Have you experienced ghosting? While the paranormal may immediately come to mind, going through this is far more haunting than a mere encounter with an actual phantom. After all, it can be very traumatizing for some and may even plant trust issues in those who have gone through it multiple times. To avoid being ghosted or inadvertently ghosting someone, here’s what you need to know about this frustrating modern phenomenon.
What is Ghosting?
It can mean different things for different people. However, the most commonly accepted ghosting meaning is when someone cuts off all communication with you for no reason. It doesn’t just apply to romantic relationships and may even extend to your friend groups, and even your family. In some cases, you might even get blocked from viewing their social media accounts.
What does ghosting mean for you as a person, though? Well, that’s the difficult part. Not knowing the reason why someone just decided that they no longer want you in their life can be tough. Understandably, this can leave you confused and hurt. Perhaps this is why it’s been named as such, because they’ll be as good as dead to you.
Kidding aside, the term ghosting first appeared in the early 2000s. In the decade that followed, the regularity of its use saw significant growth. This is mostly attributed to the rise of social media and the proliferation of free dating apps during this time.
Why Do People Ghost Others?
It is no different from before, except getting ghosted is now more common and even normalized by some. This situation is also more prevalent online, where people are provided with a degree of anonymity. The unfortunate thing is that this also makes them feel as if there would be no consequences to their actions, which is far from the truth.
Of course, there’s also the fact that the youth and young adults are becoming more accepting of the dating and hookup culture. In relationships such as these, severing contact comes with few repercussions. This doesn’t mean that everyone has become desensitized to it, however. Most cope with humor, popularizing the ghosting meme in the process.
What Does it Mean to be Ghosted?
It is basically rejection, though a cowardly one. Before dating became digital, most people would reject others by sending a long breakup text. Though equally heartbreaking, it does provide both individuals with proper closure and they can move on from it. With ghosting, there is no such finality, thus making it even worse.
When a person chooses to ghost someone, it often means that they are no longer interested in them. However, they also want to avoid having to explain that to the other person. It is cowardly, yes, but it is also very selfish. They are able to get out of the relationship and move on, without putting themselves through any discomfort.
It also doesn’t take into account the person they ghosted.
If you’ve ever experienced heartbreak, then you know how it can affect a person’s confidence in themselves. There’s always a period of questioning and wondering if they had been in the wrong. This negative way of thinking is doubled in effect when a person gets ghosted. After all, they couldn’t even spare you a text with an explanation about what has happened.
Ghosting Someone Doesn’t Just Apply to Romantic Relationships
Unfortunately, outside of dating sites, ghosting can still happen. Since most of our communications with each other have gone digital, ghosting people has become commonplace. Here are a few different situations where you might see or experience it.
The Reasons Behind Ghosting Friends
Also known as friendship ghosting, this is basically cutting someone out of your life without discussing the issue with them first. It is a terrible thing to do, yes, but there are also situations where it might be considered a valid move. This is especially true if you are ghosting a toxic friend.
However, it isn’t always like this. Some people, seemingly for no rhyme or reason, just decide to end things. So, why is ghosting a friend becoming such a normalized thing in modern society? One might point to the growing lack of empathy for each other, though it could also be that most of us simply do not want the inconvenience and discomfort of confrontation – even with the people we used to love and trust.
Are You the Toxic Friend?
We’ve touched on the fact that, sometimes, ghosting comes with a valid reason. Instead of simply finding blame in the person who has ghosted you, take this as an opportunity for some self-reflection. Did you turn into an energy vampire without noticing it? Ask yourself if you have ever offended the other party, but never apologized for it. Perhaps you’ve been dominating conversations between you two and essentially using them as a punching bag for your own issues.
If you believe you might have been at fault, try and reach out to them. You may or may not get a response, however, so finding closure is something you must do for yourself.
What is Ghosting in Texting?
Do you often use dating apps or social media to meet new people? If this is the case, then you’re already familiar with the thrill that comes with it. They might text you everyday, only for you to learn later that they just disappeared out of the blue. There won’t even be an emoji sent to tell you goodbye.
This is ghosting in texting and it is especially common in the online dating scene. While it might be easier to get over someone you have never actually met, there are also those who form authentic connections through these exchanges. Getting ghosted in such a way, especially if they have been conversing for years, can bear the same weight as an actual break-up. There is trust involved, after all.
We’re sure that, like others, you wouldn’t want to experience getting ghosted again. There are ways to avoid it, as long as you spot the red flags that someone may ghost you.
How to Tell You’re Being Ghosted
Ghosting basically means you’ve been cut off from their life. However, before this happens, you can usually find hints that the other person is leading up to it. Here’s what you need to be wary of:
It’s Taking Them Longer to Respond Each Time
Though it may seem juvenile, how long it takes a person to get back to you is a pretty good indicator of how interested they are. No one is too busy to send a quick reply, especially if they value you. Perhaps, in the beginning, they were more eager about communicating and you receive replies within seconds or minutes of sending a message.
However, if lately they’ve been taking longer, then trust your gut. If the hours are slowly turning to days with no communication from them, perhaps it’s time you ask yourself if this is worth it. While we don’t suggest going ghost on them, it’s time you told them about how this is making you feel.
Whenever you text someone, back and forth conversation is key to keeping communication alive. Look at your history with them; have you been having one-sided conversations all this time? Aside from the frequency of their messages, do they take time to check in on you and show genuine concern?
This can help you assess whether or not they truly care about you as a person. If you’re the only one who’s been making any effort to keep conversations up, perhaps it’s time you reconsidered your relationship with them. This will likely end in someone being ghosted.
Keeping You at Arm’s Length
If someone is about to ghost you, they will show less enthusiasm towards your conversations. It isn’t a secret that some people only enjoy the early stages of dating, particularly the mystery that goes with it. This is why some people often mistake an individual’s non-committal attitude as no more than them being elusive. However, it could be a ghosting red flag.
If the uncertainty persists even after months of talking, they may be intentionally keeping things from you. How can you tell? If they only spare you the most basic of details and avoid having to elaborate on what they’ve been doing or about themselves, then know that this isn’t normal.
How to Respond to Ghosting
The top thing you should avoid is confronting them with anger— that is if you can get them to reach out to you. Instead, send an honest message detailing your feelings. Sure, it might feel like a long breakup text, but this can be cathartic for you as well. Once you do send it to them, do not wait around for a response. As we have said earlier, getting ghosted means finding closure for yourself.
Remember, ghosting revenge is never worth it.
How to Get Over Being Ghosted
Getting over any heartbreak is never easy. The same applies to being the victim of ghosting. In fact, for some people, it may even be more painful. It also comes with other emotional trauma such as feelings of shame or embarrassment, because you might feel like you’ve been taken for a fool. As such, you might even begin blaming yourself.
What can you do to get over this negativity and move on? Here is our advice:
Accepting Your Feelings
Ghosting after a serious relationship is difficult to accept, but this is the first step to moving past it. Allow yourself to cry and just feel your emotions. As they say, “own your hurt.” Once you’re done crying, however, it’s time to take care of yourself.
Be Gentle With Yourself and Practice Self-care
Process everything at your own pace. Take this time to practice more self-care, physically and mentally. It might be that you’ve let go of yourself while worrying over this past relationship. Small things like treating yourself to the spa, buying new clothes, or just eating your favorite food can help. Do things that make you feel better.
Take a Break from Social Media and/or Dating Apps
Remove them from your phone if you have to. By distancing yourself from these, you would be able to focus more on how you see yourself as opposed to projecting an image online. Of course, this is also the healthy choice if you still have a habit of checking on your former partner’s social media accounts. Instead, find a new hobby or spend more time with the people you love. Just because they pulled a disappearing act, it doesn’t mean you have to follow suit!
Protect Yourself From Being Ghosted Now
The ghosting effect can be profoundly hurtful and this is something that many people forget. While you cannot change how they act, what you can do is avoid placing yourself in the same situation you were once in by recognizing red flags early on.