Ghosting: heartless or harmless?

Roisin Maguire

Ghosting may be as spooky as the name suggests.

Ghosting, for those who have not experienced it, is when someone who you believe is interested and cares about you ends a relationship by disappearing from contact without any explanation. No goodbye phone call, or even a text.

According to Psychology Today, 50 per cent of people have experienced this type of behaviour. People who ghost avoid the awkward part of breaking up with someone with whom they are in a relationship. These people are concerned with avoiding their own emotions and discomfort while not thinking of how the other person feels.

The more people ghost, the more they may become desensitised to the feelings of others and will use it as a way of breaking up with every person they date. Ghosting has branched out into subsets such as benching where a person occasionally checks in on a person to keep their options open but not fully commit and zombieing, where an ex-ghoster pops up out of nowhere with that “you up?” text.

For many of those who have been ghosted, they feel they have been disrespected while others may feel like a fool for having feelings in the first place. Ghosting is harmful because it leads a person to think they are not good enough which can lead to insecurity and self-consciousness.

One of the most insidious aspects of ghosting is that it doesn’t just cause you to question the validity of the relationship you had, it causes you to question yourself. Why didn’t I know this was going to happen? Could I have done something better?

People often ask themselves how do they prevent this from happening again which is dangerous as this may prevent someone from opening up to someone new again, or prevent them from going back to the dating scene for a long time.

Ghosting is the ultimate form of the silent treatment, a tactic that has often been viewed by mental health professionals as a form of emotional cruelty. It renders a person to have no other option but to answer their own questions, which can lead to the conclusion that it was not the ghoster’s fault, but the fault of the person who is being ghosted.

If you have been ghosted, you may want to forget about this person but you may also wonder what they are doing with their life without you, especially if you had a strong relationship with this person. Sitting and scrolling through Instagram and Facebook will wreak havoc on your mental health.

The important thing to remember is that being ghosted says nothing about you or how worthy you are, but more about the person who is doing the ghosting. With the rise of technology, ghosting has become an easy scapegoat. Technology makes communication easier but it also makes disappearing easier when you can delete someone and block them within 60 seconds.

Ultimately, no one wins when it comes to ghosting. The ghoster will have this weight sitting on their conscience unless they are completely cold hearted. Ghosting may even cause problems in future relationships.

Think before you ghost, it’s better to face your problems head on.

Roisin Maguire 

Image credit: Mr. Cute Cartoon Drawing Club