Updated: Nov 8
I saw this shared on a mental health community on Instagram in support of doing this. I added the X after I screenshot as… No. This is unhealthy behaviour. Withdrawing and/or ghosting when one feels hurt is absolutely painful for the person on the other end.
It is so important in mental health to learn how to engage in conflict in healthy ways. I know for me this has been hard as growing up in an environment where I was screamed at made me develop fawning and avoidance as coping mechanisms. I have had to learn and am still learning how to communicate my feelings, needs, and boundaries.
People cannot read minds. If we do not express to someone that we feel hurt, and what actions they did that hurt us, they cannot know. Thinking someone should already know what they did is not realistic. Ghosting and withdrawing like this is as painful as being screamed at. It’s the opposite extreme on the spectrum.
However if we’ve expressed a boundary, and we’ve told someone to not contact us and they don’t respect that, then it’s absolutely okay to withdraw at that time. We’ve been clear. “Clear is kind” ~Brené Brown
Having hard and uncomfortable conversations is a part of having relationships with all people in life, be it friends, work, romance, family etc. We can’t control how others may react but we can choose how we approach conflict.
When tension is high, space is an asset, for when emotions are boiling, it’s impossible to communicate clearly. We need to cool down before rational conversation can be had again. If we value the relationship, it is so important to communicate this, ie. ‘I need X amount of time apart.’ Stating specifics is important and keeping our word to the timeline given. When we keep our word, we learn that we can trust ourselves and we show others they can trust us too. We all have the power to change and grow but only we can decide for ourselves to do so.