Ghosting: Moving on after Losing a Close Friend
Being ghosted by a close friend can be a painful and confusing experience
Coping with the aftermath of being ghosted by a close friend can be challenging, but it is important to remember that your worth and value as a person are not dependent on the actions of others. In this article we explore ways to navigate the emotional aftermath of being ghosted by a friend, and offer guidance for moving on after losing a close friend.
Ghosting, in case you’re unfamiliar, is a form of silent treatment where a person vanishes from someone else’s life without explanation and you’re left to move on after losing a friend. It could be described as emotional cruelty or even emotional abuse if it’s been done intentionally. You can feel powerless and silenced and unable to make sense of the experience. What seems most unfair is the opportunity to express your feelings has been removed and you haven’t got the answers to what you might have done wrong.
When someone you thought you cared about, even if it was just a little bit, stops talking to you and disappears without a trace, it can really sting. In fact, it can bring about feelings of grief. The knock-on effects can leave you feeling sad, angry, lonely, confused, frustrated, rejected, abandoned, and questioning your worth, which can have a long-term impact on your self esteem.
How can you cope after losing a close friend?
While you’re busy questioning what went wrong, it’s important to remember the person doing the ghosting lacked the courage to do the right thing by explaining why they could no longer continue a relationship with you.
Then, at some point, when you feel ready, you have to stop and give up hope of a different or better outcome. Due to the nature of ghosting, you’re unlikely to find out the reasons why. This might seem really difficult at first, especially if this is someone you care about or have deep feelings for.
Rather than pretending you don’t care, it’s okay to feel sad and hurt about the loss you’re experiencing. Losing a relationship is always painful, no matter how tricky the relationship might have been. And don’t be ashamed to cry. That’s a normal reaction to loss. Don’t go down the road of self criticism or blame. It is hard not to feel like you are somehow responsible for this.
Moving on after Losing a Close Friend
Self care is hugely important. Take the time to do something that brings you joy. Make sure you sleep and eat well, perhaps go for a walk, and take time to reflect on your self worth. Recognise that you do deserve to be treated better. Also talk to someone impartial you trust and share how you’re feeling, as this can help. You don’t have to carry the pain alone.
It’s ok to ask for help. If being ghosted has stirred up some unpleasant past experiences of rejection and betrayal, it might be time to speak to a professional, such as a grief specialist, who can help you work through the pain and help you form healthy future relationships.
Emma Tomes, also known as The Helpful Coach, is based in Poole, Dorset. Emma offers one-to-one support and training, specialising in topics such as resilience, stress management and how to manage grief and loss. You can find out more about Emma here.