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7 Reasons Why Even Close Friends Might Ghost Us

Reasons Close Friends Ghost Us

Being ghosted by friends is probably one of the most painful and humiliating things to go through, especially when your close friends do it. If you have been getting ghosted by friends constantly, then you need to sit and think about why this keeps on happening. What are the reasons your friends ghosted you? Let’s find that out, shall we?

Key Points

It's not just real or potential romantic partners who employ the painful strategy of ghosting.

The ubiquity of social media makes cutting off correspondence with them ever more viable.

Being plunged into uncertainty can have toxic effects on our sense of identity, safety, and self-esteem.

Thanks to the negativity bias, our brains have evolved to assume the worst, including why others no longer want our company.

Related: I Miss My Best Friend But We Don’t Talk Anymore

Being Ghosted By Friends

Being ghosted hurts. The closer the ghoster, the worse the hurt.

When we’re ghosted by near-strangers whom we formerly “knew” only online — maybe only for minutes — we can console ourselves by concluding that they suffer from social anxiety or are a jerk.

When new friends ghost us, we can tell ourselves: OK, we really hit it off at first, but after a few Fortnite games they realized I’m not as hilarious, sporty, or interested in allosaurs as I first seemed.

But being ghosted by a trusted friend is its own savage undertow.

At first, we wonder whether this is really happening: Are their messages shrinking, telling ever less about themselves? Gotta go! Bye!

7 Reasons Why Even Close Friends Might Ghost Us
7 Reasons Why Even Close Friends Might Ghost Us

If at this point we ask them whether anything is wrong, they might send smiley face emojis and say Nope. But soon they stop initiating contact. We start every exchange.

Now we feel like those sad-sack kids at school who wandered up to everyone, clearly unwelcome, pleading: Wanna play? Seeing our name or number on their screen, does our friend now cringe? Eye-roll? Groan?

Soon they stop answering at all.

Scrambling for footholds, we wonder: Are they in circumstances too sad or scary to share — even with me? (This could be Reason 1.) Maybe a trauma has rewired their mind, changing their priorities? (Reason 2.) Maybe they’re busy, overwhelmed at home/school/work, with no spare time. (Reason 3.) Maybe this isn’t personal.

But then it is. Passing the point of mere conjecture, we can tell.

Related: Why People Ghost Each Other? Research Attempts To Answer This Question

As if ejected from a plane without a parachute, we spin through space, no longer recognizing landmarks, wondering what we did wrong because surely this is our fault. Things always are.

Whomever we were while they loved us, we have ceased to be. Every third door/car/tree we see evokes our old jokes, days irradiated. Ruined. Run.

Whatever forged our bond — laughs? secrets? — is thin air, invisible, a dismissed history. Their disappearance disproves not just that we matter but, to some degree, that we exist.

Wondering burns.

When a live-in romantic partner pulls away, we tend to know both soon and why — because they are too close to maintain stealth or must confess in order to escape us and move on. By contrast, friends retain the luxury of ghosting us.

We want answers, but also desperately don’t. Asked why they’ve left us, would they say we’ve changed? (Reason 4.) That we’re now boring, ridiculous, offensive, gross? Anxious, obsessed, depressed?

What un-bad thing could they possibly say?

Maybe it is about them and not us. Maybe we haven’t changed but they have, embracing new passions far from ours. Maybe they have outgrown us. Maybe we are what/where/how they’ve stopped wanting to be. (Reasons 5, 6, and 7.)

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S. Rufus

S. Rufus, M.A., is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared at Elle, Salon, The Daily Beast, and other venues, and — under the byline Anneli Rufus — the author of twelve books including Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yourself; Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto; Weird Europe; and Stuck: Why We Can't (or Won't) Move On. Translated into five languages and now in its fourteenth printing, Party of One has been cited as a landmark work on (and for) introverts.View Author posts