Remember in high school when your life revolved around your friends? Oh, the drama! Who was talking to whom, who was crushing on which guy, who was talking behind someone else’s back? After all, we had nothing else to keep us occupied; no jobs, no kids, no husbands. In a lot of ways, it was a relief when we moved past that part of our life.
When you become an adult, your relationships change. They become deeper, richer, and often more authentic. As adults, we can support each other through the dark valleys of life and celebrate the times we are at the top of the mountain.
Over the years and throughout the stages of a woman’s life, friendships bring an intense amount of love and support. When emotionally walking through the valley of the shadow of death, it is often your girlfriends who hold you up.
Friendships Ebb and Flow as You Grow and Change
When times were good, girlfriends helped me celebrate life, drink wine, and share secrets. There is something very special about the friendships between women. No matter how great your relationship is with your guy, he can’t be everything to you and neither should he.
Over the years, my friends have changed; the intensity ebbs and flows, and different people came into my life for different reasons. Some of these friends are still in my life, others are not.
Some of my friends left amid drama. A fight that blew up our friendship, a fight full of hurt feelings and misunderstandings. Those are hard. Looking back on the good times you had together, it is hard to believe it all fell apart. This happened with a friend I had been close to for 10 years. We had traveled through our single Christian mom years together; praying for each other and praying together for our children.
While we were eventually able to settle our differences, we were never able to completely forget. When we meet now, we give each other a hug and a sad smile. We miss each other but we know we can’t go back.
Being Ghosted in a Friendship Nearly Drove Me Crazy
But of all the friendships I have ever had, one of the most painful ones have been when I was ghosted. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, it means when someone cuts off all communication with no explanation. You are left confused, upset, and hurt.
I think the reason this one hurts the most is there is no sense of closure. You are left wondering what, if anything, you did wrong. You scrutinize every interaction you had with them, dissecting the exchange to see if there was something you missed. I started by telling myself I was imagining things. That she must just be busy, after all, she has lots on her plate. I’ll stop bugging her and wait until her calendar clears. Time passed and I knew that no matter how busy I was, I would have responded to a text, email, or phone call from a friend.
I reached out again. Silence. Talking with other people, I discovered they had no problem contacting my friend. Then I discovered she had made a negative comment about me to a potential employer. I was heartbroken. Once again, I wracked my brain. I thought about the times our families had done things together, the support she had given me. I wondered if I wasn’t giving enough support in return. I wondered if I was too needy, not needy enough.
It was crazy-making behavior. Once I realized that the only person who could give me an answer wasn’t talking, I realized I was going to have to make peace with not knowing. So, I did what a person with my type of personality tends to do—I started researching.
This Is What I Learned About People Who Ghost You
What I discovered was that, while I had obsessed over what I had said or not said, the fact was that ghosting often says more about the ghoster than the one being ghosted. Those who tend to employ the ghosting method of breaking up (whether a romantic relationship or a friendship) also tend to be those who aren’t entirely comfortable with emotional connections. Because emotional closeness makes them uncomfortable, they tend to use ghosting as a way of escape.
Interestingly enough, another trait of the type of person who is more likely to think ghosting is acceptable, is that they see life from a destiny point of view. They tend to think that if something is meant to be, it will be. However, those who think relationships take hard work are much less likely to think that ghosting is a good way to end things.
The other thing my research turned up was that most psychologists and those who have studied ghosting, agree on one thing. They all say that people who ghost have already shown a lack of compassion and an inability to handle conflict in a mature way… so move on. Take the ghosting as a lesson in compassion and as hard as it is to do, let the friendship go.
Letting people go is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to learn; some friends are not meant to be in my life forever and they have all taught me something. The ghosts in my life have taught me to practice direct communication and to deliver it compassionately.
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