The Art Of Ghosting

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Have you ever called someone on the phone and left a message asking for a return phone call and never hear back from them? How about sending someone a text message or email looking for a response and you never get one? What about a face-to-face conversation, where you ask a question and they say they will get back to you and they never do? Today’s generation has a term for this situation. When this happens, they say that the person “ghosted you.” I think the fact that there is a relatively new term for this behavior is very telling about how we have changed with technology.

When I was growing up, our house phone number was also my father’s office number. Most times when the phone rang, we would wait for my father to answer the phone unless we were expecting a call from someone. In that case, we would answer on the first or second ring before my father answered on his office line. On occasion it would be one of my father’s patients calling at the exact time I was expecting a personal phone call and I would have to knock on my father’s door and tell him that the call was for him. There was no such thing as caller ID or an answering machine. It was always a bit of a surprise whenever you answered your phone.  The phone was also tethered to the wall jack, so you were not moving very far from that location.

Today everyone has a cell phone. Most have a smart phone, which is basically a computer in your hand. Access to information and the ability to communicate with anyone, anywhere is pretty much unlimited 24/7. So why is it that people that now have a greater opportunity to get back to you, yet they do so less than they did before the tech boom? I realize that there is more than one answer to this question, however I am going to focus on just a couple.

The first speaks to overload and overwhelm. With the increased access to infinite information comes an overload of data for our brain. Without focused attention we can easily become distracted and our attention is diverted to the next thing that AI (artificial intelligence) has put in front of our eyes. Even when our intention is focused, it can be diverted in a moment with just the right bait for our brain. “I meant to text you back, but I got distracted.” That at least is an honest admission.

The other reason for ghosting comes down to not wanting to deal with the question or conversation. When things are difficult or uncomfortable, it seems much easier to just ignore the situation all together. I once heard this described as “stepping over” the issue. The guy came up with this term described a scenario where the household pet pooped in the living room. The father in a rush to get to work sees it on his way out the door, and takes note, but keeps going. The kids come downstairs and smell it, but don’t want to clean it up, so they go outside. Mom sees it and is furious that her husband ignored it and so did the kids, so she decides to do the same. Eventually the turd in the living room is there so long that it become almost like a new piece of furniture that everyone has to step over.

This behavior is more common that you may realize. We are all guilty of stepping over all kinds of things in our life. “I know I should workout today, but I don’t have the time.” “I had to grab lunch today at (insert fast food chain) because I didn’t have time to make myself something good to eat.” Ghosting someone in regard to communication is just an extension of how we ghost ourselves. Someone that ignores your phone calls, texts or emails may seem to be lacking in integrity. It is merely an outward extension of the lack of one’s integrity toward themselves. Ignoring the truth to protect one’s current path carries with it eventual consequences. We see this everyday with lifestyle diseases like type two diabetes and heart disease.

The solution is to learn to lean into the uncomfortable truth. Get comfortable with doing what is right even though it is not easy. This what any successful people have done to attain success in whatever area of life you can think of. Pretending and ignoring is a really poor strategy to live by.

Lombardi Chiropractic Family Health Center
1116 Upper Lenox Ave.

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Lombardi Chiropractic
1116 Upper Lenox Avenue
Oneida, NY 13421
(315) 363-4114

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