want to pay the phone charges.
If you only live in the same city this isn’t likely, but if you live far away it’s a possibility.
You could always text them and ask if they want to switch to Skype or another video chat service so you can catch up without the charges.
4. They’re Anxious About What to Say
If it’s a friend that you’re close to and maybe even have a crush on or vice versa, then it’s possible they’re anxious over what to say on the phone.
It’s hard for some people to hold a conversation, so they might just be avoiding you because they don’t want to make things awkward.
5. They’re Always Busy (Poor Excuse I Know)
This is a pretty poor excuse but it might be the truth.
Your friend could just be really busy with work, school, or their social life and don’t get back to people (might not just be you).
Everyone deals with stress and being busy differently.
While some people might think nothing of making a quick 5-minute call when they have a break, for others it’s stressful.
5 Hard Hitting Reasons Why Your Friends Might Not Be Returning Your Calls
Just as there might be innocent reasons why your friends aren’t calling you back, you also have to look at the worse case scenarios.
It’s not a good sign if friends aren’t calling you back, and it might be due to one of the following reasons:
1. They’re Avoiding You
Let’s tackle the reason you’re probably thinking about first, as there is a good reason why most people assume they’re being avoided when someone isn’t returning their calls.
If someone doesn’t return your calls, there is always the possibility that they’re avoiding you and don’t want to talk to you.
2. They’re Just Rude
If someone is just plain rude, then they’re not likely to return your calls and not care about how it makes you feel.
There’s not a lot you can do about people like this in most cases, so it’s best to either stop expecting them to call you back or move on.
There are plenty of other people in the world that will appreciate your friendship!
3. They’re Selfish and Only Think of Themselves
There is a difference between being rude and being selfish, but both of these attributes might cause a person not to call you back.
If they’re just selfish, then they might not be purposely avoiding you but they likely don’t think about you as much as you think about them.
This is a one-sided friendship that’s not likely to last, so don’t put too much stock into it.
4. They’re Leading You on And Aren’t a Real Friend
If you’ve been trying to be friends with someone and they keep leading you on but never follow through, then it might be because they’re not really friends.
This is especially true if they only talk to you when they need something and never bother to stay in touch otherwise.
It’s a hard one to take and I hope this isn’t the case for you, but it’s something you have to consider if someone you call a friend doesn’t even bother to call you back.
5. They Are Dealing with Some Personal Issues
If someone suddenly stops returning your calls and you have no idea why, it might be because they’re dealing with some personal issues.
It could be a big deal to them and be something that they don’t want to talk about, so it’s best to respect their privacy.
Hopefully, they’ll have the courtesy to tell you that they’ve got a lot on their minds right now and will get back to you when they’re back to normal.
How to Handle Friends Who Don’t Return Phone Calls
Whatever the reason for someone not calling you back, how you handle the situation is going to have a big impact on your friendship.
First and foremost, you need to communicate with this person to find out why they’re not returning your calls and if there is anything you could do differently.
I know what you’re thinking, but they never return your calls so how can you talk to them about it.
Well, either text them or wait until you see them in person.
If they don’t reply to your texts and you never see them in person, I guess it answers the question about how good of a friend they really are.
If you do manage to catch them with either of these methods the best policy is always to just be honest and ask them why they haven’t been returning your calls.
You might not like the answer you get, but at least you’ll know where you stand.
From there you can decide if it’s worth trying to salvage the friendship or if you’re better off moving on.
I hope this has helped give you some clarity about what might be going on if someone isn’t returning your calls.
Just remember to stay calm, be honest, and don’t take it personally if they’re not interested in being friends anymore.
We all have different priorities in life and sometimes things just don’t work out the way we think with certain people.
But that’s OK, I know you’re an awesome person and friend and will meet other people who value you as a friend and reciprocate what you bring to a friendship.
Image credits – Photo by René Ranisch on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.