How To Cope After Being Ghosted

The opposite of love isn’t hate, it's indifference.

 The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. Today, we’re talking about one of the worst possible relationship-plaguing trends, ghosting. 

What is Ghosting?

Ghosting, for those of you who haven’t yet experienced it, is the practice of ceasing all communication to someone. Having someone that you believe cares about you, whether it be a friend, professional acquaintance or someone you are dating, disappear from your life without any explanation at all is a form of ghosting. No phone call or email, not even a text – they’re gone!

Why Do People Ghost?

There are a lot of reasons people cite for ghosting another person.

  • They are avoiding their own emotional discomfort and they aren’t thinking about how it makes the other person feel. 
  • They have a lack of confidence in handling unfamiliar or unpleasant emotions. They are unable to express their feelings and want to avoid complicated situations.
  • Sometimes it’s a form of cowardice: the refusal to acknowledge one’s own misconduct.

The more it happens, either to oneself or one’s friends, the more people become desensitized to it, and the more likely they are to do it to someone else.

What Is The Fallout Of Being Ghosted?

Being ghosted doesn’t affect everyone the same way, but for many people, ghosting can result in feelings of being disrespected, used and disposable. Social rejection activates the same pain pathways in the brain as physical pain. Ghosting creates a sense of emotional dysregulation where you feel out of control.

In the dating world, ghosting hurts; it’s a cruel rejection. It is particularly painful because you are left with no rationale, no guidelines for how to proceed, and often a heap of emotions to sort through on your own. If you suffer from any abandonment or self-esteem issues, being ghosted may bring them to the forefront. 

Where Does Ghosting Happen Outside Of Dating?

The biggest new area of ghosting is in job interviews. Human resources have become inundated with résumés. The deluge has made it nearly impossible for companies to personally contact each and every applicant. This situation makes job seekers believe companies don’t care about them which then justify their own ghosting actions. 

The disappearing act is no longer quite so one-sided: more employers are now being ghosted by job seekers, too. Some recruiters overbook interviews, knowing up to 50 percent of candidates for entry-level roles likely won’t show up. Candidates agree to job interviews and fail to show up, never saying more. Some accept jobs, only to not appear for the first day of work, no reason given, of course. Instead of formally quitting, enduring a potentially awkward conversation with a manager, some employees leave and never return. 

How Does One Cope With Being Ghosted?

The main thing to know is that ghosting is not about you or your own self-worth. When someone ghosts you, it says nothing about you or your worthiness for love and everything about the person doing the ghosting, so try not to take it personally. Aside from that, some things you can do are:

  • Give your Ghosting Story Some Air – Sharing and airing your story with someone you trust is how you invite grace and kindness in. Be honest about how you felt – rejected, sad, disappointed. Name the emotions. Vulnerability expert Brene Brown reminds us that shame thrives in silence and secrecy. Silence and secrecy around your ghosting story or hiding the story may lead to more shame, self-blame or feelings of inadequacy.
  •  Own your narrative and relationship standards – While you didn’t play an active role in how you were ghosted, you get to decide how the story ends and what you will or won’t accept as you move forward in your relationships.
  •  Seek professional help if you need more tools to help deal with the trauma of ghosting – Ghosting can bring up previous ghosting trauma from your past, or can invoke intense feelings of low self-esteem. Talk to a professional about it. 
  • Trust yourself and focus on yourself. No one knows what you need to repair the harm done to you – Distance yourself from social media or any area the person frequents. You don’t need to “prove” your worth or reach out for closure. Focus on finding new ways to get closure. Focus on repairing the harm caused by the callous disregard of the Ghoster – your healing isn’t dependent on an apology. Focus on finding things and people who bring you joy – like friends who love and appreciate you. 

For The Ghosters Out There

Stop Ghosting – don’t do it again . You can only increase your emotional maturity  by reducing your Ghosting. Try “Caspering”. Named after the fictional child phantom, it’s a friendly alternative to ghosting. Instead of ignoring someone, be honest about how you feel, and let them down gently before disappearing from their lives.

Just do better – be a more decent human being.