Ask Angel – Friendship Farewells

“I think quarantine made me outgrow my friends. I really loved them but now I’m in high school and I don’t share a lot of common interests with them. I want to distance myself from them, should I talk to them about it or just distance myself slowly? – Goose”

Hey Goose, 

Unfortunately, a lot of high schoolers go through this kind of situation. As time goes on – and especially during the switch from middle school to high school – people can change a lot. I will say that while you don’t owe anyone anything, including an explanation, if the reason you want to distance yourself is simply because your interests are no longer compatible and not because they did anything wrong, then it would be unfortunate to end a friendship this way. As it would leave half the people confused about why it ended.

In my opinion, ghosting someone is a way in which you’d end a relationship with someone if you’re intentionally trying to hurt them. It takes a toll on those peoples’ self-esteem, self-worth, and it often comes off as passive aggressive. That’s not to say you can’t walk away, I find that the mature thing to do is to discuss the situation with your friends beforehand, so you can all have some clarity and closure on the situation. If the friendship has had any meaning to you and your friends, you should tough it up and have that uncomfortable conversation. Once that’s over, you’re less likely to end up with drama resulting from misunderstandings, rumours and gossip. 

Hopefully, your friends are understanding of your reasoning behind wanting to distance yourself from them and you can at least remain friendly. From similar personal experiences, I can tell you that it will probably be awkward the next couple times that you happen to see each other – in the halls or in the bathroom for example. Don’t pretend to be strangers, it will make everytime that you see them even more uncomfortable. Remember, there should be no bad blood once a mature discussion is had! So try and take small steps afterwards, like smiling or waving if you see them, and it’ll definitely alleviate some tension. Good luck!