Ghosting is essentially when a person stops all communication with a friend or the person they’re dating. They do this with zero warning or notice beforehand. They suddenly (to you that is) avoid all your phone calls and texts, social media messages and posts, and even go as far as to avoid you in public or walk straight past you when they see you. You are indeed like a ghost to them. Totally invisible. And this was a person who was your friend? It is incomprehensible.
If you’re on the receiving end, being ghosted can be devastating and disorientating. This type of social rejection can feel like the ultimate stab in the back and can affect people in various ways. According to Kirsten Weir from the American Psychological Association ghosting influences our emotions, cognition, and even our physical health.
Psychologist, Nathan DeWall, from the University of Kentucky, explains that we “have a fundamental need to belong. Just as we have needs for food and water, we also have needs for positive and lasting relationships. This need is deeply rooted in our evolutionary history and has all sorts of consequences for modern psychological processes.”
But why would the ‘ghoster’ be so inconsiderate as to not tell you to your face that they wish to either stop the friendship or create some distance? Why causing anxiety with their deafening silence.? Why do you need to draw your own conclusion?
It is possible, though, for friendships to fizzle out and if a (former) friend doesn’t want to spend time with you, that is also okay. Even if this is very painful. You need to give them space as it could be possible that they are going through a difficult period themselves where they can’t fathom even the thought of socialising. So of course, some ghosters are plain rude, but other may ghost because they are grappling with some difficulty.
When you are being ghosted, remember your self-importance and pride. Don’t continue to reach out if you’re hearing no response. If your sudden vacant friend does not see you as a priority in their life, keep yourself a priority in yours and remember your worth is not based on whether they want to see you or not.