No doubt you’ve heard about ghosting, and maybe it’s even happened to you. And while it’s weird that disappearing without a heads up is a thing in dating, it’s now happening in friendships too.
Yup, someone you once thought was a friend can totally ghost you. But how are you supposed to know if you’ve been ghosted or a friend is just really busy?
Licensed clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D., author of Should I Stay or Should I Go?, says there are signs and they all, well, suck. These are the top indicators you’ve been ghosted by someone formerly known as your friend:
- You reach out to them a couple of times and they never respond (no one is too busy to respond)
- They’re active on social media and obviously doing stuff…which doesn’t include following up with you
- They’re at events with people you both know, or they hold their own events and don’t invite you
What should you do if you suspect you’ve been ghosted? Durvasula says it’s a good idea to reach out one last time and then let it go—easier said than done when you want to know what the heck just happened. “We live in a world in which everyone wants the question of ‘why’ answered,” Durvasula says. Obviously, if you said or did something that upset your friend, you’d want to know about it, but Durvasula says it’s telling if someone drops off the face of the Earth because you may or may not have offended them. “If the friend was so deeply offended by something you did, but could not tell you, and instead just disappeared, it speaks to a relationship that really doesn't have good bones,” she says. Also, do you really want to have someone as a friend who would do that to you?
If you were ghosted, Durvasula says it’s a good idea to take a beat to try to think about what might have happened—were you becoming less available? Did you have a fight? Did you say or do something on the DL that would have upset them that they found out about? But you also have to realize that, on some level, it’s probably not about you since Durvasula points out that ghosting is pretty immature. “It is a coward's game to just walk without saying anything,” she says.
Of course, it’s possible that you’ll run into your ghoster at some point in the future. If that’s the case, it’s 100 percent OK to ask what happened. “But don't expect any great insights—a deeply insightful person would not ghost someone,” Durvasula says, adding that hearing an “explanation” from your ghoster is often a “very unfulfilling and upsetting experience.”
Her advice: “Cut your losses.”
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