I recently received this letter on being ghosted. Check out my advice….
I was recently ghosted by a close family member. The truth is that we weren’t getting along very well but I never imagined our differences would cause them to cut me completely out of their life. This person leaned on me a lot for advice and favors and perhaps that made me feel entitled to tell my opinion on how they were living their life. Is this why they cut me out of it completely? It hurts and I get really angry that I can’t find out why or what I did or how I can heal this. And I’m not sure I can forgive them and accept them back in my life if they ever try. How do I forget them the way they have forgotten me so I can go on with my life not feeling hurt and angry?
I’m so sorry you experienced this deeply hurtful form of passive-aggression. I know you must feel confused and helpless at not knowing why or what you did wrong.
Ghosting is a manipulator’s way to get the last abusive word via passive-aggression. They just disappear from your life. They stop taking your calls and answering your messages. They treat you like you never existed in their life. It’s a master manipulation move intended to cause you endless suffering with no ability to find closure.
It really hurts and can be soul crushing.
If you let it.
I can give you a pretty spin on why they did this – how maybe they were more sensitive to the differences between you or took your advice more harshly or critically than you intended. I can say that sometimes people feel situations are toxic and they have to leave them behind. Yes, there are all sorts of reasons a person will ghost another person. Perhaps they even have good reasons for wanting to walk away from a relationship.
But none of them matter because there is no excuse for behaving with such a dismissive attitude and callous disregard for the humanity of another person. The only exception being that the person felt it was best for their personal safety.
Did you overstep your bounds with this person? Probably.
Did you deserve to be ghosted? It doesn’t sound that way to me.
So, how do you move forward?
Forgiveness is a big key. You need to forgive yourself for whatever you may have done intentionally or unintentionally to offend, overstep, or hurt this family member. If you had the opportunity to apologize and make amends, you would surely do that. You are human and that means you are not perfect. We all make mistakes. You owned up to that in your letter by admitting you may have caused this rift and by not pretending to be innocent. That doesn’t mean you have to live in guilt or shame. It just means you learn from it and grow. It’s all you can do.
- Forgive yourself. Step one and vital to moving forward.
You need to forgive them as well. It’s not easy. They are still hurting you with their blocking of you from their life. For whatever reason, they need this space. For whatever reason, they are unable to face you with their concerns. For whatever reason, they are unable to deal with this in a healthy way – for you or them.
Trust me when I tell you that they are unhealed. Ghosting you did not solve their problems. Healthy people do not ghost other people.
- Forgive them. Send them healing energy. You’ll be amazed and how healing that will be for you.
Finally, you’ve got to know that another person’s behavior is about them, not about you. They had lots of ways to deal with their feelings – and they chose ghosting. This is their choice and their responsibility. Not yours.
- Be at peace with the fact that you didn’t cause a person to ghost you.
Should they ever desire to re-enter your life will be your choice to make to allow it, or not. But, learn from this experience. You can allow a person to explain themselves without giving them the chance to hurt you again. You have a right to set boundaries for the behavior and treatment you will accept in your life. Be open and honest about your feelings, concerns, and whether or not you can trust this person to be a part of your life again. Don’t ghost them back. Love and respect yourself enough to not lower your behavior like that.
Forgive yourself. Forgive them. Be at peace.