The act of ghosting has become one of the most popular modern ways of cutting off contact with someone subtly. If you’ve ever been ghosted, then you know how painful it is, but sometimes, it’s just necessary.
Of course, there are some situations in which ghosting is inappropriate, and there are also situations when ghosting is the only reasonable thing to do.
How will you know when it is okay to ghost someone? From today, you’ll definitely learn that, and, more importantly, you’ll also learn how to ghost someone the right way!
How To Ghost Someone The Right Way
If you have doubts about ghosting, you’re probably wondering whether there is a nice way to ghost someone. Well, I don’t think there is. Whichever way you choose, it will leave them with question marks. Although there might not be a nice way, there is always the right way.
1. Are you sure that you no longer want that person in your life?
Was this an important relationship to you or just a short-term fling? Does this person endanger your well-being one way or another?
These are the questions you need to ask yourself to realize whether you’re truly ready to let them go. If you’re making an impulsive decision, you might regret it later on.
So, it’s best to be honest with yourself. Then, what will it be? Are you 100% ready to enter ghosting mode?
2. If yes, do it gradually
Ramani Durvasula, a licensed clinical psychologist, and a professor of psychology at California State University, Los Angeles, describes ghosting in the following way:
“Ghosting is exactly what it sounds like; it’s quietly disappearing from someone’s life, like a ghost.”
Imagine being in constant contact and then suddenly deciding to ghost the hell out of them one day. That is definitely not the way to go. If you want to avoid the emotional intensity that comes with sudden ghosting, then do it gradually.
Quitely = gradually.
First, stop responding to some of their texts and calls. After a while, stop responding for a longer period of time. Then, at a certain point, you’ll be ready to cut off communication for good.
3. Stop investing in communication with them
A great way to gradually “get rid of them” is to stop investing your time in communicating with them. If you haven’t invested much time in them, it will be easier to end things.
If they keep tagging you in comments, don’t reply. Also, don’t start ghosting them on all social media platforms simultaneously.
If they’re texting you on both Facebook and Instagram, choose to ghost them on Facebook first. After that, ignore their messages on Instagram as well.
The goal here is to stop investing in communicating with them in an indirect way. This will also make it easier for them to accept it. It’s harder to cope with something that ends abruptly, right?
4. Be persistent no matter what
Yes, the person you ghost will be on the receiving end (assuming they care about you and want to be in your life). But you decided to put a full stop to it because you have your own reasons.
So, don’t let ghosting guilt prevent you from staying consistent in your decision. Learn to set healthy boundaries without feeling guilty about it. When in doubt, remind yourself why you decided to ghost that person in the first place.
Don’t fall for their attempts to blackmail you, beg you, or make you feel bad. If your life feels ten times easier since you’ve not been in contact with them, then you know you’ve made the right decision.
(However, if you think that you made a mistake, you can always admit it, ask them for forgiveness, and change things.)
You’ve succeeded in ghosting them for so many days! Congrats! What’s your next step, you wonder?
Thanks to modern communication technologies, we have the luxury of virtually deleting people from our lives. The best time to delete or block them on social media is after a few days/weeks of no communication.
That way, chances are, they won’t even notice that they’re no longer on your friends list. If you haven’t been communicating, it’ll make no difference to them whether they’re still your friend or not.
Still, there are exceptions. Some people won’t be able to accept that you deleted or blocked them. They’ll take it too personally (which is not something you can influence).
6. Be prepared for anything
When it comes to being ignored by someone, I’m convinced that there’s no gray area here. You either upset the person, or they don’t care about it at all.
It all depends on how much they were connected to you in the first place. If you didn’t spend much time together or didn’t text a lot, it would be easier for them to move on.
But if you spent a great deal of time together and they still care about you, then be prepared for anything. As a matter of fact, some people can’t accept rejection regardless of whether you saw them or texted once in your life or more than that.
It takes all sorts, so be prepared for every possible outcome. Setting healthy boundaries is a must when it comes to learning how to ghost someone.
When Is It Okay To Ghost Someone?
People ghost others for various reasons; some of them are legit, while others are not-so-legit. We all have boundaries when it comes to social connections and different things, so when someone doesn’t respect them, the method of ghosting comes in handy.
Here are a few situations in which it is okay to ghost someone:
- When your date keeps calling and texting you even though they know you’re not interested: We all know how annoying people can be when they’re crazy about you and are unwilling to stop pursuing you even when they know you’re not on the same page. In that case, learning how to ghost someone is a must.
- Ending a casual relationship: You’re in a casual relationship, and you’ve expressed your desire to end it, but they keep initiating conversation with you. They’re not willing to let you go, not even if their life depended on it.
- Ending toxic and abusive relationships: There are different forms of abuse, and every single one is equally harmful. Regardless of whether you’re the victim of physical, mental, or verbal abuse (yes, this is also a form of abuse), you have every right to cut all contact with them.
- Your personal safety is at risk: Personal safety is the number one priority. If someone is threatening you, you have every right not to respond to their threats and seek help from those closest to you, the police, or other professionals.
When Is It Not Okay To Ghost Someone?
Ghosting someone is not okay in the following situations:
- Ending a long-term relationship (that wasn’t toxic or abusive): Looking for easy ways to break up with your partner? There are far better ways to end a romantic relationship than ghosting your partner on social media. You both deserve a clean break. Also, they say that confrontation instead of ignoring is definitely an intimacy skill.
- Ending a long-term friendship: Would you be able to forgive your long-term friend had they decided to ghost you all of a sudden? I bet you wouldn’t. No matter what happened between the two of you, it will be easier for both of you to talk about it in person and eventually end your friendship.
- If you promised you’d help someone with something: If you told someone in need that you’d be right back only to ignore them, know that this is a cowardly thing to do.
Ghosting someone as a means to avoid the responsibility that comes with helping them is something you should think twice about. If you think you can’t be of service to them at the moment, then it’s best to tell them so.
- If someone physically depends on you and/or is feeling ill: Let’s say that someone close to you just told you they’re living alone in an apartment, and they need you to help them hop in their wheelchair. Would you ignore their cry for help?
Or would you ignore someone who is feeling ill? If something happens to them and only you knew about it, the “invisible responsibility” would be on you. So, don’t ignore someone who physically depends on you.
How Long Should You Ghost Someone?
There’s actually no time limit when it comes to ghosting someone, but if you’re wondering how long needs to pass before someone knows they’ve been ghosted, it’s around three days.
If your ghosting goal is to cut off all communication with that person because you no longer want them in your life, then you should ghost them to infinity.
However, you should do it gradually (ignore some of their texts and calls and ignore them completely after some time).
Keep in mind that the worst part is that ghosting doesn’t work on certain types of people, like narcissists. Ignoring a narcissist will motivate them to keep coming back into your life.
So, no matter how long you ghost them, they won’t be willing to let you go. In that case, the best thing to do is delete/block them on social media.
The phenomenon of ghosting often indicates a lack of empathy, but it is one of the easiest ways to create a safe zone from annoying or toxic people.
The bottom line is ghosting someone might have a bad reputation, but sometimes it’s necessary and inevitable. Sometimes, the best form of communication is no communication.
So, learning how to ghost someone is a skill that can save you lots of time and nerves in the long run. Good luck!