Here’s some interesting information on ghosting. It’s defined and described as such:
Ghosting may be especially hurtful for those on the receiving end, causing feelings of ostracism and rejection. Some mental health professionals consider ghosting to be a passive-aggressive form of emotional abuse, a type of silent treatment or stonewalling behaviour, and emotional cruelty. At the heart of it, ghosting is as clear as any other form of rejection. There is an inherent ambiguity in ghosting – the person being ghosted does not know whether they’re being rejected, or whether the person is just extremely busy. Others have suggested that it is due to the decline of empathy in society, along with the promotion of a more selfish, narcissistic culture. One possible response to ghosting is “ghostbusting”: forcing the “ghoster” to reply.
While “ghosting” refers to “disappearing from a special someone’s life mysteriously and without explanation”, numerous similar behaviors have been identified, that include various degrees of continued connection with a target. For example, Marleying is “when someone gets in touch with you at out of nowhere”; and “Caspering” is a “friendly alternative to ghosting. Instead of ignoring someone, you’re honest about how you feel, and let them down gently before disappearing from their lives.”
“Cloaking” is another related behaviour that occurs when an online match blocks you on all apps while standing you up for a date.
The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. Ghosting, for those of you who haven’t yet experienced it, is having someone that you believe cares about you, whether it be a friend or someone you are dating, disappear from contact without any explanation at all. No phone call or email, not even a text.
Despite how common ghosting is, the emotional effects can be devastating.
People who ghost are primarily focused on avoiding their own emotional discomfort and they aren’t thinking about how it makes the other person feel. The lack of mutual social connections for people who met online also means there are fewer social consequences of dropping out of another’s life. The more it happens, either to themselves or their friends, the more people become desensitized to it, and the more likely they are to do it to someone else.
For many people, ghosting can result in feelings of being disrespected, used and disposable. When someone we love and trust disengages from us it feels like a very deep betrayal.
“Ghosting is one of the cruelest forms of torture dating can serve up.”
Social rejection activates the same pain pathways in the brain as physical pain. In fact, you can reduce the emotional pain of rejection with a pain medication like Tylenol. But in addition to this biological link between rejection and pain, there are some specific factors about ghosting that contribute to the psychological distress.
Ghosting gives you no cue for how to react. It creates the ultimate scenario of ambiguity. Should you be worried? What if they are hurt and lying in a hospital bed somewhere? Should you be upset? Maybe they are just a little busy and will be calling you at any moment. You don’t know how to react because you don’t really know what has happened. Staying connected to others is so important to our survival that our brain has evolved to have a social monitoring system that scans the environment for cues so that we know how to respond in social situations. Social cues allow us to regulate our own behavior accordingly, but ghosting deprives you of these usual cues and can create a sense of emotional dysregulation where you feel out of control.
Ghosting is the ultimate use of the silent treatment, a tactic that has often been viewed by mental health professionals as a form of emotional cruelty. It essentially renders you powerless and leaves you with no opportunity to ask questions or be provided with information that would help you emotionally process the experience. It silences you and prevents you from expressing your emotions and being heard, which is important for maintaining your self-esteem.
The important thing to remember is that when someone ghosts you, it says nothing about you or your worthiness for love and everything about the person doing the ghosting. It shows he or she doesn’t have the courage to deal with the discomfort of their emotions or yours, and they either don’t understand the impact of their behavior or worse don’t care. In any case, they have sent you an extremely loud message that says: I don’t have what it takes to have a mature healthy relationship with you. Be the better person, retain your dignity, and let him or her go peacefully.
Don’t allow someone else’s bad behavior to rob you of a better future by losing your vulnerability and shutting yourself off from another relationship. Keep your energy focused on doing what makes you happy. Know that if you are someone who treats people with respect and integrity then the ghoster simply wasn’t on your wavelength and someone better is coming your way, as long as you keep your heart open and your focus forward.