The study also explains the lasting cost of guilt that a ghost feels, finding that "even if the other party passively accepts the avoidance action, the terminator faces the lingering cost of knowing that he or she took the coward's way out of the relationship." Avoiding conflict reinforces anxiety Most people don't look forward to tough conversations, and breaking up falls in that category.
Fear of disappointing someone, looking like the "bad guy," or dealing with someone's direct anger can cause anxiety.
Exposure means putting yourself into the situation you fear in real-life to gradually lessen your usual anxious responses to the situation.
You don't have to tackle the scariest conversations first.
It's important to distinguish the "ghosting" phenomenon from escaping an unsafe or abusive relationship.
Confronting your fears gets easier the more you do it.
So, after practicing with someone safe, you'll be ready to start exposing yourself to more difficult conversations.
And while this post focuses on romantic relationships, it's worth noting that ghosting can also happen -- no less painfully -- in platonic friendships as well.
Even though the silence probably left you at best confused, and at worst, diving into your deepest insecurities for answers, an survey found that you've also likely been the ghost yourself at some point.