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Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Ghosting on friends

A recent Quartz email newsletter had an interesting topic, which was borrowed from The Lily, "a place for the curious minded": "Ghosting is occasionally necessary. It’s not cowardly, because we all reach our breaking point eventually." After some reflection, I realised that I also ghost on some people, and that some people are ghosting on me.

In one instance, the ghosting is mutual. Indeed, we both seem to have reached our breaking point. I told her that I'm okay being her lightning rod and/or punching bag - at least for a while. She hasn't even read my last message, wishing her good luck with yet another doctor's appointment. I am in no mood soliciting for her new punches. Negativity is dangerous for me.

My former girlfriend (2010-2014) is also ghosting on me. She once told me, ghosting is her default habit. For some time, I was the exception to her rule. Not anymore. It has taken me quite a while to accept our sudden 2014 break-up. I now finally realise that we are both better off going our separate ways. I suppose she understood that (much) earlier than I did.

It's much easier to ghost on acquaintances rather than on friends. As soon as acquaintances show any sign of disinterest then I'm eager to ghost on them (too). Ghosting on new people, who are playing hard to get (see yesterday's blog), is even easier than acquaintances.

For a long time, I was the one reactivating dormant friendships. Today, my life is about Less = More, including dormant friendships. Either people are in my life - or out. There is little grey / gray in between. They are, however, always welcome to return.

In my other instances of ghosting on people, I seem to have reached my "breaking point". Actually, being fed up is a better description for that feeling. Moreover, because "breaking point" suggests a permanent state (eg, bend or break), while "fed up" suggests a temporary state of the mind (and of the stomach).

The article's heading in the Lily uses two words that may need some further elaboration: necessary and not cowardly. I agree with the writer's (ie, Bianca Xunise) choice of words. Avoiding someone may indeed seem cowardly when taken at face value. Avoiding a close friend is like preparing for a fight or confrontation. There's no cowardly behaviour involved.

This confrontation is necessary in order to clear the air between friends. Being friends often implies sucking up differences (eg, of opinion) rather than addressing these. Hence, tensions will slowly build. Sometimes, even between close friends, it's better going separate ways.

Separate Ways (1972) by Elvis Presley

Love has slipped away left us only friends 
We almost seem like strangers 
All that's left between us are the memories we share 
Of times we thought we cared for each other

[Chorus] 
There's nothing left to do but go our separate ways 
And pick up all the pieces left behind us 
And maybe someday, somewhere along the way 
Another love will find us



Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

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