Ghost Stories: The strange new phenomenon

The What

Ghosting, for those of you lucky few that haven’t yet experienced it, is having someone that you believe cares for you, disappear from contact without any explanation at all.  No call, no email, no text. This also usually takes form of ignoring you and not responding to any attempts at all in communication.  This wholly unpleasant phenomenon usually occurs when the guy or girl in question is trying to avoid conflict, so rather than having an upfront, honest, adult conversation about why things aren’t working out, they just vanish.  If you are a new comer to this ghosting idea, that means you have most likely never done this to another person, so congratulations, you’re awesome!  Take a quick second to pat yourself on the back because you are a decent human being.

The How

It’s not easy to wrap your head around why someone would cease all communication and pretend you don’t exist- At best it’s mega frustrating, at worst it’s a huge hit to your self esteem.  For many people ghosting can result in a feeling of being disrespected, used or disposed.  Go ahead and take all, if any romantics away, to have a great connection with a new friend and then all of a sudden never hear from them again?  It’s very painful and disappointing.  No one deserves that type of treatment.  This disregard of your feelings is insulting and the lack of closure is maddening.  The only thing worse than being broken up with, is knowing you weren’t worth the time.  Whats even worse?  No matter how hard we try to forget them, we always want to know more about the people who permanently cut us out of their lives suddenly and without explanation.


The Why

There are many reasons why a person would choose to ghost, but at it’s core, ghosting is avoidance and often stems from fear of conflict. Which means at its heart, that ghosting is about wanting to avoid confrontation, avoid difficult conversations, and possibly even avoid hurting someone’s feelings. The problem is, it gives you no cue for how to react.  You couldn’t know how to react because you don’t really know what happened.  It’s almost like receiving the silent treatment, it renders you powerless and leaves you with no opportunity to ask questions or be provided information that would help you emotionally process the experience.  So regardless of the ghosts intent, ghosting is a passive-aggressive form of emotional cruelty.  Looking through the lens of a coward, passive withdrawal from friendship or dating seems like the easiest and nicest route… until it’s done to you.

The big take away: Moving forward

The important thing to remember is if you’re thoughtful and considerate and someone still ghosts you, it’s not about you.  It says nothing about your worthiness for love and everything about the person doing the ghosting.  It’s because they have issues they need to work on, were too afraid to have the conversation or did not think they had the responsibility to tell you why they wished to stop communicating.  It shows that he/she doesn’t have the courage to deal with the discomfort of their emotions or yours, and they either don’t understand the impact of their behavior or worse don’t care.  Be the better person, retain your dignity and let him/her go peacefully.  Know that if you are someone who treats people with respect and integrity then a ghoster simply wasn’t on your wavelength.  In the words of Belle & Sebastian “hovering silence from you is a giveaway”.  And so we decide to let the ghosts haunt someone else.  And if you are a ghost reading this, take a minute to think it through before you POOF.