Phantom Menace: Why People Ghost Each Other

Why do people ghost each other?

There are several possibilities:

⁃ The person does not care and is incapable of remorse.

⁃ The person does not know how to communicate in a healthy way.

⁃ The person struggles with codependency and doesn’t want to upset anyone.

⁃ The person is at their wits end and has verbalized their feelings with no results

⁃ The person fears there will be nothing to gain from the conversation but stress, pain and feel the conversation will impact their mental health in a negative way.

If the person who ghosted you is incapable of remorse or struggles with communication, consider it a favor. It’s better to learn a person has no remorse by disappearing than being put in a situation that endangers your well being. If a person struggles with communication and they ghosted you, it is for the best, It’s a big issue and if they have shown NO efforts to acknowledge this within themselves, this is always going to be a problem. You can’t have a healthy relationship with poor communication the same way you can’t start a fire under water. It’s just not possible. So, better that they walk away if that’s the case.

With that being said…

I ghost people.

I wasn’t always like this. We all have lived different lives with totally different experiences. I can only speak from what I have learned from mine.

So before you grab your pitchforks, and burn me at the stake, read on.

I was the type of person who would approach people who upset me with hopes of clearing up miscommunication and creating reconciliation.

While I wasn’t the best communicator, I tried my best to list factual information and to give explanations on how those situations made me feel. I never came from a place of malice. I never wanted or intended to hurt anyone. I know I can come off a bit strong, but my goal was always to reach a level of mutual understanding and a solution.

When I would do this, I began to realize people didn’t value me or relationships the way I did. They didn’t care about what I was expressing or my feelings. They could not empathize. They weren’t interested in understanding where I was coming from or putting themselves in my shoes. They weren’t capable of self reflection or taking responsibility for themselves. I was more emotionally invested in our relationship than they were.

They usually became defensive, as well as insulting and would proceed to undermine me. I was met with the famous phrases we all know so well: “You’re crazy, that didn’t happen, you’re so difficult, you’re problematic, you’re a trouble maker, you’re a drama queen, you’re always starting trouble, you’re exaggerating, you’re so sensitive, I was treated like that as a child, it’s no big deal”

Invalidating me was the easier option. Entertaining the mere possibility I was right would mean having to admit their wrongs and mistakes. That is no easy feat, I’ll be the first one to admit it. Their pride and ego was more important to them then the quality of our relationship. That’s the blunt truth. It’s much easier to point the finger at the black sheep and to claim they are looking for trouble again.

Here are the sad facts: 9 out of 10 people will always be who they are now and will never change. Even if they do, it will be for them, not you. Also, as they get older, it rarely improves and usually will get worse.

Confronting someone who has hurt you and invalidated you is a huge threat to your mental health. You’re not supposed to put yourself in situations that threaten your mental health. You’re supposed to be protecting yourself from situations that can do that to you. We are the ones responsible for keeping ourselves healthy.

If you’re confronting someone who’s behavior demonstrates apathy, doesn’t take you seriously, undermines you, doesn’t respect you, makes fun of you, mocks you, invalidates you, makes less of your accomplishments, treats you like you’re inferior to them, insults you, doesn’t admit their faults, doesn’t have an open mind or isn’t able to shift their perspective, you put yourself at risk of being severally drained, emotionally abused, manipulated and hurt. This sort of treatment erodes your self esteem and can discourage you from wanting to speak your mind in the future. It may even cause you to potentially spiral into a breakdown.

How is that fair? Why even do that? To consider someone else’s feelings? What do you gain from that? Because it’s the “right” thing to do? What behavior has ever been displayed by this person to indicate that they prioritize your feelings, take you seriously and respect you?

Screw that. If ghosting protects your mental health, go for it with no guilt. It’s our responsibility and job to protect and prioritize our emotional, spiritual and mental state. NO one comes before that. I will keep repeating that until the day I die because some people do not believe they deserve to prioritize themselves. It’s a tragedy.

I’m not running a charm school here. No one is paying me to teach ethics, morals and values. This isn’t grade school. It’s not my job to teach people how to behave, teach people where they went wrong and how they were disrespectful.

We are not responsible for the mental health and feelings of other people. We are not responsible for making them understand. We are not responsible for soothing and comforting the egos of others.

Being upset, angry, and resentful is all a part of the human experience.

If they are upset, they can do what I do. Journal, go for a run, practice a coping skill, do something productive and healthy. They can make the decision to see a therapist like I did. They can choose to take responsibility for themselves like I did.

In terms of the dating world, I’m kind of on the fence.

I think if you date someone and the relationship is no longer healthy, there is the need to express it is over.

This should be done with tact, respect and empathy and compassion. Breakups can be really horrific and devastating.

However…

You should not have to baby a person, you should not have to continue to express why, you should not have to explain your feelings over and over again. You should not feel responsible for their actions, because you have no control over what they choose to do.

This person has every right to hate you, resent you, want to gouge your eyes out.

Again, however…

They aren’t allowed to emotionally dump or overwhelm you, they aren’t allowed to disrespect you, they aren’t allowed to call you a million times when you made it clear you don’t want to speak. They aren’t allowed to curse you out or call you names. You aren’t responsible for saving them from themselves.

The codependent part of us feels the need to play savior out of guilt and to people please. We don’t want people to hate us. We want to be liked by everyone.

Here’s the thing: You can’t control what people think of you and if you’re consumed with the fear of disappointing others or being disliked, it is also very likely that you’ll find yourself back in that relationship all over again.

You’ll put your own needs on the back burner. You’ll grow resentful. Then the whole process starts all over again and it usually gets uglier as the cycle proceeds.

This is another reason why many people ghost each other.

They know there is the potential for drama and they don’t want to deal with the stress of it. They don’t want to be responsible for the happiness of someone else, rightfully so. That’s draining and again, not your job.

That may sound fucked up, and it’s something I know would’ve made me irate years ago if someone had said it to me, but, a person has the right to leave you if they are unhappy.

Just because they hurt you does not mean that they are obligated to be your punching bag. Even if you feel they deserve it, you’re supposed to be processing your emotions in ways that are healthy and that don’t put you or the people in your life in danger. Treating this person like shit isn’t going to make you feel better. It’s not going to improve the quality of your life. It’s not going to make the pain go away. You can’t prioritize yourself the way you’re supposed to and you will never heal or move on if you’re fixated on another person.

They were not happy with the situation and they’ve decided this is what’s best for them. All we can do is respect that, let go and move forward.

Crying, begging, pleading does nothing but pressure a person out of pity and guilt to cater to you when they just told you they don’t want you. When you are forced to do something, you get spiteful. You’re not living for you. You’re living to create happiness for another human being and that is an exhausting and impossible task.

When you speak your truth, you run the risk of hurting others and that sucks. That’s not a good enough reason to live dishonestly though. We don’t choose an authentic life to make others happy. It’s a choice we make because that’s the only way you can live truly fulfilled. All you can do is to try your best to always come from a place of love, kindness, warmth and compassion while being mindful of your boundaries.

I have been on both sides of the coin here.

So…

If you are the one that has been ghosted, I’m sorry. There’s no way around it. It’s very, very painful.

Know that the situation is not reflective of your self worth and your worthiness of love.

“You do not have to earn love. You are lovable because you exist” – Louise Hay

For whatever reason, you’re not meant to continue your journey with this person. You were not meant to evolve in the same direction. You have your own path, wants and needs to cater to and they have their own.

Understand that people, whether it be by death or other circumstances, always come with an expiration date. We don’t own anyone. No one is promised to us for a lifetime. Appreciate what was good and then learn to let go.

A cool friend once advised me to ask myself this question consistently:

“What do I need to learn from this experience in order to evolve?”

This person was your teacher and the experience was the lesson. Learn from it, because if not, you will keep attracting situations where you’re in the same dilemma all over again. What you don’t learn, you will repeat.

Allow yourself to feel the entire spectrum of emotions. Allow yourself to be mad. Allow yourself to be angry, allow yourself to cry. Don’t camp out there though.

Someone told me Beyoncé gives herself 24 hours to be sad, then does what she has to do to proceed with her life. I like that. She’s allowing herself to process. She’s not repressing. She’s also showing herself love by going through the motions of life. She knows you have two choices. You can sit at home, cry and feel sorry for yourself, or you can do things that make you feel empowered.

I watch Teal Swan’s videos on YouTube. I mentioned her a lot. She frequently influences and inspires me. She quoted something regarding happiness that was so powerful to me.

“You want to be happy? Stop seeking and chasing happiness. Accept the present moment. Live in present. Seek relief. Relief brings release. We either pick relief or stress. We pick what makes us feel better, or what makes us feel worse”- Teal Swan

Write this quote down. Put it on the wall. Put it on the lock screen of your phone. It is life changing. It’s said that living in the past and the future is self hatred. When you live by this quote, it forces you to be present. It forces you to love, prioritize and cater to yourself completely. You’re creating a life of happiness without even realizing you’re doing so. Things start to feel effortless.

Treat yourself the way you would your very best friend or child. Honor yourself. Do the things you love. Do the things you loved to do as a child. Develop hobbies. Listen to positive affirmations. Listen to music. Dance. Write. Validate yourself. Accept yourself.

So then, if you ever find yourself being ghosted in the future, you can say this to yourself:

“This person’s behavior demonstrates that for personal reasons they chose not to share, they wish to be left alone. They come first in their lives, the way I come first in mine. If they feel it’s best to go our separate ways, it’s my job to move on. I need to respect and come to terms with that. I am responsible for continuing to make myself the focal point of my life. I, more than ever, need to take the best physical, mental and emotional care of myself possible. My job is to try my best to fall into alignment and to avoid things and people that pull me out of it”

Don’t demand closure. Closure is a hoax. Those who talk the talk but aren’t walking the walk are being honest with you through their actions. Enough said.

Instead, practice self love and self acceptance. Recite positive affirmations. Release the emotions. Release resistance. Let go. Practice gratitude. Stay in the present moment.

Until next time ✌🏽

2 thoughts on “Phantom Menace: Why People Ghost Each Other

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s