Cutting Ties When a Friend Turns to Foe
Question: I was fairly good friends with another girl for about a year. After a series of incidents involving her gossiping about me and being rude to my good friends, I decided to distance myself. How do I "dump" her without making it awkward?
Answer: You only need to officially "dump" her if you're: A) Still in middle school or B) Continue to share friends in common.
While I'm no fan of ghosting, there are certain instances in which I feel it's OK, and this sounds like one.
You and she were becoming close until she started acting pettily. In my book, a year is still in the "getting to know you phase" of friendship, and she showed you her true colors before the two of you become inextricably linked. Permission granted to simply fade out.
If she's truly confused as to why you're no longer friends and knocks on your door asking why, then by all means, tell her. She needs to be the one inquiring, though, as rude and gossipy people are seldom open to unprompted feedback on their behavior.
Should you still share many friends in common, then a conversation is warranted. You'll likely see each other in social settings and outright ignoring her would be rude of you in return. It needn't be a dramatic conversation—and certainly shouldn't involve the word "dump"—but should touch upon the ways in which she's acted incongruous with your definition of friendship.
A phone call is best but an email works too. Basically, you just need to let her know that YOU know what's up, that it's not cool, and that you're better off being acquaintances than bosom buddies.