Ghosting is when someone cuts off all communication without explanation. It can just be a friend not responding to your texts or phone calls; or even worse a lover who is ending a relationship by cutting off all contact and ignoring your attempts to reach them. When someone has stopped responding to your calls or text messages, they are “ghosting” you.

Ghosting is a form of silent treatment equal to emotional cruelty. It’s really important to realize that if someone ghosts you their behavior says more about them than about you.

The advent of technology seems to have made this worse. It can be very hurtful if a friend has cut you out of his or her life and you can still keep track of them on Facebook and Twitter. Some people don’t have the guts to tell you that they are no longer interested in having you in their life, so they ghost you. They find it hard to deal in person with ending a relationship. Or maybe they have tried to tell you and you just wouldn’t listen!

The term has already entered the polling vocabulary: In October 2014, a Huffington Post poll of 1,000 adults showed that 11 percent of Americans have “ghosted” someone. Elle magazine polled 185 people and found that 16.7 percent of men and 24.2 percent of women had “ghosted” someone at some time in their lives.

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