Ghostlighting is the combination of two dating phenomena that you’re likely familiar with. There’s ghosting, where the person randomly disappears from your life after talking to you for a while without a valid explanation. And then there is gaslighting, which is a very real form of emotional abuse.
Basically, it is a series of manipulative tactics with a goal of making the person feel like they’re acting crazy or that they can’t trust their own selves. With ghostlighting, the person will do two things. Either they will cut off all ties with you or create so much distance from you that this sudden shift will feel confusing. They will then choose to bring this up in an effort to show some clarity, but they will instead just make you doubt your own reality.
So when someone ghostlights you, they are simply trying to manipulate you and create guilt to make you feel like it’s all your fault and not theirs. This way, they will be able to absolve themselves from any sort of responsibility. They will turn the focus on you instead of actually owning up to their actions. They will make it all sound like you were being too needy and as though you were the one to push them away if you were the one to need some space.
How do you deal with ghostlighters?
Do everything that’s possible to not fall for such manipulators. If you fall for someone who manipulates you, it can be tempting to believe what they said, but you shouldn’t. Your gut instincts exist for a reason, which is to protect you. If something feels off with a person you’ve been talking to for a while, it’s always right and you must choose to go your separate way before they ghostlight you.