By single-handedly severing the communication cord, ghosting prevents any attempts at reconciliation. This is unfortunate because many conflicts end up shattering hearts simply because the responsible parties never attempted to discuss what happened.
I wonder if this is one reason Paul preferred singleness. “I want you to be without concern,” he explained in 1 Corinthians 7:32.
Makes sense. A single person doesn’t need to continually touch base with her significant other about what went wrong and how things can be made better.
But since ghosting happens to married couples and singles alike—some folks ghost former friends too, remember?—let’s return to this concept of reconciling.
Reviewing past pain with the person who caused it is, by definition, unpleasant. I’ve shared how in one case, it took years to pursue reconciliation myself.
Even though the pressures to avoid reconciling are real, our God is a God of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). The least we can do is to enable the possibility of talking things out rather than ghosting another person.
8. Generates More Ghosting
Strong emotions have fascinating characteristics. One of them is the unconscious tendency to transfer to an innocent bystander the strong feelings induced in us by someone else’s behavior.
Think about the famous joke concerning a string of violence: a man was humiliated by his manager. He felt so enraged that when he came home, he yelled at his wife, who then spanked the kid, who then kicked the dog, which then barked at the cat, which then—
Beats me. How do upset cats behave?
The point is, if you could interview every victim of ghosting, I doubt there were any who relished the phenomenon.
What’s more likely is those who have felt the pain of being ghosted turn around and then ghost another person.
Ghosting No More
Jesus once left an adulterous woman with a simple—but significant—goodbye. “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11). Please recognize the gravity of his response. Here was the sinless Son of God, the Great I Am, standing next to a woman guilty of sexual sin.
In spite of her obvious role in breaking the seventh commandment, however, Jesus didn’t condemn her.
But if Jesus didn’t condemn her for adultery, he wouldn’t condemn anyone for ghosting either.
So how about if you adapt Jesus’ instruction? Go and stop ghosting.
This is the essence of repentance: to drop the old behavior and do the opposite.
But to faithfully fulfill this mandate, you’ll need to develop skills that would make ghosting unnecessary by, for instance, learning how to best manage conflict resolutions.
Consider spotting—and scrubbing—other unhealthy boundaries. The momentum gained from removing one unwholesome behavior from your life can spur you to purge even more.
Who knows, maybe I’ll also address how to quit ghosting in the future.
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