How to Ghost Someone Nicely Without Feeling Guilty: Top Tips & Guide
We’ve all been there, as either the ghost; the person who suddenly dropped off the face of the earth, or the ghostee; completely ignored for seemingly no reason at all. As someone who’s experienced both, I can tell you this for certain: it’s not fun. So do you know how to ghost someone nicely?
If you’re currently in a situation where you have to silently and swiftly disappear on someone, but don’t want to look like a total jerk while you do it, you’re in the right place.
Today, I’ll be giving you some tips on how to ghost someone nicely. I know that sounds kind of morally wrong, but sometimes, it just needs to be done. Let’s dive right in!
- What Does Ghosting Mean?
- Is Ghosting Morally Wrong?
- Reasons Why People Ghosts Others
- Tips on How To Ghost Nicely
- Tip # 1: Provide an Excuse
- Tip # 2: It’s Not You, It’s Me
- Tip # 3: Slowly Disconnect
- Tip # 4: Stop Responding to Them On Social Media
- Tip # 5: Just Be Honest
What Does Ghosting Mean?
According to Urban Dictionary, ghosting means “the shutdown or ceasing of communication with someone without notice.”
Usually, people ‘ghost’ when they want to stop talking to the person they were dating. But it doesn’t only apply to those in a relationship; it can also mean cutting off all communication with a friend or colleague.
Basically, they turn into a “ghost.” They don’t reply to texts, they delete you off of all social media, they block your number–you get the point. The person on the receiving end is left understandably confused, worried, and hurt.
The person who’s doing the ghosting probably feels terrible and guilty, waiting for karma to strike them down. It’s not a pleasant experience on both ends.
In some cases, ghosting is the default way to end things with someone you’ve been dating or seeing casually. If there are no feelings involved, it should be fine, right? You can check out our article on best hookup websites for one night stands if you want more info.
Maybe so, but just like the song Big God by Florence + the Machine, “you keep me up at night; to my messages, you do not reply, you know I still like you the most…” how can you be absolutely certain that the other party doesn’t have feelings for you?
Is Ghosting Morally Wrong?
There’s a lot of controversy in the topic of morality. From a moral standpoint, yes, ghosting can be considered wrong. But the truth is, the definition of “right” and “wrong” depends on the individual.
Morally wrong acts, such as theft, corruption, and the like, are acts that one must refrain from doing no matter what. These acts are solidly in the “wrong” category. But so is lying and breaking promises, both of which happen when you ghost. Thus, it’s morally wrong.
Of course, it’s unfair to ghost someone with the expectation that they’ll drop everything for you when you contact them once again. And fading away from the person you’re dating, especially if they believe you both had a special connection going on, just isn’t right no matter how you look at it.
It’s understandable to believe that the gradual approach of ghosting is gentler. It’s certainly much easier than facing the dreaded confrontation of a break-up, especially when tears are involved. But the truth is, it’s not. It’s unfair for you and for the person you’re dating.
A “clean” break is what’s needed here, to avoid false hope, hurt, and disappointment.
But, there are certain circumstances that you just have to ghost someone.
Reasons Why People Ghosts Others
Ghosting has a bad reputation. When someone hears, “he ghosted me,” the immediate conclusion is, wow, what an idiot. How dare he?
But reality isn’t painted in black and white. Yes, some people ghost just for the sake of it. However, some do it for deeper reasons.
Here are some circumstances why people ghost:
- They believe the other person is dangerous.
- They want to avoid inflicting pain on someone.
- They fear confrontation, emotional intimacy, or violent reactions.
- The person they’re ghosting refuses to accept they’ve broken up.
- The person they’re ghosting hurt them irreversibly, ie. cheated on them, shared their greatest secret, or spread rumors about them.
- They believe the other person is toxic.
- The person they’re ghosting is increasingly needy, possessive, or harmfully jealous.
Tips on How To Ghost Nicely
Regardless of your reasons, here are some tips on how to ghost someone, but nicely:
Tip # 1: Provide an Excuse
It isn’t ideal, but one way to ghost someone without insulting them is offering an excuse.
For instance, “I lost my phone,” (for six days) or “I didn’t see your message,” (because the messaging app sucks) or the now classic, “I have COVID-19.” (because everyone seemingly has it nowadays?)
Provided that your ghostee can read between the lines and everything goes according to plan, they’ll understand the subtext and slowly start to ghost you back.
Do keep in mind, however, that some people might take your excuse seriously. They might even respond, “Oh, you have the virus? That’s alright, I have a face mask! I’ll be there in 10!” which is certainly the opposite you want to happen.
In such cases, you’ll need to take a more…assertive approach.
Tip # 2: It’s Not You, It’s Me
You’re probably rolling your eyes right now. That’s understandable. “It’s not you, it’s me,” is a popular phrase most commonly used in the context of breaking up. But let’s be honest here: it’s so vague it can mean virtually anything.
Yes, it’s you, so be upfront about it. Be honest, but in a nice way. “I know it’s been a while since we talked, and I’m sorry. It’s my fault. I just don’t have the energy to interact with you as I did before.”
You can also use, “I’m really busy right now. I’ll message you back when I’m free.”
Or even, “You’re really nice, but I don’t think I’m ready to take things further.”
It’s difficult, but at least this way the person you’re ghosting won’t hold on to false hope and keep trying to contact you. It also won’t make them feel devalued. Thus, the problem isn’t them, it’s you.
Tip # 3: Slowly Disconnect
Abruptly disconnecting from someone is not only hurtful, but it may also cause the person you’re ghosting to worry. They’d probably think you were injured, kidnapped, or worse. Because that last date was pretty great, wasn’t it?
For such reasons, instead of just ceasing all communication together, it’s best to work your way up to ghosting someone.
Start by distancing yourself from them. When you talk to them, create an invisible boundary between you both. If they start asking questions, reply briefly without extra details.
If they ask how your day was, tell them that it was “good.” Don’t tell them about George who’s got his car keyed, or about that cute cat you just fed outside your house. Alongside short responses, slowly increase the period of time in which you reply, as well.
Eventually, they’ll feel something is off. Instead of asking a hundred questions a day, they might only ask half. And once they realize you’re not interested to talk, they’ll begin distancing themselves from you. And eventually, all communication stops.
Just like Marianne Williamson said, “In the absence of love, we began to slowly but surely fall apart.”
Tip # 4: Stop Responding to Them On Social Media
This isn’t to say that you should stop responding to every tag and post they send you on Instagram or Snapchat. You don’t want the person you’re ghosting to get angry.
Start by responding to one post at a time. They’ve tagged you on Instagram? Great, give it a heart, but don’t leave any comments. They’ve sent you a post on Facebook? Cool. Send them a thumbs-up.
They’ve sent a snap? Okay…maybe ignore that one. Wait, they sent another. And another. Ignore it. Resist the temptation. Don’t give in!
Once you’ve stopped responding to them entirely on specific platforms, you’ll be able to delete them off social media without them noticing. And even if they do notice, they wouldn’t mind much because you weren’t responding to them anyway.
Keep in mind, however, that deleting them sometimes won’t suffice. You may even have to block them. But doing so might cause a bit of a stir, so tread carefully.
Tip # 5: Just Be Honest
Honesty is the best policy. My apologies for using such a cliché, but it does apply here perfectly. It’s like ripping off a bandaid. It may hurt at first, but it’s better than prolonging the inevitable. You don’t like them, full stop, and there’s little they can do about it.
The emotional aftermath of being tossed aside has a great toll on someone. It can lead to feelings of low-self worth, self-blame, and anxiety. So since we’re discussing how to nicely ghost someone, the nicest thing to do is to not ghost them at all.
Yes, they’ll be let down, and yes, they might cry or get angry, but it’s better than tossing them away without explanation. Put yourself in their shoes; wouldn’t it be better to just know first hand than months of agonizing false-hope?
Besides, if you respect the other person, being honest is the least you can do.
Everyone ghosts once in a while. It’s not ideal, but it needs to be done. However, more often than not, being honest is the best approach.
The kind, courageous thing to say is, “I think you are a really nice person, but I don’t think we have enough chemistry between us. I genuinely wish you well in your search.” It’s straightforward, yes, but it’s also short, simple, and kind.
Don’t be someone’s favorite ghost. Good luck!
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