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Topic: Ghosting all of my friends... help?

15 posts, 0 answered
  1. Spl spl
    Spl spl avatar
    13 posts
    9 January 2018

    Hey everyone, hope someone can give me an outside perspective to what is pretty much the root of my anxiety at the moment.

    I have a horrible habit of not staying in contact with people. In real life (and with family) I'm fine, but online it's become a huge issue. I just finished year 12 and obviously I should want to keep in contact with my friends, however I haven't even tried talking to any of them online since November. I haven't been able to snap out of this feeling of anxiety, bite the bullet, and send them a message.

    I avoid social media, my phone has been dead for 2 months now, and I've pretty much gone off the radar where neither one of us can reach the other. Even recently a close online friend messaged me on a certain website, but I freaked out and have avoided going on that website for almost 2 weeks now. In the past I have just ignored phones ringing or deleted apps because I just couldn't bear talking to anyone.

    I could message my friends on a whim, but the thing is after they reply back, there is no guarantee I wouldn't avoid them afterwards. It just ends up being this big cycle where I avoid people for months then be in contact for about a week or so. I have very big feelings of guilt from doing this, since I know most people aren't cool with not being in contact with someone for months unlike me. My relationships have certainly suffered and my reputation has taken a hit as well. Any advice to stop ghosting people?

    1 person found this helpful
  2. BballJ
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    BballJ avatar
    177 posts
    9 January 2018 in reply to Spl spl

    Hi Spl spl,

    I cannot say I have come across this as often as I have people complaining no one messages them etc, this is a little different but relevant none the less. May I ask, do you have any idea why you think you do this? Is there a fear about committing to plans with them? How long as it been happening for?

    I am sorry about the 100 questions just trying to gain a better understanding of why this may be happening? Avoiding social media is one thing but not wanting to reply to people out of a fear is another. I am not saying this isn't normal or anything, everyone is different and that is what makes the world great. However just trying as I said above to gain a better understanding of it all.

    Please, post back as much as you like, I am always happy to talk.

    My best for you,

    Jay

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Spl spl
    Spl spl avatar
    13 posts
    9 January 2018 in reply to BballJ

    Hi Jay, I don't mind the questions, I realize in my first post I talked about more about what was going on rather than my feelings behind it. So, to answer:

    The reason why I do this- I'm not 100% sure. When someone messages me I just feel a huge wave of anxiety at the time-sensitive pressure to reply. So I put it off immediately & procrastinate on it. But the thing is, I'm a very bad procrastinator, the kind that does a semester-long assignment the night before. So it never gets done, and the guilt just keeps increasing.

    How long this has been happening- about 2 years. That's when I got my first phone (my parents are pretty anti-technology) and friends wanted me to snapchat them, message them, etc. I never got in the habit of using my phone though so people's messages sometimes went unread/didn't reply for weeks at a time. I felt guilty about that, and I think it just got worse on from there.

    I'm pretty introverted, I usually don't reach out to people first and I don't feel any pull to socialize with people. A lot of the time I can feel pretty apathetic and simply don't care for replying at all, even if we're good friends. But then I feel guilty about that and start full-on avoiding them online. Thanks for your reply. Just want to break this habit. -Spl

    1 person found this helpful
  4. BballJ
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    BballJ avatar
    177 posts
    10 January 2018 in reply to Spl spl

    Hi Spl spl,

    It is a very interesting one and one I have not seen on these forums from memory but at the same time doesn't mean it is not relevant. It seems like a form of social anxiety which is very common these days with all the technology that we use of course I am just speculating as I am not a trained professional or anything.

    How do you feel about replying back to me for example or anyone on these forums? Are you hesitant about that?

    Have you ever considered speaking to a psychologist or a GP about how you are feeling? I know it may be hard but it may be worth it for you long term, especially with all the guilt you are feeling as well.

    My best,

    Jay

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Guest_161
    Guest_161 avatar
    1 posts
    11 January 2018 in reply to Spl spl

    Hi spl spl

    I can almost relate to this.

    I dont turn my phone off and dont talk to family members for weeks, but sometimes it can take me a while to reply to someone , the phone can be right next to me but i still won't reply, im not doing it on purpose and im not ignoring them but i cant explain it , i find my self staring at the wall for ages too, my anxiety causes me to play with my bonds in my hair ( hair extensions ) and i can sit there and do this for ages i wish i could stop.

    I also love my own company to much, so when i do have a friend this effects it, but i find too if i dont feel good about my self it makes me ghost people

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Spl spl
    Spl spl avatar
    13 posts
    12 January 2018 in reply to BballJ

    Hi Jay,

    I can see where you're coming from with the social anxiety, and yeah I'll see about talking to my psychologist about it. Only thing is I cant see them often so in the meantime I'm here.

    As for talking on the forums, I dont really feel that anxiety since 1. I'm talking about the problem itself and I do have some drive to fix it. Also 2. I dont really have any formal obligation to talk to anyone here, so to speak? Like I could dissapear tomorrow and I dont think either party would really be worried or anything. There's, less at stake, or something.

    Thanks for listening and yea it seems like its anxiety + me beating myself up over it haha

  7. Spl spl
    Spl spl avatar
    13 posts
    12 January 2018 in reply to Guest_161

    Hey Guest,

    What you described was pretty spot-on, days turn into weeks before you know it.

    Especially the part about liking your own company, I find that's really true for me as well, sometimes I think I spend way too much time in my head. I can kinda just sit there and daydream for ages, so sometimes I feel like Im ghosting people so Im left alone. Still what you said about not feeling good in yourself definitely made me think. Thanks for sharing, first time I've met someone with this similar problem.

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Cls
    Cls avatar
    5 posts
    12 January 2018 in reply to Spl spl
    Hi Spl SpL

    I finished highschool a few years ago now. I went straight to uni the following year. However on the three months between I didn't contact anyone from high school, in fact I didn't really talk to anyone for almost 2 years into uni. I made aquitences at uni, but I have now finished my degree and like year 12, I don't talk to many.

    I'm not sure entirely how you are feeling, but I know that I was scared. I was worried that I would change and that my friends would change, move on to bigger and better things, find better friends, so I pulled back to avoid rejections, thought I would make that change instead.

    Eventually some of my friends from school reached out, mostly for 21st birthdays. And despite feeling nervous and embarrassed, I went, I reconnect with them, and yeah, some of them changed, but only in a way where they matured and more reasonable about things. Surprisingly none of them were weird about my silence. We picked up where we left off. Now even though I live a while away from them, we keep in touch. It could be weeks or months we go without talking or seeing each other, but we're all still good friends.

    I think during that period I didn't really have friends, I was trying to find things about myself. During school I was souly focused on study and had a lot of family problems. Going to uni let me get away from it all and think. At the same time I though they wouldn't like who I was and vice versa. Getting past all that was difficult for me, after a day or even an hour of socialisation I just wanted to retreat back to my room and hide. I still get like that from time to time actually.

    I'm not entirely sure where I was going with this story, but maybe there is a deeper reason for why you are doing what you are doing and you haven't figured it out yet. I hope that your friends are understanding of what you are going through and how you're feeling.

    Finishing school is definitely a scary time too. There is so much pressure to 'succeed'. Go to uni, get a career, buy a car and a house have a good social life. It's hard. You need to do things at your own pace.

    It's difficult to reach out to others when you haven't for so long. I just did it recently, all I did was send a hello and bam conversation happened. So maybe just send a hello?

    1 person found this helpful
  9. Cls
    Cls avatar
    5 posts
    12 January 2018 in reply to Spl spl
    Hi Spl SpL

    I finished highschool a few years ago now. I went straight to uni the following year. However on the three months between I didn't contact anyone from high school, in fact I didn't really talk to anyone for almost 2 years into uni. I made aquitences at uni, but I have now finished my degree and like year 12, I don't talk to many.

    I'm not sure entirely how you are feeling, but I know that I was scared. I was worried that I would change and that my friends would change, move on to bigger and better things, find better friends, so I pulled back to avoid rejections, thought I would make that change instead.

    Eventually some of my friends from school reached out, mostly for 21st birthdays. And despite feeling nervous and embarrassed, I went, I reconnect with them, and yeah, some of them changed, but only in a way where they matured and more reasonable about things. Surprisingly none of them were weird about my silence. We picked up where we left off. Now even though I live a while away from them, we keep in touch. It could be weeks or months we go without talking or seeing each other, but we're all still good friends.

    I think during that period I didn't really have friends, I was trying to find things about myself. During school I was souly focused on study and had a lot of family problems. Going to uni let me get away from it all and think. At the same time I though they wouldn't like who I was and vice versa. Getting past all that was difficult for me, after a day or even an hour of socialisation I just wanted to retreat back to my room and hide. I still get like that from time to time actually.

    I'm not entirely sure where I was going with this story, but maybe there is a deeper reason for why you are doing what you are doing and you haven't figured it out yet. I hope that your friends are understanding of what you are going through and how you're feeling.

    Finishing school is definitely a scary time too. There is so much pressure to 'succeed'. Go to uni, get a career, buy a car and a house have a good social life. It's hard. You need to do things at your own pace.

    It's difficult to reach out to others when you haven't for so long. I just did it recently, all I did was send a hello and bam conversation happened. So maybe just send a hello?

    1 person found this helpful
  10. Spl spl
    Spl spl avatar
    13 posts
    12 January 2018 in reply to Cls

    Hi Cls,

    Thanks for sharing what it was like for you! Seriously, I really don't know that many people who went through uni (recently, anyway) so hearing about that was helpful. And yeah I don't deny there might be a 'deeper reason' that I haven't figured out, some things you talked about did ring some bells , still I'm pretty content for now just to leave that be and try keeping in contact for now. Your story gave me a lot of relief, reminded me that I know that while some might get a bit annoyed at first my friends are good people at heart and surprisingly understanding. Thanks a bunch. I'm gonna go message a friend now.

    I just saw the group chat at 2891 messages and I'm.. not gonna read through all that..

    Maybe that was another reason I felt a bit intimidated haha

  11. Cls
    Cls avatar
    5 posts
    12 January 2018 in reply to Spl spl

    I'm glad I could help Spl Spl

    Yeah, that's a lot of messages!

    I hope all goes well 😊

  12. Cls
    Cls avatar
    5 posts
    12 January 2018 in reply to Spl spl

    I'm glad I could help Spl Spl

    Yeah, that's a lot of messages!

    I hope all goes well 😊

  13. Spl spl
    Spl spl avatar
    13 posts
    18 January 2018 in reply to Cls
    Small update: It went well! My friend said they were happy to hear back from me which I didn't expect haha. Thanks for the help. While the immediate problem has been fixed I might still update here just because ghosting has become a habit and I don't want it to creep up on me again. While it's great it's worked out, I'm not in the habit of talking to people often so I have to keep it up. Even today I realized I forgot someone's birthday so... >< yeah>
  14. Cls
    Cls avatar
    5 posts
    22 January 2018 in reply to Spl spl
    Thanks for the update. I'm glad you are trying to keep in contact with your friends. I find it can get very overwhelming at times, so just remember it is ok to take some time for yourself.
  15. jaanx
    jaanx avatar
    1 posts
    22 October 2019

    Hi Spl Spl

    I'm sorry that this is so late, you might not be on here anymore but I just wanted to say that I relate with you 100% and It's the first time I've seen someone else express what I do and why so well. I currently don't have any close friends so it is especially hard when new people want to talk online and become friends when I don't feel like I can reciprocate any of it.

    If you do by any chance see this, and since it has been a while since you've seeked help on here, do you have any advice to cope with it?