Reading Ghosts by Dolly Alderton brought back the memories of my own experiences of being ghosted. An experience that has only come about in the last couple of decades with more communication moving from human interactions to the screen on our phones.
For those lucky enough not to have experienced ghosting, it’s when someone (most commonly a romantic partner) suddenly stops all communication with you. You try messaging them – no response. Try calling – goes to voicemail. You think that maybe something awful has happened to them, until you see that they saw your message at [insert time and date here].
The humiliation and pain of being ghosted by a friend cuts deeper. The feelings that it evokes in you feel different to that of a love interest. When it’s a close friend doing the ghosting, coward doesn’t feel like the right word to describe their actions. It also takes a lot longer to get over.
I’ve wasted so much time racking my brain for what I did to cause the ghosting and can’t find the answer. I put an emphasis on wasted because it detracted from the friends and people who are present in my life. I became fearful of my words and would assess what I had said after every conversation, filled with fear that I had said something wrong and would push more people away.
It’s difficult to remember that it’s not about you, and actually says more about the person doing the ghosting. More often than not, it’s about the ghosters own insecurities and anxieties.
I can’t bring myself to delete said friends number*. There is still a small hope within me that they will come back. This hope is slowly shrinking.
There is only one option, if you are ever even remotely close to ghosting someone – tell them (in a nice way) that you are not interested, that it has run it’s cause, that it’s over… They will be gone from your life a lot more quickly and you will have saved them a lot of pain and humiliation.
*Update: I have now deleted their number, thanks to reasoning in this posts comments.