It’s 2021 and the kids have invented yet another interesting terminology – ghosting. I’ve known that this was a thing long before it hit me. But last year, the repercussions of just what ghosting can do to a person became very apparent in my life. Guys, I’ve been ghosted. It’s not the first time that it’s happened, but it is the first time that it actually bothers me as much as it does. For some background, it wasn’t a lost love or a crush that ghosted me. It was actually one of my best friends.
For anyone reading this and wondering what that means, ghosting is when you suddenly cut off all ties with someone without any explanation. There are obviously many situations in which this is necessary. But regardless of the reason, I’d like to highlight a few negative outcomes for the ‘ghosted’. Since every situation is different, I can only speak about this from my perspective.
Ghosting leaves no room for closure
As of today, it has been exactly 11 months since I last spoke to my friend. I’m not sure if I did something wrong, if she’s gone through something terrible or if our personalities are no longer compatible. They say people come into your life for a season, reason, or a lifetime. But I always assumed that you would know why they left. For many of you reading this, you might be wondering what the big deal is… Well, for someone who needs closure in order to move on, this has been the most painful breakup with a living person thus far. Being ghosted really sucks.
You question your future relationships
Did everyone have that friendship, when growing, up that just seemed perfect? You know what I’m talking about, the friend who you swore to always be besties with? Well, when you think about it in adulthood, a lot of your previous friendships weren’t real. You either shared a hobby, went to the same school or liked the same colour. When you’re older, friendships become about something much deeper. So to have someone ghost you after such an emotional connection will sting, then burn, then destroy your faith in humans. It sounds dramatic, but I’m nearly thirty years old and find it impossible to let anyone in due to past experiences.
Ghosting makes you question your self worth
This is a tricky one for me to put on the internet, but it wouldn’t be an honest post if I didn’t. The thing with close friendships is that you tend to share a significant amount of your life with those you trust. In this process, the bond becomes stronger and your support structure becomes firmer. Now pull a beam from your support structure without replacing it and you have created a breeding ground for a lack of self-confidence. Again, everyone is different and handles life differently, but if you have managed to reach their core and see all of their vulnerabilities, promised to stick around, and then just vanished, that can damage the person emotionally.
As part of the honesty train, I have to admit that I have ghosted a few people before. In my case, I had ghosted guys who I wasn’t quite into but were keen on dating me… I know, I know, not the nicest way to call it quits, but in each circumstance, I was either in a relationship or actively pursuing one. Thinking back, I wonder what kind of damage I caused to each of the people whose names I don’t even remember! Could this be karma?
It leaves a bitter aftertaste
When I was first ghosted, I worried that I had done something to warrant the silence. As time went on, that feeling shifted from concern to annoyance. And after every phone call, text message, email, and social media comment, I got angry. I am the kind of person that avoids confrontation like the plague, but it does tend to add up. All of the unaddressed feelings start to well up in ways that I cannot describe. Every single negative emotion from that relationship suddenly resurfaces. But the thing is until you actually know what went wrong, you just can’t close that door. Does that sound familiar?