Why do we ghost people? I’d say it all boils down to fear. I used to ‘cut and run‘ – or ghost others, when I was afraid of facing the person with whom I need to make closure. My thinking was that once someone stopped hearing from me, they’d figure out that I didn’t want to be friends anymore. I didn’t realize how much that cold, ghosting behavior and thinking would hurt them. I wrote about ghosting a few months ago, in a blog post here: http://rabbicosnowsky.com/weighing-the-actions-of-ghosting-vs-mature-closure/
Now I wonder of what I was so afraid. Maybe I didn’t want to face the painful truth: We weren’t friends, I was just using them. I was young and selfish, and my relationships were transactional instead of personal.
Today I understand that this is not friendship.
Years ago, after I had moved to Nashville to pursue a music career, I made a new friend. She took me under her wing, introduced me to friends, invited me to gatherings I’d never have been able to attend otherwise. She was very good to me. Once I got my sea legs, I didn’t need her anymore but never thanked her for her help. Instead, I just let the friendship fade and hoped I wouldn’t run into her. Immature? Yes, but this was the best I could do at the time.
Years later, our worlds collided and our friendship circles coincided. I understood that I had to make this right with her because I was going to be seeing her a lot more. I called her up and asked her to coffee. There I was able to explain how immature I had been. I finally thanked her for how much her friendship had meant to me at that time.
What I didn’t expect was to receive her wrath.
- It never occurred to me how much pain I had caused her.
- She had felt abandoned, used, and rejected. Certainly that hadn’t been my intention but my ‘ghosting’ had aroused these emotions.
- It took years for her to forgive me. Eventually she did so and we’ve moved on. I am grateful for the insight as to the pain I’ve caused others. It has made me more compassionate toward others when they hurt me. I now understand that they may not realize how their behavior affects others. I learned that they, like me, are on their own journey.
Psychology Today has a great article about ghosting. I found it to be helpful and insightful about this topic. You can find it here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/living-forward/201511/why-ghosting-hurts-so-much
Do you still ghost people? Or have you been ghosted? I’d love to hear about your experiences as well.