It was a dark, cold night. I was out with my friends but I had been battling anxiety all afternoon so I went back home. As soon as I walked in, I heard random chatter so I went to check if my sister was home. She wasn’t. “It must have been the wind”- I said to myself. I went and turned all the lights off and decided to get some sleep. I kept hearing weird sounds and noises which I kept confidently attributing to the wind. In my bed, I was just tossing and turning, I couldn’t sleep at all. Suddenly, I had an overwhelming feeling of fear for no reason. I had to go and turn all of the lights back on. I went back into my room and locked the door. I was laying down staring at the wall when suddenly I saw something. I was shocked and I couldn’t move. Everyone is always telling me their scary ghost stories, but I didn’t care for them since I had never experienced it personally. Until now. At around 1 am on a Thursday night, I realized I had been ghosted.
In this day-and-age, everyone has a ghost story. I am talking about real ghost stories, not the made-up ones about seeing dead people and shit. I am talking about the real ghosting phenomenon. If you’re like my cousin Jorge and you’re not in touch with popular culture, to ghost somebody means to abruptly end all means of communication with someone who you have had any kind of relationship with. Whether it is that guy you just had terrible sex with or that fake friend who just got on your last damn nerve, you can essentially ghost anyone in your life. But, should you?
When I was ghosted, let me tell you, it didn’t feel great. I kept wondering about what went wrong. One day we were replying to each other within seconds, making plans, having a great conversation, and the next day, it was over. Having someone completely cut me out of their life with no explanation whatsoever affected my self confidence. The next few days after being ghosted, I started thinking about the things that were wrong about me that might push people away. Maybe my personality is not as great as I think it is. Maybe people don’t find me attractive at all. Maybe I’m just not loveable or dateable. Hell, maybe it’s my lisp or my thick Mexican accent. What I was doing here was looking for the things I did wrong, when in reality, a person who ghosts someone is in the wrong.
Some people might hide behind the “I don’t want to hurt your feelings” or “I don’t want to have that awkward conversation.” But the reality is, by depriving someone of a clear, no-bullshit ending, you’re doing more damage than you think. Psychologically, you’re abandoning someone, betraying their trust, and ultimately, leaving them confused about what went wrong. The way I look at it is, if you were looking for a job, wouldn’t you like to get that annoying “your qualifications didn’t match our requirements” email rather than to keep wondering if you had a shot? Yes, it would probably suck, maybe you really wanted that job. Maybe you saw a lot of potential in that job and you could see all the great benefits in the future. But by having that definite conclusion, however abrupt, you also get a sense of hope. Yes, this opportunity closed, but perhaps a better one is in the horizon. That’s a way better sentiment than “maybe they hated my interview! maybe my outfit was bad! maybe I’m just not good enough!”
The point I wanted to make in this “scary ghost story” was a simple one. I want you to know that when someone ghosts you it says nothing about your worth or character and everything about the person doing the ghosting (the ghoster?). People who ghost lack the courage to deal with the discomfort of their emotions or yours. People who ghost don’t understand the impact of their actions, or worse, they don’t care. People who ghost lack the maturity to act rationally and deal with issues directly.
Maybe while being ghosted, you also dodged a bullet.
When I was ghosted I went through all the phases: shock, denial, anger, sadness, acceptance. So will you.