Help! I’m About to Ghost One of My Oldest Friends.

Help! I’m About to Ghost One of My Oldest Friends.


Dear Prudence,

I have a very needy friend. We have been friends since high school, and are now 40. I realized years ago that I wasn’t enjoying the friendship very much, but stayed because “Jane” does not have many other friends and struggles with mental health (as do I).

The trouble is, Jane doesn’t actually treat me very well. She criticizes my choices and never misses an opportunity to boost her self-esteem at my expense. If we are in a group, she brings up any story she can think of (usually from high school) that she thinks will embarrass me. She will blame me for things that are associated with my PTSD, like not being able to drive to visit her because I have panic attacks on long car trips.

But here is where I think I screwed up. Long story short, I said something in a phone call to upset her and she hung up on me. I tried to text and sincerely apologize, but Jane was still combative over text. I then texted some things I regret—they were mostly true, but still shouldn’t have been said. After years of putting up with her, I just lost it. It was still inappropriate.

I think it’s better to end the friendship. Here’s the question—to ghost or not to ghost? I’ve blocked her number because I don’t want to get dragged into a conversation about this. I think it’s better for me to walk away, and I don’t need to justify that decision. It may even be better for her, given how I behaved. But do I owe her at least a text letting her know? Do I owe it to myself to own what I said and try again to apologize, even if I don’t want to be friends?

—Ghosting Is Rude, Right?

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