This question pertains more to online communities and friendships than it does to face-to-face relationships, but it is relevant to both.
When you’re dissociating from a group or an organization or whatever, is it always best to make an outright declaration that you’re doing so, or are there situations when it’s best to just gradually fade away? If you hold some formal role with responsibilities, then the only ethical thing to do is take the first option. However, say you’ve decided that some group–be it a church, a coffee clatch, or more usually an online forum–just doesn’t trip your trigger. Is it best to make a firm break, letting (essentially) everyone know why you’re leaving, or is it more prudent to just taper off your involvement until you’re gone?
I’ve seen lots of people make righteous declarations on leaving a group, airing their laundry and burning bridges. These farewells often engender pleas to stay with the group and arguments about the issues the departing person brings up–in other words, a lot of drama. More often than not, the leaver ends up skulking back anyway, their reputation less than pristine and feelings hurt all around. As such, I’m no longer one for saying goodbyes; if someone wonders where I’ve been, I’m not hard to find. That, and I haven’t committed to leaving forever; it’s much easier to work around “haven’t seen you in a while” than “so you went back on your decision.” Is this cowardly, or is it just common sense?
What do you all think? Should one declare the causes which impel them to separation out of a decent respect to the opinions of mankind, or just fade away?