The Art of Ghosting

Ghosting: a true art form that has the power for serious destruction. In my experience, ghosting can come in many contexts: romantic relationships, friendships, or even family. But its consequences are the same: it always ends with someone getting hurt.

I have done my fair share of ghosting and I’ve had several people ghost me. From personal experience, it doesn’t feel good to both do the ghosting and have the ghosting done to you. It’s pretty obvious how ghosting feels, but the true question still remains: why do we ghost?

Upon some small self-reflection, I thought about how ghosting is just the laziest way to end something with someone. Ghosting requires minimal effort and does some of the most harm out of all breakup methods. It leaves people with too many unanswered questions and zero closure.

Felicity Warner

I also thought about why I ghosted people. Was it just laziness? No. It was a terrible combination of self-destructive behavior, fear of intimacy, and fear of being uncomfortable. This combination created and spawned my usage of the ghosting method.

The most important part of this combination was my fear of being uncomfortable. I hated the idea of making someone upset and knew, in turn, that it would make me upset. I avoided all responsibility and decided to leave without any warning and any communication. Really, this was an easy decision. It was the easy route to take; however, it was a cowardly move on my part.

I have no desire to hurt other people's feelings, so that's why I personally ghosted. However, I am not the only person on this earth who ghosts, and I am certainly not the only person who is ghosted. So, my question of why people ghost still remains.

I looked into the idea of why people ghost and found a fantastic article by the New York Times about why people ghost, the effects of ghosting, how to actively stop yourself from ghosting people, and how to get over being ghosted by someone else.

Photo by Kelli McClintock on Unsplash

According to Dr. Gili Freedman, a student of the language of rejections at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, one’s likelihood of ghosting is dependent on their “destiny beliefs.” For instance, a person who believes in soulmates and “the one” is more likely to ghost because they decide very quickly whether or not someone is their soulmate or “the one.” If they decide that person is not their soulmate or not “the one,” they will just leave and move on to the next possibility without an explanation. This is because they are so hyper-focused on finding that perfect match, that soulmate connection.

I do not believe in soulmates or “the one” and never have. I simply believe that there are some people out there that we get along with better than others. However, I do have very high expectations and standards when it comes to guys, which is possibly where my “destiny beliefs” have popped up before causing me to ghost. I tend to know instantly whether I am going to really like someone, and if I do not feel that connection immediately, I find it very easy to leave and sometimes ghost without any explanation.

Like previously mentioned, I have also been ghosted, and it is an awful situation to deal with because you are left with so many unanswered questions. The worst part of being ghosted is that you tend to feel like the problem. At least that's how I've felt after being ghosted. I have asked myself questions like: “was I too annoying?” or “am I not pretty enough?” or “did he find someone better?”

The most important lesson I took away from this New York Times article is that when you are ghosted, it says way more about that person’s emotional unavailability than it says about your character or looks. Honestly, it is all about their emotional unavailability, and you should not start to doubt yourself when you are ghosted. The person who ghosted you most likely has trouble expressing their emotions or dealing with uncomfortable situations. To be blunt, they are cowardly. I acted cowardly when I ghosted people.

Clearly, ghosting is not the best breakup method. In fact, I would rank it as one of the worst methods. I am trying to actively not ghost because I now know that it leaves people with doubts about themselves. Instead, I am trying to be upfront and honest in all my romantic pursuits, friendships, and relationships with family members.

If you have been ghosted, know that it says nothing about you and everything about them. And, if you ghost, try to make a genuine effort to be more upfront and honest with people instead of leaving without explanation. Trust me, it's worth it.

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