If you've had someone you care about whom you believe also cares about you disappear completely from contact without any explanation or closure, you've experienced this messed up phenomenon.
In a digital age such as this, cutting all ties with someone is as quick and easy as tapping a few buttons. Online dating has made ghosting a commonplace occurrence, but even non-romantic relationships are vulnerable to the convenience of leaving without a goodbye.
To the ghoster, it may feel like you're doing them a favor by avoiding the awkward "I'm never going to talk to you again" conversation, but when you've been on the other end of the situation, there's nothing considerate about it.
If you're worried about becoming a victim of ghosting from your so-called "best friend," keep an eye out for these six red flags.
1. They Don't Want To Talk
Perhaps the most obvious sign, a disregard for communication is a big problem in a friendship.
Any relationship, whether platonic or romantic, requires a two-way effort to be successful. When a friend never messages first, always responds in one-word answers, and generally seems disinterested in you, it may be time to reconsider.
2. They Won't Take Responsibility
Someone who doesn't take responsibility in their own life likely won't want to be responsible for your friendship either.
Ghosting is most often used instead of confronting a friend and trying to work things out. When communication is cut off altogether, no awkward explanation or conversation is required.
3. They Let You Worry
A friendship without regard for one another's feelings is hardly a friendship at all.
Especially if your relationship had been close, having a friend disappear can conjure up all sorts of assumptions about their absence, from finding a new best friend to a fiery crash that left them in the hospital.
When a ghoster leaves their friend without explanation, the friend is open to assume just about anything.
4. They Don't Ask About You
If a friend doesn't care about your feelings, it will make it even easier for them to ghost you. When they decide they're done, they don't have to worry about breaking it to you.
Of course it's important to take care of yourself first, but that doesn't excuse treating your friends like they aren't worth an explanation.
5. They Have Many Other "Best Friends"
For someone with many shallower relationships rather than a few close ones, friends may start to seem interchangeable.
In some cases, someone may feel scared or threatened when friendships become closer, causing them to run away without warning. These are likely the people who have lots of acquaintances and are often changing scenes, so when meeting someone like this, keep an eye out for a serial ghoster.
6. They Flake Out On You
It's not a stretch to say that some people are more attached to their phone than others, but it's a big red flag when a friend is just as flaky in person.
Especially if they leave you hanging after plans have been made, they may not respect you or your time the way you think they do. It might be time to reevaluate.