Have you ever started messaging someone but one day out of the blue they suddenly go radio silent? Even if the conversation seemed to be going well? Chances are you’ve been ghosted. Ghosting refers to ceasing all communication with someone in an abrupt manner. This means, ignoring their calls, not responding to their messages, avoiding seeing them in person and basically acting like the other person never existed. It’s a painful ordeal for most, especially if the “ghostee” was invested in the friendship.
Why do people Ghost?
There are many reasons why someone will resort to ghosting. Oftentimes, the ghoster is bad at confrontations or doesn’t know how to express themselves well to explain why they may want to stop talking. In many cases, the ghoster has lost interest in pursuing the friendship. Other factors may include, being too busy, stressed out, personal issues, emotional immaturity, a lack of social skills or a fear of hurting someone’s feelings. For many ghosters, it’s easier to drop communication than to have a discussion about the path of the friendship or relationship they seek to end.
What are the consequences of ghosting?
Generally, the ghostee is usually viewed as the victim, however, both, parties face consequences and some of these include:
Hurt feelings - When you’re ghosted, you may feel confused, frustrated and even depressed. Being ghosted hurts your feelings and can even affect your self-esteem.
Trust issues – Ghosting can be traumatizing and thus someone can easily develop trust issues after experiencing it. They may be scared to become vulnerable or open up to someone else in the future.
Regret and guilt – The ghoster may feel regret and guilt after ghosting
Poor communication skills – Ghosting is one possible indicator of poor communication skills which may translate into other areas of life and create problems
Damaged reputation – If someone is a repeat ghoster, others may be wary of them and consider them to be unreliable or a flake.
Can you recognize ghosting?
Sometimes ghosting happens randomly but there may be other indicators that someone may be trying to ghost you. Some examples are:
- They take long to respond to messages or return calls
- They cancel plans often or make up excuses why you can’t meet up
- They don’t put much energy into conversations
- They don’t introduce you to close friends or family
- They act shady or secretive about their life
Is ghosting a bad thing?
Ghosting may occur in various contexts. In some cases, you may feel the need to ghost someone if you find out that they’ve been dishonest. For example, if a romantic interest turns out to be married or have toxic traits such as abusive behavior. If this isn’t the case and the ghostee is by all means an innocent party, then ghosting can be harmful and damaging.
Many people turn to ghosting because it’s easy. However, it’s better to take a more honest and respectful approach when ending a relationship or friendship to reduce the impact or avoid the negative consequences of ghosting.