The Psychological Effects Drawn from an Inability to Have a Hard Conversation.
In the digital age of swiping left or right to filter through our likes and dislikes ghosting has become commonplace. A term used when someone decides after a couple of months of dating or being friends to stop replying to you. They just delete you from their life with no explanation. It’s harsh, it’s rude, and it indicated a lack of skill to handle a confrontation.
If you’ve ever been ghosted you know terrible it feels. Sure it’s the easy route for the ghoster, but it is done without any consideration for the thoughts and feelings of the other individual being ghosted. Zero thought about the panic and worry it brings into the receiver’s life. They think they’ve done something wrong, and are offered no explanation. This leads to over annalizing the situation and reaching out to no avail, maybe too much. They are seeking closure and approval from someone who has no social skills on how to handle a hard conversation.
Ghosting has been linked to suicide and depression. The ghoster has created an unhealthy problem in someone out of their own inability to communicate.
Ghosting is Passive Aggressive
Ending any relationship is tough. Even when both parties know it’s time, having that conversation is challenging. The idea to just disappear from someone’s life is a cop-out and we all know it. The other person deserves closure.
As a society, we are not accustomed to being uncomfortable. We don’t like to work hard for the things we want, like a great job, a happy relationship, a beautiful home. We want what we want now and see everything (and worse!) everyone as disposable. So when situations come up where we are forced to face the music of our life it’s easier to just run away.
This is always an option. But know it’s the option of those who have determined that others’ lives, feelings, and emotions are not worthy of closure. A ghoster is telling you that they are not capable, and it has little if anything to do with the receiver.
Getting Comfortable with Hard Conversations
If you want any kind of long-term success in your life you must get comfortable with hard conversations.
If you want to be seen and loved then you must be willing to be seen and loved.
This takes you being open to vulnerability and trusting that others can handle those hard moments too. Walking away from a relationship, a job, a friend, without any explanation is a deeper reflection on you. And you are willingly leaving the other open to hard emotional doubt.
Simon Sinek talks about how we are raising a generation of humans who have been taught to value money over people. How we are sending them into the workplace with no communication skills that all leaders need to succeed. Skills like the ability to have a hard conversation instead of walking away.
Anybody you know who has good friends, a happy marriage, or a job they love got there because they stuck with it, and chose to work through hard moments.
I’m not talking about staying with an abuser or making things work at a toxic job or with a toxic human. I’m talking about showing respect for another being.
You Are Not Alone
The first time I heard the term “ghosted” a flood of emotion came over me. I finally understood what I was going through when a long-time friend disappeared from my life. I found myself focusing on what I could have done or said to deserve this odd form of abuse. I questioned whether I deserved it and settled on that I did. I let their silence eat away at my self-worth and started to see myself as less than. I ended up giving this person free rent in my mind until they became a central part of my daily spiral about why I wasn’t good enough.
I was confused, sad, angry, and powerless.
I felt like a friend had died, yet I continued to see them living their best life on social media. I had to work through this grief. Coming to realize that the real grief was that I gave my power to an old relationship instead of fueling my energy towards all the good that surrounded me.
Working through emotions
The hardest part for me was that this was someone I trusted and loved for many years. I was hurt that they thought I wasn’t mature enough to handle a conversation they didn’t want to have. It took me years to see that it was them who couldn’t handle saying goodbye, not me.
If you have been ghosted you understand how this can trigger your own personal beliefs about worth and can leave you seeking acceptance from someone proven to be unworthy of your time and attention.
Ghosting has deep-rooted effects on how we function as a society and what is considered natural and normal. It is up to us to have the courage to have these hard conversations so we can recognize when relationships, jobs, and friends, are worthy of our time and attention. Having hard conversations benefits everyone. It gives everyone an opportunity to grow and learn. Ghosting does none of that and leaves everyone involved feeling unfulfilled.
Knowing Your Worth
Being ghosted by someone I love sucked. But ultimately it taught me a lot about self-worth. I am capable of hard conversations, and I love myself enough to know that anyone who sees me as disposable has no room in my life.
You are worthy of healthy positive relationships too. I don’t care how long someone has been in your life. If they treat you as an option to be ghosted then you deserve better.
You have the choice in every moment to take the coward’s way out or do what’s right and embrace those hard moments. For they are what define you as a person of worth. You have so much potential inside of you that shouldn’t be wasted on questioning what you will never know from a ghoster. Move along, and find those who want to dig deep into the soil of life and live with meaning. One that is messy with love, vulnerability, and trust.
Breathing Through the Emotions
Breathwork is my tool for success. I can handle hard moments because I’ve learned to step back and breathe. Give yourself an opportunity to pause and be the moment. Don’t hit delete on another human. Take a deep breath and state your truth. It will do wonders for your confidence.
And to the ghosters of the world, I encourage you to try again. To do better. To expect more of yourself and the relationships you foster. For how you treat another says more about you than it does about them.