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Ghosting A Friend: The Only Reasons When It’s Okay to Ghost Them

Friendships have their ups and downs. But is ghosting a friend really the right way to end a friendship? Face the problem and talk about it instead. 

ghosting a friend

Friendships can be just as complicated as relationships. There are arguments, misunderstandings, and upsets from time to time. However, friendships are precious and it’s important to hold on to the good ones. If you do want to end a friendship for whatever reason, is there ever a good excuse for ghosting a friend and walking away without a word?

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. [Read: Bad friend – 25 types of friends you must unfriend from your life]

Wait, ghosting a friend sounds kind of brutal, right?

Yes, because it is. Ghosting 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. It would have to be something pretty drastic to make you consider it and even then, surely it’s better to sit down and work things out? Even if you decide to part ways and end the friendship, at least do it in an adult and respectful way.

Ghosting is a devastating thing for the person on the receiving end. When you are close to someone, your absence may cause great distress in their lives, especially if you disappear without any explanation.

So, before you decide to do it to someone you love, think long and hard first. There is no turning back. [Read: What is Ghosting and how does it really affect you?]

The only reasons ghosting a friend MAY be warranted

We exaggerated the word ‘may’ there because there are really only a handful of reasons why it is appropriate, or fair, to ghost a friend.

Again, a very hurtful thing to do to someone’s psyche, just make sure you do it for a good reason. If you have a choice, it’s always better to talk to them or let them know you need to walk away.

NEVER ghost someone only because you’re too embarrassed or cowardly to actually let them know you feel hurt for sone reason. Grow up and talk it out, or slowly wean yourself away from a friendship if it’s hurting you.

Ghosting is an option, but it should never be used as an excuse to avoid a conversation.

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]

Let’s look at a handful of reasons why it might be warranted to go full-on Casper the “Friendly” Ghost with a friend.

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. They’re both to blame.

Your friend broke the code and had an affair with someone you love, knowing 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. [Read: Keeping secrets in a relationship – The must-know rules and exceptions]

3. Thy 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.

But, if you find they continually say negative things about you and have nothing good to say, whether jealousy is a factor or not, it is time to let them go entirely. Make them a ghost from your past. [Read: One-sided friendship – 15 clear signs it’s time to cut them loose]

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.

Of course, perhaps talk about it with them first because maybe they aren’t aware of what they’re doing. But, if that doesn’t change anything, it’s time to pull a Ghostbusters on them.

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. [Read: How to tell if a friend is toxic & brings unhappiness to your life]

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 off it cold.

You can’t be close with a narcissistic personality, nor can you find a happy medium. In the end, if you let them back in, they will take advantage, take your heart, and leave you empty and bottomed out. [Read: Toxic people – 25 early warning signs to watch out for]

6. Every time you let them in, they hurt you

Let’s say you’re a people pleaser. Let’s also say that your friend messed up over and over. In that scenario, you might find it hard to break up with them but it might be time to just cut contact. Some of us are stronger than others. Some people never give up on a friend no matter how much they kick them.

But, the only way to save yourself is to cut the people who continually hurt you out of your 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. [Read: How to recognize a fake best friend before you get betrayed or hurt]

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.

Hanging onto a bad friend isn’t going to bring whatever you lost back. It will only be a constant reminder of what is gone. Let them go and let yourself heal.

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 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. [Read: Be careful who you trust – 15 ways to recognize the backstabbers]

9. Their codependency causes you problems

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 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. [Read: What is a true friend? The 12 key characteristics of real friends]

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.

Understand the consequences of ghosting a friend

For sure, there are some situations when ghosting a friend is the only open, but you need to be 100% sure. If you ghost someone and then regret it later, it’s likely that you can’t do anything to change it. There are few people who would be willing to forgive and forget a ghosting.

Perhaps the better option would be to sit down with this person and explain your problem with them. You don’t have to change your mind about ending the friendship but at least you know that you’ve gone about it the right way. Then, they can’t point the finger of blame at you for anything. [Read: How to break up with a friend – 5 respectful steps you must follow]

Friendships are precious but sometimes so-called friends turn into enemies. It could be the case that you think everyone in the metaphorical boat is rowing in the same direction, but if you look around, you’ll see someone drilling a hole in the bottom without your knowledge.

Basically, not everyone can be trusted. In the end, if you have to end a friendship, simply do it in a way that means you can hold your head up high afterwards.

[Read: Like ghosting? Prepare yourself for these 10 consequences]

Think through ghosting a friend before you put your plan into action. Once done, the fallout may be harsher than you saw coming and you don’t want to end up being sorry or regretting it.

Read: How to apologize for ghosting a friend and undo the damage you caused

Read: How to ghost someone when you’ve never ghosted anyone before

Read: Why being ghosted hursts so much and what you can do about it

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The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...