Mental Health

GHOSTING – Self Preservation Or Just Rude?

Ghosting – is it just plain rude and cruel behaviour on the part of the ghoster, or sometimes simply an act of self preservation? The jury is out on this one.

Yes, I do think there are situations when ghosting might be seen as cowardly, or damaging, especially within a relationship or long-term friendship, when the ghosted person really has no idea why it has happened, and therefore can never get closure.

But even text-based, casual friendships sometimes need a drastic course of action when your immediate response to each missive you get from a certain person, is Oh For F***Sake.

Ghosting in this context is the practice of ending a relationship or friendship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.

Generally speaking, I like sending and receiving texts. To me, they are mini conversations, and being a bit of a grammar nerd, my texts are all spell checked and there are commas and full stops in all the correct places.

I try to be polite and write to the person as I would speak to them if they were in front of me. But I appreciate not everyone is like me, and just as my friends have different personalities, their writing style reflects those differences.

I have several text only friends. Friends who I’ve never even met, and friends who I’ve only met a few times, all of whom I maintain a connection with via regular messages. Most of these are men, and each of their texts holds interest and sparks an exchange of good natured views and opinions.  Some are helpful, some are instructive, some are humorous, and some are just daily banter about their day-to-day adventures. I smile at the end of reading them and reply happily.

Except one.  Yes one man who texts me daily, actually provokes the above mentioned FFS reaction, to his texts. Every.  Single. Time.  And I’m at the end of my ghosting tether before I put a glove on him!

 GHOSTING – Self Preservation Or Just Rude?

Bizarrely, in person, he’s perfectly pleasant, and polite, if a little old fashioned, but his texts are childish, cringey and worse of all, littered with spelling mistakes, and CAPITAL LETTERS which SHOUT at me, bang in the middle of a line of lower case letters.

His use of emojis is inappropriate to our friendship, and for no apparent reason my red flag radar goes onto high alert when I see the red lipstick sign-off, and the final word, which is usually ‘behave’.  As if I’m a naughty child.

Previously when I have asked him to reign it in, and nicely explained why his texts are quite inappropriate, he replies ……’’You have know sense of hummer’’ (humour) …..arghhhh!

On giving it thought, maybe he is right, but none of his communications brings anything of value or substance to me, only irritation, and try as I might, I just can’t ignore it any longer.

Am I being unreasonable, or shouldn’t I just ignore it and accept that’s his texting style? But what’s the point of that?

Ghosting for reasons other than ending relationships appears to be far more common than I first thought, and reading other people’s experiences during my research, I can sympathise with the ghoster and the ghosted alike, and their feelings in both cases are perfectly understandable.

Is it reasonable to ghost your best friend if she has an affair with your husband?  Yes, I’d say so.

Should you ghost a guy you met last night, when he asks for a picture of you in your undies the very next day, – definitely.

But where does ghosting leave someone who may suffer confidence issues or someone who believes they are one half of a never-ending love story or maybe a long-distance romance?  The effect on them could be devastating.

Without being given an explanation or a reason for why you are stopping the communication, the ghosted will feel they’ve done something wrong, but have no idea what it is and for some, the long-term effect could be quite damaging.

So, am I about to do my very first bit of ghosting?  Well after carefully advising Mr Irritating that I’m taking some time away from my phone, as it’s occupying far too much of my time, and becoming mildly addictive I won’t be texting him, or reading or responding to his texts for a while. I more or less said, stop texting me, without actually saying, stop texting me.

So guess what……….they still keep on coming. I have 6 unread messages from him, he’s not getting the hint, and my finger is hovering over the blocking button!

It’s a topic that will divide opinion and be influenced by any experiences you may have of it, also every circumstance is unique which may justify different actions.  All things considered, I’d say, if you’re the one thinking about ghosting someone, try only doing it as last resort.  Consider how it may affect them.  It’s always best for all parties to end any kind of relationship on good terms although this isn’t always possible.  Ghosting may actually be the safest option if you feel threatened.

If you’re the one that’s been ghosted, however hard it may be to accept you just have to acknowledge that it wasn’t meant to be and playing the blame game won’t help.  They had their reasons that for whatever reason were perhaps unwilling to share.  Feelings of injustice, insecurity, anger and bitterness may prevail but if they persist they could sabotage you from finding a person that IS right for you.  So dust yourself down and move on.


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