Move Over Ghosting: Frosting’s The New Dump Your Mates Trend To Know About Now

Ever gotten frozen out by a mate? Then you'll know all about Frosting, the platonic pals version of Ghosting. Read on.

Girls looking cooly at each other

When rumours swirled that Charlize Theron and Sean Penn hadn’t merely broken off their engagement and ended their amour, but that she’d done it by severing all contact with him, the term Ghosting was coined, and a million shocked intakes of breath were heard throughout the lady web-o-sphere.

We’ve all had a guy in our lives we wish we could freeze out, unfriend on Facebook and change our number on, but to go to the extreme of cutting off all contact is a brave move. Still, Sean seems to have moved on (he’s been reported to be getting cosy with Minka Kelly), and so have we, to Frosting.

Frosting? Oh, that’s the new unkind term for when you freeze out, or get frozen out, by a friend. Of course, no one wants to be in that position, and in an ideal world we never would be, but we’ve all been there, regardless. “I think a lot of people would like to do it,” muses Sandra, 24. “I’m at that stage where I’m looking at all my friends on Facebook and kinda wondering, ugh, do I really want to still be friends with you!?”

When I was in my early twenties, I was completely frozen out by a couple of girls. No explanation, no nothing. They just never spoke to me again. It was crazy.

Sarah, 28, feels the same way. “When I get together with my old bunch from school, we kind of regress, and I hate it. It’s almost like we fall back into the stereotypical roles we had as teenagers and it’s kind of like they don’t want to let me move on, but I’m a much nicer person now, I’ve worked really hard at it. I really prefer to hang out with the friends I’ve made as an adult.” Whoops: is there a frosting on the cards?

However, it’s one thing to think that way, and quite another to actually get nicely icey. Amy, 27, has both been frosted, and has frosted a friend. “When I was in my early twenties, I was completely frozen out by a couple of girls. No explanation, no nothing. They just never spoke to me again. It was crazy.”

Knowing how cruel frosting felt, she was careful when a situation arose with a friend a few years later. “Oh god, I’d a mate who just took everything the wrong way. She was exhausting. Eventually it got to be too much, I was going through a bad time and so I… sidelined her,” she explains. “And I don’t really feel that bad about it because nothing was said, and it made me feel so much better to not have all that toxic negativity in my life anymore.”

We often have a tendency to hang onto toxic friendships for longer than we should because our mates are all pals in a big group (so it’d be awks), or we’ve been friends with the person since primary school, and it’s just really difficult to extricate ourselves. That’s the cowardly appeal of Frosting in a nutshell. Yes, it’s more mature to be up front and honest, but sometimes that can be really hurtful – for both of you – and so a quiet coldness can appeal.

Amy understands this well. “I considered letting my mate know how I felt, how her behaviour towards me was really upsetting me,” she agrees. “But when I thought about it a bit more, I didn’t really think it’d help. It would just have caused a big row and she wouldn’t have gotten what I was saying anyway. It was much easier to sort of just quietly stop contacting her.”

So, when should you frost and when should you refrain? If you think the friendship can still be salvaged, then avoid freezer burn. Take some time away from your moany mate – hide their FB updates and be selective about returning calls and texts – to really work out if this is a course of action you want.

If it’s gone past the point of no return, you’re fighting publicly and on your social feeds and you can’t see that anything will be gained from yet another ding-dong, then yes, maybe the kindest thing to do is to kill the friendship quietly.

But be warned: Frosting, like Ghosting, isn’t something anyone should undertake lightly. And in truth the only cool thing about it is the name.