In 2020 the world may seem like a never-ending Halloween night where nothing is what it seems. Full of witches, bitches, ghouls, and ghosts, relationships can be hard especially when one can morph into a ghost at the tap of a screen or lack thereof. This act of disappearing on someone is better known as ghosting. Why one becomes a ghoster or a ghostee is situational but one thing that is not is that ghosting can either be considered a power move or a prick move which is exactly what this article will be exploring.
Ghosting is not exclusive to love although that is typically where you see it occur the most. You can ghost a friend, a foe, or even a family member. Ultimately, no one is exempt from being buried in the ghosted graveyard but one thing is for sure, you’d rather not be which leaves me to wonder… is ghosting someone a power move or a prick move? Let’s start by breaking down the difference between the ghostee and the ghoster, why people ghost others, and the ghostly truth that might haunt you in order to find the answer to the question: “Ghosting: Power Move Or Prick Move?”
Let’s talk about ghosting- a phenomenon that we 20 somethings have learned about out of well, experience and/or our counterpart’s experiences. Unless you have been accompanying Patrick Star under his rock in Bikini Bottom, you know what ghosting is. However, I’ll give you the 2020 definition to ban any confusion that may reside within the marshes of your brain.
The term “ghosting” is best described by life experience or by default, our dear friend, Wikipedia. Wikipedia defines ghosting as “a colloquial term used to describe the practice of ceasing all communication and contact with someone”. In other words, someone seemingly exits this world and as if they became a ghost to another individual, hence the term “ghosting”. They simply disappear. It’s as if they are Waldo from the notorious book series Where Is Waldo? Except this Waldo is not printed on a page and is actively avoiding you.
The difference between the ghostee and the ghoster
As we have discussed, anyone can ghost someone. However, there is a requirement to do so. That requirement is that you have to have someone you’re ghosting. Enter the ghostee. This is the person being ghosted while the ghoster is the one actively doing the ghosting. Though I am sure we have all been both at some point or another, being each is a different story. On one hand, you have someone who wants to continue a relationship with you and on the other, you have someone that is uninterested in doing so for some reason or another. As you can imagine, this presents some challenges to the relationship’s dynamic as well as to each individual.
From what pop culture has ingrained within us, we oftentimes see the ghoster as the one who holds the most control in the relationship. This is the person who is perceived to careless which can make someone (the ghostee) want to communicate with them that much more. I am not saying this is always true but more times than not, it is.
It’s human nature to want to be wanted and to refuse rejection which is something that today’s technology shows us day by day one glowing screen at a time. The ghostee, though the population is saturated, can be considered the desperate party. Of course, this isn’t completely true. The ghostee might have seen the conversation going nowhere just the same as the Ghoster but felt worse about leaving the conversation. Then again, maybe not. Maybe the ghostee genuinely felt a connection and cares about expanding on the relationship. This is not something to be ashamed of. It is a shame to not see the hints of when someone needs their space from you, however.
All the same, human nature has been wrong before which complicates things. Sure, most of the time ghosting someone just makes them want you more but there are those times where the ghostee loses interest and the ghoster comes floating back to the ghostee like Casper to Wendy’s rescue. Only this time, no one needed or wanted to be saved. Everyone is different as are everyone’s reasons for why they may ghost someone else as are the ghostee’s reaction.
Why People Ghost Others
The reasons one might seemingly evaporate from all forms of communication with another varies. It’s all situational. The ghoster could feel as if the ghostee wronged them but in many cases, it’s that the ghoster does not care to communicate any further and finds it easier to melt away rather than be upfront about their disinterest. Nevertheless, there are cases where the ghoster might be testing the ghostee to see their interest in them. While this does seem childish sometimes it’s necessary. Sometimes, you have to give someone space to find that they miss you. After all, we are only human and sadly this means people can forget to appreciate those in their lives.
Other times, it’s just easier to ghost someone especially if you feel as if you don’t owe them an explanation. The reality is that it is hard for most to tell someone they want to cut off communication with them. I mean, it’s not a necessarily fun conversation to have.
The Ghostly Truth
Honestly, sometimes people would rather be ghosted than hearing the truth, and remarkably, some of the ghosts in this world understand that tarnished all too revealing fact. Some people aren’t equipped for the “I am not interested in you or moving forward with this relationship” conversation. Others might need and want that conversation but may not respond in a productive manner which leaves the ghoster feeling drained from conversing with them already. As you can imagine, when you no longer want to talk with someone and you assume that having this kind of conversation with them is going to be exhausting, it’s going to be quite difficult to make yourself do it.
That’s the importance of whether or not ghosting is a prick move or power move- knowing the reason behind why you may be doing it. If you’re doing it because you don’t want to have a difficult conversation then that’s stamped with major prick move energy. If you’re doing it because someone disrespected you and you feel you need your space but don’t want to cease a relationship entirely then I can see how that would be interpreted as a power move.
With that being said, interpretation does not filter the truth but instead entitled opinions that can be a misconstrued mess to all including the person doing the interpreting. Instead of someone assuming another’s reaction therefore avoiding it entirely, give that person the respect they deserve and let them tell you how they will react themselves. This is the time where you can explore the grounds of communication, especially if you care about this person. This is a time to know that the real power is not to vacate a conversation by never responding to someone but to instead utilize your emotions and match them to words in order to convey to another how you feel.
Ghosting- Power Move or Prick Move?
People forget how truly valuable honesty is. People forget how doing the easy thing oftentimes can be doing the cowardly thing. People forget the strength in vulnerability and the vulnerability of which honesty consists. It is more powerful to do something difficult like telling someone how you actually feel and responding to the reaction then it is to disappear.
To indulge in the power of neglecting another’s emotions is to indulge in apathy. Apathy leads one to only be met with disappointment which is something all pricks are aware of but will hardly admit. Look at it like this, you can either burn a bridge because you’re scared of heights, avoid the bridge altogether due to this fear or acknowledge it, overcome it and get to where you want to go by facing it head-on and crossing it. The power in being present is precious which is why we can conclude that ghosting is a prick move powered by nothing but a prick themselves.