If you have already experienced ghosting, you’d know how painful it can be. It is terrible enough when a relationship comes to an end, but it is even worse when the other person simply disappears into the wind like they never existed. Sadly, there are people who are cruel enough to leave without any confrontation. Ghosting that is, and it sure hurts a lot. No meeting, no call, not even a goodbye text.
What Is Ghosting?
Google provides the definition of ghosting as “the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.” A person who ghosts someone refuses to answer any calls or texts of their previous romantic interest. They leave without any acknowledgement and pretend as if any form of relationship never existed.
Ghosting is generally associated with romantic relationships, but one can also be ghosted by a friend or a relative too. Those who have been ghosted are clueless as to what happened all of a sudden.
Unexpected ghosting leaves one wondering about the worst-case scenarios for a really long time until they come to an acceptance that they have been ghosted. This is the point where they finally start recovering from ghosting.
How to Respond to Ghosting?
Being cut out from someone’s life without any information or conversation can be really painful. Here you are, trying to figure why is a closed one not responding and then you suddenly realise you have been ghosting. Whether it is a friend, a close acquaintance, online dating partner or your romantic interest, the hurt, pain and trauma are the same. Discovering you have been ghosted can be devastating and you can feel lost as to how to deal with it. However, you learn how to respond to ghosting in a better manner with these 11 tips.
1. Calm yourself down
It can be extremely unnerving and unsettling to find out that the person you thought you clicked with isn’t responding to your calls and is leaving your texts on seen. It can be maddening, plainly frustrating because you never saw it coming. However, you really need to try and not lose your cool.
You’re angry and you’re hurting. It is absolutely understandable. But don’t let anger or pain get the better of you. The first and foremost step you need to take to respond to ghosting is by recovering from ghosting. It will take time, but you need to give yourself a space to breathe and think objectively. Take this as a painful yet important learning lesson.
Related Reading: When I was subjected to ‘ghosting’ in my relationship
2. To respond to ghosting, first, snap out of denial
How to respond to ghosting can be very tricky. You have calmed yourself down, you’re taking deep breaths, but you are still unable to wrap your head around the fact that you have been ghosted. It is difficult, but you cannot respond to ghosting if you stay in a state of denial.
Most people on being ghosted keep giving their romantic interest an upper hand thinking they are too good to do something as bad as simply cut you out of their lives. You might hate to hear this right now, but not everybody is as good as you would want them to be. You need to bring yourself out of denial. Accept that you’ve been ghosted, and put efforts in dealing with it in a healthy manner.
3. Do not beg. At all.
Are you in absolute disbelief that you’ve been ghosted? Do you still message your romantic interest thinking they will have a sudden epiphany that you are indeed their soulmate because you really care? Are you incessantly messaging them with things like “I miss you”, “Where are you?”, “I am making your favourite dish”, or the worst of all, “I am wearing your favourite dress” just so that they would reply to you? Well, please stop!
A person who does not have the basic courtesy to come clean about their feelings does not deserve even a little bit of your attention. Accept that you’ve been ghosted and move on. Begging them to respond is only going to push them away even further.
4. Send one last text
Ghosting hurts, and one of the worst feeling while being ghosted is the oscillation of emotions between desperate need to see your phone beep with their text and throwing anything in your sight at the person who ghosted you because they hurt you. You feel like you deserve a closure, at least. Take one moment and pause the swinging. You may not want to, but try to give the other person one final benefit of the doubt.
Send one last text to them saying “you haven’t texted/responded in a while. I don’t know what it is, but if you would like to talk about it, I’m all ears. If you’re not, have a nice life.” If you wish to, you can even make it clear to them that this is the last time you’re messaging them. If they reply, great. If they don’t, there can be no better time to recover from ghosting.
5. It is okay to grieve
Were you having the best time of your life before the person you thought was ‘the one’ ghosted you? It is indeed a terrible thing to do. It is completely understandable to be dejected and heartbroken. Eventually, you will feel better, but right now, you might want to grieve. Do not stop yourself from doing so.
Grieving is just as important a step to respond to ghosting as any other. You cannot expect yourself to be okay the very next moment. Therefore, it is okay to feel sad. It is okay to put your head on your best friend’s shoulder and cry. Grieving is essential in recovering from ghosting. After all, that person really mattered to you.
6. Don’t blame yourself
In every split between two people, the innocent one tends to take the entire blame on themselves, when it is not really their fault. You are probably doing it too. You’re probably thinking “maybe I was too clingy and that killed our relationship“, or “maybe I expected too much”, or “I was not good enough for them.”
Reader, you need to stop blaming yourself right now. It is not your fault that another adult did not have sense enough to talk to you about it. It is not your fault that they do not understand the meaning of communication. Ghosting hurts, but you did not cause this pain to yourself. Someone else caused it too. The sooner you realise that the sooner you will be able to respond to ghosting in a better manner.
7. Take care of your health, no matter what
Binge eating ice cream and fried stuff can help you feel better, but it is not healthy in the long run. Believe me, eating healthy and working your body by exercising or going for a run is going to make you feel much more refreshed, energetic, and rejuvenated. Exercising can help you cope with your emotions.
Treat those unhealthy delicacies simply as food, do not substitute them with love. You’re already not in good mental shape. If your health goes downhill, you will not feel better any sooner. Therefore, eat healthy, keep working out, and throw those bins of ice cream, boxes of pizzas and cartons of cigarettes. Make yourself a healthier person and you will definitely see the difference.
Related Reading: …and then he never heard from me again
8. Be thankful they left
The last thing you need in your life is any form of negativity. You may not want to believe it, but you have honestly dodged a bullet. Whatever happens, it really does happen for good. Once you’re able to clear the cloud of grief in your mind, you will be able to look at the bigger picture, and the bigger picture is certainly brighter and more beautiful.
Once you realise that you just missed a storm, you will thank your stars that they left, and you will finally recover from ghosting.
9. Meet new people
One mistake most people make while recovering from ghosting is believing that everybody is the same. Everybody is not the same. You may fear going down that road again, but you need to tackle that emotion of being terrified. Take your time, but let yourself be vulnerable at some point of time.
Meet new people and you will learn that dating is not as bad as it once seemed and that there are people like you who have been hurt in the past, but they have emerged stronger. You will eventually find someone with shared interests and shared emotions.
10. Ponder on the red flags that you avoided
This step brings a learning curve to avoid such mishaps in your future relationships. Once you’ve successfully learnt how to respond to ghosting, ponder over your relationship with the person and try to identify the red flags that you possibly ignored. It is unusual that a person would just vanish out of nowhere. There must be certain instances where you felt something fishy but brushed it off.
Think about what happened. Did you both fight regularly and the other person chose flight? Or did they always seemed distant and disinterested? Although, please make sure you do not feel hurt again. The sole point of this activity is because ghosting hurts, and you would not want that to happen with you again. Making peace with your past is the best way forward.
11. Seek professional help
If nothing works for you and you’re just unable to respond to ghosting and cope with it, please seek professional help. Talking to a therapist is the safest place where you can vent your emotions and not worry about being judged. They will guide you in a much more professional manner, and help you recover from ghosting much faster. Do make a call to a counsellor if you feel you need it. There is no issue too small to talk to a counsellor about.
There are times when the person who ghosted comes back. Usually, it is because they’re lonely again and want to try their luck once more. Sometimes, they come back with a genuine circumstance that made them leave without notice. No matter what the reason is, once you have dealt with ghosting and recovered from the pain, all you have to do is listen to what they have to say and make a decision.
Do not become weak again, for people who ghost generally never have pure intentions. Be confident about yourself. The right person for you will never leave you this way, and you undeniably deserve better.