Here are 20 characteristics of people who have a higher tendency to “ghost” others. The more of these traits or behaviors a person has, the more likely he or she may be to vanish without a word.
People who ghost others tend to:
- Fear confrontation
- Be secretive or non self-disclosing
- Repeatedly become distant or aloof for no apparent reason
- Have few long-term friendships
- Initially idealize, then come to devalue other people
- Frequently fail to keep their promises
- Send mixed or vague messages
- Be indirect
- Have met you anonymously, such as online, and have no friends in common with you
- Be reluctant to introduce you to friends and family
- Have an avoidant attachment style
- Be socially immature
- Be narcissistic
- Avoid taking responsibility for their actions
- Lack empathy
- Use or take advantage of others
- Be passive-aggressive
- Disparage their past long-term partners
- Stonewall or give you the silent treatment when upset
People ghost for many reasons. They may rationalize their behavior by telling themselves they are sparing you a difficult scene. They may have been ghosted themselves, and feel it is okay to do it. They may be secretly involved with more than one person. They may have had a bad experience in the past by being direct when they ended a relationship. They may feel unsure what they are feeling or unable to put it into words and simply vanish, hoping you will get the hint.
On a deeper level, people who leave without a word generally lack courage to have direct, potentially emotional conversations. They lack respect for others. They tend to be less committed to the relationship than the other person. They may be self-absorbed and care only about their own comfort
The emotional toll of being ghosted can be steep.
If you have been ghosted, you may feel discarded, unimportant, unworthy, or unattractive. You may feel baffled and have a strong desire to find out why the person left. It may feel hard to get closure. Especially if the other person seemed engaged in the relationship, attracted to you, and you shared good experiences, you may question or doubt yourself or blame yourself for their actions.
Being left by another without a word is not about you, it is about the other person. Whatever their reasons, their behavior tells you they don’t respect you (or themselves). As painful as it may be initially to recognize it, such a person is not healthy to be around. Reassure yourself that such behavior is immature, disrespectful, and not something you want in your life. Reach out to friends and others for support.
Copyright © Dan Neuharth PhD MFT