How to Handle Being Ghosted

I wrote a post about ghosting (the act of cutting someone out of your life by suddenly disappearing and neglecting to respond to any of that person’s attempts at communication.) wherein I said that it can be an appropriate response in some cases, but let’s face it; most of the time ghosting is completely uncalled for. It’s hurtful and disempowering and yet so many of us have been guilty of doing it. If you yourself have been ghosted, chances are it took you a little while to even realize it. You might have thought the person ghosting you was just busy or stressed out and that you would receive a response eventually. The truth of the situation often settles in slowly and painfully, leaving little or no chance for closure. So how can you take back your power and come to terms with this most hurtful way of being dumped?

Speak your Mind Once but Only Once
If you’re totally certain that you’ve been ghosted, it doesn’t hurt to give the offender a piece of your mind. Even if your anger doesn’t elicit a response (it probably won’t) getting your feelings out and saying your piece can feel great. The important thing is to speak your mind once, then let it go. You definitely DON’T want to send more than one message or voicemail because that could position you dangerously close to stalker territory. The whole point of confronting your ghoster is to show that you are strong and full of self-respect. You’re in control here, so keep your message short and to the point and don’t allow yourself to yearn for a particular outcome.

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Seek Comfort in Friends
Part of what hurts so much about being ghosted is the knowledge that someone you care about wants nothing at all to do with you. That rejection stings a lot, but the pain can be lessened, at least in part, by surrounding yourself with people who do love you and want to be there for you. Remind yourself of all the support you have to draw on. If you don’t have a lot of friends or family you can turn to, consider seeking professional help, in the form of a therapist or support group. The idea is to show yourself that you don’t need that person who had ghosted you in your life because you’ve got plenty of better options.

Try Not to Obsess
When someone ghosts you it can be hard not to go over it again and again as you try to figure out what happened. Did you say or do something offensive? Did the person die? Are you so extremely undesirable that your ghoster just couldn’t stand the sight of you any more? Because being ghosted is such a painful experience, your brain will do everything in its power to keep you from going through it again, which means trying to make sense of a senseless and open-ended thing. The healthiest thing you can do is tell yourself  that it’s for the best. Your ghoster probably behaved in such a way because of a fear of intimacy or a lack of respect and communication skills, deficits that are pretty damn compromising in any relationship dynamic. Consider yourself lucky to have dodged that bullet and move on.

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