Here's The Right Way To Handle Being Ghosted

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Investing in a new relationship — whether it's with a friend or romantic partner — requires a lot. There's time, effort, and often a lot of vulnerability that go into the entire exchange. Ghosting is a far too common phenomenon that plagues relationships. Its effects are painful, to say the least.

There are usually ways to tell when someone is ghosting you. The person you've been trying to get to know suddenly decides to cut off all contact with you — no emails, no calls, no messages, no social media contact, etc. — with no explanation, despite any and all efforts made by you to get in touch. This could happen at the very beginning of the relationship or dating phase, or even sometime in between. Regardless of when it happens, ghosting results in painful emotions in the one who's been ghosted, the ghostee if you will. You can move from shock, anger, and self-doubt to humiliation, hurt, and insecure thoughts and feelings per NBC News. It isn't pleasant.  

Despite how agonizing the entire experience can feel, ghosting says a lot more about the person you've been trying to build a relationship with, than you, according to Psych Company. Poor communication skills and fear of confrontation are among some reasons people ghost others (via Very Well Mind). When you've been ghosted, your instinct might be to get answers. There is, however, a right way to handle the situation. 

Avoid going after the person with an outburst of messages

An overwhelming desire to get answers — as to why a person you were seemingly having a nice time talking to and spending time with decided to disappear — can cloud how you handle being ghosted. It can be tempting to go after the person until they either give you an explanation for their radio silence or offer you an apology, per Pure Wow, but the recommendation is to refrain from doing so, however hard this might be. It's also important to resist the urge to engage in unhealthy behaviors like stalking the person's social media profile (via Real Simple). 

There is often a message in the non-message, when it comes to being ghosted, according to relationship expert Michelle Drouin. "Realize a non-answer is an answer. Don't take that as ambiguous. Take that as 'I don't want to speak to you,'" explains Drouin to Real Simple. 

It is also good to turn the focus inward and deal with the many negative emotions you're feeling. If you find you're blaming yourself for the person having ghosted you, take a step back and look at it objectively. It is not your fault that someone couldn't convey their feelings in a mature and healthy way toward you (via Very Well Mind). Closure, a feeling most people who've been ghosted are after, is often a gift you will have to give yourself, per dating expert Matthew Hussey

If you want to send a message, there is a right way to do it

It's true that ghosting is one of the worst ways to break up with someone, but how you respond to it will not only communicate who you are but will also help you feel better about the entire situation. Try not to let your emotions get the better of you, according to Pure Wow. A good rule of thumb to follow would be to really dig deep and ask yourself why you want to send them a message. Relationship coach John Ryan De Oca explains, "When the intention is to get a response out of them, I believe that is when we should refrain."

Part of the frustration comes from feeling like you have no control, and sending one brief message to the person who ghosted you is one way to navigate this. But make sure you're doing it in a dignified way. 

After you've said your piece, the right thing to do is walk away from it all. Chasing after someone who's communicated, albeit rudely, that they don't want to have any contact with you, is only another way to add to the humiliation (via NBC News). "If you walk away with all of your pain and refuse to chase them, you'll recover more quickly," adds Rosie Walsh who's written a novel inspired by the topic titled "Ghosted." It's a healthier way to handle the situation.