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Nkem Says: This Ghosting Thing…

Nkem Ndem

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I have always been deathly afraid of ghosts. I don’t know why.
As a child, the easiest way to terrify or creep me out was to suggest that a ghost was lurking around. I would literally become your slave in exchange for protection. One of my sisters really took advantage of this fear that I had. She would just simply say “Ojuju will catch you” and I’d become paralyzed or freeze in whatever position I was in, then she would get me to do whatever she wanted or stay away from a part of the house she didn’t want me going. I don’t remember how we came up with the word “Ojuju” and why I understood it to mean “a ghost”, but it worked for a long time.

This background perception and fear of ghosts was probably what kicked in the first time I came across the word “ghosting”. Someone had mentioned it in a conversation and the first thing I imagined was it involving some form of witchcraft or diabolism. Perhaps one partner would use the other for rituals or steal their destiny. Yes. I know. I blame it on too much ‘Nollywood’ growing up. Oh yes, and my mother too. She has such morbid stories.

Fortunately, I later found out from the Urban Dictionary that “ghosting” simply was “the act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date…done in hopes that the ghostee will just ‘get the hint’ and leave the subject alone, as opposed to the subject simply telling them he/she is no longer interested.” It sounds childish, doesn’t it? But we have all been there: You go on a date, everything is great. He calls you three times a day, sends you voice notes and text messages that get you grinning from ear to ear, sings you to sleep every night…you even share deep secrets and talk about the kind of future you envisage, the number of children you want e.t.c. But out of the blues, maybe after a few weeks or even months of being together, he disappears. No phone call. No E-mail. No DM. Not even a text! And not only that, he stops picking your call and all your efforts to reach him are ignored and treated with silence.

It hurts. Really hurts.

I mean, you probably may not have even been particularly attached or invested in the moron, but for him/her to vanish without an explanation? It stings.

Nothing makes you question your self-worth like a love interest that disappears, without any explanation at all.

You are trapped in a cesspool of confusion : What if they were involved in an accident and their corpse is lying somewhere on Ibadan Expressway? What if they lost their phone and cannot retrieve old contacts? Should you be worried? Should you be upset? Should you keep trying to reach them or just respect yourself and move on?

You go crazy with irrational anxiety and constant checking of their Whatsapp’s Last Seen…because you want to know what is going on! And when you eventually realize that you have been left in the lurch and ghosted – maybe you finally notice their activity on social media, or a friend of a friend lets you know that they (love interest) are over you- you start to question the genuineness of the relationship you had, why you didn’t see it coming. You question yourself, your self-worth as well, because you have been deprived of the closure you get from expressing your emotions and being heard, which is important for maintaining your self-esteem.

The funny thing is that people who ghost others (ghosters) actually believe that they are doing the ‘ghostee’ a favour. They are cutting out the awkwardness of the conversation they would have to have with them to end the relationship, and saving them from the hurt of being rejected.

In reality, though, they are doing more emotional and psychological damage. Of course, texting someone something like: ‘Hey, I am over you. I don’t want to do this anymore. Don’t contact me anymore, and good luck with the rest of your life” would suck, but at least they would know to move on.

Ghosting is a reflection of a person’s level of maturity. People who are immature, self-centered and dramatic usually are the ones with the knack for ghosting. They are just interested in what they want and what works for them, no matter who gets hurt.
Also, cowards who cannot express the way they feel with words. But can we really blame them? If they meet someone with the hope of getting something beautiful, but end up with a toxic fellow who is clingy, bossy or just suffocating, should they be blamed for just disappearing and not handling the situation properly?

At the end of the day, the whole ghosting thing sucks. You have to remember that the act says nothing about you or your worthiness for love and instead tells everything about the ghoster. They do not have the maturity to be in a healthy relationship with you, so all that’s left for you to do is let them go peacefully and maintain your dignity.

Dwelling on the whys and how will only rob you of a better future because you will develop trust issues and shut yourself off from another relationship.

On the other hand, those who have the knack for ghosting should realize that they are horrible people. By refusing someone that little respect that comes with giving them closure, even if the interaction with them had been short or fleeting, you’re robbing them of so much self-esteem and self-worth. Be better.

Have you ghosted anyone or been ghosted before? Share your experience and thoughts.

Nkem Ndem is an energetic and highly accomplished Media Consultant who loves to help small businesses, especially women-led, grow their online presence using the right digital strategy or transition from traditional organizational boundaries. With years of experience in Copywriting and Editing, Content Branding and Strategy, Social media, and Digital Marketing, she is clearly obsessed with Digital Communications. She is the Head of Content and Lead Consultant at Black Ink Media - an Ideation and Content Agency that excels in providing fresh, creative digital services to content-centric businesses. Find out more about her at www.blackinkm.com or send her an e-mail at [email protected] Also follow her on IG: @nkemndemv, Twitter: @ndemv.

12 Comments

  1. phaoziyah

    September 15, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Thanks for this write up coz it gives me the defination, have had such experience and it sucks

  2. Flow

    September 15, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Hmmm, I have been ghosted before, and it wasn’t a pleasant experience, I didn’t see it coming, everything was fine, or at least I thought it was,

  3. yaga

    September 15, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    So i was ghosted recently….omo, word’s fail to express how annoying that is.how will someone come and toast you that is staying jejely on your own and as soon as things begin to heat up and you begin to think, finally Baba God has provided a boo, dude will start acting up. Anyway, after i realized i was ghosted, i wanted to move on so bad but Damn it, my soul demanded an explanation which i finally got in the form of a silliest and crappiest excuse known to man.in hindsight though, i feel saved by the ghosting, who knows how shitty the relationship would have turned out to be!

  4. Oni

    September 15, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    Yes oh been ghosted on 2 times…ask me how i deal with it?

  5. mela

    September 15, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    I have been ghosted before and also hv ghosted some people too…..

  6. frank

    September 15, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    This writer must have been Ghosted on a good number of times. For you to know all the signs of Ghosting. Ghosting a way of giving you the hint that “This shit is over with, period”

  7. Akara Pancake

    September 15, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    Yeah I have been ghosted before. I coped by drowning sorrow by binge drinking spirits like akpeteshi, rum, and Vodka, and watching reruns of Renta-Ghost on TV

  8. Why people Ghost others in friendships

    September 15, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    Simply because talking to.the other party is a simple waste of time . Some individuals out of pride won’t admit they are wrong or will take a simple matter to a very confrontational level.

    • bea

      September 18, 2017 at 3:30 pm

      This is so me too with any friend that has hurt me too badly

  9. The dead silence

    September 16, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    I’ve been there 2ce. The last one stung deep; I was in high heavens (lol) then I hear dude got married. Sickening. Please write a piece about the “breadcrumbers”

  10. Babe

    September 17, 2017 at 6:12 am

    I have been ghosted enough times and the last one still hurts cos I had the feeling things were bad, tried to leave and he didn’t let me only for him ghost when I decided to give things a chance. My face is always like this now? I am tired of the pain in my chest.

    • bea

      September 18, 2017 at 3:29 pm

      I feel you.
      Get busy and the pain will leave.
      You will soon start wondering where he is sef.

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