Tips with Trish: Ghosting

Tricia Borelli (TheLorian)

Dear Trish or in this case, Italee,

Snapchat is the only way anyone can talk anymore due to COVID-19. I try to put myself out there because I just want to make connections. I hate being stuck inside! I’m still trying to get to know people on campus and find someone to hang out with. I’m not trying to come off weird or strong. I’ve managed to makes a few friends. Still, when I snap or text some people, they just stop talking to me or I get left on read. I get really anxious and self-conscious about it. Why do people do this? Is it something I’m doing? Please tell me!

Signed, Ghosted

Italee says:

First of all, that sucks! I’m so sorry that you’re getting ghosted like this. COVID-19 has made it very difficult to meet people. It is a huge win that you have made some friends. Still, I understand why those people who ignored you are on your mind. What I’d like to make clear is that there are a lot of reasons why people ghost others. Here are few:

  • Fear: Fear of the unknown is just part of being human. Maybe you really don’t know the person you’re talking to or you’re not sure of where the conversation is going and it’s making you nervous. That uneasiness may just make someone end the conversation then and there.
  • Conflict avoidance: As social beings, we don’t like disrupting our relationships by being confrontational. Because of this, if a conversation is going south you may feel better just never seeing (or in this case hearing) from them again rather than causing any potential conflict. You see this happen a lot during a break up.
  • Lack of Consequences: If you just started talking to someone and it’s getting boring or there just isn’t a lot of chemistry, you might feel like there isn’t much at stake. It doesn’t seem like a big deal to just step out of the conversation so people do it.
  • Self-Care: If a relationship is having a negative effect on your wellbeing, cutting off contact can seem like the only way out without the fallout.

There are more reasons and they become more complex depending on your relationship with the person ghosting you. Even so, coping with loss is difficult. It’s even more so when you don’t get any reasons or closure.

Given this situation, keep in mind that these people are pretty much strangers. Don’t take it too harshly. Maybe these people just didn’t connect with you and that’s okay! It happens sometimes and it’s not something you’re necessarily doing. Sometimes people just don’t click.   

However, if you get ghosted by someone you have a history with, that’s really hard to move past. Moving on doesn’t look the same for everyone and can differ depending on the history. When this happens, don’t automatically blame yourself! You don’t have evidence or context regarding why the other person left the relationship, so don’t get down on yourself. Like we stated above, there are a lot of reasons why they might ghost you.

If you want to wait a bit, give the person a time limit to message you back so you don’t waste weeks on end waiting for contact. If they don’t message you within the time frame, tell them that you’ll assume the relationship is over. It’s a bit harsh, but it can give you a bit of closure and restore some control over what happens. You should also spend time with friends or family. Being with good people and in a loving environment can put things into perspective.

I hope this helps give you some more perspective on your situation. Don’t give up on meeting new people! I wish you the best!

Italee

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Written By :

Tricia Borelli is the Director of Counseling Services at Loras College. In Tips with Trish, she will answer student questions concerning anything that relates to keeping it together while doing this crazy thing called college. Send questions or comments to Ms. Borelli, Loras Box 100, or to the e-mail address tricia.borelli@loras.edu. All names of those sending questions will be kept confidential.

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