Differentiating what is not ghosting from what is is extremely difficult, and this common practice today is defined by cutting off all communication, disappearing, and leaving the other person wondering what could have happened so that the relationship (whatever it may be) has ended.
However, a new study conducted at Winthrop University in South Carolina, USA, has found that in this form of “breaking up” not everything is black and white as we thought, there are a few gray areas that we generally had not considered until now and that could change our opinion about what is and what is not ghosting.
There are three ways to perform this action #
Overnight, gradually, or orbitally, i.e. no communication is maintained but for example they do follow you on social networks.
With this clear, they also came to the conclusion that in many cases ghosting could not occur because the relationship had not been sufficiently long-lasting or deep enough for the disconnection to really mean the end of the relationship. From there, they were able to distinguish which instances could be considered ghosting and which could not.
The discomfort when we lose the connection with that person will not be removed by anyone, of course, because whatever the reason, we probably would have liked to maintain contact. However, as the psychologist Susan Krauss Whitbourne explains, at least it can help us to know that if this type of situation occurs, this distancing will not happen because they do not want to stay in touch with us.
Not considered as ghosting #
When the two stop talking. It is more common than it seems and can be for several reasons, either because the two people realize that there is no future and leave each other without saying anything, or also because the conversation diminishes but neither of the two tries to get closer again.
When someone does not talk to us because they have other more urgent problems. It can be family, professional… The point is that we all have chaotic moments in life and we are not able to respond to messages or meet with people, but that does not mean that we are not interested. It is always good to ask and help if possible.
When the other person needs time to clarify. Obviously the ideal would be that the other person would be able to tell us “look, I need time to think, to weigh, to clarify…” but not everyone has that facility. You can always give him/her a reasonable amount of time and if afterwards he/she is still missing, then maybe he/she has become a ghost.
Last but not least, we should consider whether anything has happened for which the other person may feel guilty or ashamed. If the disconnection occurs right after an event that may have made them feel that way, then it is possible that guilt or shame may prevent them from talking to you and therefore they would rather not say anything. Maybe it’s happened to you once and you didn’t think you were ghosting anyone either.