Ghosting people,

Since lockdown I have been ghosting people I don’t like. How should I deal with seeing them again?

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When lockdown started I began ghosting people i didn’t like. I pretended my internet connection was really poor, and I never looked at my phone, so I couldn’t join in the social-media-zoom frenzy. Now they’re relaxing lockdown, should I go back to being smiley and pleasant when I see them, or continue to cut them out of my life?

Ask Marvin
And the answer is?

Marvin’s answer:

On the face of it this is quite a simple one. If you really don’t like them, then cut them out of your life. Why would you invite the life-suckers back in?

Of course, if only everything in life were that black and white.

Lockdown has provided many of us the opportunity to “socially distance” from some people because we want to, not because we have to. And I’m not talking 2m separation here. I’m talking cutting them dead from social media, phone and email. Socially distancing has legitimised ghosting.

Now the weather has picked up and we’re beginning to emerge blinking into the sunlight, you do have to consider the consequences of your actions. By not telling the ghosted people the truth, they’ll possibly be looking forward to some proximity action. At the very least some face to face conversation, maybe a hug or, if we’re really free from the virus, a peck on the cheek.

Options for meeting your spectres

As you approach these ghosted people in the street, or at work, you’ll have to come up with a reason for ignoring them for so long. Obviously, “I’ve been busy” won’t wash unless you’re some sort of work video call junkie. “I just wanted to spend some more time with my family” would have worked for the first day, but the eight weeks after? No.

You could blank them, pretending that since your hair grew into a bush, it sucked all memories of people from your brain. Or, that being at home made you slightly unstable and you can no longer bear to be close to others.

Obviously the right thing would be to let them know you no longer want them in your orbit.

This could be a simple “f**k off” text, or maybe unfriending them in a way they notice, or finally writing a long rambling email about how you value them as a person but are completely uninterested in anything they have to say or do.

Failing that, ask a friend to tell them.

Failing that, and you’re really cowardly, sneeze. Then you can claim you have caught the virus and go into self isolation. Hopefully by the time you emerge again, they’ll have moved on with their lives and you’ll be free to go about yours without them treading on your toes.

Ghosting people can have dangerous consequences

Just hope they get the message and that they don’t take offence. Take special care with those who could curtail your career with your social media messes, or some other dark secret. At the end of the day, ghosting people can cause you as many problems as it solves.

Ghosting people can mean you end up on your own
Don’t end up a lonely ghost

Remember, the more people you ghost, the more likely it is you’ll end up being a lonely ghost. Maybe that fake smile could re-emerge from lockdown too.

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