Last week I wrote about the latest trends in online dating debauchery. Now I’m going to dive a little deeper to offer suggestions on how you can deal with the pain of being zombied.
Being zombied refers to that painful moment when an ex who ghosted you suddenly reappears, either in person, texting, or through social media. The stress of this situation can make it hard to think clearly in the moment, so read on to prepare yourself.
How to Deal with Zombies
Remember that You Owe Them Nothing
You weren’t ghosted because you’re a loser. It’s important for you to understand that your zombie has issues: a fear of confrontation and/or intimacy. You are NOT to blame for their poor behavior, and you certainly don’t owe them a response. You don’t need their approval, and you don’t even need to be polite. They rescinded all rights to your time and consideration when they disappeared.
Block them or respond as you wish, but whatever option you choose, do it on your own terms.
Think before Responding
Try not to react in haste. You might feel shocked or even excited to hear from your zombie, that’s normal, but don’t let your reaction dictate when or if you choose to respond. Think back to how confused and rejected you felt when gradually it became clear that this person had bailed. Do you really want to invite such pain back into your life?
Taking a moment to consider your response can be difficult, especially if you’re unlucky enough to meet your zombie in person. If this happens, all you can do is run! Or take a deep breath and greet them back, while offering up little to no information about your current situation.
Resist the Urge to Call Them on Their Bullshit
Even though it’s tempting, getting angry and defensive will only make you look like a crazy control freak who can’t move on. Your zombie doesn’t care how you feel. They probably don’t think anything of the fact that they ghosted you. In fact, they might not even realize that they did! If they’re a narcissist, or just super busy, they might not remember that they didn’t follow up on your last text, or that they stood you up and never called again.
Sometimes ghosting is the unintentional product of apathy and absent mindedness, rather than a premeditated rejection. I’m not saying that you should forgive and forget. Just don’t waste your anger on someone who probably doesn’t care.
Focus on What You Have
Don’t cling to people who bring you down. Instead, put your energy into appreciating all the good things you have going for you. Yes, it sucked when you got ghosted and would be great if it had never happened, but no amount of sudden attention or even apologies can change that.
As I mentioned earlier, you don’t need to seek your zombie’s approval. I’m sure you have lots of other people in your life who are more deserving of your efforts.