What to do when someone ghosts you | Lisa Steingold

What To Do When Someone Ghosts You

What to do when someone ghosts you
Being ghosted has to be one of the most demeaning and damaging acts of the 21st century that as a collective we seem to have adopted. Here's why it's so damaging and how to handle it

Being ghosted has to be one of the most demeaning and damaging acts of the 21st century that as a collective we seem to have adopted.

Let’s explore why it’s so damaging and how to handle it.

What it means to be ghosted?

Jocelyn met a guy she really liked. They met every weekend for a month and she felt like they were just getting closer every time they met up.

They laughed. They joked. They were intimate. They discussed each other’s personal lives. He slept over. He sent her texts. 

And then, nothing.

Nothing. Nada.

It all just stopped. She had no idea what was happening. Or why. 

She wondered if she’d done something wrong.

She sent him texts which she could see he read but he never wrote back.

She wondered if perhaps he suddenly had got cancer or something worse had happened to him. She stalked him on social media and saw that he was out with friends. He looked very much alive and happy. 

She was filled with anxiety and cried almost everyday the first few weeks. 

Eventually, she realized she’d just been plain old ghosted.

Ghosting is basically defined as a person who disappears from your life suddenly and with no explanation. 

Ghosting is a confusing and a painful blow. The paradox of our fast-paced digital dating culture allows us to quickly connect and then disconnect from someone.

Why does being ghosted make you feel so bad?

The first thing being ghosted does is it makes you feel completely invalidated.

The second thing being ghosted does is it makes you feel crazy.

  • Did you imagine that things were going well? No, you didn’t.
  • Did you misinterpret things? Probably not. 

Someone being intimate with you and sharing personal details and messaging you, means they’re interested. There’s not much to misinterpret. 

Did you do something wrong? NO! You did not. Someone who just cuts contact with no explanation has a problem themselves. THEY are the ones who for whatever reason have not been able to have a difficult conversation.

Being ghosted can break your self-confidence, can make you doubt yourself, create massive anxiety and it can wreak havoc with your emotions. 

If someone has repeatedly told you that they’re not interested in you that’s different but being ghosted often comes with little warning and no understanding of what is happening. 

Being ghosted professionally

I was once asked to do a project over the weekend for an executive marketing role I really wanted and had applied for. I cleared my weekend plans and worked all weekend to do the project in time for submission.

The following Friday the company contacted me to ask me to complete a series of aptitude tests which would take 2-3 hours.

Once again I cleared my diary and did the tests.

I never heard from them every again. 

I emailed them repeatedly but to no avail.

I had been professionally ghosted.

Sadly this is not an uncommon event. It’s exceptionally unfair, but not uncommon.

What to do when someone ghosts you?

It is quite natural to want to persue someone the minute they stop engaging with you to break the anxiety and try and understand. You might try reach out to them via text or stalk them on social media. 

I always want to make sure that they’re ok. For some reason, I always think that if someone just stops talking to you it’s because something went seriously wrong in their life. Sadly that’s not always the case.

There’s nothing wrong with asking someone directly what happened and see if they give you an answer. But each time you make contact after that you set yourself up for a non-physical punch in the stomach. 

It’s not worth it. 

But it’s also not always that easy to just get over it. Here’s what to do and how to handle it;

  • ✅ Let yourself feel the feelings that are going on inside.
  • ✅ Be super kind to youself by not being overly critical of yourself. You could not have seen this coming.
  • ✅ Make a date with friends who you know love and care for you.
  • ✅ Get professional help in the form of therapy
  • ✅ Make time to get out in nature

The most important thing to do is face reality. The more energy you keep pouring into wondering why they ghosted you or how to win them back, the more energy you lose. The more energy you lose, the less energy you have for new experiences.

So don’t;

  1. ❌ Keep trying to make contact
  2. ❌ Make it a story about you
  3. ❌ Don’t now adopt ghosting as the way YOU deal with others

Why people ghost people

There are several reasons people ghost other people. These include;

  • Not wanting to have a difficult conversation
  • Fear of intimacy
  • It’s simply easier for them so they don’t have to confront something like breaking up
  • They’re going through a difficult stage in their lives (no excuses but it means they do not have the inner resources to manage a conversation over and above their current situation.)

This is a blessing in disguise

You do NOT want someone in your life who behaves like that; someone without values, someone who is up for intimacy the one day and the next not. Those are not the things that true relationships are built on.

You deserve better.

What’s more, the person you should feel more pity for is the other party. 

If you’ve been engaging with someone and sharing intimacy and then all of a sudden, with no explanation, they up and leave and slam the proverbial door in your face then they have something severely wrong with them. 

They need help because only hurt people hurt people. Hurt people, ghost people. And that’s the plain old truth right there.

Let your soul be your pilot

There’s a magnificent song by Sting “Let your Soul be your Pilot” where he sings “Let your soul guide the way”.

Whenever something dramatic happens in my life (and yes ghosting can be described as dramatic for its damaging effects), I find it best to slow down and surrender. Get out into nature or even just get out on my bike or bicycle to take a breath. 

Or just do yoga outside.

If someone has ghosted you personally or professionally, the universe has done you a massive grand old favour and removed them from your life. 

You do not want to be married or working for someone who is flaky and clearly has no value for the feelings of others. 

Grieve? Yes, of course but then be grateful for better is on it’s way.

When people show you who they are believe them

The bottom line 

If someone wants to talk to you, they will. You don’t have to beg someone to be in your life. 

That doesn’t deny the fact that being ghosted hurts. It can lower your self-esteem and self-confidence. 

But it’s important to get perspective and not make it a story about you. At the end of the day, you don’t want people in your life who can’t do the hard yards with you or who aren’t prepared to have a difficult conversation. 

You deserve better. Remember that. 

Rejection is protection.

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