Have you ghosted someone? Say these 4 things instead of giving silent treatment
Many people either do not have courage to communicate why they want to get out of a relationship or they do not know what to tell the other person while ending a relationship. A psychologist offers some tips for ghosters.
Ghosting has become a common phenomenon in today's times when people do not want to get into confrontations and choose the easy way to severe all connection and end communication with the other person without telling them the reason. While it's emotionally convenient on the part of ghoster to stop replying to texts and ignoring calls of their friend or partner, the one who's ghosted tends to suffer for a much longer period. Many people either do not have courage to communicate why they want to get out of the relationship or friendship, or they do not know what to tell the other person while ending the relationship. Ghosting along with stonewalling and ignoring is a way to give someone silent treatment which is actually a form of emotional abuse. (Also read: Are you a serial ghoster? Tips to get rid of the toxic behaviour this halloween)
"When you shut down or withdraw affection, it sends a ripple out into your relationships telling the other person they are incapable of receiving attention, love and connection; further damaging their self-esteem and self-worth, and creating a really damaging relational dynamic," says Psychologist Dr Jenn Anders in her recent Instagram post.
Dr Anders says that while people may not realise, giving someone the silent treatment like ghosting, stonewalling, ignoring is actually a form of emotional abuse. She says it's probably a pattern you learned from your parents and it's on you to heal this behaviour.
"The response I usually hear from this is… 'but they deserve it'. It doesn’t matter. No one 'deserves' anything. And it’s not in your best interest to ensure justice is served. We are all (yes, even the person who hurt you) responding with what we have the emotional capacity to handle in the moment," says Dr Anders.
Why do people ghost?
The psychologist says that people resort to ghosting because they don't have the emotional communication skills to share how they are feeling. She adds that while it's not always intentional, it's manipulative as one can unintentionally manipulate someone.
Dr Anders says that instead of ghosting, one can practice communicating how they feel and what they need.
Here are some examples of what to say instead of going dark as per the psychologist:
— I just can’t handle talking about this right now
— I need to take some space before we dive into this conversation.
— This relationship is not good for me. I’ll be taking some space to think about things.
— I’m feeling angry and ashamed and just need to be by myself right now.
It's quite possible that many of us have resorted to silent treatment at some point or the other, but efficient communication can actually help one to prevent hurting others.