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Are you a ghoster? You might think it is the easy way out to avoid confrontation and conflicts, but consider this: what if you were treated that way? When you are ghosted, there’s no magic bullet to guide you on how to recover from a ghosted heart and a heap of emotions. So, let’s explore why ghosting is not okay.
What is ghosting?
Ghosting is when the person you are talking to or dating suddenly vanishes without a trace. They choose to ignore and cut off all contact rather than being upfront.
Why do people ghost?
Some people ghost because they prefer to avoid uncomfortable situations or are not skilled at expressing themselves. They may not know what to do or be afraid of hurting your feelings. Sometimes, they don’t see the need for an open conversation, leading them to use ghosting as a passive way to withdraw from a “situationship” or relationship.
In today’s dating culture, ghosting and being ghosted have become habits. We all know that ghosting is not okay, yet we still engage in it. Dealing with being ghosted is tough and takes time to move on.
What are the effects of ghosting?
When we get ghosted, it is inevitable that we will keep asking ourselves, “What went wrong?” or “What did I do wrong?” As human beings with emotions, we tend to take it personally and overthink, failing to realise that they are the problem, not us. However, after having multiple similar experiences, you will learn that being ghosted has nothing to do with your words or actions but is a reflection of their character or loss of interest.
Being ghosted can deal a blow to a person’s self-esteem and create feelings of insecurity. Due to the lack of clarity and confusion, you may begin to blame yourself and feel unworthy of love. Going through overwhelming social rejection is mentally challenging, especially with someone you have developed a connection with. Consequently, you may put up walls to protect yourself from being hurt again in the future.
Being ghosted can make it harder for you to trust others, which affects the way you approach relationships. This fear of abandonment may cause you to be afraid of opening up or showing vulnerability to your partners in future relationships. As a result, you become more sensitive to any signs of rejection and may even reject people preemptively to avoid being hurt.
How to cope with being ghosted?
Don’t let your ghost take up space in your mind or anywhere else in your life. It is unhealthy to hold onto anger or resentment because it shows that they have power over your emotions. Practising self-care and loving yourself is crucial. Spend quality time with loved ones who will support you or engage in activities that make you happy. Try to focus on yourself and strengthen your resilience.
If someone disappears abruptly, feeling embarrassment, shame, and regret is normal. After investing effort and having hope, it backfired. Now is the time to be kind to yourself and take a break. It is not your fault that someone walked away without a word. Nurturing yourself can set the stage for better health, relationships, and overall well-being.
Embrace your emotions
Whatever you are feeling is valid. Suppressing your feelings might provide temporary relief, but it doesn’t solve the underlying problem. It is like putting a band-aid on a big wound. Think of your feelings as waves in the ocean—they come and go; nothing lasts forever. Experiencing anger and sadness are natural parts of the human experience. It’s okay to cry it out, vent to a friend, scream into a pillow, or journal your thoughts and emotions.
How to avoid ghosting?
Openness and honesty
One of the worst things is waiting for someone to respond or acknowledge you. Playing mind games is not fun. Being upfront with someone early on can prevent them from wasting their time feeling upset and confused, allowing them to move on more quickly. This approach shows respect for the other person. Openness and honesty promote clear and direct communication, which helps reduce misunderstandings and conflicts.
Set clear intentions and boundaries
Stating your intentions from the beginning helps the other person understand your preferences and the things you are not comfortable with. This makes it easier to meet people who align with your values and beliefs. By setting clear boundaries and expectations, you are less likely to end up in situations where ghosting is the only option. Therefore, establishing clear boundaries and expectations leads to greater comfort and satisfaction in your relationships.
Practise “I” statements
When you want to end a relationship or communication, using “I” statements instead of blaming or making accusations about the other person allows you to focus on your own feelings and experiences. This approach minimises their defensive and emotional response. Instead of saying “you are” or “you do,” it is more appropriate to use “I feel” or “I think.”
For those who have been ghosted, sometimes closure is not necessary to move forward. Knowing in your heart that this person wasn’t right for you is enough. Learn to let go and choose someone who won’t disappear on you in such a way. Your heart and mind will thank you for it.
For those who have ghosted others, we all make mistakes, and it’s never too late to change if you’ve done it in the past. The key to handling breakups in a healthy and less hurtful way is to be more empathetic and considerate of our behaviour towards others.