Ghosted by a Friend: How to Cope and Heal from the Painful Experience

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Ghosting: The Painful Experience That Nobody Wants to Talk About

Have you ever been ghosted by a friend? One moment you’re getting along well, making plans, sharing laughs–and then suddenly, they disappear without a trace.

No explanation, no warning, not even a good-bye. You’re left in the dark, confused, hurt, and wondering what the heck just happened.

You replay every conversation, every interaction, trying to figure out where things went wrong. You reach out–text, call, email–but nothing comes back.

You feel helpless, rejected, betrayed, and alone. Sound familiar?

If so, you’re not alone. Ghosting is a common occurrence in friendships, and it hurts like hell.

What Is Ghosting, Exactly?

According to Urban Dictionary, ghosting is “the act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone without any explanation, especially in a relationship.” Ghosting is not exclusive to romantic or sexual relationships; it can happen to anyone, at any time, in any type of relationship.

Ghosting is a form of passive-aggressive behavior, where one person chooses to avoid conflict or responsibility by disappearing. Instead of saying “I’m not interested in being your friend anymore,” or “I’m sorry I haven’t been a good friend lately,” or “I need some space right now,” the ghoster decides to cut off all contact, leaving the ghostee to wonder and worry.

What’s So Painful About Being Ghosted by a Friend?

Ghosting by a friend can be just as painful, if not more so, than ghosting by a romantic partner.

Friends are supposed to be people we can count on, confide in, and trust with our feelings and thoughts. Friends are supposed to be there for us in good times and bad, to support us, to challenge us, to make us laugh and cry.

Friends are supposed to be chosen family, people we love unconditionally and who love us back. When a friend ghosts us, it feels like a double betrayal–not only are they gone, but so is our sense of security and belonging.

We may start to question our own worthiness, our own judgment, our own ability to maintain relationships. We may feel angry, sad, hopeless, confused, or all of the above.

We may even blame ourselves for the ghosting, thinking we did something wrong or said something offensive. Being ghosted by a friend hurts because it shatters our trust and our heart.

Why Do Friends Ghost Each Other?

There are several reasons why friends may choose to ghost each other.

While none of them justify or excuse the behavior, it may help to understand where the ghoster is coming from. Here are some common reasons for ghosting:

  • Lack of Communication Capacity: Some people simply don’t have the emotional, mental, or physical capacity to handle difficult conversations or conflicts.
  • Fear of Confrontation: Some people avoid conflict like the plague. They would rather disappear than face a difficult conversation or a disagreement.
  • Incompatibility in Friendship: Some people realize that they’re not good for each other as friends.
  • Occurrence of an Event: Sometimes, friendships are derailed by a specific event or circumstance, such as a disagreement, a disrespect, an offense, or a need for space.
  • Overwhelmed by Personal Issues: Sometimes, life happens, and it can be hard to keep up with friendships.
  • Growing Apart: Sometimes, we outgrow our friends.
  • Convenience-Based Friendship: Sometimes, friends are only friends because it’s convenient for them.
  • Control from Outside Factors: Sometimes, friends are controlled by outside factors, such as a manipulative partner or a demanding job.
  • Unidentified Reason(s): Sometimes, friends ghost each other for no apparent reason.

How to Deal with Being Ghosted by a Friend?

Dealing with being ghosted by a friend can be tough, but it’s not impossible. Here are some tips on how to cope:

  • Give yourself permission to feel your feelings.
  • Don’t blame yourself.
  • Seek support from other friends or family members.
  • Practice self-care.
  • Consider reaching out to the ghoster, if you feel comfortable doing so.
  • Accept that closure may not be possible.
  • Learn from the experience.

In Conclusion

Ghosting is a hurtful and painful experience, especially when it comes from a friend. While there are many reasons why friends may choose to ghost each other, none of them excuse or justify the behavior.

If you’ve been ghosted by a friend, remember that it’s not your fault, and you’re not alone. Practice self-care, seek support, and consider reaching out to the ghoster if you feel comfortable doing so.

Remember that closure may not always be possible, but growth and learning are always within reach.

Coping with Being Ghosted by a Friend: What to Do When You Feel Abandoned

Ghosting is painful, but it doesn’t have to be defining.

Being ghosted by a friend can be one of the most difficult things to experience; it can bring up as much pain and confusion as being ghosted by a romantic partner. The lack of communication can make it hard to reconcile the loss, and recovering from it can feel like an impossible feat.

However, with the right tools and strategies, coping with being ghosted by a friend can become feasible. Although it may be challenging, taking care of oneself and taking on new, fulfilling experiences can lessen the pain and lead to healing.

Containing Initial Reactions

When discovering a friend has ghosted them, most people will experience strong emotions such as anger, pain, and confusion. It is important to allow oneself to feel those feelings without letting them dictate impulsive decisions.

It’s not uncommon to want to lash out or shame the friend that has ghosted you, but without understanding the situation a reaction can magnify the problem or even worsen the situation. While it may be difficult to withhold yourself from acting on that initial impulse, taking time to sit with the emotions and deciding when to address them can provide clarity, and ensure a calm, collected approach to the situation.

Starting a Conversation

One way to find clarity after being ghosted is to reach out to the person directly. Asking why can provide insight into the situation.

When trying to start a conversation, the most important thing is to remain non-threatening and respectful. Clarifying any misunderstandings or receiving clarification can help to close the gap, so that healing can begin.

Preparing for No Answer

Unfortunately, sometimes there won’t be any response. While it can be tempting to continue reaching out or to act out, it’s important to prepare oneself for the possibility of no answer.

Ghosting by its nature is abrupt and without warning, so it is impossible to accurately foresee whether the ghoster will respond or not. At a certain point, especially if the person is not giving you an explanation, it is important to prioritize your own self-care and move on.

Allowing Oneself to Grieve

Being ghosted by a friend is a loss. It’s a fresh wound that can be difficult to stop thinking about in the initial periods – so, allowing oneself to grieve is an important step when moving past it.

Like with any loss, it’s important to practice self-compassion, take your time to process the change, and to forgive oneself. Cancelling plans, or not responding to messages right away, spacing out your to-do list and taking breaks from daily life can be helpful ways to give oneself space and start processing the loss.

Finding Closure

Closure can come in different forms. For some, it’s accepting the situation and moving on.

For others, it’s realizing that a friendship they thought they had may have never really been there to begin with. Closure isn’t always a tidy ending, but finding what works for you as an individual is key.

Accepting the end of a one-sided friendship and realizing that sometimes it’s best for people to go their separate ways can be freeing.

Keeping Occupied

Finding new activities like hiking or yoga can be a positive way to engage in new things instead of dwelling in recent distress. Meeting new people, and creating a social life outside the realm of past friendships can provide better opportunities for personal growth.

This can be a difficult step, especially if the friendship was longstanding, – however finding new communities and cultivating new relationships can be invaluable during the recovery process.

Removing from Social Media

If communication has ceased for a long period, it may be tempting to cling to their last

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