WTF-Zoned – How to Avoid It


noun informal

a situation in which a friendship exists between two people, one of whom gives mixed signals which may or may not indicate a romantic or sexual interest in the other.


I’m sure most of us have been in this situation before. Where you’re hanging out with a friend, and said friend does something a little weird but you brush it off because maybe you’re just “that close” now. Then someone else points out this friend’s behavior and you start to wonder whether or not this friend is trying to move out of the friend zone. So you start to pay a little more attention and suddenly said friend becomes more distant and awkward than that childhood friend you bump into whom you haven’t heard from in years. Then they’re being weird again. Then they’re distant again. And that’s when you’re officially in the WTF-Zone.


Being the confused party in the WTF-Zone causes an endless stream of frustration, over-thinking induced migraines and borderline hysteria. After a lot of research, due to personal experience, I’ve narrowed down the top 4 tactics you could use to save yourself from this emotionally exhausting whirlwind.

  1. Mimic & Exaggerate

When your friend starts to act weird, counteract it with a similar action, but in a more exaggerated way. For example, if this friend lightly touches your arm while they’re speaking to you, go ahead and return it with a whole hearted shove. This will probably knock some sense into your friend, at which point the weirdness should stop.


  1. Make it Awkward Before They Do

Once you start to pick up on their mixed signals, take drastic measures before they get the chance to. Go from being super friendly to impossibly unavailable within days of each other. Chances are your friend will be so confused that they’ll spill with any feelings they may or may not have for you, just to get out of the same mess they’ve put you through.


  1. Voice Your Opinion

Ensure to very loudly exclaim how annoying you find mixed signals. Go on and on about how you prefer people who are up-front about what they’re thinking/feeling. Hopefully, your friend will get the hint and follow up with something to put your mind at ease. But if none of these tactics work…


  1. …Confrontation

I’ll admit, the first three tactics were extreme and fueled by humor more than reason. If you’re really in a situation like this, the best thing to do is confront your friend. I know, it’s easier said than done. It also means that you might end up horribly embarrassing yourself should you have read things the wrong way. But hey, if they’re as good a friend as you think they are, it’ll only make you both closer.