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6 Reasons Why Ghosting Hurts You So Much

ghosting, rejection, heartache, confusion, ghosted, ghoster, ghost, rumination, self-blame, betrayal, vanish, dating, relationships, dating apps

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to like to reveal the 6 reasons why ghosting hurts you so much.

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Ghosting Hurt Michelle

Michelle told me that she and the guy she met on the dating app went out for dinner, they spoke for 2 hours, and she felt they got along so well. “We had a great connection”, she tells me. But the following day and onwards, he fails to respond to any of her communications, and she discovers he blocked her. He ghosted her. Michelle was devastated.

Ghosting is when the other person disappears – just like a ghost – they vanish.

Read on and I reveal the reasons this guy actually ghosted Michelle. First, though, here are 6 reasons why ghosting hurts you so much.

1. Ghosting Hurts You So Much Because It Causes Confusion & Self-Blame – Why?

It is natural that we seek explanations for everything that happens in life; we do that so we can give ourselves a sense of certainty and so that we can trick ourselves into thinking that life is predictable – or even fair. Ghosting, though, hurts because you become confused about the reasons that he/she ghosted you. You just cannot understand ‘why’; and that next creates rumination, anxiety and confusion.

Most people try to answer the question, “Why did he/she ghost me?” with the answer, ‘I am to blame; it must be my fault; I did something wrong; there is something wrong with me…’

Voila! Self-loathing takes over!

2. Ghosting Hurts You So Much Because It Triggers Old Rejection & Betrayal

If you are human, then you have experienced some form of rejection. When someone ghosts you, you feel rejected – unwanted. In turn, the feeling of being rejected can trigger old experiences of being rejected. And if you were cheated on, lied to or betrayed, then when you are ghosted, it can trigger old, painful feelings of betrayal.

“Why ghosting hurts you so much? Yes, ghosting hurts because your identity is not formed in isolation, and you do care about what others say and think of you!”

3. Ghosting Hurts You So Much Because Rejection Feels Like Physical Pain

Have you ever felt broken-hearted? Did it feel like physical pain? Did it feel like there was an actual pain in your heart? Social rejection feels like physical pain because the brain processes rejection the same way it processes physical pain. Remember, our brains are hardwired for connection (and thus, survival by being in a group or tribe), so the purpose of feeling pain when you feel rejected is to push you towards others, not away.

4. Ghosting Hurts You So Much Because You Do Care About What Others Think About You

New age and trendy influencers teach you to ignore the thoughts and opinions of others, i.e., ‘never take anything personally.’ While that sounds as if it will be empowering, it doesn’t work because we need to connect and belong with others. We are hardwired for connection. If you really don’t care about what anyone else thinks of you, then why even have relationships; why seek to love and be loved? I teach that it is best to seek balance; not everything is black and white: we need approval, recognition, and validation from others. Simply beware if all of your self-value comes from outside of you. So yes, ghosting hurts because your identity is not formed in isolation, and you do care about what others say and think of you!

5. Ghosting Hurts You So Much Because You Tell Yourself It Is So Easy For Them To Do It

This is another form of self-blame and cynicism. He ghosts you and you respond with, ‘He doesn’t care about me or my feelings. I am nothing; I am worthless, and that is why it is so easy for him to ghost me…’

I expand on this point in my response to Michelle below.

6. Ghosting Hurts You Because You Begin To Focus On All The Things Wrong In Your Life – Now Or In The Past

Final reason why ghosting hurts you so much: If you are a person who sees things in black or white, generalizes or catastrophizes, then when someone ghosts you, you will focus on everything that is or has gone wrong in your life. Thus, the pain multiplies – you feel doomed, become more cynical and you isolate yourself or find ways to create huge walls to keep people away from you. In turn, the loneliness hurts even deeper as you feel more helpless and hopeless.

My Response To Michelle Who Was Ghosted

“Michelle, you are blaming yourself and therefore feeling worse about yourself. You are choosing to take responsibility for his actions. You never truly know what the other person is thinking and experiencing. You may have said something that hurt or triggered his pain or fear. And because he lacks the confidence to speak openly to you or because he fears conflict and confrontation, he vanishes, he ghosts you. If he possessed the confidence within himself, then he would tell you openly why he no longer chooses to pursue a potential relationship with you. He thought about himself over you. Do you really want to be with such a person?”

Read more about the psychology of ghosting and the motivations of the Ghoster.

As Michelle told me more of the story and their conversation; it made sense – but did not justify his actions: She had chosen him on the dating app. They went for dinner; he is highly successful and wealthy, and she told him she was broke, without a job or career, and almost homeless. Most likely, he feared she chose him for his money. But even then, we don’t know all of his motivations. Again, if he had the confidence and courage, he could have told her his reasons for not wanting to get closer to her. He was selfish in choosing to ghost her.

If you would like to help to overcome ghosting, betrayal, infidelity, depression, anxiety, stress or to be set free from trauma or some other painful event, do it now gently, easily, and quickly with my SRTT process. Book an SRTT session and be set free from the past.

You can add to the conversation below.

I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.

Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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