Few things leave you doubting yourself, your emotions, and your reality like being ghosted by someone you thought you shared something special with. Sometimes, you never hear from the person again and you shrug it off and move on. But sometimes, just when you least expect it, they come crawling back into your life, leaving you confused about how to feel and what to say to them. Here are some responses you can give the next time you experience the return of a ghoster.
“Hello, stranger. To what do I owe the pleasure?” If you still feel a connection to the ghoster and you’re interested in giving them another chance, responding like this is a good place to start. It acknowledges the elephant in the room without sounding too cold and gives the person a chance to explain their absence. However, try not to sound too excited or get your hopes up. They might just be bored, looking for some temporary fun, or checking to see they still have access to you. Keep them on a short leash until their intentions become clearer.
“Sorry, I’m not interested in this dance.” If ghosting seems to be a recurring theme with this person, you’re probably better off not indulging them. Let them know that you’re not going to put up with their silly games anymore. Sure, life happens, but the least they can do is communicate better when it does. Since they can’t give you that, don’t let them waste any more of your time. Let them know it’s time to break the cycle or get lost.
“Oh look, a zombie.” Still a little pissed by their sudden disappearance but don’t want to completely clamp down on the possibility of reigniting the relationship? Giving a playful and cute response like this can help strike a fine balance. It calls them out for ghosting you and leaves room for reconciliation. They’ll probably offer up an explanation for being gone and you can decide whether they’re worth taking back.
“Glad to see you escaped your abductors.” If you’re still down to talk to them and you don’t think the ghosting was that big a deal, this is a cheeky way to respond. It keeps things breezy and fun and makes it easier for both of you to just pick up from where you left off. If you still need some time to come around to the idea of interacting with them again, let them know that it’ll take a while for things to return to the way they used to be. If they’re patient and interested in you for real, they’d understand. If not, good riddance.
“I’m going to need a good explanation.” If someone initiates contact with you after they ghosted in the past, they owe you an explanation for their behavior so demand it. The point is to make them acknowledge that their action was awful and rude and apologize for that before the conversation g0es any further. It’s an opportunity for you to understand why they bailed. You never know, they might have a good reason for ghosting. If you find their reply satisfactory, great. Otherwise, bid them goodbye. For real this time.
“Why are you texting/calling me?” They might just be reaching out to you because they’re manipulative and knowing they can still reel you back in would give them some kind of ego boost. Responding in a detached and casual manner gives you the upper hand and forces them to reexamine or state their intentions. Ghosting is a red flag. It’s okay to protect yourself and your boundaries from being disrespected by a person who ghosted you. Give them some grief.
“It hurt when I didn’t hear back from you.” Sometimes, the best way to respond to a ghoster is to come right out and tell them how their actions made you feel. This requires you to be vulnerable to someone who has already hurt you, which can be difficult and embarrassing. But remember that vulnerability is something you do for yourself, not others. Go ahead and express your feelings. You don’t have to keep talking to them once you’ve said your piece. And if you choose to invite them back into your life, set clear expectations for the future.
Give them one-word replies. If you’re pretty certain that the person who ghosted you doesn’t have a good excuse, one-word replies are the perfect icy middle finger that they deserve. It communicates that you’re not excited that they’re back and you really don’t have anything to say to them. They’ll get the message and take their immaturity and disrespect somewhere else.
“Please never text or call me again.” When no explanation or apology will be enough to get the ghoster back into your good graces, a straightforward no-nonsense response like this one is perfect for the situation. It tells them that you’ve lost interest and that you’re not the kind of person they can just abandon and return to whenever they please. Next time around, they might think twice about doing it to someone else.
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