Ghosting isn’t just for romantic relationships. Friendship ghosting is real and can hurt just as much as a significant other leaving you without a word. This simple guide will help you deal with ghosting and move on from it healthily.
When you think of ghosting, you usually think of someone cutting off communication with you after chatting on a dating app or not texting you back after you’ve gone on a few dates. But believe it or not, ghosting can happen in friendships too, and unfortunately, it happened to me at one point.
I was hesitant to open up about this on the blog, but I feel like my experience can help other people who have gone through this, so I thought I’d share some steps I took to get over losing someone I thought was one of my closest friends.
But first, for those of you who aren’t familiar with ghosting, here’s a simple definition…
What is Ghosting?
Ghosting is when people cut off all communication with their friends or the person they’re dating. They do this with zero warning or notice beforehand. They avoid your phone calls or texts, social media messages, and posts, and even go as far as to avoid you in public.
This is essentially what happened to me a few years back, and it was done to me by someone I considered as close as family. I was ghosted in a friendship.
In some regard, being ghosted by a friend can be even harder to deal with than by a boyfriend, girlfriend, or love interest. Friends are supposed to be there for you no matter what, especially after you’ve gone through a lot with them, confided in them (and they in you), and made specific promises to never walk out of each other’s life without explanation.
For weeks and months after the fact, I went over the whole situation and tried to conclude why my friend did what they did. But honestly, I couldn’t figure it out, and I don’t know if I ever will since they refused to have an adult conversation with me or even acknowledge my presence.
One of the hardest parts about being ghosted is that it comes without warning and typically as a surprise. This was the case for me since I went from planning to meet up with my friend one day to the next (and from then on) ignoring me completely.
Has a friend ghosted you?
Some other people who have been ghosted in a friendship shared their experiences with me, and I was amazed at how similar our stories were…
My best friend since I was 10 unfriended me for unknown reasons a few years ago. I reached out numerous times but she will not answer me nor tell me the reason why. | RS
I have experience with it in a platonic relationship. Someone who was supposed to be a very close friend just stopped messaging me one day. I tried because I know relationships are a two-way street, but to no avail. I find it extremely immature – if I did something, tell me. If you’re just too busy or moving in a different life direction, tell me. Don’t just disappear. | SZ
Even when you knew it wasn’t a good relationship and wasn’t bound to last, getting ghosted makes you feel like you need more answers. It almost makes you care more while you sit obsessing over what you did or didn’t do and how the other person could so quickly go to just completely ignoring you! | LA
I can relate to all of these sentiments….especially the feeling of wanting ANSWERS. When the ghosting first occurred, I felt upset for many reasons. Sad, angry, and slightly depressed over losing what I considered a “good” and important relationship.
Now that I am more removed from it all, I am no longer “mourning” the lost friend, but I still need closure. I am the type of person that likes closure in any situation…good or bad. If I did something wrong, tell me. Tell me if something is happening with you that changes this between us. Regardless of the situation, I prefer to end things like adults with mutual respect rather than being treated as if we’re in kindergarten and ignored. But I realize this is a lot to ask of someone, especially if they are not as socially mature or empathetic as you are.
As I said at the beginning, I am sharing all of this because I’ve gone through ghosting, and now, on the other side of it, I’ve been able to reflect on the steps it took for me to get through it and MOVE ON. If my experience can help one other person do the same, this post will have been worth it.
Ghosted in a Friendship? Here’s How to Move On
- Acknowledge your feelings
- Talk it out
- Prioritize your wellness
- Try to see the other person’s POV
- Let it go
1. Acknowledge Your Feelings
Whether you were best friends for years or just started hanging out, the experience of being ghosted is likely to evoke feelings of upset, anger, sadness, and confusion. Being ignored, avoided, or dumped doesn’t feel good, so it’s normal and human to experience a range of emotions in response. Don’t try to stuff down these emotions or put on a brave face. Give yourself some grace, sympathy, and understanding.
2. Talk It Out
If someone close to you ghosts you, it may be difficult to confide in others about your experience, particularly if the person you typically turn to for venting is the one who ghosted you. But as hard as it is, putting your thoughts and feelings into words to another person can be extremely cathartic. When you share your experiences instead of holding them in and ruminating on them, you can begin to move out of the difficult rut that you’re in. Processing painful experiences is so much easier and more healing when done with someone else and not in your mind. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to another friend or family member, consider seeing a therapist/counselor.
3. Prioritize Your Personal Wellness
When we feel down or upset about something, it can be challenging to motivate ourselves to engage in typical healthy habits and take care of ourselves. But believe it or not, the basic tasks of eating well, getting good sleep, and moving your body are incredibly important to managing emotional and mental pain. Mind-body practices (yoga, meditation, etc.) are especially helpful in reducing the strain that sadness causes on our bodies and minds.
4. Try To See The Other Person’s POV
Even though ghosting is cruel and probably something you would never do, it can be helpful to consider the other person’s perspective. It can help you move on if you acknowledge that the person who ghosted you thought he or she was doing the right thing. While it was mean and cowardly, some people who have ghosted others may sincerely believe it was the easiest way to let the other person down. They may have thought that ghosting gets their message across without confrontation. (Not saying this right or FAIR, but it can help you move forward to consider the other person’s thinking process in making their decision.)
5. Let It Go
Arguably the hardest yet most important step, and easier said than done. Whatever happened to your friendship, you’ll feel ten times better once you stop dwelling on what was. Instead, start putting your energy toward your future. Use the mental space you reserved for grieving the lost friendship to foster REAL healthy relationships. This will help you move forward and fill the void your bad friend left. You can learn from your experience of being ghosted that people don’t always reveal their true colors. Some only stay in friendships until they get what they want out of them. These “users” are not the people you want to be friends with long-term.
They take but don’t give, so it’s not worth being involved in any friendship that lacks reciprocity. It’s perfectly normal to worry about being ghosted in a friendship in the future. However, stressing over that possibility is not worth all the opportunities you’d miss for true friendship by not moving on.
Have you ever been ghosted in a friendship or maybe done the ghosting yourself? Share your experience and perspectives in the comments!Stay connected:Instagram: HealthyHelperFacebook: Healthy HelperTwitter: @Healthy_HelperPinterest: Healthy_HelperTikTok: KailaProulxBloglovin’: Healthy HelperShop with me on Amazon. Favorite products, fun finds, and more!