This week’s letter is from someone wondering if they are to blame for being ghosted. This is a big topic in our world today as we become more disconnected to one another.
If you would like to send a letter to Dear Genie, click the “contact” tab above.
Rejected in the U.S.A writes:
I’ve always been a guarded person for as long as I can remember. The shy quiet kid to the socially awkward adult. It takes a lot for me to open up and reach out to others. Somehow though I’ve managed to enjoy some very intimate long lasting friendships in my life. Here is the problem. It seems as though all of those end suddenly without warning. I find myself ghosted. If that doesn’t happen I find a new friendship that seems to be growing and connecting will suddenly seem like the other person starts to back off. If that happens I start to wonder if I’m being too much for them. Then I feel rejected and will just stop trying to move forward with them all together because I feel hurt. It confused me because as I said if anything I hold back and wait for them to open up before I dare to. So how can I be too much? I’m not sure why this happens. I feel like opening up to people just ends up getting me hurt and wondering what I did wrong?I’m not sure if you can offer any insight to this but maybe you can give it some thought. Thank you.
I’ve always given the advice that you should just be you and the right people will come in to your life. You attract who you are. Likewise, we are drawn to people who are similar to us in some way – maybe even in a way we don’t recognize within our self.
I can’t answer why people ghost you and other people – each person has a different reason and none of those reasons make us feel better for having been ghosted. People get busy. People change. People see something in others that triggers something within themselves and they run from that. Some people are also shy and not comfortable getting too close to others and back off when they feel expectations are being set for their friendship. And, sometimes people are just passive-aggressive and choose to deal with conflict, offenses, and differences by shutting down and walking away.
Notice the common thread in all those reasons; them. Their thoughts. Their behavior. Their choices. Even if you are “too much”, it is something within them that causes them to feel you are “too much”, not your behavior. It’s their own thoughts and beliefs about the world and themselves that determines if they think you are too much or not.
Retrospection is always good after a situation where someone “unfriends” you. Asking yourself questions like…
- Was I giving in the relationship as much as I was taking?
- Was I my true self or pretending to be someone else?
- Was there anything hurtful I said or did that caused them pain?
- Were there areas where I was passive-aggressive and left them wondering why I backed-off?
If you feel like you were authentic and a good friend, then let the friendship go knowing you followed your integrity and that it was something inside of them that sent them away. Wish them peace and healing.
If you can see some areas where you behaved out of your integrity and true self, then work on the thoughts and behaviors that led you to be inauthentic.
You cannot control the behavior of others, but you are responsible for your own growth and self-healing.
Some things I can see from your letter that you might want to dive in to:
Why do you hold back and wait for them to open up first? (Are you worried about being judged? Do you feel unworthy? What self-healing can you do to be more open and authentic?)
Why do you stop trying when you feel they have rejected you? (Do you ask them why they “backed-off”? Do you see if they need supported in some area that they are struggling with? What can you do to be more assertive or ensure you aren’t overthinking things?)
These are just some questions about your own inner thoughts and beliefs that may be holding you back from being authentic and assertive in your relationships. That doesn’t make you to blame or wrong. It just means that you, like every single other human being on this planet, have healing and growing to do.
I believe there is a lesson in every experience. All we can do is learn the lesson, grow, heal, and live our lives as happy and peaceful as possible.
Thank you for the letter. I hope I’ve helped you realize that you aren’t to blame or responsible for the behavior and choices of others – only your own.
Be Yourself. Do your best. That’s all anyone can ever ask for in a friend.
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