It kind of feels like it. Just another form of emotional abuse and mental cruelty. That sounds terribly harsh.
Some people describe it that way. I totally get it. My case was mild.
Mine regards one of the two new friends I mentioned in a previous post. It’s stunning and has caught me unawares. Ghosting has increased since Covid 19.
The thought of being ghosted never crossed my mind. I didn’t know the definition until a week ago. I had heard the word.
“Ghosting, also known as simmering or icing, is a colloquial term which describes the practice of ending all communication and contact with another person without any apparent warning or justification and subsequently ignoring any attempts to reach out or communication made by such person.” Wikipedia
It’s becoming more popular on dating sites and social media. Even the workplace. In reading about it on the internet, I can’t believe there is such a thing. No doubts about my naivete.
My definition of friend
Naturally, there are all varieties of friendships.
Friends are more than an acquaintance. Some good friends live far away. They are phone friends. You see them once in a blue moon.
Then you have professional friends. These are the people to whom you give money, i.e., trainer or hairdresser, possibly your manicurist or masseuse.
Friends you see every three months or so just to keep in touch.
The type of friend I’m talking about here is someone you might go walking and shopping with, and they don’t live too, too far away.
Someone you can share stories with that you might not share with others. You call or text on their Happy Birthday. They call or text on yours.
Someone who is kind and who listens. When you see them, they bring a smile to your face. They are trustworthy.
All of these are great, but the trait I most favor in a friend, or anyone really, is the capacity to forgive.
It is a given that I will say the wrong thing or be insensitive at some point(s). I don’t want to lose a friendship because I made a mistake, with no harm intended.
I had a friend for over 20 years. One day I said the wrong thing. Forgiveness was not her thing. Friendship over cold turkey.
There was always laughter. One time I laughed so hard my cheeks were hurting when I got home. I thought I was so lucky to meet this woman. It’s harder making friends as I age.
We had nice lunches out. We went into Buckhead one time for lunch, browsing in a few retail stores afterward. She came over for Christmas tea.
She gave me a beautiful amaryllis for Christmas. I gave her a nice candle set.
She was out antiquing with one of her sisters. She happened upon a Laura Burch bag, a popular artist who paints cat things. The price was right.
One day she stopped by to give it to me. I love it. How kind and thoughtful. What a nice gesture.
The last email I received from her said, “DARN! I’ll get back atcha with another option soon…” It has been almost four weeks and all there is is radio silence. Not a peep.
In reading up on ghosting, one article said if your friend has not responded in three days, you’re most likely being ghosted.
I’m not onboard with that, but I believe four weeks is sufficient. I trust a person who says they’ll get back with me. I don’t know how long to wait. Right now I think I have waited long enough. Many of the symptoms of ghosting are in place.
Looking back, I can see signs of changing behavior. Plans were cancelled. The texts and emails were getting shorter and less frequent. Hardly an emoji around. No more pictures, videos, or funny cartoons. She had great ones!
Hope is a virtue I believe in. Maybe I shouldn’t give up yet. By the same token, I don’t want to be an on-call friend. I don’t think her heart is in it anymore.
Trust is important. I trust most everyone. I wrote about it in a previous post. I need to believe in people.
I said I wouldn’t have it any other way. I wrote sometimes I get burned with this kind of thinking, but it is worth the risk.
I’m burned. I’m still trustful.
However, thinking of this person no longer makes me feel good inside. Friends? I’m not feeling it. She wandered outside my friend zone. Ha!
When I was around her, we had some great times. We walked, we talked. I met some of her family. She had me over to her house a couple of times for lunch.
I was happy and enjoying myself. She appeared to be enjoying herself. We weren’t besties, but at least for awhile there, I felt we had a friendship.
If I had not trusted her in the first place that we were friends, I would have missed good and fun moments. The reality is she added value to my life for a period of time, and isn’t that about all I can ask?
So, sometimes it’s messy trusting people, but then life is messy.
Again, my cross to bear is tempted to raise its ugly head: rejection. This feels different from, say, family rejection. Some experts don’t consider ghosting a full on rejection.
I guess this is why ghosting is becoming ”acceptable” and popular. I suspect people respond in all kinds of ways.
I am not too bothered by this. It’s a new learning experience. I can’t see myself ever ghosting someone.
I prefer talking in person, or at the least, on the phone. Definitely not via email. I’ve still got a scar from that burn.
Please just tell me, I don’t have enough time to give to this friendship. Or tell me you don’t think we click.
Why can’t people be honest and treat each other with respect? It’s doable as long as someone is coming from the right place — the heart.
Is it really so hard to treat people kindly and be concerned about hurt feelings? You know people can fake it — I’m not recommending that, but if it helps someone, then go for it.
Are people afraid of being honest face-to-face or voice-to-voice? Ghosting gives them an out.
I harbor no ill will. She has a good-sized family. Then there are the mundane details in life to take care of.
These things keep her busy. I just think she doesn’t have any extra time to give to a friendship. I’ll never know probably. Therein lies the beauty of ghosting — no closure.
It was fun while it lasted. I wish her nothing but blue skies. Most of all, I say Thank You for putting me in a position to learn about ghosting. I’m usually the last one to the table.
I can’t believe we treat our fellow men and women in this way. I don’t know what happened to civility. This is so not my world.
Peace, Joy, and Love to All
Thank You so much for reading and listening. As always, I would love to hear from you. Have you been ghosted?
“How Long is it Before You’ve Been Officially Ghosted?
“What is Ghosting?”
“How to Cope With Being Ghosted”
“5 Early Warning Signs You’re Being Ghosted and What Can You Do About It?”