"Ghosting" means abruptly cutting off all contact with someone by no longer accepting or responding to phone calls, emails, or texts. Unfortunately, it is becoming more common as it becomes easier to do. It's emotionally bewildering, hurtful, and worrisome to the person who is "ghosted." (Google)
Is it possible that being ghosted can be a blessing in disguise despite the emotional pain? Recently, I had this experience. Experiencing it was painful. I am going to clarify how it can be considered a gift.
People have been ignoring each other since the dawn of time, and it will remain a problem. As one of my friends often quotes, "There is nothing new under the sun." Since we can communicate so easily by text with phones in everyone's pockets, it feels strongly abrupt once ghosted. It is profoundly unsettling and disorienting for us when we are suddenly cut off by someone, like when driving down the highway. I can no longer communicate my points, opinions, or feelings, and I don't know what happened. Ugh!
Ghosting is nothing new, and the deafening silence leaves us in a place of bewilderment and quite miffed, to put it mildly. When there is silence, it allows us to evaluate our relationship, the conversation we had, and even ourselves. Not all relationships are healthy. With hindsight, we often regret not choosing our words more carefully; however, we don't know why we have been ghosted, so we are left to wonder. These are learning moments that we can gain once the hurt passes.
When we examine ourselves, we can evaluate if the relationship is even worth the pain after being cut off mid-conversation or mid-relationship. Think for a moment. If someone is willing to cut the relationship without warning, without explanation, we have to ask ourselves if this character issue is worth working through at all. If someone disrespects me like that, what kind of relationship can we have? This action reveals their true self, not ours. This may be a gift in a roundabout way by saving me from something much more significant down the road.
Silence can help us gain clarity about ourselves and our identity. This moment of stillness enables us to be present with ourselves without this unhealthy relationship. The rain has stopped, and we now have a clearer view. There is no longer an obstacle in our way for us to see clearly, as the old song says. We can explore one's core identity, beliefs, and dependence on external factors. It can help you understand these aspects of yourself better. Being ghosted can lead to personal growth and reveal authentic and healthy relationships that remain, even through the pain.
Even the scriptures mention people crying out, "How long, oh Lord?" during God's silence. I don't believe that God would ever abandon or ghost anyone. God's silence has more to do with my inability to hear Him than His lack of speaking. He always speaks to us through His Word, others, and our circumstances. The silence provides a platform for my faith to thrive despite the seeming quietness from God.
We all need God and others to thrive and have a sense of purpose and well-being. We were created for relationships. Despite our wishes, not everyone desires a relationship with us (excluding God), and may cut us off.
When I ghost someone, I avoid difficult conversations for a known or unknown reason. Sometimes, when someone challenges me, or I am hurt, I tend to withdraw and become unresponsive, and silence ensues. In today's world of technology, it has become effortless to choose the easiest option available, even if it may not be the best one for our conversations. Living in such a way leads to unresolved conversations that must be addressed eventually with that person or just myself. As we move forward, the memories of past conversations can continue to impact us emotionally and linger in our minds.
I shared with my children about the importance of face-to-face conversations, particularly on challenging topics, as they were growing up. When I was growing up, we were told to "man up" regardless of what gender we were. I greatly admire those who communicate with me like this as I struggle with others. When done correctly, it encourages a constructive conversation, leading to a healthy relationship. On the other hand, it can be a one-sided complaint or rant. Those who carry themselves this way lack the desire for a deeper and more meaningful relationship. I long for a deeper relationship with God and others and the courage to continue being gracefully honest with those with whom I am in a relationship. If God never rants at us, why should we rant at others? Let's try to follow the example set by God and treat others with kindness and respect. We are all created in His image.
If you struggle to speak honestly with others or with God, I offer a safe space for you to process your thoughts and feelings. Most of us don't want to be fixed but instead heard and supported. Feel free to reach out if you would like support. Peace, Rob