One minute you are all chummy, slapping each other’s backs, and gossiping like best friends, the next minute, there’s a gulf. An inexplicable one occasioned by one person’s decision to sever ties. I had only heard and imagined what it felt like until it happened to me. I had made a new friend (or so I thought), and our relationship was on an upward trajectory. Getting to know each other, hanging out and exchanging phone calls and chats, until one day when they stopped communicating. They not only clam up, but they also hibernated and refused to be reached too.
At first, I was worried that something had happened to them. Perhaps they had taken ill or had a family emergency–and so I would call and call–and send messages asking about their welfare only to be met with silence.
It was super confusing for me. I had never found myself in that kind of quandary, but after spending about a week or so trying to find out whether I had inadvertently offended this individual, I was forced to accept the reality. They didn’t want to have anything to do with me again for reasons best known to them.
Then the tables turned.
A month went by and just as suddenly as my “friend” went incommunicado, they did a 360 and started making attempts to reach me. Of course, at this point, I had moved on. I had lost the minutest desire to pursue that friendship again and was even less keen to hear from them. After a couple of futile attempts, they gave up. A budding relationship that had the potential to blossom into a lifelong friendship died for no known reason.
To this day, I wonder why they behaved the way they did.
I also concluded that the silent treatment is the worst way to end any kind of relationship. Anyone who employs such an evil tactic to get rid of someone they were close to is akin to a serial killer. The unfortunate thing is that this sort of behaviour is fast becoming the norm among people and institutions.
A romantic relationship ends abruptly because one-half of the couple chose to take the cowardly way out–silence. They figure that soon enough the other partner will “get the message” and quit bothering them. Corporate institutions are not left out; employees are given the boot without having an idea what infraction they committed.
A banker resumes his regular duties in the morning only to discover he has been logged out of his system. It means, “Go home, we do not need your services anymore.” As far as he knows, he has not flouted the company rules, heck, he hasn’t received a query in the last two years. Bewildered, he tries to get an explanation for what has happened, but none is forthcoming. All that is certain is that his decade-long journey in the establishment has been terminated.
You tell me what’s crueller than this scenario.
One of the ways to determine whether a person is honourable is their forthrightness. If they are upset about your behaviour, they’ll let you know or simply forgive it. If they are done with you, they’ll make it known. They won’t leave you guessing, and you’ll end up appreciating their sincerity even if you loathe their guts at first.
Ghosting is for wimps.
People who do not have the cojones to face up to their responsibility.
Uncles and aunts who stop picking taking calls after promising they’ll be there, politicians who swear they’ll make good their campaign promises only to develop the uncanny ability to disappear when elected, and friends who become unreachable when tragedy strikes belong in this category.
HR officers and recruiters who leave job applicants hanging with the classic “we will get back to you” message are some of the worst ghosting culprits. In the end, they never communicate management’s decision and leave these job seekers to figure that they haven’t made the cut.
The absence of communication is the reason an alarming number of relationships are failing today. Rather than go into ghost mode, give voice to your concerns. Express your indignation. Let your partner know they have angered you.
By all means, break up with them if you must; anything but the spineless gesture ghosting represents.