What Are The Best Ways To Handle Getting Ghosted? An Expert Weighs In

Whether it's by someone you were talking to online or someone you've gone out with a few times, getting ghosted stinks. It seems like nowadays, many people have stopped doing the decent thing of ending a relationship via a phone call or in person. Because so much of our world exists on our phones, we can blow someone off and not think twice about it. What's more, a majority of people ghost because they're afraid of face-to-face confrontation. In other words, ghosting is cowardly, and yet it happens all the time.


If you've been ghosted before, you know how terrible it feels, and why wouldn't it? You thought you had a romantic connection — or a high possibility of a romantic connection — with someone who disappears out of the blue. It's a very jarring situation, and can really alter your sense of self and your worth. Fortunately, we spoke with Nona Kelly, a licensed marriage and family therapist at Thriveworks Counseling in Chattanooga, Tennessee. With over 20 years of experience in her field, she shared her expert advice on the best ways to handle getting ghosted.

Don't blame yourself

When faced with rejection, it's easy to immediately blame yourself for the outcome. You start to wonder what it is you did wrong, or if something you said pushed them away. It's human nature, but that doesn't mean you actually did anything at all. Nona Kelly explains that you can't blame yourself for someone disrespecting you in that manner. If they were no longer interested, they should have had the courage to tell you so, not just run and hide. It's an easy way out, but that doesn't mean it's the right way to get out.


Look at it this way — if that person can ghost you without a second thought, think about what that says of their character. Do you really want to be with someone who lacks proper communication skills and basic human decency? They should be reflecting on their choices, not you. You? You keep your chin up and your hair tossed.

Journal it out

Kelly says one of the best ways to handle getting ghosted is by writing it out. If you haven't tried journaling before, try to keep an open mind as it's much more beneficial than you may realize. "Journaling about the situation often helps us to see it differently," she explains. "Taking the thoughts out of our heads and onto paper gives us a place to put the feelings that we really are struggling with." Instead of walking around with these tough feelings trapped inside you, you're pouring them out onto a neutral space.


Once you have everything written down, it's easier to take stock of how you're feeling and what it is you're truly upset about. Was it the rejection itself? Did you see a future with this person? Journaling about the experience will help you achieve peace of mind. Not only that, but it gives you a reference to look back at should these feelings of pain and rejection arise again. (But we hope they don't!)

Be kind to yourself

We talked about not blaming yourself for what happened, now it's time to discuss how to be kind to yourself after what happened. This doesn't mean you have to go out and spend money on yourself or make some grand gesture acknowledging your self-love — being kind to yourself can be as simple as practicing positive self-talk. According to Kelly, this involves recognizing negative thoughts and cutting them out. A lot of the time, our brains repeat those negative thoughts on a loop, but positive self-talk can help end that cycle.


For example, say you've just been ghosted by someone you were really into. You went on a couple of seemingly awesome dates, then they never texted back. Instead of questioning your self-worth, turn the tables around. You didn't lose them — instead, they really missed out on dating someone like you. If it helps, practice self-talk in the mirror. Watching yourself say kind things to yourself can truly make a huge difference in your mental and emotional health.

Makes plans you can count on

When someone abruptly ceases communication with you, it can feel jarring, especially if you had been seeing each other for a while. If the two of you made plans together for the future (or you secretly wrote some down in a journal on your own), it can seem like an extra punch in the gut. Unfortunately, that's the problem with any type of relationship — nothing is 100% guaranteed. This is why Kelly highly suggests making plans with yourself. "Make some plans that you can look forward to and are in control of," she suggests. "They might be as small as coffee with a friend or larger such as a vacation over summer."


Remember, you are your own best friend. The one person you can always count on, no matter what. Romances may come and go, but your greatest relationship will always be with yourself (it's super cheesy, but it's true). Take this moment of rejection as a sign to go out and do things you've always wanted to do — no romantic partner needed.