Have You Ever Been Ghosted?
Ghosting is Not New – Only Its Name Was (in 2015)
This is an updated archive post from 2015:
Have you been Ghosted? Do you know what that means?
I had never heard the word until, one day with on the phone with my dear friend Serena, after she’d seen it used in the New York Times. In particular, the article mentioned Charlize Theron and Sean Penn. (She was ghosted by him, allegedly) – calling it “the ultimate silent treatment” – which it is.
Ghosting is the act of being the victim of the disappearing ex. It’s when you’re dating someone or even in a full-blown relationship – happy texting, emailing and speaking to this person daily – only to one day have all communication stop. Poof! They’re gone.
Radio Silence from an Ex
From that point on, all texts, voicemails, letters or emails go unanswered. Not a peep. And you’re left wondering what went wrong.
In some crazier cases you may even be wondering if they’re still alive? (Surely they must be dead if they’re not calling you back?)
It’s always been baffling to me how you can be so close to someone one day, and yet have radio silence the next.
Here are a few of my tips to dealing with being ghosted.
1) Don’t Make it About You
Is it your fault? Did you behave badly? Did you love them too much? Did you not communicate your feelings well enough? Was it something you did or didn’t do? Said or didn’t say? The questions can be maddening, I know. I’ve asked them all myself.
Do you know what? Hear me when I say this:
This is probably not about you!!
Hard as that is to believe right now. More likely it’s about their ability to be in a relationship right now (or a lack of ability).
Some exes may assume they’re doing us a favor by opting to take the easier option – the coward’s way out? They mistakenly think it will hurt less that way.
2) Don’t Be a Ghost Chaser
It’s a natural reaction to want answers. You feel like you need closure so you hound them with texts, emails, or voicemails etc. If they haven’t replied to one or two – then back off. If someone is pulling away – let them go. If there’s a reason to apologise then do so once and be done with it.
You don’t need to chase anyone who’s walked away from you.
Look in the mirror and remind yourself you are worthy of love and if someone can’t see it they’re not right for you. You don’t have to chase them down and beat them until they succumb. If someone can’t see your worth they’re not worthy of your love.
Every week someone would come to SYBD or to the SYBD Facebook page to tell me their story about the ghosting ex. They often start out the same – things were great, all kinds of communication and then BAM – nothing. Crickets.
Usually at this point they have already reached out one – or a dozen times – with no response. And they’re asking for my magical advice to say “just the right thing” that will illicit a response. The perfectly composed message to bring the ex back. I wish such words existed but the fact is they don’t.
3) Remember Your Worth
It may be they’re afraid of how you’ll react if you’re told “it’s over” face to face. They may be worried they’re not worthy of love on some level (not good enough, smart enough, sexy enough or worthy of love). A lot of people feel that way at the deepest core.
Conclusion: Tell Your Own Ghost Story Here
Again as hard as it is to not taking something like being ghosted personally, it’s quite probably not personal. It’s worth doing some self-exploration about whether or not you could have done anything different in the relationship, but if someone is capable of ghosting you, they probably aren’t mature enough to be in a healthy, loving and committed relationship with you anyway.
Please share your story in the comments below, or if you prefer more anonymity then join the Exchange, the SYBD forum for more privacy.
PS: And by the way if you have things left to say to your Ghost of an ex, use our Dead Message Diary. Available on Amaon’s around the world in a few different sizes! Like this one on Amazon US