Why do we ghost?

A few days earlier, I wrote a story on the emotional repercussions of being ghosted by a friend or a romantic partner.

For those of you who are wondering, “what is she talking about” here is a quick recap. Ghosting: The act of disappearing without any explanation and in turn no longer responding to emails, texts, calls.

But why do we actually ghost?The good news is, that it is never about the person we ghost. It’s always about us. Here are some reasons why we do it:

  1. You want to avoid conflict. You do not want to discuss what bothered you with your last interaction. You do not know how to handle a conflict, or don’t know the person enough, so you imagine that their reaction to truth will be horrifying.
  2. You over-promised. You said you would help a friend with moving, but then you realize you do not have time. You said you will join the man you are dating on his Christmas party, but you realize you are actually not that into him.
  3. You hate saying no: He has asked you multiple times on a date, but you really are scared of saying no because he would think you are rude, so you just stop responding.
  4. You are emotionally unavailable. Classic situation. You meet someone at a party, you connect with them deeply, and you think you have a spark. You omit mentioning you are married. The next day, you pretend to yourself, that you never met them.
  5. You are ashamed: you have shame around something you did or said. You have shame for having ghosted for such a long time, that it becomes impossible to ever justify.

Ghosting has become easier because of the use of texting. You can block someone, delete their texts, unfollow them on Facebook, and there it is there are no longer part of your life.

To consider:

1- The person you want to ghost might feel the same way, for example they are also not that into the relationship to start with.

2- A conversation might bring you closer, and allow you to get to know someone better. For example telling a friend you were afraid of saying no to helping them post surgery, can open up a conversation about why is their fear and how you can improve your relationship.

3- A simple no can get the person to move on and stop obsessing and thinking about you. Consider it charity, good karma or simply not being an asshole.

In the end, it is important to have compassion for yourself in the case you ghost, which will allow you to address the underneath issue and forgive when someone does it to you.

Have you ghosted before? if yes, what drove your decision?


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