“Ghosting” is one of those terms that is frequently used in relation to dating, but few people realise that it happens in relation to friends, old and new, and acquaintances, too.
For those who have been living under a rock for the past umpteen years, “ghosting” is the act of going no contact on someone. It means to disappear off of their radar, completely and without any warning. It means to leave text messages/IMs without a reply, not answer calls or keep to meet-ups – simply put, if you “ghost”, then you cease to exist in that person’s life.
For me, there are three reasons I ghost people. We’ll start with the strongest, and go from there.
First of all, the ghostee has offended me. It could be something glaringly obvious like a d*ck pic, or it could be some thoughtless remark about my husband, my life or my family. Unless I’ve asked for your opinion, I don’t want your opinion. Please don’t make a conversation awkward and uncomfortable with a personal slight.
Secondly, let me be honest, they’re f*cking boring. I completely understand that life is not one big party and nor do I expect it to be, but when they have no drive, no ambition, no hobbies or interests.. I’m done. If they’re too serious and don’t have a whiff of humour about them, I’m out. It’s not that it’s personal, it’s not that they’re a bad or evil person, we just don’t vibe. I know that life can be a crock of sh*t, but I use humour to stop it getting me down and I don’t want anyone else to drag me down with them. It’s a lot easier to disconnect myself from that person’s life than it is to offend them by telling them that they’re boring me, or worse, depressing me. That’s kind of a d*ck move which is probably going to result in them avoiding me, anyway.
Finally, and probably the most common one, is because we’ve grown apart. Okay, this one is always hard because humans are adverse to change and the familiarity of BFFs is a lot safer than the scary task of finding a new group to bond with. Sometimes, very occasionally, we find a human that we bond with, and that is meant to be in our life and for the long haul (Usually we call that marriage, but my point besides). More often, we find a buddy that was only meant to be there for a few months or years. That happens, it’s life, and it’s nobody’s fault. I think it’s a lot easier for all parties if we accept that people are living their own lives and focus on living our own life than it is if we cling to them and mope on that we haven’t seen them in a while. If you care that much, drop them a text and ask what’s going on. Best case scenario, you catch up that afternoon.
In the first case, I don’t feel guilty for going no contact, and neither should you. Obviously, if it’s someone close like a family member or a partner, then cutting them out is going way overboard and you should probably just talk to them instead, but if it’s someone you hardly see, or better yet have never met, ditch them! Your live is too short to allow boundless negativity in it.
Boring people are a harder pill to swallow because sometimes I do feel guilty for blocking or avoiding them. Dealing with boring people takes a little bit more effort; the effort not to engage and seem interested. Don’t divulge your latest news or favourite restaurant or hobbies to them, that’s inviting conversation, conversation you want to have with someone who has the same enthusiasm that you do. Boring people can’t change who they are, they need to be allowed to discover themselves and their own zest for life at their own pace. You can’t make them not boring, you just have to decide whether their lack of excitement and enthusiasm is something you’re prepared to put up with.
Old friends and acquaintances… yes, it hurts, but you know what? Life happens. I had a friend for 20 years and we no longer talk. It wasn’t a big ugly bust up as such, she just discovered that I was on Facebook after I blocked her, so I emailed her and we tried our friendship again. Then, in spite of her begging me to have her back, she remained too busy to respond to my messages and so I decided that she needed to go for good. That happens. See my point about old friends above? I don’t believe that all of your friends are meant to be in your life forever, after all, there would be no room for new ones!
I know some people say that ghosting is in really bad tastes and disrespectful and you should explain your decision to people. I disagree, unless it’s a long friendship or someone you see regularly, your desire to move on to bigger and better things should be only of your personal interests. After all, time you spend, thinking and explaining could be time spent living – for both of you!
So don’t be afraid to ghost. Ghost for your own personal happiness, your prosperity, your time and your freedom. Heck, ghost me if you want to, it’s happened plenty of times before because apparently I talk too much. Sure it hurts, but I get over it, and so will the next person, and the next one, and so on.
Happy ghosting, everyone!