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5 Reasons Why People “Ghost” You

The worst ghosts aren’t the ones that come out on Halloween; they are the ones you befriend or date. “Ghosting” consists of abruptly cutting off all contact with someone by no longer accepting or responding to their phone calls, emails, or texts. Unfortunately, it is becoming more common as it becomes easier to do. It’s emotionally bewildering, hurtful, and worrisome to the person who is “ghosted.”

People ghost for a variety of reasons, but the ones listed below are the most common:

1. They’re not that into you. When someone isn’t interested or invested in a relationship, they feel like they don’t owe you anything. They may also think it’s less hurtful to disappear.

2. They decide other things are more pressing than the relationship. According to surveys on dating apps, half of all daters aren’t sure what they want in a relationship. It’s easy to become distracted with other potential dates, life struggles, work, and activities.

3. Something was said and they didn’t have the courage to tell you how they really felt about it. Some people aren’t emotionally mature or able to express their feelings. In a mature relationship, people can talk about their sensitivities and feelings. If they are uncomfortable with discussing sensitive topics, they withdraw instead of communicating.

4. They’re afraid of rejection if you find out the truth. They may have something they are embarrassed or ashamed about – a lost job, an illness, or a lie they told you. They convince themselves that if you found out, you’d disapprove so they leave. Often, these types are loners and attract people who want to “rescue” them.

5. They feel awkward after too much time passes between conversations. If they promised to get back to you and too much time has passed, it’s easier to ghost than face the awkwardness and apologize.

Moving on after being ghosted isn’t easy but staying stuck in the past is not an option. Practicing these four behaviors can help you let go of the past and avoid future “ghosters:”

1. Remind yourself that it really isn’t you, it’s them. Ghosting is a form of passive rejection and it’s also indicative of emotionally immature people. It doesn’t feel like it now, but they really did do you a favor by disappearing from your life. You can’t have a healthy relationship with someone who can’t be honest with how they feel.

2. Reframe your idea about them. Part of the confusion after being ghosted is their disappearance is completely opposite of how they treated you before. It’s hard to let go because you can’t make sense of them leaving. But ghosters are emotionally unavailable, and anyone who would completely leave your life without explaining is insensitive, rude, and emotionally manipulative. The person you thought they were doesn’t exist, so reframe who this person was.

3. Stop beating yourself up. Practice self-compassion and be understanding of the decisions you’ve made. Hindsight is always 20/20. When you’re the victim of ghosting, you feel used and thrown away. Feeling sad and depressed turns your anger inward and that’s the wrong direction. Connecting with friends and telling them what happened helps both you and your friends. Ghosting has become normalized with online dating and understanding the harmful effects helps categorize it as the rude behavior it is. Practice self-kindness by reminding yourself that there are no warning signs of who is a potential ghoster.

4. Use positive self-talk. Speak kindly to yourself when you’re alone thinking about your ghoster. These mantras help reinforce your being able to let go.

· People show their character with actions not words.

· I deserve someone who knows how to treat me with respect and dignity.

· I cannot control others; I am not responsible for their behavior.

A healthy relationship consists of two emotionally mature people who share a vision and want what’s best for each other. Everyone has been tempted at some time to just disappear or avoid bringing up tough issues, but ghosting is childish and selfish. Being an adult in a relationship means you’re ready to show mutual respect and take responsibility for your feelings and actions. -Mary Jo Rapini


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