Ghosting is the practice of suddenly ending a personal relationship without explanation and withdrawing from all communication
Ghosting is bad enough when it happens with a person you like in a romantic sense but it can feel even worse when it happens with a friend. Particularly, if it’s been a long friendship that you have always felt secure in.
Friendships should be a positive experience and provide us with happiness and a sense of belonging. Our friends should be supportive and make us feel good about ourselves. No one has the right to make you feel like you did something wrong. You have the right to feel valued and loved.
But what do you do if one of the people you’re closest to in the world suddenly cuts off all contact without a word of warning?
It can feel like you’ve been cast adrift or tossed aside without a second thought. It may be painful and provoke feelings of anger, confusion, sadness, resentment or even bitterness.
So, what should you do?
Write a letter
It might feel quite old-school but writing a letter is a great way to express how you’re feeling without interruption or distraction and gives you a chance to process your feelings at your own pace.
It also offers your friend the opportunity to understand how their actions have affected you and to change their behaviour in order to mend the friendship.
The ability to handle conflict and to communicate our feelings and needs is an important part of maintaining healthy and happy relationships.
Before writing the letter, it can be helpful to think of a reason why you became their friend in the first place or a happy memory the two of you share.
Attempting to repair your friendship from a place of positivity and gratitude will help make the conversation more meaningful and they are less likely to respond defensively.
Remember, you cannot control their reaction, but you can be proud of yourself for being brave enough to take action and for doing all you could to repair the friendship.
On the other hand, if their behaviour has shown you their true colours and you don’t want that energy in your life, it’s okay to step away from the situation entirely and move on.
A healthy friend group makes each other feel valued, supported and happy. If friends are not making you feel this way, you have the option of finding healthier friendships with people who support you and treat you with the respect and kindness you deserve.
Speak to a trusted adult about how you’re feeling and don’t be afraid to ask for help in finding new friends.
Perhaps there’s a club or after-school activity you could join with people who enjoy the same hobbies as you?
Click here to read more about finding healthy and lasting friendships.
Remember, Childline is here for you any time, day or night if you ever want to talk about your friends, family, schoolwork, or anything else that’s on your mind.