Ghosting: Harmful Effects on Mental Health
My Personal Experience and Opinion About Ghosting
We all know what "ghosting" is in today's world. This phenomenon, put simply, is when one person in some type of relationship decides to cut off all contact with another, without even granting an explanation or reason. They just decide that, for whatever reason, they aren't ready for a relationship, or, in some cases, just don't want to be with that particular person. I've began to assume that insecurity, lack of emotional maturity, and minimal communication skills are core reasons why people ghost. To put it cruelly, these people just do not want to speak to you anymore. They do not give a reason and a lot of times there are no signs of potential ghosting until they just disappear. It sounds just as cruel and disrespectful as it is. And because of the innate carelessness and emotional cruelty these ghosters cause their ghostees, I will never defend, condone, or accept ghosting as a healthy or fair way to end a "talking stage" or a relationship.
I personally have grown since the time I was ghosted my senior year of high school by a guy I'd been into for months but I still suffer the consequences of the ghosting experience I had no say on. Still, when I get invested in a guy and begin falling for him, I hear the voice in my head telling me to run. That little voice reminds me that, though the ghosting was not entirely my fault, that I had to be cautious with who I let in. Sure, not everyone in the world will ghost you, but when you've been ghosted, you start to feel like all you'll be is a ghostee who was not valuable enough to be liked or loved. This can lead to, without proper coping skills, long-term commitment issues or fears of getting left behind. Luckily, I was able to talk things through with many people who assured me this happened to many others too.
As time went on, I ruined several relationships for fear of getting ghosted. I left before they could leave. However, I always gave reasons and explanations as to why I made these decisions. If getting ghosted taught me anything it's that an explanation goes a long way when choosing to end a relationship. I also learned to remind myself that my self-worth cannot be taken away because of one guy ghosting me. My improvement in self-worth areas does not in any way mean I won't still suffer some of the consequences of past ghosting and I will still have to remind myself of my worth.
Ghosting is cruel. I will say it time and time again until people in my generation stop to really think and analyze what their behavior does to others' mental health, image, and self worth issues. Counter arguments may argue that a person can just "get over it" and that moving on from getting ghosted is easy. Others claim in defense of the ghoster that no one owes anyone anything, to which I reply with "yes you do." Don't get me wrong, no one owes anyone a relationship if they're unhappy and want out, but giving an explanation or at least a small reason can go a long way in ensuring the ghostee is able to healthily get closure.
My experience getting ghosted taught me to remain strong, seek counseling, and grow emotionally. But there is no reason ghosting should continue to happen without consequences. Before you consider ghosting someone, consider how they will feel. Put yourself in their shoes and decide to do the right thing by giving them some kind of emotional closure. Call them up. Leave a text. Or simply leave a note. Do something to let the other person get the closure they deserve.