How to Apologize for Ghosting a Friend & Undo the Damage You CausedFFOL Editor 1
Have you intentionally or accidentally neglected a friend? Swallow your pride and learn how to apologize for ghosting a friend in the right way.
From time to time, life gets in the way. Whether we mean to or not, we sometimes end up neglecting our friends. It’s not an excuse and by no means something you should aim to do, but learn how to apologize for ghosting a friend in the right way.
What is ghosting?
Ghosting started off as a term for romantic situations. But it can actually be used for any type of situation: friends, work colleagues, family members, etc.
Ghosting basically means that you suddenly go AWOL in someone’s life. You stop answering their calls and texts. Communication just ends. The other person has no clue why it has happened because you don’t give them an explanation.
Why would you ghost your friend?
Now, why would you ghost someone you’re close to? That’s the million dollar question. But it happens in life. Maybe you went through a hard time, maybe you were stressed, maybe you thought your friend had done something to you but you didn’t want to face up to it, so disappearing felt like the easier option. Only you know why you suddenly ghosted your friend.
If one day you wake up and feel bad about it *actually, you really should*, then it’s important that you’re the bigger person and actually apologize. Of course, learning how to apologize for ghosting a friend isn’t a quick ‘ah, sorry about that’ type of affair. It’s something which needs an explanation and an understanding that perhaps the damage has already been done. [Read: 10 scenarios where it’s completely okay to ghost a friend]
You can ghost a friend for any length of time, and the term still sticks. For instance, you might go quiet on them for a week or so, and it’s still ghosting. You could suddenly stop speaking to them for no reason whatsoever, for months on ends, and that’s still ghosting. The point is, you suddenly go quiet. You leave your friend wondering what is going on, what they’ve done, and if you’re alright.
As you can see, it’s really not okay, but it’s something you have to hold your hands up about if you want any chance of rebuilding your friendship. [Read: Why friends ghost each other and why it hurts so fiercely when they do it]
How to apologize for ghosting a friend
First, hold your hands up and acknowledge what you’ve done.
Acknowledge in your own mind that you were in the wrong, and then move forward and contact your friend about it.
How hard this is going to be depends upon how long you were ghosting your friend for and how hard they have taken it. Everyone deals with things in a different way, and you might find that your friend simply shrugged it off and figured that you had your own things going on, if it was only for a week or so.
Of course, that doesn’t mean it might not have hurt them deep down. If the ghosting was for much longer, you have a harder task on your hands. [Read: How to end a friendship like a mature grown up]
Understanding how to apologize for ghosting a friend comes down to being authentic and honest. This isn’t something you can just shrug about and expect it to be okay, show that you’re sorry. Be open, honest, show your emotions *real ones, not fake ones*, and allow them to make their own decision on what to do next.
I can’t give you hard and fast information on what to say because the variables in this situation are so huge. It depends on how long the ghosting went on for. Did you go all Casper for months or even years? In that case, good luck, you’ll need it. You’ll need to really sit down and explain your reasons and they had better be good ones.
However, if you only ghosted for a few days or a week, you might be able to get away with it if you can simply explain in honest terms and show that you’re really sorry. Sit them down and explain. Tell them your reasons and explain that you know it was wrong, you are truly sorry, you won’t do it again, and that you feel terrible that you ghosted them in the first place.
What are they likely to do?
Who knows? It’s their choice whether they choose to forgive you or not. You can’t do anything about it. All you can do is explain what you did and why you did it, express your regret, and allow them to see how real you are.
You cannot control their actions, just like they couldn’t control yours when you suddenly went MIA on them.
Remember that regardless of how long you were missing from their lives, you probably left a large gap. They would have questioned whether they did something to hurt you without realizing it or whether they said something wrong. They might have wondered if something happened to you and worried unnecessarily. It really isn’t something friends should be doing to one another. [Read: 15 signs you’re the friend who uses other friends and leaves them]
By no means am I attempting to give you a hard time. But understanding how to apologize for ghosting a friend really comes down to being real and accepting whatever they throw at you.
They might give you a bit of a hard time for a while and then come around. They might tell you that it’s fine, you’re forgiven, but don’t do it again. And they might tell you that they can’t forgive you, which is more likely in the longer ghosting experiences. [Read: How to be a good friend and hone your friendship skills]
Accepting how they respond
What they do is what they do. You have no control over it. Accept it and learn from it.
Of course, it’s best to try not to ghost your friend in the first place. How would you like it if someone did the same to you? How you would you react if your friend came over all apologetic for cutting you out of their life, albeit temporarily?
You probably wouldn’t like it.
You see, when someone romantically ghosts you, e.g. if you’re talking to someone on social media and they suddenly go quiet and start leaving your messages unread, or even worse, on read, it’s painful. You curse them and tell yourself that they’re a terrible person for doing this to you. To be honest, it hurts.
So, when someone you care about, someone you have a close friendship with, does the very same thing, it’s ten times more painful. [Read: Like ghosting others? Prepare yourself for these consequences]
The fact that you ghosted your friend, no matter how long you did it for, tells your friend that you don’t value the friendship as much as they thought.
Of course, that could be totally false, but it’s how you’ve made it look. Overcoming that perception can be tough. Accept that it might also take time. Don’t expect miracles overnight or expect a “hey, it’s okay” straightaway. If it comes, great, take it, but if it doesn’t, deal with it.
Learning how to apologize for ghosting a friend really comes down to being honest and genuine, showing remorse, and letting what will be, be. What your friend decides to do about it is up to them.