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The Utter Madness of Ghosting

We're ghosting each other with alacrity, and the world soon come end o. Time to go ghost busting if you want to live.

Chidi Afulezi
Chidi Afulezi
4 min read
The Utter Madness of Ghosting
Photo by Dalton Smith / Unsplash

In the immortal words of Rakim...it's been a long time, I shouldn't have left you
without a strong write to step to.

Or as someone said in 2022 lingo, "Chidi, you ghosted us o."

Ah, abeg...I didn't ghost you at all. Na just drama. But I can see how I could be accused of ghosting folks.

Ghosting, also known as simmering or icing, is a colloquial term which describes the practice of ending all communication and contact with another person without any apparent warning or justification and subsequently ignoring any attempts to reach out or communication made by said person ~ Wikipedia.

Been thinking about being both the ghostee and the ghoster lately. Let's go the ghoster route first. Get my mea culpa out the way.

It has been a tough last four months for me. As I described in a couple of LinkedIn posts:

It is foggy out there. And I don't mean the weather. I was asked by a friend/mentor how I am doing. My response to her was:

"I feel like I'm an Uber driver in his super high end EQS 53 AMG or RS e-tron, picking up and driving distracted riders just trying to get to their next errand, listening to all the noise on the satellite radio, and stuck in traffic..."

I felt like Daniel Craig in Skyfall. You know when he came back from the dead after getting shot by Moneypenny and just wasn't the same old Bond. Drinking shots with poisonous scorpions on his wrist. Couldn't quite do the pull-ups as powerfully. Or his shot being off target during practice. Even his brooding moodiness, feeling like he was let down by M. Bond against the world. I could relate. My routines fell off. My practice took a hit. Morning and evening rituals off kilter. I killed (ok, deactivated) my Instagram account, because watching all the stage performances and facades weren't making any sense. And slowly, like play like play, Fashi Mindset wasn't being written. I wish I could tell you I started running marathons, took cooking lessons, and became a rock climber.

Na lie. I was just stuck in the lower gears.

Of course, I had to ask myself if I was depressed. I've always had a wary arched eye towards the inclination for folks to declare themselves depressed especially as the stigma of mental issues is wearing away. I have serious respect for the impact of mental illness especially with all the katakata of the past two years, so I could not in good faith say I was depressed. More so in a funk. I think.

So, I wasn't ghosting folks o, please. More like, spiritual muay thai and jiu-jitsu. The grappling and wrestling is doing its thing though, one push at a time. I know there are folks with legit ghosting complaints against me. I'll drink that garri (the mythical Nigerian grain) when it comes. But until then.

We dey here.

Now, about being the ghostee. Nna eh...na wa o. Hmm. I've been ghosted so much, that I sign my emails as the Exorcist these days. I had a potential product client reach out late last year, and we did the dance. Got to a good place, really good place, and then I was asked for pricing and availability. Hang up the Zoom and... static. It's been four months since that conversation, engagement was supposed to start in February. Nada. Nothing. Was my price was too high? Too low? That is a thing o. Not even a glance backwards from Oga Big Client. It was like he was a freaking specter, and I was in the upside down.

Ghosted.

Okay, okay...it's okay let them say o. Trouble no dey pay me.

The nefarious thing about being ghosted is the dark void a lack of explanation creates. You send a Whatsapp with some serious info or question. Crickets. You ask for feedback. Crickets and toads. You give a shout out on social. Echoes in the Sunken Place. The more you are ghosted, the easier it is for you to sink (see what I did there) into self-doubt with no closure and now your psyche goes to battle with itself. Self-esteem sabotage in full effect.  

As a full fledged believer in the power of silence, just because there are blank spaces doesn’t mean they need to be filled. However, ghosting aka the silent treatment has that emotional cruelty aspect to it that I am not cool with. And the fun part is, when you are ghosted, you're wondering "Wait, should I be apologizing for getting ghosted?" See case o. You fashi'ed me, so I should bend knee and make amends for you fashi'ing me? Ok, ma. Ok, sah.

So I get impatient with it, and then I ghost you. Ah. See? May the vicious cycle commence. You ghost me, I ghost you. In Oprah's voice and pointing fingers in all directions...you get to ghost, you get to ghost, everyone gets to ghost!! I didn't call the potential client back or follow up, abeg. Who get time?

I read a piece where the big psychotherapist guru maharaja person said to remember if you get ghosted by someone, the ghosting says more about them than you. Understood. So when there's something strange...in the neighborhood, who you gonna call?

Ghosting busters.

Straight talk, for one. A great ghostbusting technique. Simple yes/no. I'm sure the about-to-be-ghostee would appreciate it. Employers are getting ghosted. Entrepreneurs are getting ghosted. Business partners...ghosted. Friends are getting ghosted. Family getting ghosted...a former co-worker ghosted his teenage kids and they lived in the same house (please don't do this, or they'll be carjacking folks or stealing elections in no time). My barber complains about getting ghosted by clients. I told him I won't do it again, and not to take it out on my afro. Rejection is not the same thing as getting ghosted, so just hit them with the no-thanks one two combo, or the short and concise explainer, and keep it going. I have more respect for folks who give it to me straight with dry lime and no chaser, than those who legit go dark on me leaving me to look in the mirror to see if I had the cooties.

I never got the cooties. So it's not me, it's you.

Anyways, we move. Again, I shouldn't have left you. It is good to be back. See you next week.

Chidi.

Fashi Mindset by Chidi Afulezi