Why Ghosting Is So Damaging…
I’m hearing a lot about Ghosting and have experienced it a little myself and it’s not nice at all!
When did we all become so incapable of communicating? Of speaking our truth, feeling fear and doing it anyway?
Ghosting, also known as simmering or icing, is a colloquial term which describes the practice of ending all communication and contact with another person without any apparent warning or justification and subsequently ignoring any attempts to reach out
One of the worst things about Ghosting, is the complete lack of responsibility from the person doing it. Justifying the act by telling ourselves that we are doing it to be kind and to save someone’s feelings. When the reality is, it’s most likely due to a lack of courage.
Having the courage to be honest and to speak our truth, even if that means someone is going to think bad of you, not like you as much, or be upset with you, is much kinder than leaving someone questioning.
GHOSTING leaves people delving into their wounds, trying to work out which insecurity it was that got them rejected, second guessing themselves and creating more insecurities for future relationships. This can be an on going cycle for months, maybe even years, all for the sake of a single conversation.
YES the truth hurts BUT once you know the truth you can work on accepting it, processing it and eventually letting it go.
How can someone move through the healing journey from acceptance to letting go, if they don’t even know what it is they are accepting? How can they learn, adapt, and protect themselves for the future? How can they be secure and move on with confidence, if there is a question mark around their insecurities? An unknowing. A lack of clarity?
Really when we are not communicating our truth, the only one we are trying to protect is ourselves.
Our judgement of another person not being able to handle our truth is quite insulting and disrespectful. Who are we to determine if someone can ‘handle’ the truth, or if they are ‘strong enough’ to process it? Who is our silence really benefiting?
If you have Ghosted someone or thinking about it, remember it’s ok to reject someone. Feeling rejection isn’t the nicest feeling but it is normal, and it is ok.
It’s something we have all experienced and will again in the future. We can’t be for everyone, and everyone can’t be for us. Yes, our egos will feel a little bruised and for some of us, it may trigger some deep emotional wounds. But the more we embrace rejection and see it as a normal thing, the less power it has. The less shame we will feel, and the less fearful we will be of it.
The more we run and hide from things, the more difficult they feel to hold. Practicing saying NO, to someone, helps us grow by honouring our wants and needs. It doesn’t make you a bad person, and by having the courage to share and express our boundaries, we will likely inspire others to do the same.
Someone saying NO to you doesn’t mean you are not good enough, or unworthy. It just means that the other person is looking for a different type of person, and for reasons we have no idea about. Maybe you are perfect for them, but they have more healing to do and don’t even realise, WHO KNOWS!
But it’s not YOUR job to know. To change their mind and it ISN'T a reflection on you. Honestly… IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!
For those that have an Avoidant Attachment Style, it may be quite difficult to face an uncomfortable situation and talk about feelings, which is why Ghosting may be your preferred way of ending relationships (intimate or otherwise). It seems easier, less dramatic and takes less effort, so why not save you both the hassle right? Unfortunately in most cases avoiding things, gives them more power, and in the long run, will be more dramatic and harder for both involved. Things may get pushed down or put in a box but it is still there, waiting for the perfect opportunity to rise up, it never actually disappears. Perhaps for you, it may be a good idea to write down your feelings and express them in letter form rather than face to face. Maybe ask a friend to write it for you as you talk or spend some time alone to reflect first. If you find it difficult to access genuine words/emotions meditation can help you quiet the mind and dig deeper. As scary as that may sound (or as boring), practice this and each time it will become a little easier. There is an opportunity for you to grow here, which will result in the quality of your LIFE and RELATIONSHIPS improving.
For those with more Anxious Attachment Styles like myself, Ghosting may feel completely alien and very difficult to understand. Remembering to not take other people’s actions personally and holding yourself in high regard with your self-worth firmly in place, is likely to be your lesson in life. Maybe using these situations as opportunities to heal and grow.
Compassionately reflecting on these situations, being kinder to yourself and loving on YOU, rather than putting energy into understanding why someone did or don't do something.
Keep in mind there is a difference between Ghosting someone and cutting someone out of your life. When you communicate that you no longer what someone in your life and the reasons why you feel this way. You have every right to cut them out and not return their calls/messages and or block them. You are setting a firm boundary that you decided you needed and the other person has no other choice but to accept this.
Please also note that if someone is abusive/manipulative and you believe that by having a open conversation with them, you may be putting yourself in danger or in a vulnerable situation, that may lead you to go back on decisions you've made for yourself (boundaries you have set), it is likely that communication with that person is NOT the answer. You could always write a letter or ask for support from a third party and express your feelings that way.
If you have already been Ghosted and are looking for closure, as hard as this may sound.
You already have all the information you need to know, and that is that they Ghosted you…
They didn’t have the mental strength or the emotional maturity at the time, to have an open and honest conversation with you and with that, they were likely to not be the best person to have a relationship with.
Relationships need respectful, honest, and open communication to be healthy and thrive. There is no compromise on this; Avoidance, inauthenticity, and lack of intimacy is NOT sustainable.
As hard as it is, try to remind yourself; you most likely had a lucky escape, from someone who isn’t in the right pace to have a healthy relationship. Or worse lacks decency and respect for people, unless they are getting something out of it.
If you would like to practice your communication skills I highly recommend Non Violent Communication. NVC will help you express yourself in a kind and compassionate way and leave you feeling like you have honoured your needs and others.
Sending you all love & healing
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