Are you a victim of caspering, a form of gentler ghosting??
While cutely named, such behaviour may affect the receiver negatively, with the confusion and mistrust spilling over in future relationships
You text someone, you see that they are online but they have not read or acknowledged your messages. Then, some three days later, they respond to your message with an unclear but pleasant reply. They show that they are interested in hanging out with you but make excuses. You might continue to text for a few more weeks but there is no further action to meet. This is what’s caspering is about. Simply put, it is a gentler form of ghosting. Inspired by Casper, the cartoon friendly ghost, the term refers to the behaviour of singles to let people down gently before they ghost them.
“I met a guy through a friend and we started chatting. We met once but then I kept messaging him, and he replied very casually, with no interest but he stayed polite. The responses would come in very late. In retrospect, I think the fact that he never shared his WhatsApp number with me was enough hint.... And now I know, that was caspering,” says Ashina Malhotra, a banker.
Rishita Makhija, life coach, opines that it’s done by people who want to be polite and end the relationship but don’t want to say it explicitly. “They don’t want to be the bad one by ghosting you so they reply to your messages late and indifferently, so that you sense that it’s over.”
As sweet as the fictional character, the term caspering is ironically the opposite. “Caspering may be used to end a relationship or linger on without mutual understanding and just for the hollow sake of it. It may affect the receiver deeply with confusion and mistrust which can spill over in future relationships,” explains Kirti Sharma, socio-emotional educator.
Are you getting caspered by people you thought you genuinely connected with? Here’s how to deal with it.
- Understand, it’s a sign of emotional immaturity. Perceive it as a closure itself. Don’t personalise, that it’s something to do with you, it’s not your fault. The more you chase the person, the more you hurt yourself. Give yourself time & build resilience during this time
- If someone is interested in you and the feelings are mutual, then the effort will be equal. Most people are not running away from romantic connection, but they are running away from parts of themselves that they are unwilling to heal. Wish them well and let them go. Acceptance is the path to more self-love and self-respect and acceptance of every situation allows you to connect with your inner self better.
- Remember that every relationship requires action between two people. If someone is not interested in you romantically why to continue to break your heart by waiting for an opportunity to get to know them. Instead of waiting for them to get to know you. Spend your time getting to know yourself. Self-knowledge also means knowing the parts of yourself that make you uncomfortable. When we know ourselves better, we allow our self confidence to increase and deal with such situations better.
- Take this opportunity to increase your self-love. Learn to love your pain and confusion. Emotions are never right or wrong, they simply exist. Learn to respect them. Learn to accept and then release your emotions. This will help you to love yourself ever more.
- Reflect, learn, unlearn, and don’t take anything personally, even dating disasters, every person we meet is helping us find more about ourselves. Quit looking for justification or explanation, instead focus on your inner spiritual confidence.
- Let go of the relationship. Best to be out of it rather than hang in there and keep your hopes going. The world is waiting.
Inputs by Palak Aggarwal, Psychologist and Devina Kaur, motivational author and speaker
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