This Halloween, beware of the real monsters: Ghosters.
Yes, ghosts are scary, but who cares about paranormal beings when there are real-life people ghosting you?
First of all, rude. Second of all, THE DISRESPECT!
Getting ghosted in a relationship never feels good. You’re just minding your business, getting deeper and deeper into a relationship with someone when, out of nowhere,Â they seemingly disappear off the face of the Earth and cease to respond to any form of communication from you.Â
“Ignoring an initial message isn’t ghosting – that’s passive rejection, and sadly I think that’s a sign of modern life these days,” says CharlyÂ Lester, founder of Lumen, a dating app for singles over 50. “However, once you have started to build a relationshipÂ with someone, met up, invested time in them and then you just disappear without a trace, that is ghosting.”
You’ll most likely be going through a wave of emotions: Sadness, anger, confusion. You mightÂ contemplate pulling up to their place of residence just to make sure the reason they haven’t texted you back isn’t because they’re deadÂ â€“ not like I’m speaking from personal experienceÂ or anything (I’m looking at you ex med-school bae).
Overall, getting ghosted isÂ just a hit to your self-esteem, even though you’re a whole catch (I meanÂ really, just look).Â
Here are ways you can cope with getting ghosted aside from calling the ghostee’s mother to triple, quadruple check they haven’t died (pull yourself together, you’re better than that).
It’s not you, it’s them. Really.Â
Initially, this may not make sense because if you were as great of a person as you thought you were, then they wouldn’t just leave you hanging right?
“You should never blame yourself for why it happened because there could be a laundry list of reasons for why that person decided to ghost,” Lester says.
As clichÃ© as it sounds, you’re better off without them in your life. Why would you want to keep someone who can’t communicate their feelings and just disappears like Casper the unfriendly ghost?
“Whether you ghost or not is about how decent of a person you try to be and how much you think of another personâ€™s feelings,” Dr. Seth Meyers, clinical psychologist and eharmony’s relationship expertÂ says. “We expect adults to be kinder and more responsible than children but thatâ€™s unfortunately not always the case.”
So there you have it, ghosters are childish.Â
Do things that make you happy
Being ghosted by someone you care about and invested time into building a relationship with is a badÂ feeling, so make sure to indulge in activities that bring you joy to offset the sadness.
“Get your mood back to baseline byÂ exercising, having dinner with a friend who loves you, taking a comforting shower or bath and tucking yourself into bed early,” says Meyers.Â “Good sleep makes almost any problem more manageable.”
Lester suggests lifting your spirits by taking some personal time and hanging out with your family and friends.Â
Reframe your idea of the person
The thing about ghosting that makes it confusing is that it’s a complete contradiction of how the person was treating you before.
It’s hard to let go and just move on because you’ve grown accustomed to that person’s consistency. I mean there’s a reason you stuck around for this long and it was most likely because you enjoyed the person’s company and because they treated you well. When the person ends up removing themselves from your life with no communication, it’s a complete 180.Â
Meyers says ghosters are “emotionallyÂ unavailable,” and that to ghost someone after a few months “violates such a fundamental social law of mutual respect that the individual must have some degree of personality disorder unless the reason for their ghosting related to some sort of personal or life emergency.”
He says typically after going one week without communication, you should label the issue as ghosting and start to reframe your idea of that person in your mind.
You don’t need that type of negativity in your life.
Get angry and be nice to yourself
It’s OK to be sad and a little down when someone ghosts you, but feeling angry is an empowering emotion, says Meyers.
“In general, the mental approach you should use when youâ€™re ghosted is to draw more from your anger toward the ghoster than your sadness,” says Meyers. “Anger is a more empowering emotion while sadness is a more internalizing emotion.”
Meyers says that when you’re ghosted, you feel dismissed or thrown out, so you need to get your mental state back into reminding yourself that this type of behavior is a reflection on the ghoster and not you. HeÂ suggests repeating these mantras to yourself:
- “People show their character not through words but through their actions.”
- “If Iâ€™m going to have a partner, itâ€™s going to be someone who knows how to act like a decent adult.”
- “A personâ€™s behavior is a reflection on them, not me.”
Ghosting is selfishÂ so don’t do it, kids
We’ve all been tempted to ghost someone and some of us probably even have (👀), but it’s never OK. If we’re being real, it’s easier to ignore a problem until it just goes away than having to face anÂ uncomfortable situation, but ghosting is selfish and cowardly.
“Though a ghoster’sÂ intentions arenâ€™t necessarily malicious, the behavior is ultimately selfish and childish,” says Meyers. “No one likes confronting uncomfortable situations, but adults, unlike children, accept that they are supposed to show mutual respect and responsibility in their relationships.”
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