Learn How To Ghost Someone Who’s Not Healthy For You: Ending Toxic Relationships

Updated December 19, 2022by ReGain Editorial Team

Introduction

If you've seen unhealthy signs or red flags in your relationship and you're wondering what to do next - you're not alone. Many people in the middle of toxic relationships find themselves wondering how they even got in this relationship in the first place. The unwitting partner in a toxic relationship will often blame themselves for not seeing the signs once they realize that they are true - in a toxic or abusive relationship. In this article, we talk about some of the warning signs that are often present - before people get into toxic relationships, warning signs for relationships that have the potential to turn toxic, and where to get help if you find yourself trapped in a toxic relationship. Here, we are not going to focus on the person who is ghosted and asks herself, "Am I being ghosted," but we focus on how to ghost the person you need to eliminate from your life. Let's start with some of the common warning signs that your relationship may be toxic.

Signs Your Relationship Is Toxic

The term "toxic" refers to behaviors that intentionally cause physical, mental or emotional harm to other people. These types of actions have a ripple effect and don't just hurt one person. If you're in a relationship with someone who is mistreating you or making you feel like you are the "problem," it's likely that their behavior is toxic. What makes relationships toxic - is when there seems to be no end to problems that arise insight. If your partner refuses to address important issues in your relationship, won't listen to your point of view, or devalues your opinion, chances are - you're in the middle of a toxic relationship.

Once you realize that you are in a toxic relationship, you have two options. You can exit the toxic relationship as safely and quietly as you can and not ever breathe another word to your ex. This is called "ghosting." When you ghost someone - you're basically disappearing like a ghost in the night, and they never hear from you again. While "ghosting" is not often seen as polite, in cases of ending abusive and toxic relationships sometimes - it's the only way.

Option two is to try to work things out with your partner by getting therapy or another kind of professional third-party intervention. The caveat with this option - is that most people who initiate abusive and toxic relationships don't usually seek therapy independently. It's up to you to decide which option works best for your safety, your family or dependents' safety, and what will be the best solution for maintaining your sense of well-being and good mental health. Following are a few more warning signs that a toxic relationship is on the horizon.

Boundary Violation

Boundaries are an integral part of healthy relationships. We need to be able to say, "I'm comfortable with this, and I'm not comfortable with that." If you're not used to setting boundaries, it can seem scary or intimidating, but in reality, it's a way to make relationships work. We all have boundaries that we set with other people, hoping that they'll respect them. Let's say that someone repeatedly brings up a topic that is personal or painful. Imagine you've asked them not to speak about it, and they keep bringing it up.

Another example could be that they persistently call you early in the morning while you're sleeping after you've politely asked them to stop. These are examples of someone who might be violating your boundaries. If someone disrespects your boundaries over and over again despite your speaking to them about it and trying to change the dynamic, it might be time to distance yourself.

Lying

The foundation of a healthy relationship is honesty. If you aren't telling your partner or loved one the truth, the relationship is based on a false sense of reality. We want to be close to those we love, and part of that is contingent upon being honest. When someone you lovelies to you, you can feel a variety of ways. You may feel betrayed or like you can never trust them again or take their word at face value. The foundation of the relationship has been shaken. If you find that someone you are close with is repeatedly lying, it's time to create a healthy distance from that person. You want to make sure that people in your life respect you enough to tell you the truth. There's no gray area when it comes to lying. It's toxic behavior that creates chaos in relationships. Lying, whether it's in a friendship or relationship, is not acceptable. You don't owe anyone an explanation if someone is lying to you or manipulating you; they disrespect you, and it's okay to cut them off.

Physical, Verbal, Or Emotional Abuse

There is a difference between an unhealthy relationship and an abusive or toxic one. An unhealthy relationship may mean that it's codependent or sacrificing their needs for the other person disproportionately. Unhealthy relationships have the potential to be healed through a combination of psychotherapy and behavioral changes. An abusive relationship, on the other hand, has very little chance of thriving. Being in an abusive relationship means that someone is being treated with disrespect and is receiving some form of abuse, whether physical, emotional, verbal, financial, sexual or so on. The abuse may occur on one end or both in this kind of relationship.

Here are some signs of an abusive relationship to look out for:

  • Problems with angry outbursts
  • Jealousy
  • Financial abuse
  • Telling a person what they can or can't do
  • Making someone's social connections limited (whether that's friends or family)
  • Coercing or forcing someone into sex
  • Physical violence
  • Stonewalling
  • Gaslighting

If you are experiencing any of the types of abuse mentioned above, you have every right to ghost your abuser. There are times when it's crucial to cut off contact with someone, especially if they're prone to fits of rage, physical violence, or sexual abuse. Your wellbeing is of the utmost importance, and you don't owe anything to someone who is hurting you. Ghosting is an appropriate response to someone abusing you, whether that's physical, mental, emotional, sexual, or financial abuse. It's okay to stop talking to someone who has abused you in the past or the present. If you're in danger, contact a domestic violence resource center or the National Domestic Violence Hotline in the US: 1-800-799-7233

Is It A Fear Of Confrontation - Or Something Else?

You may be wondering, "is ghosting due to a fear of confrontation?" Maybe you cut off ties with someone because you're afraid of what they'll say and do if you express your feelings. There's a balance here, and there are situations where it could benefit you to express how you feel. Meanwhile, there are other scenarios where as much as you'd like to say how you feel, it isn't safe. If someone is hot-headed, and you know that because you've known them for a long time, it's important to safeguard yourself from that person and their behavior. You're not doing anything wrong by ghosting someone who has the potential to harm you or who takes their temper out on you. While ghosting could be attributed to a fear of confrontation, that's not always the case. There are certain situations where it's necessary and could save a life.

Abuse is a serious issue, and abusive relationships are the most toxic of all. If someone is hurting you and making you feel unsafe, you need to stop communicating with that person. There may be several steps to take when it comes to severing ties from an abusive relationship, but the bottom line is that you, and your safety, matter the most. You don't deserve to be treated disrespectfully and made to feel uncomfortable or unsafe. If someone you're speaking to is making you feel unsafe or verbally abusing you, this is a good reason to stop talking to them. Abuse can leave traumatic scars on families and children that can last for decades. Unhealed trauma from abuse can lead to serious mental health issues like anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD), and other serious mental disorders.

There's nothing good that's going to come out of an abusive relationship. It'll likely just make you feel bad about yourself, and it may make you feel depressed to speak to this person. The relationship is likely to only get more toxic over time, so stop talking to someone who is abusing you - as safely as you possibly can. Abuse is a very legitimate reason to ghost somebody if there aren't any other options, and you shouldn't feel bad for doing it. Keep yourself safe and surround yourself with people who want the best for you. In most cases, before we enter into toxic relationships - there are always signs. Want to talk to a licensed mental health professional about how to exit a toxic or abusive relationship safely? Contact a board-certified therapy professional at RegainUS online now.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Best Way to Ghost Someone?

In a nutshell, the best way to ghost someone is to cut off all contact with them. This includes in-person interactions, phone calls, text messages, email, social media connections, etc. Another critical part of the ghosting method is blocking someone from being able to contact you. Many people who chose to ghost someone actively decided to remove all contact and avenues to reach them.

To ghost and be ghosted can be challenging; however, the best way to ghost someone is to follow the tips listed above. If you’ve blocked their phone calls, stopped all text messages, emails, and social media interactions, the person you used the ghosting method on may get the hint. In the worst-case scenario, a person who you have ghosted may attempt to create new accounts, emails, or phone numbers to contact you.

If this happens, do not respond, but block these new numbers and accounts.

What Does Ghosting Do to a Person?

Ghosting hurts. There is no getting around this. When people ghost someone, that person may wonder why, question what they did wrong, or ask themselves if they missed or misinterpreted warning signs along the way. Someone who chose to ghost another person may also leave that individual wondering if an emergency happened and explain the abrupt lack of contact.

Sometimes, it takes a bit of time for an individual to realize they were ghosted. Once a person realizes that someone ghosted them, they may stop trying to reach out. A person on the receiving end of the ghosting method is also likely to experience different emotions, such as sadness, anger, or even jealousy. Eventually, a person who has been ghosted may, at some point, let go of the person who ghosted them and be open to meet someone new.

How Do You Ghost Someone without Being Rude?

In society, ghosting is often considered rude; however, there are certain notable exceptions. To ghost and be ghosted can be quite challenging for both sides; although, if you want to ghost someone without being rude, the best way to do this is to reduce contact gradually.

Gradually reducing contact with someone means stop telling them what you’re doing, do not respond to their messages, or even start to politely tell this person that you will not have as much time for them. Ghosting someone without being rude can also happen by sending short responses to messages you receive and holding off on making plans. To ghost people without being rude may seem tough, but you can make it happen. In many cases, a person will eventually get the hint when you reduce contact, stop telling them what you’re up to, or let them know that you won’t really have the time for them anymore.

How Do You Respond to Ghosting?

If you believe that you have been ghosted, it is natural to feel shocked, hurt, and angry. When people ghost you, sometimes it seems like this happened out of nowhere. If you’ve tried to make contact with the person more than once and have not heard back after a reasonable time period, then it’s pretty safe to assume that you have been ghosted; this is especially true if you find that the person has blocked you from making contact with them.

The best way to respond to being ghosted is to process the situation emotionally and mentally. It’s OK to be hurt, talk to your friends about what happened, or even spend some time by yourself. If you have experienced ghosting from a romantic partner, being open to meet someone new after you’ve processed and gotten over your hurt feelings is also highly advisable.

Last but certainly not least, if someone has ghosted you, it’s important not to make repeated and ongoing attempts to contact them. If this person has cut off communication, there is a reason for that. Usually, when people ghost you, it’s due to a decision they’ve made on their end. Therefore, processing the situation, arriving at a place of acceptance, and moving forward are the best ways to respond to ghosting.

Is Ghosting a Friend OK?

In most cases, ghosting a friend is not advisable.

A friend can be very hurtful to ghosts, especially if this friend isn’t expecting to be ghosted or unaware that you are considering ghosting them. To ghost, a friend can also leave them wondering what happened, why you ghosted them, and what they could have done differently. If you feel frustrated with a friend or unsure of how to handle a challenging situation with a friend, then trying to talk things out with them is usually a much better approach than the ghosting method.

Of course, every rule has an exception. If your friend is toxic, dangerous, or otherwise someone you do not feel comfortable with, ghosting them is acceptable. It’s also OK to ghost a friend who doesn’t respect your boundaries, causes you to feel threatened, or belittles you.

The truth is that none of this treatment is how a true friend would behave towards you. If there is no other solution and if you truly believe that ghosting a friend is in the best interest of your mental health and wellbeing, do not be afraid to take that step. In cases such as this, there is more than enough reason when people ghost a toxic or harmful person.

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