The hip term these days for people not getting back to you is “ghosting.” As in “We had a couple dates and then they ghosted me.” But this isn’t about just dating – it’s about people in all kinds of other relationships with us… professional, family, friends who don’t get back to us. Heck, you yourself might be a “ghoster”?

If you ghost, you probably learned it as a kid

When I was a 2 or 3 year-old kid my parents got divorced in a nasty hate-filled split. My Dad escaped cross country and settled in a small town where he got remarried and had a son.
In the days long before “joint custody,” Dad had custody of me during the summers. So he’d come and get me and take me to his new home for 3 or 4 weeks then return me back to Mom. I wouldn’t hear from him again until my birthday in December. I’d get a card, some money and books. Two “touches” a year.

If you applied the term back then, Dad “ghosted” me

As a result of the years-long disappearing act my young mind buzzed with rationales… but always interpreted as:
  • “I’m not good enough to deserve more attention from him.”
  • “If only I could discover how to make him want me,” the little girl (in me) imagined, “I’d get the attention (hence, love) that I so badly want.”

Maybe you recognize a kernel of your experience in my childhood story?

Perhaps less intense but still traumatically impactful? Maybe your parents or caregivers were busy and distracted with their work or their own emotional pain – and couldn’t give you the attention and love you so longed for. This is when ghosting can feel a lot like painful abandonment.
To this day you may have an antenna for feeling marginalized or ignored when someone chooses to ghost you. Personally, even after all the work I’ve done on myself, people ghosting me can be a trigger even now (“What did I do to cause this?”). Maybe they don’t return texts, phone calls, or emails or avoid having clarifying conversations – despite earlier experiences that seemed cordial and grounded.
However, that “trigger” for me is now weak and distant – more like a sharp pang that serves to remind me how much I’ve healed and how emotionally resilient I’ve become. I now simply dismiss it, “It’s about them, not me!”
With the emotional and trauma release work I’ve personally done, I no longer question my sense of worthiness and value. I don’t have to yell and scream and jump up-and-down to get attention and seek approval (anymore). This is because I understand and accept my value – and ghosting by others doesn’t matter much.
Oh yes we need relationships to help us grow and mature – so we want to invite healthy interactions with others. But if you’re experiencing a pattern of people coming into your life who are regularly ghosting you, it may be time to reset what you want in friends and relationships and begin putting boundaries in place. Often their avoidance of interacting or having a heart-to-heart conversation with you is a strong sign that you are no longer a vibrational match with them.

If you’re the one who’s ghosting…

If you’re the one who’s ghosting and you recognize this pattern in yourself and want to change it, now is the time to begin raising your awareness around it. When you catch yourself avoiding interaction and are going to ignore the other person, ask yourself why? Why am I avoiding this interaction? Why do I not want to be honest and transparent?
When people work with me in their trauma recovery, they learn the value and skill of having heart-to-heart “difficult conversations” – a term for when you need to consciously speak your Truth. Most likely if you are still reading this you are on your own path of Awakening and it’s vital that the Inner work you do is integrated out into the world – into your relationships. And re-setting yourself around ghosting would be a hyper-step forward in respecting those you’re in relationship with.
What are your thoughts on this… are you a ghoster or find yourself frequently being ghosted? Connect with me here and let me know!
With Love,
P.S. A big part of recognizing your patterns is doing things to heighten your awareness. A through-line in my emotional and trauma release work are ambitious practices (we often call them neuro-workouts) that put you in touch with your deep inner knowing. Want to try it? Go here to read details and register for the next event. It’s my gift to our awakening community.