No matter how much it is rationalized and explained, being put in the friend zone sucks. And trying to figure out how to get out of the friend zone, when you’ve been through it so many times that you have now acquiesced to the identity of “professional friend,” isn’t worth it because at this point, what’s the point?
Figuring out how to get out of the friend zone seems impossible because the friend zone is, in and of itself, an impossible situation.
The friend zone is built upon the foundation of an unwavering discrepancy in feelings – whether both parties are aware of this or just one.
In the friend zone, there’s generally an abundance of auditioning on your end, an abundance of receiving on the other person’s end, and a painful lack of the kind of connection necessary for more than “just friends.”
If you struggle with confidence and suffer from low self-esteem like I used to, being friend-zoned is one of the most potent, “I’ll-never-be-enough” affirmations out there.
The whole process of being continuously friend-zoned catered so well to my fears, belief system, and insecurities, it literally robbed me of an identity. At that point, there was nothing to do other than waste more time looking for someone to “make me happy” and complete me.
Because of the trauma from past friend zone experiences, I couldn’t take care of my own emotional needs. So, I went out into the world, trying to be this “perfect friend with massive potential,” hoping to find a human bandage for the emotional cancer of “I am not enough.”
Although the friend zone does indicate an obvious lack of connection, if you’re wondering how to get out of the friend zone… there are things you can do to ensure that you don’t end up in that zone again.
Here’s how to get out of the friend zone fast in 5 steps…
I think it’s important to note that the five steps for how to get out of the friend zone also provide an explanation as to why you repeatedly get friend-zoned in the first place. I’ve been friend-zoned so many times in my life and wasn’t able to put an end to it until I acknowledged that I was subconsciously engaging in patterns that essentially tattooed “please friend zone me,” on my forehead.
Here’s how to get out of the friend zone fast ( and why you repeatedly get friend-zoned)…
- Stop taking out the sh*ttiest insurance policy on rejection. Yes, it’s true that the best relationships can start out as friends. And while this can be true to an extent, I used to take that and run with it to a level that sabotaged me at every corner. I was so focused on building the friendship and being a good, dutiful, and patiently waiting “friend,” I couldn’t see how much it was obliterating the romantic potential that I claimed to be after. You can’t work so hard on being a great friend and then, be shocked that you’re ultimately viewed as such. Why did I do this? I couldn’t see it back then, but now looking back, it was because of safety. My fear (and desperation for a rejection shield), had begun to outweigh the vulnerability that’s necessary to have the kind of connection I was so hungry for. I figured as long as we were “friends,” if anything went wrong, it wouldn’t be as bad of a rejection or hurt as much if he recoiled. I mean, it’s not like we were boyfriend and girlfriend or anything… right? If you engage in this mentality and pattern long enough, “friendship” will start to have this ambiguous definition that will cause far more pain than pleasure. It also makes you a sitting duck for friends with benefits/f*ck buddy territory.
- Stop friend-zoning yourself. You can’t be in an environment that makes hitting a home run impossible and then, tie your worth to hitting a home run in spite of impossible conditions. If you’ve built a friendship with someone where you’re meeting all of their needs in the name of “being-a-friend-that-he-HAS-TO-eventually-see-as-more,” that doesn’t mean that you’re on your way to Happily Ever After. It means that you’re in fake friend territory because you are friend-zoning yourself. You’re making sure that all of his needs are met in hope of him waking up one day and suddenly viewing you in a different light. The only need that you’re getting met is the subconscious need to validate, solidify, and affirm that no matter how hard you try, how much you give and how much you love… it’s not enough. YOU’RE not enough. This then becomes so much more about winning and tying your worth to being chosen, in spite of the triangulation that your insecurities have constructed.
- Throw out the “too nice” belief and know where your power is. Bottom line: you don’t get friend-zoned because you’re “too nice.” That doesn’t make any sense and in my opinion, it’s a lame excuse. One of the main reasons you wind up in the friend zone is because you tolerate being doormatted/used in the name of baseless hope. There’s so much more to you than “nice.” Dive into what feeds your spirit – nurture it, learn everything that there is to know about it, and reach a point of expertise in which you begin to feel the kind of confidence that no one can EVER take away. Figure out how to give that gift back and share it with the world in a way that no one else can. Become your own best friend/biggest fan first and you won’t be as inclined to hold onto the friend blanket for dear life.
- Auditioning vs. Connecting. I’ve written about the consequences of auditioning before and it’s the one thing that will directly destroy any chances of having a mutual, loving, honest, and gratifying relationship. When you’re preoccupied with how you’re coming across and checking all of his boxes, you prevent an authentic connection (or having the judgment to see if one even exists). You also take the lack of connection as something personal when really, it’s never personal – there’s just no connection. Focus on connecting INSTEAD of how you look and are coming across. The more you make connecting your priority, the less you’ll make a potential lack of connection all about you and your shortcomings.
- What’s the use? I used to give so much in the name of “must-prove-that-I-am-worthy-of-more-than-just-friends,” it became pointless for the guy to ever WANT to be more than friends. When you give someone the benefits of having a relationship with you, without the actual relationship, why do you think they’re ever going to want to deviate from the status quo? They’re getting all of their needs met without having to meet any of yours. It’s OKAY to communicate directly through your matching words and actions. The sky won’t fall, I promise.
And that’s how to get out of the friend zone.
If you’re mindful of the above, you will drastically cut your chances of being friend-zoned. And even if you happen to find yourself there again, you’ll no longer feel the need to take up permanent residence. Why? Because you’re not acting from a place of lack, ever again.
Written by: Natasha Adamo