We often hear about people being ‘ghosted’ by someone they were dating and getting to know, but something less talked about is getting ghosted by your best friend. What do we mean by using the word ‘ghosted’?
This word is used to refer to when someone suddenly stops replying to your attempts to communicate with them, like they just fell off the face of the Earth. To add insult to injury, usually you are not given any sort of warning or indication that this is going to happen, so it kind of just hits you out of nowhere.
Whilst being ghosted by someone you have romantic feelings for hurts, being ghosted by your best friend can hurt just as much or even worse. A best friend is someone we fully trust and open up to when we are feeling vulnerable. Being ghosted by them can feel like that trust has just been shattered to a tiny million pieces and can leave you feeling confused, lost, and hurt.
What can we do if we are ghosted by our best friend?
1. Acknowledge Your Feelings
Being ghosted by your best friend is an extremely hurtful thing to go through. It’s okay to feel sad, betrayed, confused, or all of the above. There is no point in trying to push these feelings down and ignore them because they need time to be processed. Give yourself the time and space to feel these feelings and try to hold compassion for yourself as you do. Maybe you can open up about this situation with someone you trust and give yourself the opportunity to work through these intense feelings.
2. Stop Trying to Find a Reason
The most natural response to being ghosted is spending hours overthinking the last few conversations you had with this person to try and understand where everything went wrong. Unfortunately, most times, as much as you try your hardest to find an answer, you will never know the exact reason as to why they ghosted you. When you notice that this over-thinking has gone on for too long without giving you any productive answers, start to make a conscious effort to stop the thought cycle. Use self-talk techniques, or grounding techniques to bring yourself back into the present moment.
3. Move On
Of course, this step is the hardest part of this situation, however the most necessary one. After giving yourself time to acknowledge your feelings of hurt, and to grieve the loss of a friendship that was important to you, start working towards moving on from the situation. Keep in mind that all of the energy you are still giving to dwelling on this lost friendship, can be used to create new healthy friendships. If you feel like there was something in the situation that you could have done differently from your end, take that lesson as personal growth, instead of viewing it in a negative way. If you feel that you need more support in moving on, you can also reach out to a professional that can accompany you through it and help you process the situation.
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Lisa Laspina is a Trainee Gestalt Psychotherapist who is currently working with Willingness. She is reading for a Masters in Gestalt Psychotherapy.