The Opposite Of Ghosting

This is a note to self.

I have abandoned chats (even deleted apps like WhatsApp without replying), fled from conversations and faded out of emerging relationships like a fart in strong wind. No notice given, just me cashing in on my perceived right to walk away from anything that ‘stresses’ me or isn’t going the way I want it to.

Am I entitled? Hell, yes. Avoidant too? You already know. And is this such a bad thing? Totally. I’ll explain.

The term ghosting is fairly new, mid-2000s new. Blame social media.

Leaving people hanging (which is what ghosting means) has probably been around since human interaction became a thing. Ancient bad behaviour.

We do it when we don’t see the point in carrying on, when we’re no longer ‘in the mood’, when we want something or someone else, when we can’t be bothered and so on. We just do it.

Easy to do, tough to be done to, ghosting is never fun for the person on the receiving end. It evokes thoughts of abandonment and worthlessness. It has even been considered a form of emotional abuse. Yikes.

How then can this shit be okay?

It’s not, but it’s something we’re naturally prone to doing (which isn’t an excuse, just a perspective).

Ghosting begins as early as childhood, when children pointedly ignore other children they no longer want to be friends with.

But even at that age, some children are decent enough to declare very loudly, “I don’t want to be your friend again!” instead of avoiding eye contact and running away when it’s break time. It still hurts like hell, but at least there’s no confusion.

And that’s the opposite of ghosting: saying something, stating your position in clear terms, admitting that this isn’t what you want, walking away after explaining why you’re leaving.

It may be terribly uncomfortable for both parties involved, but it is honourable and decent and it ultimately makes life easier. I know this for sure.

Listen, when you leave through the front door in broad daylight (as opposed to checking out through the window at midnight), you leave no loose ends, no room for justifiable hatred and no residual drama. It’s done.

You see, ghosts are supposedly restless spirits with unfinished business. Finish your business and you’ll rest.

Yes, that's a photo of me playing a ghost. Use without caution.