Home  >  My Life  >  Relationships

Why Do Friends Ghost You: Why It Hurts So Fiercely & Why They Do It

Many people have been ghosted by a romantic interest, but your friends can do it to you too! Here is some insight as to why a friend would ghost you.

Why Do Friends Ghost You

When someone you were hoping to date ghosts you, it stings. But, because it has become so disrespectfully customary in the last few years, being ghosted is the new norm. But if you’re wondering, why do friends ghost you, you want some answers.

We are somewhat used to being ghosted. We feel the initial burn and move on, or at least try. Because we know these people aren’t quality enough to really want in our lives no matter how great they seemed before they digitally died.

But, when friends ghost you, it is a whole other feeling.

[Read: These signs of a bad friend are a red flag warning]

What exactly is “ghosting?”

The term “ghosting” was officially added to the Urban dictionary on November 23, 2007. And basically, it means cutting off all ties with someone without any explanation or warning.

Most probably already knew this, but some people have a hard time defining what actions count as “ghosting” and what don’t. Some think that ghosting happens when you go out on a couple of dates with someone, and they don’t ever call you back. And others think that ghosting happens when you are well into an established relationship.

As you can see, ghosting is an ambiguous term because many people have different definitions. Regardless of your personal definition, there is one thing that most people can agree on: ghosting hurts. [Read: How to rebuild your lost friendships]

Why it hurts so much when friends ghost you

Being ghosted by someone you briefly dated or chatted to on an app is its own sort of torture and confusion. But since it is so normal now, most of us have formed a pretty thick skin.

But, when a friend ghosts, it hits in a different way. It is an all new form of pain, confusion, rejection, and insecurity.

This isn’t someone you barely knew. This isn’t someone leading you on or getting you in bed. [Read: How to stop fighting in a relationship]

When a friend ghosts you, it really makes you wonder why. You are connected to this person. You have spent time with them and probably know them pretty well. So, receiving no explanation to their disappearance feels somehow crueler.

You go through feelings of anger, shock, confusion, worry, and bitterness. But, it doesn’t have to be so hard to find out why friends ghost you.

There are reasons why friends ghost you, and once you realize which reason your friend had it may make a whole lot more sense to you. [Read: Ghosted by your best friend? Understand why and find closure]

Why do friends ghost you?

When friends ghost you, it isn’t for the same reasons as someone you’ve flirted with for a few days.

They aren’t trying to be cruel. They may not even be avoiding you intentionally. And if they are, they probably have a better reason than Chad from Tinder.

1. They don’t have the capacity to talk it out 

Some people do not have the emotional, mental, or even physical capacity to tell you why they need space. Maybe they want to end the friendship or they just need a break.

Either way, this isn’t an excuse, but it does help you make sense of it. It won’t give you a clear answer, but helps you see things from their perspective. If you felt like you needed space from a friend, would you be able to tell them why, or would you slowly ghost and hope they don’t ask you about it? [Read: The possible signs you’re on the verge of being ghosted]

2. They are scared 

Confrontation is so hard for many people. It seems simple to some to just be honest and open and let the cards fall where they may, but confrontation is a huge fear.

They may be scared that they will upset you, that you’ll be mad or sad, or that you will try to change their mind. They may also be bad at communication and unable to describe why they don’t want to talk and doing so could make them uncomfortable.

3. You aren’t good for them 

I know this can be hard to hear. Some people are not meant to be friends. You may bring out the worst in each other. I had a friend that always made me feel bad about myself after seeing her.

We knew each other for years, but she never celebrated my victories. She would question my choices and always be competitive about who was going through more. It exhausted me, so I ended that friendship.

It can be hard to breakup with a significant other, but ending a friendship can be even more difficult, no matter how dysfunctional it is. They may find your presence to be a burden to them. They may feel that you bring negativity into their life and that is their choice.

Of course, they should talk to you about it and see if you are willing to change your ways, but they may have tried and you didn’t want to hear it. [Read: 13 signs of bad envy to know if someone is jealous of you]

4. Something happened

Did you have a fight? Did you have a minor disagreement that meant more to them than you? Or maybe something occurred that you’re unsure about.

Think back to the last time you spoke in person. Could you have said something disrespectful? Did your boyfriend or sibling offend them and they need space away from you to get over it? [Read: The real art of true and meaningful relationships]

5. They are overwhelmed 

Maintaining friendships usually doesn’t feel like work. Friends are supposed to add happiness to your life. But when a lot of things in someone’s life are uncontrollable and overwhelming, they may not have the time or energy to reach out.

They could simply be too busy with work or even a family issue that they aren’t able to reach out. Have you tried to reach out? Have you said more than “hey”? Ask them what is going on without being accusatory. Let them know you’re thinking about them, miss them, and hope they are alright. Then offer to listen as they vent whenever they are ready.

You never know what is going on with someone, even your closest friends.

6. You’ve grown apart 

Not all friends are here for a lifetime. Some friends are only here for a season or a chapter. You may have a best friend you’ve known since grade school, but after college, you drifted apart.

It hurts to admit, but when you are at different stages of life it happens. I was very close to a friend for years. We got along and had a lot in common, but then she got engaged, bought a house, and married. I wasn’t at that stage in my life so we grew apart.

Neither of us actively ghosted each other, we just had less to talk about, and it was harder to make plans when we were living such separate lives. [Read: 10 scenarios where it’s okay to ghost a friend]

7. They were never really your friend 

Well, have you ever wondered if your friend was ever a dear friend in the first place? What if this person was friendly with you only out of convenience?

Maybe they didn’t have anyone else to hang out with, maybe they found it easy to use you, or maybe you were someone who was always free to join them on weekend drinking binges and now you’re not.

Some times, fake friends are friends only out of convenience, and once the status quo changes, the friendship doesn’t benefit them anymore. Instead of confronting you about it, it’s far more convenient to ghost you because they’re not getting what they want from you. They don’t want to talk it out, and they just don’t care anymore. [Read: How to handle a friend that uses you and break the cycle]

8. They are being controlled 

Some times when friends ghost you, they don’t want to. You never know what is going on in someone’s life no matter how close you think you are.

If your friend recently got into a relationship and has been distant, you could overlook that as happiness. But, when someone ditches their friends for their new boyfriend, it may not be by choice. Controlling boyfriends are often the cause of a friend’s ghosting.

Dating someone who looks at your phone, keeps tabs on you, and wants you to themselves can lead you to not have access to those around you. Reach out to them and see what is going on. Let them know you’re concerned. You are there for them no matter what they need. [Read: What makes a good friend]

9. Maybe you did something to them that you don’t know about

It’s so easy to point the finger and call them a bad person for ghosting you. But, maybe you did something that either made them angry or hurt them … but you don’t even know it?

That’s why it’s important to take a good look in the mirror and examine yourself and your behaviors too. Is there anything that you could have done or said that might have been a reason for your friend to be upset with you? If so, maybe your friend tried to bring it to your attention, but you just didn’t listen.

Self-examination and self-awareness is a good skill to have. So, maybe it’s time you practice it. Maybe you didn’t do anything, and maybe you did. Regardless, that’s still not a good reason for someone to ghost you. But at least you can look at yourself and perhaps take some of the responsibility if you have to.

10. They don’t know how to communicate

Contrary to what a lot of people think about communication, it can be difficult! In fact, it can be frightening and frustrating for a lot of people – especially if they have to communicate about something difficult.

Let’s face it – most people hate conflict, mostly because they don’t know how to deal with it effectively. So what do they do? They avoid it. And avoid it. And avoid it. Avoid it at all costs. And that, turns in to ghosting because they don’t know what to say to you.

This is not a good excuse, but it happens all the time. When someone doesn’t know how to talk about a difficult situation, they think it is just easier to run away rather than to face it. However, obviously this doesn’t fix anything – it just makes it worse.

But that could be why your friend is ghosting you. They don’t know how to talk about what’s bothering them.

When it comes to a friend ghosting you, it isn’t always what you might think. But there are some ways you can make yourself feel better. [Read: How to build lasting friendships]

How to make yourself feel better when a friend ghosts you

You may think that nothing will make you feel better, but there are some things you can do to try to get over it.

First, you can re-frame it. Instead of feeling like there’s something wrong with you, think about the positives. Maybe you and your friend were having problems and fighting. If you were, then you won’t have to deal with that negativity anymore.

If someone is overly negative in your life, the relationship can be toxic. So, maybe if that’s the case with your friend, then you should be grateful that they ghosted you. I know that sounds strange, but sometimes our lives can actually be better when the “energy vampires” leave our lives. [Read: One-sided friendships]

Plus, now you can spend more time meeting new friends. As the old saying goes, “When God closes a door, He opens a window.” Since you won’t be spending so much time with your ghosting friend, this will allow you to meet new people.

As we go through different life stages, sometimes we out-grow old friends. We become different people and might not have the same goals or outlooks in life. And that’s okay. It can hurt, but you will always meet new friends. And maybe they will be more compatible with you and bring more joy into your life than the one who ghosted you.

[Read: Learning the art of honing your friendship skills]

How to let go of a friend that ghosted you

If your friend hasn’t intentionally ghosted you, it is best to reach out and learn the other side of the story. They may be ghosting you due to a misunderstanding or one of the other reasons already mentioned.

But, if a friend ghosted you because they no longer wish to be friends for any reason, it can be hard to get over.

It is similar to getting over a romantic break up, yet sometimes harder. We rely on our friends for a lot. We feel close to them and are used to having them to talk to, vent to, and laugh with.

When that abruptly ends without closure, it hurts and feels like something is missing. To get over a friend that ghosts take time. Don’t go out hunting for new BFFs. Hang out with the friends you do have. Surround yourself with people that you love and that make you better. [Read: Why being ghosted hurts so much and what you need to do about it]

Be appreciative of everyone you have in your life and the time you did have them as a friend. Their friendship brought a lot to your life. It is time for that chapter to end and you to move forward with positive memories.

[Read: 6 reasons why you might feel unloved and 10 ways to fix it]

Why do friends ghost can seem like the right question to ask, but if you don’t accept that it happened and move on, it will eat away at you.

Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life.

LovePanky icon
Team LovePanky
The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...