We've all experienced the shifting sands of friendship. Sometimes coming to an end is natural – maybe you were super close to an old colleague but since moving to a new office you've drifted apart for good, no biggie. But it's some other times when it's totally not cool. What are we talking about? Well, in simple terms, 'ghosting'.
When people suddenly disappear from your life, your texts, your feed etc, it's so easy to fall into the self-inflicted anxious trap of recounting a thousand things you must have done wrong: was it because you didn't invite them for that impromptu drink with a mutual friend? Was it because you rolled your eyes that one time when they wouldn’t split the bill? Or because you decided you were ready to start going to the gym on your own?
What also stings is the fact that while you're constantly fighting anxiety and plaguing yourself with negativity, that 'friend' seems to be having the best time without you (*thanks, social media!). "What in the world is going on?" you wonder. Maybe you'll never know why someone literally unfriended you, but instead of turning into an obsessive people pleaser just to avoid another ghosting and sacrifice your own happiness, let's look at some actual truths and shed some light on the situation of when a friendship ends and you don't know why.
What to do when you've been ghosted
1. Check your own vibes
Because the person distanced themselves from you doesn't mean you are unlikeable. It just means they weren't nurturing connections that didn’t serve them. And it goes both ways – we’ve all been on the ghosting side too, so perhaps we’ll manage it better next time.
2. Stop thinking it's entirely about you
The answer to why you've been digitally binned, for example, is none of your business. Their feed is there to tweak and curate just as mine and yours is. Not everyone will make the cut.
3. Don't bin your actual friends
How easy it is for all the amazing, loyal and new friendships to be dwarfed by those that don't show up. It's not cool to obsess over who or what isn’t there rather than appreciate what stands.
4. Don't become your worst critic
We need to be super careful about how the digital overspill into our lives can create a mirage of where we stand in our own friendship ranks to ensure we don’t instantly forget our value, our strengths, charms, big heart and our individual beauty inside and out.
5. Tune into love
Take the ghosting as an opportunity to pick those that accept you at your lowest of lows and highest of highs. Turn off the focus on the validation of relative strangers to boost your self love, confidence and self-worth. It’s not anyone’s job to give you closure or make you feel good about yourself. You have it all within you – and the people who love you will allow you to shine brighter.
So whether you've been wounded by not having the approval of a certain someone, or you've drifted away from a friend and it's felt like the natural thing to do, being ghosted is an opportunity to go deeper than simply thinking to yourself, "Don't take it personally." Be active in choosing the company you keep and what they bring to your table whether it's a reason, a season or a lifetime.
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