People who pull disappearing acts on their friends or significant others get a bad rap, but as someone who’s done it myself, sometimes it’s the only way to deal with a crappy situation. A few years ago I ghosted my best friend. Here’s why.
- I got really mad and ghosted him in the heat of the moment. My friend and I were really close but then he started to show signs of not being genuine. He’d regularly find ways of putting me down. One day, he gave me a snarky comment and I lost it. I thought, “Why am I putting up with this?” So I didn’t call him back and didn’t speak to him again.
- I wanted to teach him a lesson. It might sound cruel, but I was so sick and tired of dealing with his awful behavior and possessiveness that I wanted to show him that he couldn’t treat me badly and get away with it.
- I’m really nice until you cross me. I’m a really good friend and I’m always there for people through thick and thin. I was there for my bestie for years, always helping him through stressful situations, and I was someone he could trust. I got taken advantage of — not just once, but many times. Once I reached that point of no return, I was done. It was immature to run away, but I was done being a doormat.
- I wasn’t good with goodbyes. This is one I still feel guilty about — I just wasn’t always good with goodbyes. I’d battle to end friendships because I was a people-pleaser who would get caught up in what other people wanted. If I had to end the friendship face-to-face with my bestie, I knew that I would end up caving. I’d be unable to stick to my guns about what I wanted and why the friendship should end. It was easier to make a quick exit, even though I knew this was hurtful and confusing to him.
- I felt he didn’t deserve an explanation. Although I could understand what he would be going through, I didn’t feel I needed to explain myself. He was a real bastard at times and there were good reasons why the friendship should have ended. Why should I have given him the courtesy of an explanation?
- I had to do something for my own self-preservation. When dealing with a toxic friend, emotions and stress are set high. It’s not a normal friendship at all. There’s lots of drama in it and the toxic person will make your life difficult. Being caught up in that friendship was draining. I knew I had to get out of it so I could protect myself. Ghosting gave me that opportunity so that I didn’t have to deal with a confrontation that would further break me or pin me as the bad guy.
- I didn’t want another fight. My friend and I would get into arguments where what usually happened was that he’d hang up the phone and things would be left hanging. I knew that being decent and chatting to him about why I wanted to end the friendship would just backfire: he’d fight with me about it and things would either be left unresolved or just really nasty. By giving him the slow fade, I could prevent that.
- My ghosting wasn’t permanent. A few weeks after I ghosted my best friend, we got back in touch. He sent me (yet another) email asking what had happened and why I had gone AWOL. After having some time away from him, I was in a good place to express what I had been feeling and why the door to our friendship should remain closed. Getting back in touch allowed us both to get some closure and it also helped to ease my shame over ghosting him so I could move on.