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Ghosting Expectations

When someone is attempting to get in touch with you and you refuse to answer their phone calls, text messages, and even the knock on the door it's called "ghosting" (i.e. shutting down communication).

People ghost others who have hurt them in an effort to punish that person. This is done in families, dating relationships, between friends, and with employees ghost their employers all the time. By default, ghosting is you avoiding the ability of someone to communicate with you. It's wrong to think that ghosting is setting a boundary. It's actually abuse because to ghost someone without stating why the communication has stopped is cruel. The other person has no idea why they are being "cut off" and the one doing the ghosting is denying the other the opportunity to know what the offense is, apologize, and ask for forgiveness. Ghosting ruins the possibility of reconciliation and the wrong stays justified in the ghost's mind as they continue to blame the other. The ghost's actions now are the cause of the problem not being resolved? Pain is what is left in the void that results from the inability to make up or at least end on good terms. Neither person will feel any closure as there can be no closure with ghosting. That's why it is "abuse."

In the 1993 movie, "Mrs. Doubtfire" Robin Williams's character is cut off from access with his children when his wife brings up half-truths during the court hearing. In a sheer act of love, he dresses as a woman and works as the children's elderly nanny, Mrs. Doubtfire. By acting like a woman, he learns how to be a better father and husband. In the end he is redeemed and the relationships are repaired.

Have you ever been accused of something that’s not true? Have you ever told someone, “You don’t know me!" and probably they don't. They don’t know your history, your challenges, or the challenges you’ve had to overcome. No one can really know us as well as we know ourselves. We can make demands and have unrealistic expectations that other people, our friends, our family, even our employers should “know" what is hurtful to us, what triggers us, and what makes us want to fight or push back. Notice I said these are “unrealistic expectations“ because no one can really meet all of our expectations all of the time. Even When we look at ourselves we can have unrealistic expectations because knowing doesn’t exactly translate into doing. We don’t do for ourselves the good things that we know we should. We eat the wrong things, drink the wrong things, say and do the wrong things. So knowing who we are doesn’t necessarily mean doing what’s best for us. If we can’t get ourselves to behave, how can we have an expectation that others would teat us better than we treat ourselves?

Be graceful to others.

Show grace to those around us who are not intentionally hurting you.

Accept that people make mistakes.

Be kind when we do.

The kindness you show others will be returned to you when you mess up (and you most surely will).


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