Tautology Tuesday – Ghosting?

So I am in a bit of a rush this morning; I have a LOT of work to do after feeling so poorly yesterday, but I did want to kick off this idea of “Tautology Tuesday.” I am not sure if this is something someone somewhere has already “thought of,” but it’s an interesting idea to me; I often find “tautologies” in the “work” of many “New Age” “practitioners” (my apologies for the gratuitous utilization of the ” ” here! I am the Elaine of the blogging world!) as well as those who advocate “positivism” in the sense of thinking positively (just … ugh.). At any rate, for those of you who are not only not English majors but not Philosophy majors (or perhaps Logic majors), my usage of the term “tautology” here refers (to quote the “Google search definition”) to: “a statement that is true by necessity of by virtue of its logical form.” The “English” utilization of this word necessarily follows from its logical / philosophical definition; however I use it here for “Tautology Tuesday,” follows this fairly simple definition.

Today I want to touch briefly on the concept of “ghosting;” a term I had not heard before talking with a friend earlier this week regarding a personal matter relating to a person I had thought was a good friend and someone with whom I would have trusted my life. Last week, within the span of about 40 hours, I went from something like “friend and family” status to being treated as if I were a random stranger off the street. It hurt me very deeply and in conjunction with the emotional turmoil caused by the slight increase in my steroid intake (followed, of course, by withdrawal), I found myself in something of a highly angered state – I had done everything in my power over the course of several months to try to attain and subsequently maintain this “friend” status (the clarification of a relationship) and on Monday I thought I had achieved it – everything went beyond well and I was, as always, treated like I was “part of the family.” My mind was at ease regarding this “relationship” for the first time in months; I had only one more issue to address and I thought Wednesday would be my opportunity to do so, since I had inadvertently forgotten to bring it up over the previous month. However, when I did bring this issue up, I was suddenly treated as if the “issue” had never happened, that I would certainly not be the recipient of something like a phone call (*by the by, I just wanted to mention that the seemingly forgetful nature of the person about whom I am speaking was later revoked by the fact that this person brought up at least two things which were much “smaller” in scope and much more likely to have been forgotten; I, and the few people with whom I have discussed this matter, have reached the consensus that this person DID NOT forget, but something or someone intervened in some way and made it so that this person could not or did not want to acknowledge said “issue.”*). I was then treated very differently than I have EVER been treated by this person; it hurts me very much even to write this.

At any rate, the actual “problem” above put aside, I found myself interested in this idea of “ghosting,” and why anyone would actually utilize such a “tactic” in a relationship like this – one in which something like a friendship would be nothing but mutually beneficial to the parties involved. For those of you “out of the loop” as I apparently am, this is the definition provided by Goggle for “ghosting” in this context – “the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.” This was very much what I experienced with this person at that particular point in time (subsequent “encounters” have both agreed and disagreed with such “ghosting” behavior – although I won’t get into such petty details here). I found myself repeatedly asking myself what I had done wrong to provoke such a “negative” response in someone who had gone out of his way for months and months to help me and to make sure I was doing okay. I literally searched EVERYTHING; I went through my Internet search history, my phone history, my texts … and there was absolutely nothing. In fact, for those two-ish days during which I had told myself I had to have done SOMETHING wrong, I had really done nothing aside from driving and moving things quickly from the apartment to the new condo. I was crazy busy trying to cram all of this stuff in before Wednesday because I knew after my root canal that day, I might not be feeling well enough to get much more done on my own (little did I know that I would require a higher steroid dosage as well!). Empirically, there was ABSOLUTELY NOTHING I DID OR COULD HAVE DONE TO PROVOKE THIS RESPONSE. I had proven it to myself – so then I had to ask, “why did this person start treating me like a total stranger out of the blue?”

I hit the Internet for information regarding this idea of “ghosting” – I came across this site: https://www.mydomaine.com/why-guys-dont-text-back – and I found an interesting idea; namely, the idea that “ghosting” was not a behavior per se but rather “the absence of behavior.” This idea puzzled me greatly – after all, the absence of behavior is, in and of itself, a behavior, much like the absence of choice (i.e., deciding NOT to decide) is, in and of itself, a choice. These are not random events that fly like arrows from enemies in trees trying to knock us out – these are choices that are made consciously by the people who decide to make them. One has to decide to treat someone poorly when that someone has treated the other person incredibly well for an extended period of time. One has to decide to stop trying to make sure the other person is okay when he has done so before and in much less serious times. One has to decide to act as if he had never behaved in a manner completely antithetical to the way in which he was now conducting himself. And one has to make the conscious decision to pretend NEVER to have behaved so compassionately despite my having definitive proof to the contrary. The very idea of “the absence of behavior” as demonstrated by a behavior is nothing more than a foolish tautology, i.e., using the Google search “English” definition, “a phrase or expression in which the same thing is said twice in different words.” That is to say, the absence of behavior is simply behavior. It is goofy to think otherwise. The aforementioned scenario of “ghosting” is not ABSENCE of behavior, but the choice to behave in a certain way (now, I could accept the certain absence of choice if said individual were mentally incapacitated in some way or were losing his mind or were sociopathic or psychopathic – none of which I believe to be true). I cannot articulate exactly WHY this person chose to behave in this way, but I do believe he did CHOOSE (again, this was confirmed later by the oscillation of behavior / choice).

At any rate, that – as always! – turned out to be a longer post than I had intended! I would really love to hear from you guys – anyone who happens to read any of these posts at whatever time or date you happen to be reading them! I would really love to hear about your stories of “ghosting” in this kind of “friendship” or “advocacy” context or perhaps in a more “serious” relationship sort of context. However you have experienced “ghosting,” I would love to hear about it and how you ultimately dealt with or handled the situation – and perhaps most importantly, what the end result was. I still do not know what the end result of all of this is – why the universe conspired to align a SERIOUSLY LONG line of “coincidences” regarding this person and me and then seemed to change its mind (or did it?). Why this person decided to wiggle his way into my heart (I do NOT take friendship lightly – see the post I have written about friendship if you would like a very small part of my PTSD-like “background” regarding being stabbed in the back and abandoned by friends) and then seemingly stab it out of the blue. I really can only conjure a generic guess that perhaps this person had a very bad day because of at least one person and I happened to be in “the line of fire,” as it were. At any rate, I would love to hear your stories and what you think the point of “ghosting” is – if you think your experience with it was intentional or not. (I suppose if I were to get away from the “tautological” aspect of all of this, I would simply accept the idea that this person had a very bad day and took it out on me – but still, that sort of behavior does involve conscious decisions to some extent; at least if we are to assume “free will” is an actual truth at play in our lives!)

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this post! I am off to move for good this time! Wish me luck! I hope you are all having a much less hectic day today (and a much COOLER day today! It is HOT HOT HOT!!!) and a happy and healthy day wherever you are in the world!

❤ Always, Beth

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