Living Ghosts

The act of ghosting was first outed on social media platforms last year but although the name is new the deed is as old as time and has been haunting many people for a long while.

Initially the term was applied to Millennials doing the rounds on the dating circuit or involved in short term romantic connections but it’s been adapted across the board to include just about everybody in any given situation-with the word now in-vogue.

So- just what is ghosting?

It’s when someone abruptly ends a friendship or any other relationship without explanation and disappears from your life.

The more old fashioned term is rejection which ultimately results in the severing of ties with another person.

In the dating context many millennials are unfriended and disconnected from social media platforms by people they thought were friends or even potential mates leaving them confused and angry.

It’s as if the guilty party never existed –or those they ghosted ceased to exist- thus the name.

Of course the shallow nature of social media supports this behaviour as people become just another
number on a face-book friends page serving more as a prop for someone else’s self-worth.

Individuals are viewed as disposal and it does seem human interaction is becoming less human.

Now let’s hear from some ghosts who’ve ghosted others;

Actress Charlize Theron was reported to have stopped responding to actor Sean Penn’s calls and messages- so it can be safely said she ghosted him.

Another actress and avid twitter user who claimed to have dated a man for three months admitted her own youth, fear and insecurity led to her telling him that her grandmother had died and froze him out.

It wasn’t exactly a lie but a misrepresentation as her Gran had died three months earlier.

When he turned up at her place she pretended she wasn’t there and never responded to him or made contact again.

Another couple had a heated argument prompting the partner to ghost his boyfriend saying:

I knew there were things about myself I couldn’t fix that were making him angry- so I deserted.

He had already been contemplating a move to another city and the argument prompted him to leave earlier.

Finally- he blocked his former partner on social media and on his cell-phone.

Another real-life situation involved a business owner and his associate and best friend who turned up for work one morning to find the premises barred-up and the bird flown.

Not only was he shocked to find himself instantaneously without a job but had to hear through the grapevine that his former colleague and family had emigrated without so much as a goodbye.

And just in case you think these occurrences are rare- according to reports eighty percent of millennials claim to have experienced ghosting at least once in the course of their dating lives.

In any event this phenomenon has been gathering speed on the internet with people relating their own versions of the ghost in the tale.

Bear in mind there’s a difference between the normal drifting apart associated with friendships over time or under changed circumstances compared with deliberate ghosting.

In social settings ghosting most likely happened because someone took offence at something- be it the political, religious or social views of another without making their strong objections known.

Or it could have been spurred by some personal disagreement or dissatisfaction-and the offended party walks through the door- permanently.

Remember those who ghost are essentially cowards who choose avoidance over resolution.

Whatever the details of the ghosting experience there is a common theme to all of them.

Those who ghost create living ghosts in the minds of their victims who’re haunted by these memories in perpetuity for whom closure will always be a thing of the past especially in more severe cases.

But let’s keep a positive note- here’s how you can protect yourself when you’ve been ghosted.

First- acknowledge you’re angry and upset then strive to get over it.

Be kind to yourself- you’re entitled to feel the way you do.

Talk about it- this will facilitate acceptance more quickly.

Carry on with the routine of your normal life- don’t brood too much and disconnect from others.

Try and realize the person who ghosted you thought it was the right thing to do- even though they’re clearly wrong.

When you’re ready let it go.