Are You a Narcissist if You Ghost Someone?
Ghosting and the Narcissist
I read an article online that said one of the traits of narcissists is ghosting. I found this curious, as someone who has ghosted people (most often, narcissists) out of anxiety and a fear of confrontation. I think we’re getting some mixed signals when it comes to people’s actions and why they take them.
What Is Ghosting?
If you Google “ghosting,” you’ll find it described as someone leaving a relationship without saying anything, just disappearing off the face of the earth. The definitions make it sound like a romantic relationship thing, but it’s not strictly related to any specific type of relationship. You could be ghosted by a friend, a family member, or even an employer (if you work in a virtual setting, as I do).
Ghosting and Being Ghosted
Most narcissists want to get the last word, and they want to stay in control of you—they’re not just going to disappear. Even when you, the non-narcissist, ghost them, they will keep on doing everything they can to stay connected to you.
They may ask people about you, stalk you online, and do whatever they can in the hopes that they can still get to you. Don’t let them. If you’ve moved on from the narcissist, don’t let them back in, even if it’s just by blocking them on social media and asking your mutual friends not to mention them around you.
My ex-husband ghosted me once (before we were married). His reasons for doing it stemmed from lies he was being told and my own actions years prior. Rather than dealing with the issue at hand, and talking to me, he decided his best plan of action was no action—he quit taking my calls. Of course, we’d wind up together again a few years down the road, but his ghosting me had nothing to do with his narcissistic tendencies. It was, however, a control thing—he wanted to be in control of his life, rather than mine, though.
I’ve ghosted jobs—never came back to work, never called, never bothered with my final paycheck. That was after I was diagnosed with social anxiety and panic disorder. I was ghosted by a job or two once I started working online—they’d owe me money and just stop responding. None of this had to do with narcissism.
I recently ghosted a friend by blocking them on social media. I hadn’t given them my number after a previous falling out when I had to change it because this person kept texting me when I tried to end the one-sided friendship. In this case, I was ghosting a narcissist who I had tried to give a second chance at proving they could be a real friend and not just a controlling bully. I tried to reason with the person, and they kept attacking me, making fun of my job and lifestyle. Rather than keep arguing, I let them have the last word and stepped away (I’ll be writing about the narcissist's need to argue and win arguments in a future post).
Living with a Narcissist
Many people live with the narcissist in their life. If you’re an empath, like me, living with someone who always needs to be in control and worshiped gets tiring, and it can make you feel like you’re drowning in misery.
That’s especially the case when that person’s life is out-of-control, and they’re projecting all of their mistakes onto you. If they packed up and left you, they would lose their scapegoat and their personal punching bag—that’s not likely to happen. Even if you stand up to them, they’re still going to try to turn everything around on you. My mom was a classic in this case—and I was trapped in it until I was old enough to move out.
I ghosted my ex-husband, aside from one email having to do with our divorce. I packed up and left when he went to work. Why? Because I was afraid that he would hurt me. When you’re with someone who is extremely emotionally abusive, you spend a lot of time wondering when the other shoe will drop—especially when they talk about all of the times they “thought” about hitting you, punching you, or choking you out.
So, Is Ghosting a Narcissistic Trait?
Anyone can ghost anyone—it has nothing to do with narcissists. A narcissist might ghost you, but just because a person ghosts you doesn’t mean they’re a narcissist. Look at the other signs. Look at how they treated you when they were around. And, if a narcissist did ghost you, move on. Count yourself lucky!
If you’d like more information on letting go of the negative (whether it’s people or something else) from your life, please reach out. Visit me at my website to learn more about what I offer and my credentials as a Holistic Life Coach and Spiritual Counselor.
I’m working on my memoir about the abuse I’ve lived through all of my life. I will be seeking a publisher sometime in 2020.