The Pain of Ghosting

I shouldn’t have expected anything from it. I was delighted when I found a fellow writer was also a neighbor, and reached out to her enthusiastically. She was welcoming at first, and we promised to get together after I got back from a week’s vacation. 

When I returned I contacted her and she said she was moving but to contact her in a few days. She was polite but when the day came and I tried to get in touch, I heard nothing back. No call, no text, no email, no Facebook messenger, zero. I was finally ghosted, and now I know how bad it feels. 

That very same morning, it was a hot summer day, I was taking out the trash and I saw a bag of water bottles and apple juice boxes by the bins. Likely put there by our very thoughtful neighbor for the homeless folks that wander through our alley. Her small kindness touched me. It was so typical of her, and so much in contrast to the other behavior.

Why can’t we all be a little bit more polite online and off to each other?   A quick note, a little bit of empathy, just a little more thoughtfulness.

But we all do it, just completely ignore someone when we are too busy or uninterested or whatever. I’ve done it, you’ve done it too. It hurts to be on the other end though. Next time you are tempted to ghost someone, think about it, how would you feel?  

And what if we all behaved better in general, like they tell kids in kindergarten, to “share and care.” To think of others first. Then the little rudenesses wouldn’t evolve into the really big ones. Like war, terror, racial violence, and the unimaginable gun heartbreak that is so common lately. It starts with you and me, right here and now.

In the end, the ghosting neighbor did reach out with a quick Facebook note, but by then, I had gotten the message, loud and clear.

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