Ghosting Is Emotional Abuse And Our Generation Needs To Stop Doing It

Ghosting Is Emotional Abuse And Our Generation Needs To Stop Doing It

This idea that you make plans and just follow through on them? How genius.
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Sometimes I think about what the world was like before cell phones and social media.

I’ll give those of you who didn’t realize there was a time before a moment to regain a normal breathing pattern...

But seriously, before Google Maps and Instagram filters. Before there was an App for that. Before...

There was a little something called accountability.

I’ll repeat that for those in the back who may not have heard it the first time: accountability.

Now, let’s define this foreign term. Drumroll, please...

As good ol’ Merriam-Webster says, it’s, “the quality or state of being accountable; especially: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions”.

Let’s dissect that a moment. An obligation or willingness.

Obligation is intriguing here because it implies that there’s an innate sense of duty and willingness, which is equally as fascinating because it refers to a voluntariness.

With that in mind, I’d like to talk about a phenomenon that has become so normal these days that there’s actually a word for it.

















Ghosting.

Now, since we’re in the habit of defining things, let’s do so.

For this, we have to refer to the ultimate guide for all terms modern and colloquial: Urban Dictionary. They define ghosting as, “The act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date. This is done in hopes that the ghostee will just "get the hint" and leave the subject alone, as opposed to the subject simply telling them he/she is no longer interested”.

Well, there you have it, the modern appropriation of a word that used to refer to the appearance of an apparition on a television or other type of screen like in “The Ring.”

That’s OK, though, it weirds me out a little that the thought of this concept had occurred frequently enough that a term had to be created for it.

Anyway, let’s talk about ghosting and how it might relate to our earlier definition of accountability. For this, we might need to go back in time again.

Speaking with my mom I was able to get more of a handle on the mysterious days before cell phones, specifically, when it came to social interaction. Social interactions here are referring to both romantic and platonic.

Apparently, this time was after dinosaurs had gone extinct, just for your reference.

Back to our conversation, let’s start with dating. It seems that plans were made either in person, on the phone (you know, the type with the cord attached to a base), in a letter or through the grapevine.







There would be an agreed upon time and an agreed-upon place and apparently, the two parties would just show up. And if one party did not show up it was because they were standing up the other party and were, therefore, a schmuck, there was an emergency or that person was straight up dead somewhere.

Doesn’t that sound crazy simple? Well, as simple as dating can be, anyway. This idea that you make plans and just follow through on them? How genius.

No Snapchatting about it, no texting memes back and forth. It’s just assumed that after both parties agree, it’ll just happen. The lead-up and execution seem so maddeningly simple.

And isn’t it crazy how accountability like that sounds crazy?

Enough about that, let’s get to the good part, the reason we’re all here. The main event.







Ghosting.

Now, sometimes people just don’t click, sometimes people look better and sound better in their profiles than they do in real life. Sometimes when you’re in the very beginning stages of dating with one person, another option comes along that you can’t pass up.

Sometimes you find that you’re not ready for an emotional commitment. And sometimes, life gets busy, and you forget to respond to someone.

It happens. Life happens.

But something that doesn’t need to happen is just peacing out of someone’s life entirely. Like seriously, what happened to you, who hurt you or steered you so wrong in life that you think it’s an option to just not say anything.

Don’t be a schmuck. Just, don’t do it.

And you don’t have to be brutally honest, you can even tell a white lie if it’s a subject that’s too harsh or personal to drop on someone. But be present and understand that the respect that you demand so much for yourself other people deserve as well.

Be accountable. Understand that even if it doesn't look like it that person invested time, and potentially expensive make-up, so the least you can do is acknowledge that.

It’s called respect, and I’m not going to define that one because if you don’t know it then I’m holding you accountable to go ahead and look it up for yourself.

And when it comes to friends it’s no different, in fact, ghosting a friend can hurt a person worse than if you were dating them and just dropped off the face of the earth.

Sometimes friends reveal themselves to be toxic or unhealthy influences in our lives or maybe they’re actually a really good friend, but you just don’t have time to invest in the friendship right now.

Instead of just leaving them hanging, I have a radical idea for you: tell them. Look, I’ll even give you a template that you can copy and paste and just rework depending on the specific situation:

“Hey, I’m sorry I’ve been unresponsive lately, I’ve just gotten so busy at work. But we should catch up soon”.

I like that one because it’s vague enough that if you end up having more free time immediately you can reach out or if it takes a few months you’re still in the clear because you did the respectful thing.

But for the harder conversations, the permanent ones that people always avoid, there’s no template I can give you. And even though it’s unpleasant, sometimes really unpleasant, what’s more unpleasant is being permanently ditched by someone you thought was your friend.





















So these times call for putting on your adult hat and doing the unpleasant thing because life requires making a few sacrifices, it just does.

The disturbing thing here is that there needs to be a template. That doing the respectful thing, that being accountable is so infrequent and uncool that it has to be a discussion.

So, let’s be better. Let's stop ghosting each other. I know this whole concept may seem archaic, dated or old fashioned, but sometimes, old school is the best school. Respect isn’t something that should fall by the wayside.

And I don’t care if I have no chill about this. My chill is gone, it went with that last schmuck who ghosted one of my best friends.

And I also don’t care if you have to put a bohemian pattern on it and post about it casually being at Coachella, if that’s what you need to do that’s fine, just keep respect trending.







Cover Image Credit: adwriter / Flickr

Literally, so hot RN

Literally, so hot RN

Once You Become My Ex, Please Know I Never Want Another Text From You Again

Block my number. I've already blocked yours.

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Growing up, it was always super important to me to end a relationship on good terms, at least as best as I could. I was friends with pretty much all of my exes, whether we talked frequently or not. It just made things easier in a small town with one high school.

I had it all wrong, though.

The truth is, I don't want to be your friend if we break up. Hell, I don't even want you to text me. There's no reason for it.

Be up in arms all you want at the "pettiness" or "drama" of this if that's what you want to do, I don't really care either way. Each relationship I've experienced in my lifetime has a specific place in my past, but that's exactly where they'll stay: my past. Every ex has their own designated chapter in a closed book.

When you end on terms that are even remotely OK, it's easy to stay checked in into each other's lives, whether that's texting or following them on social media. Something reminds you of them and you both text and reminisce about it, you congratulate them on a Facebook post, you watch their Snapchat and Instagram stories.

I don't care if you think we ended on good terms or not, don't check up on me. Don't tell me you hope I'm doing well. Don't try to contact me at all, frankly.

We're not friends. We were a couple, but now we're not. Any form of a relationship between the two of us ceased to exist the moment we ended our relationship. I'm not in high school anymore, I'm not still in that small town. I don't need to be your friend and keep up appearances to ensure the friend group still feels like nothing's really changed or to make everyone feel comfortable when we're both around.

So who are we kidding? There's just no reason for you to interact with me in any capacity. I don't need to be checked up on. I don't need you to text me for any reason, ever. Trust me, I'm doing just fine.

To all of my exes, you've held a significant place in my life, sure.

But your friendship isn't crucial to my happiness anymore.

I learned how to be just fine without you, so it's time for you to do the same.

I don't need the pleasantries, so just forget them. It's fine and all that maybe they matter to you, but they don't to me. I can promise you that I don't want to hear from you. I don't want to know how you've been, I don't want to know what you've been up to.

I've moved on. I don't need you in my life anymore, and frankly, I don't want you in it. I don't need to be your friend. So don't follow me on Twitter, delete me from your Snapchat, and block my number. I've already blocked yours.

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To My Best Friend Dealing With A Broken Heart, We'll Get Through This Together

I can't actually fill that void.

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To my best friend dealing with a broken heart,

It won't last forever.

Your heart, scratch that—you—will heal. You're already strong, but you'll become tougher. You're already smart, but you'll become wiser. You're already sexy, but you'll become even more irresistible.

And I'll be here the entire time. I can't wait to see who you become.

It won't be easy. I'm not going to sugar coat it and say that you'll be smiling and confidently strutting the streets by tomorrow. You have everything you need, but if your heart needs some time, take it. There's no rulebook. Honestly, I don't know how I got out of my rut, but I did and now I'm here. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, I cried on end, but my support group–you–helped me through it one day at a time. Don't stress about what other people think—even me, forget my thoughts! Focus on you. What does your body need? What does your soul need?

I'm sorry. I wish I could take away this pain.

There's nothing that can compare to this feeling and I know I can't actually fill that void—no one can, other than you.

You never think it'll happen to you.

You had the future planned out. You shared your deepest darkest secrets. You both shared, I love you's and genuinely meant it. Of course, there were happy times. It was all real. I won't bash your ex unless you need me to (personally, I cringe anytime someone speaks badly of my ex... at the end of the day, I loved that man) but, just know, you did everything you could.

It wasn't meant to be and, one day, you will find your happily ever after. That love will be greater than anything you can ever imagine.

I'm not going to sit here and let you mope. The memories will never fade, but at this moment, forget about the past and the future, only the now. If you are angry, punch a wall, but steer away from feeling regret. Nothing in life is worth regretting over. It is all lessons-learned and adventures to remember later on.

This will pass and you will laugh about it. When I heard that for the first time, I wanted to scream, I could never laugh at the situation, but here I am now. You lost someone and that's never easy, but you've also gained so much experience.

You are gorgeous and breathtaking, you better start believing it because anyone would be so lucky to have you in their life.

Today, you start loving yourself.

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