Elizabeth Day: Being ghosted by a friend is a slow-motion grief

Author and podcaster Elizabeth Day tells the Women’s Podcast about her new book on friendship

Listen | 56:59

HER name is Elizabeth Day and she’s a ‘friendaholic’. The author and podcaster appeared on the latest episode of The Women’s Podcast to talk about her new book Friendaholic: Confessions of a friendship addict. Among the topics she explored was being ghosted or cut off by a friend that gradually ceases contact with no explanation.

“When you are ghosted in a friendship, it’s a slow motion grief the likes of which I’ve never experienced before or since … I was left trying to place my own narrative into that silence. I found that really difficult for a long time”.

Since publishing the book, she’s been surprised by the amount of other people who have shared their stories of being ghosted by friends. “I found that really reassuring … I had thought I must be such an awful person for someone I really love to have done this to me. Now I realise that it’s a corollary of the fact that historically friendship hasn’t had a language so we also don’t have one for endings”.

Day told podcast host Roisin Ingle how the book was an attempt to come up with a “vocabulary” for friendship. “Romantic love has been elevated by our society for so many hundreds of years … I wanted to write a vocabulary of friendship as well as paying tribute the precious love that so many of us experience with our friends.”


The book covers a wide range of friendship issues from break-ups, to best friends, inter-generational friendships to those friendships that “stretch” to accommodate life’s stages and changes.

The idea for a book on friendship came during the pandemic, when Day went for a walk with her agent who asked her what she was passionate about. Apart from “cats and cheese” Day realised she was most passionate about friendship. “It has been the most consistent love of my life. It has got me through the lowest lows and also my friends have been there to celebrate my highest highs”.

Writing and researching the book during the pandemic provided a chance to reevaluate her closest friendships. “I hadn’t been spending enough time with them. My time had been swallowed up by other obligations.”

She realised she had put casual “situationships” ahead of these close friends. “I have always loved making connections … but there were just too many people in my life and I was spreading myself too thinly. What that meant was I couldn’t nourish the really sustaining core relationships and I didn’t recognise them for what they were”.

Since writing the book Days said she’s become an advocate of “checking in with our friendship health the way we do with our mental health”. Day also talked to Ingle about the great friendships of her life, dealing with ‘frenemies’, how friendships changed or deepened during her difficult fertility journey and the most important friendship lessons she learned while writing the book.

Friendaholic: Confessions of a friendship addict is out now. Listen back to this episode in the player above, or wherever you get your podcasts.