As someone who actively discourages ghosting, there is a place and time when knowing how to ghost someone is necessary for your own health and safety.
I have never guided how to ghost someone, ever. Ghosting is a practice I honestly despise. I would never advise it. In fact, I consistently advise against it. Ghosting is so often cruel and selfish. I have been the victim of ghosting more times than I can count, both from new flirtations to people I’ve been quite serious with. And it always sucks.
If you’ve ever been ghosted, you know the pain, confusion, and shame you feel. You can’t mourn the end of the connection you had because there wasn’t an end or even a beginning. And if you’ve never been ghosted, consider yourself one of the lucky ones.
But with all my disdain for ghosting, there is a time and place for it. And knowing how to ghost someone when those moments arise is important for your head, heart, and sanity.
When it is okay to ghost someone
I will not back down from my belief that ghosting is a cruel practice done by selfish cowards. That is the pure truth, 99% of the time. But, there are occasions when ghosting may be your only option. And the times when it is appropriate to ghost someone are as follows:
#1 When someone doesn’t get the hint. If you have tried not to ghost someone, but they aren’t taking the hint, even when you’ve been obvious, you may have no other choice. If you’ve told someone you’re not interested without beating around the bush and they sort of just ignore it, you can ghost.
At that point, it is no longer on you.
#2 When someone is cruel, aggressive, or offensive. If speaking to someone or dating them is making you feel uncomfortable or offended, you have every right to ghost them. I once spoke with a guy that told me he would never date a girl who didn’t shave her legs because it was unhygienic.
I rolled my eyes realizing this guy was a major sexist. Instead of just ghosting him, I said, “I will not be responding to you anymore.” He didn’t stop texting, so I then had to block him.
#3 When they have ghosted you. If someone ghosted you and comes back from the dead as if nothing happened you owe them nothing. You can ghost them right back. You don’t have to be polite, considerate, or respond to someone that disrespected you. In this case, it isn’t mean, it’s necessary.
#4 When you feel in danger. If you feel in danger in any way, shape or form, you do not owe this person an explanation. You are owed your safety. You can ghost, get out, and flee without a word and it is okay.
How to ghost someone
Now that you’ve figured out if your situation calls for ghosting someone, you may not know how to do it. For an act that seems so simple, for a good person, it can be hard to follow through. I’m sorry that you’re going through something that requires you to put your decency on hold to protect yourself. Nevertheless, you deserve that safety and respect, especially from yourself.
So, as someone who probably hasn’t ghosted before, it can seem intimidating. And if you’ve been ghosted before, I’m sure you wouldn’t wish such a thing on your worst enemy. But, if you are in one of the situations mentioned earlier, you must stop worrying about how the other person will feel. They clearly did not offer you the same consideration.
#1 Letting go of feeling bad. If someone deserves to be ghosted, it is not your responsibility to care for their feelings or wonder how they’re feeling. Right now, ghosting is your way out of something that isn’t good for you. It isn’t that you’re bored or just not into someone, you need to get out of this situation. It is unsafe, uncomfortable, or unhealthy.
Convince yourself that this has to be done. It isn’t the easy way it, it is the only way out. Once you are able to confirm with yourself that you have made the healthiest choice for you, you can move forward.
Now, in some cases, like you went out with a guy and now he’s being a jerk, I would advise saying something along the lines of, “This will be my last message to you. Best of luck.” This is clear, concise, and doesn’t leave any loose ends.
The thing about ghosting in most situations is that things went from being great to nonexistent without a word. This at least helps to prevent them from continuing to reach out. It also lets them know that you didn’t die a sudden death or break your phone.
#2 Once you make the decision, act. Now, if you’re in a bad situation and need out, ghosting should happen as soon as you make that choice. The more you hesitate, the harder it will be, the more likely you are to change your mind, and the more likely they are to catch on.
If you slowly fizzle out talking to someone you are in fear of, they will notice and try to pull you back in. If you hesitate once you decide that is your plan, again they may pick up on it. When you want to stop your interactions with someone by way of ghosting, you need to seem, well, dead. Stop existing in their world.
This means stop responding or even reading their messages. Block them if need be. Unfriend them on all social media. Basically, cut all ties. This can be difficult if you have mutual friends. But, limiting their access to you as much as possible, is necessary.
This sounds harsh, but in these situations, ghosting someone needs to be done right. The more access you have to them, the more they have to you. You don’t want to be tempted to see how they’re doing later on or reach out in a moment of weakness.
#3 Find a support system like trusted friends or family. They will help you break away from this person and help keep them from you. If you let them know what you’re doing, they’ll know to do the same if this person tries to reach out to them.
Often, if you feel like ghosting is your only way out, you do not owe them an explanation. They know why you’re leaving. Focus on you, your safety, and your health. Ghosting in the everyday situations that most people go through is selfish, juvenile, and cowardly. Ghosting someone in your situation however is strong, necessary, and heroic.
Learning how to ghost someone when you’ve never done it before can be a lot to handle. However, when it needs to be done, you can and will do it.