Ghosting a friend means completely cutting them from your life without explanation or heads up. If you do it, make sure it’s warranted.
Although commonly used in dating, ghosting someone doesn’t have to mean breaking up and disappearing only in a sexual relationship. Ghosting a friend means you literally break up with them in the harshest way possible. It isn’t a term you use when you just stop talking to a casual acquaintance. Ghosting a friend means you go from full to zero with someone significant in your life.
Ghosting a friend involves cutting all ties with someone without any warning, explanation, or word at all. It means completely letting go of communication with one of your very best friends. There aren’t many reasons why you would ghost a friend.
A devastating thing, when you are close to someone, your absence may cause great distress in their lives. So, before you decide to do it to someone you love, think long and hard about it. There is no turning back. [Read: What is Ghosting and how does it really affect you?]
10 reasons ghosting a friend may be warranted
There are really only a handful of reasons why it is appropriate, or fair, to ghost a friend. Again, a very hurtful thing to someone’s psyche, just make sure you do it for real. Know, once done, there is likely no turning back or repairing the relationship. [Read: Got ghosted by someone? 10 clear signs and ways to deal with it]
#1 They cheated with your partner. A no-brainer if someone cheats with your significant other, then there is no choice but to ghost them. It matters not why they did it, or if they were just “soulmates” and couldn’t help themselves. It isn’t just your boy/girlfriend’s fault that they got together.
Your friend broke the code and had an affair with someone you love knowing you loved them and how devastating it would be. Instead of giving them the chance to apologize or explain, make it clear there is no forgiveness or explanation, your friendship is no longer existent. [Read: 10 questions to ask before dumping a cheating partner]
#2 They told your greatest secret. The type of secret they could tell that would be grounds for ghosting isn’t that you eat ice cream on Fridays when no one watches. The type of secret worthy of ghosting is if they tell people something so confidential that they promised to take it to the grave.
There is almost always room for forgiveness in a relationship if someone is sorry, but not if they told something about you that forever alters the way that you, and everyone else, sees you. If they betrayed you, it’s ghost time.
#3 They bashed you to other people. People are pretty predictable creatures. We all talk. If we want to be honest with ourselves, there isn’t a person alive who hasn’t said something nasty about a good friend in the heat of the moment or when in an argument with them, to another person.
#4 They have a relationship with your partner that is toxic. When you are good friends with someone, that doesn’t give them a license to get all chummy with your partner. Sure, we can all be friends. But, if you notice something more developing or even some flirting going on either way, then it might be time to cut ties and ghost.
That old saying about friends being tighter than sexual love is wrong. If they don’t respect your relationship with the person you love and keep boundaries, and it starts to affect your romantic relationship, cut them off.
#5 Their friendship is toxic to you. Sometimes we become really close to people who are just not good for us. Some relationships become very co-dependent or abusive. If you are friends with a narcissist who continually breaks your heart, breaks plans when something better comes along, or robs you of your self-esteem then it is time to say goodbye.
Narcissistic people don’t get it no matter how many times you explain it to them. Some friends are hurtful and continue to hurt you no matter what you say. That is when it is time to let go of the toxic relationship by cutting it cold.
#6 Every time that you let them in, they hurt you. If your friend messed up over and over and you are a pleaser and not someone who can break up, then it might be time to just cut contact by erasing their contact. Some of us are stronger than others. I am a person who never gives up or never gives in on a friend no matter how much they kick me.
That is why I find that, the older I get, the only way to save myself is to cut the people who continually hurt me out of my life. Sometimes even seeing their contact number pop up sends anxiety. It isn’t worth it. You have other friends. And, if not, then you can make some. If all they do is hurt, it is time to ghost them.
#7 They have stolen something valuable from you. When a good friend has stolen something from you, then it is time to ghost them. Valuables don’t always come in the form of something physical. In general, if they steal anything from you that you can’t get back, like your trust, your love, or monetary items that meant something, then it is grounds for ghosting.
#8 You can’t trust them. Whether it is talking behind your back, flirting with your boyfriend, or saying they’ll meet you at a bar and not showing up, if you can’t trust a trusted friend, then it is time to ghost friend them.
Trust is the cornerstone of any relationship, romantic or otherwise. Don’t stay friends with someone who you wouldn’t turn your back on. It isn’t worth your time, your energy, or your anxiety. It is time to break it off and cut the cord.
#9 Their jealousy is such a problem it causes a problem. There are times when close friends are way too needy. If their clinginess or possessiveness is causing a problem in your life, then you ghost them.
One of the hardest things to do is to hurt someone you are close to. But, if they hold on so tight they lose themselves and take you down with them, then it is time to move along for both of your sakes. You can sink together, or cut them loose and regain your simple life. It really is that simple. [Read: 8 detailed ways to calmly deal with a jealous friend]
#10 You just can’t forgive them. If they did something so egregious, no matter what it was, that you know in your heart you can never forgive them, holding onto the friendship isn’t doing either of you any favors.
Not only does it make it uncomfortable for you to be around one another, you probably experience a lot of anxiety over it. If you can’t forgive someone for what they did, then it is time to ghost them and move forward.
Don’t tell someone you forgive them and then just keep them around to punish them. The kindest thing to do is just to let the friendship go and not make them grovel to get you back. Cut them off completely for you both.