In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the psychology and pain of ghosting.
First a quick update:
Relationships – The Male Brain VS The Female Brain
It’s not politically correct to suggest that there does not exist a unisex brain and that men and women have different brains; it is though, scientifically correct to make such an assertion. And the differences between men’s and women’s brains greatly impacts their relationships.
3 Tips To Avoid First Date Disaster – Persuasion Techniques
What are the 3 most important things you can do on a first date to make it a success? There are 3 simple secrets to win over your date using persuasion and influence techniques. Watch the video and learn how to put your date in the right mindset and emotional state.
Now, let’s talk about the psychology and pain of ghosting.
“…and then I never heard from him again…”
Have you said that?
Has a friend said that to you?
The act of disappearing like a phantom is known as ghosting.
Ghosting refers to people who have been dating or are in a relationship and suddenly one of them decides to end the relationship or dating by simply disappearing, refusing to communicate, and refusing to offer any explanation.
Ghosting is not exclusive to men or women; both have done it and both have had it done to them.
The online dating site Plenty of Fish conducted a survey which found that 80% of the 800 millennial daters (ages of 18-33) had been ghosted.
Ghosting is the ultimate silent treatment – a permanent silent treatment.
Why do we ghost and what are the consequences?
Ghosting is the easiest way of communicating without words, ‘I’m not that into you…I’m no longer interested…I got back together with my ex…I just wanted sex…I no longer need you…I don’t think we’re not compatible…I am dating someone else…I, I, I…’
In other words, ghosting is a purely selfish act, taking into account only one’s own feelings and not that of the other person.
If you say, “I’m ghosting him/her because I don’t want to make them uncomfortable”, you are lying and fooling yourself.
Ghosting is motivated by fear, laziness, insecurity, immaturity, selfishness, narcissism, and lack of accountability & responsibility.
Ghosting can be motivated by the fear of confrontation, conflict, criticism, uncomfortability, and rejection. Yes, the person doing the rejecting can also be afraid of being rejected; the person abandoning someone can also be afraid of being abandoned.
Of course, it is uncomfortable to say to someone in-person or over the phone, ‘We had a great time and I don’t see us building a relationship in the future…’
We know that the other person might get angry, emotional, critical, or might respond with harsh words or even truthful words about us which, we don’t really want to hear, even if we need to hear them.
Ghosting an abusive or manipulative person might be necessary as a means to escape him or her. However, in most other situations ghosting damages the ghost and the person being ghosted.
If you are the person ghosting, you are programming yourself to believe that only your feelings matter and that any uncomfortable or awkward situation should be avoided. Thus, you are regressing in relationship and life skills rather than progressing or evolving. If you want a successful, meaningful, long-lasting relationship, you are going to need to be able to handle conflict, confrontation and truthfulness; you are going to need to communicate and express the tough words as well as hear them. That principle applies to all relationships including work and career, not just romantic relationships.
Technology cannot protect you from life and its many challenges. Technology cannot protect your from the effort, devotion and challenges of building relationships and building teams and a family.
The victim of the ghost
Being ghosted is painful – in many ways.
Rejection is painful
And as I reveal in “The physical pain of rejection, loss & heartbreak”, rejection is actually processed in the brain as physical pain. Thus, rejection does actually hurt. https://www.patrickwanis.com/physical-pain-rejection-loss-heartbreak/ Unfortunately, when a person is ghosted, the rejection is actually amplified because he/she begins to engage in self-doubt, questioning if he/she did something wrong or what might be wrong with him/herself that the other person would simply disappear or abandon them without offering an explanation.
Being ghosted also results in the interpretation that ‘I can’t be that important, significant or valuable, otherwise he would have shown me enough respect to tell me what is going on and tell me why he doesn’t want this relationship/dating anymore.’
I’m foolish and gullible
Being ghosted also results in the interpretation that ‘I’m an idiot for not seeing who he really is and for not seeing that this wasn’t really such a great or meaningful relationship as I thought. I was so easily betrayed. What a fool am I?’
I’m powerless and can’t trust my own judgment
When a person is ghosted, he/she will also experience feelings of being powerless and helpless because he/she can’t get any answers, explanation or closure of the relationship.
If you have been ghosted, remember, you are not the cause of other people’s actions or choices. Learn from the experience and let go of that which you can’t control. Focus on what you want and don’t repeat the other person’s bad behavior.
If you have ghosted someone, it is critical to understand that you are not responsible for the way others will respond or interpret your actions or lack of actions. However, that does not therefore justify treating people poorly or disrespecting other people. Again, consider how you would feel if you were being ghosted.
Finally, I understand that it is hard sometimes to be the bearer of bad news, particularly when we don’t want to face awkwardness or a potential backlash when we share the bad news. However, if we want to respect ourselves and be respected by others, we must offer the same respect, empathy and consideration to others and overcome our fears; we must be open, truthful and treat others as significant.
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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