How to Handle Being Ghosted by a Friend Like a Mature Grown-UpFFOL Editor 1
Maybe there was someone you liked romantically who’s ghosted you. But being ghosted by a friend also is not an easy situation to go through.
There are times when friends go their separate ways with anger or animosity between them. Things happen, and people’s lives go their own ways. But this is entirely different than being ghosted by a friend.
Have you been ghosted by someone you like? If so, though it hurts, you moved on. But romantic relationships are different from long-term friendships. Your friends should carry on through your life, no matter who you’re in a romantic relationship with. But no one really talks about the importance of friendships. And when a friend decides to cut you out of their life, it’s confusing and hurtful. [Read: Why being ghosted hurts so much and what you need to do about it]
How to handle being ghosted by a friend
I’m guilty of ghosting a friend. I was fifteen and didn’t know how to handle the relationship. We were really good friends, but I felt suffocated. I didn’t know what to do, so I went radio silent. Now, this was before I had a cellphone of my own, and texting wasn’t a thing. It was a horrible decision on my part, one that I regret making.
Years later, I apologized to her, but after experiencing the feeling of being ghosted myself, I couldn’t imagine how she was feeling at the time. If your friend is ghosting you, it’s not an easy situation to handle. But, there are some things you can do to help you move through this experience and come out with your dignity intact.
You can and will get through being ghosted by a friend.
#1 Do not lash out. When you’re being ghosted by a friend, naturally, you feel immediate anger and pain. This is someone you care for deeply. Now, they treat you like you’re nothing. But, this is not the time to become defensive and make on-the-spot decisions. I know you’re hurt, but take a deep breath and think about the next step you’re going to take. [Read: How to deal with the platonic heartbreak that is losing a friend]
#2 Start a conversation. When someone ghosts you, the question you want answered is why. And it makes complete sense. If you want to know what’s going on, reach out and ask them without anger.
Call or text them saying, “I haven’t heard from you lately, I would like to know if it’s because of something I said or did. I want you to be able to tell me if there’s something wrong. If we’re just in different phases of life, that’s okay, I completely understand.”
This will give them the chance to open up to you if they choose to.
#3 Don’t expect an answer. You may not get the answer you’re looking for. You may not even get an answer. When it comes to ghosting, if they choose to simply ignore you rather than talk to you about what’s going on, there’s a chance they won’t respond when you reach out. This is something you should expect. They may reach out weeks or months from now, but won’t tell you what’s going on right now. [Read: Are you losing a friend or just drifting away?]
#4 Let yourself grieve. Losing a friendship is even worse than ending a romantic relationship. It’s a breakup you really never thought would happen. Naturally, losing your friend will bring up a lot of emotions. Give yourself space to process them.
Allow yourself the time to grieve over the loss of your friendship. But while doing so, focus on healthy ways to grieve, rather than to numb yourself with alcohol, drugs, or simply doing nothing.
#5 Find closure. This is easier said than done, but with time, accept what happened and find closure in your life. Your relationship didn’t end because of you. It ended because of their actions. Of course, in these situations, you think about the things you did wrong, but you won’t get your answer. Stop torturing yourself and let go of the friendship. This will take weeks, months, maybe even years, before you truly find closure. [Read: 15 signs a friend is using you and draining your happiness away]
#6 Keep yourself occupied. Now, focus your attention and energy on things that bring you genuine happiness and connection. Spend more time with your other good friends or go out and meet new people. If you sit and dwell on this lost friendship, it will only hold you back. Maybe your friend will come around, maybe they won’t, but don’t wait for them. [Read: Blowing hot and cold – 3 stages to explain why some people do this]
#7 Unfollow them on social media. You may keep them on your social media for whatever reason, but in the beginning, hide or delete their accounts from your social media. It’s a hard move to make, but act like this is a breakup. You can’t move on if you’re constantly seeing what they’re doing and who they’re hanging out with. [Read: How to do a social media detox and wean yourself off it]
#8 Focus on acceptance. How they ended the friendship wasn’t right, but it ended for the right reasons. If you’re not getting back what you give in a friendship, then it’s a one-sided relationship. If they can ghost you instead of telling you how they feel, then the relationship has already come to an end.
Yes, process your emotions and grieve over your loss, but in the end, accept what happened. In a couple of months or years, looking back at the situation, you’ll see the red flags and learn valuable lessons from the relationship.
#9 Your friend may return. Your friend may return back into your life and apologize for what happened. But, to be honest, by the time that happens, you’ll have moved on and won’t be in the same place as you once were. Of course, you can be friends with them again, but it won’t be the same because they betrayed your trust. Once trust is broken, the relationship dies. [Read: How to recognize one-sided friendships and cut them loose]
#10 Give yourself time. Remember, treat this as a breakup. You just lost someone who was close to you. You’re not going to feel better overnight. It’ll take weeks, even months for you to fully heal. Don’t rush the process. Instead, give yourself the time you need. Though it sounds cliche, time really does heal everything. [Read: 15 guidelines you need to follow if you want to forgive and forget]
#11 Understand they don’t deserve you. Let’s be honest. If your friend is capable of dumping you like that, then the relationship was never genuine and they were only using you. For you, the friendship was real, but for them, they were not fully invested. If they were, they would never treat someone they love like this. In other words, this person doesn’t deserve you.
Being ghosted by a friend is a worse feeling than being ghosted by someone you like. If you’ve been ghosted, I hope these tips will help you overcome it.