Most of us have experienced it, unfortunately not just in middle school or high school. We learn about a breakup when our significant other doesn’t greet us in passing or no longer responds to our texts — or when our friend won’t answer the phone anymore. It can be devastating. Nowadays, someone might tell you they want out by dropping you as a Facebook friend or blocking you on Twitter and never speaking to you again — and you may never know why. Been ghosted? Here are some tips on what to do.
When You Find Out
Waking up to realize that you’re unable to contact someone you care about is concerning. Are they hurt? Or are they stranded somewhere without Wi-Fi? Those are often the first thoughts that come to mind. But what if it’s intentional? Users can block others on social media and cell phones so they don’t have to worry about being contacted further.
Ghosting, or “fading away,” are millennial terms used to describe ending a relationship or friendship by ending contact, no discussion involved.
Reaching out may seem important to gain some closure. But if you’re blocked on all social media or not getting a response, the relationship is likely over. So now what?
Think Before Reacting
Ghosting is the easy way out for people who want to end things without a face-to-face confrontation. Not good for the receiving end but for the ghoster, it’s often done to avoid getting into a fight. So first thing’s first, stay calm. Or wait until you can get calm again at least. Getting angry and upset is likely the first gut reaction. You may be tempted to go in person and demand answers or let out a primal scream or even write a long rant. But be warned, while it may feel good, these responses probably aren’t worth the potential fallout. Regroup and think things through before you respond.
Don’t Let It Affect You Negatively
A break up is bad enough, but when there’s no closure or questions answered, it’s easy to get depressed or turn to destructive behavior like drinking or binge eating. Feeling consumed by negative thoughts or feelings of sadness that won’t go away? Seek help right away. Contact your family doctor for a referral to a therapist if necessary.
Let Some Time Pass
Many people need space for a while and then come around again. It’s obvious at this point, though, that your friend or partner may not want to get into a large dustup. So keep your feelings calm and talk it out. Start from a place where you can both agree and work from there. Remember to keep to the thing that caused the ghosting rather than the ghosting itself. If you can come back to a place of solid friendship, then you can talk about how the ghosting made you feel at another time.
Think About Self-Care
With any breakup, many people aren’t good at taking care of themselves during the process. When a loved one cuts you out of their life, it’s time to turn things around and really focus on self-care. Some examples include:
- Hanging out with friends in a fun, positive environment.
- Practicing yoga or other self-calming techniques.
- Taking a mini-vacay with friends or going solo.
- Doing something fun like a concert or comedy show.
- Getting back to basics: is the house clean and have you paid your bills?
Anything that helps you move past negative feelings and toward self-preservation can help heal your psyche.
Being ghosted or ditched by someone you care about isn’t nice. No matter if it’s really over or you end up getting back together down the road, taking care of yourself should be the main priority.