While at times ghosting a person can admittedly feel like the path of least resistance, the truth is, it leaves a mess in its wake for both parties involved.
I’ll never forget the first time I was ghosted. It was several years ago and I’d been out on a handful of dates with a dashing young gentleman. For whatever reason, when he decided things weren’t feeling right to him (which, hey, it’s happened to all of us) rather than simply talk to me about it, he opted to ghost me. What does that mean?
Ghosting is when a person stops replying to your texts (or calls or emails for that matter) as a way of communicating to you: “I’m out.”
If you’ve ever been ghosted you know there’s no doubt about it – it hurts. We’ve all experienced rejection in our lives, but ghosting feels different. In a way it’s even more painful because it feels like, wow, you couldn’t do me the decency of talking to me about it?
But wait! Before you think my blog today is a rant about the crappiest parts of modern dating (and there are many), hold on.
The truth is, ghosting happens in the professional realm too.
Have you ever sent an email (or two) to someone you know, only to literally never receive a reply?
Have you ever spent hours on a proposal only to be forced to take your recipient’s total silence as an “I went with someone else”?
If you have, you know these actions 100% feel like ghosting and 100% hurt.
So in an effort to encourage all of us to take that high road, be better communicators, and ultimately have more faith in others, here are my top three reasons to stop ghosting once and for all.
Reason #1: They’ll never forget it.
If you need to say something to someone that they might not like (i.e. you’re going with another service provider or you can’t date them anymore) and you ghost them, you can bet your sweet bippy that if you two run into each other in the future? Awwwwwkward. And if you need their help at some point? Forget about it. But if you instead opt to kindly but clearly tell them that thing you need to say, your bridge will not burn. Sure it might close down for a short while, but it won’t burn. And I promise you they will hold more respect for you in the long run if you do the hard thing and talk to them instead of ghosting them.
Reason #2: It communicates that you don’t care about them.
Ironically, some people ghost because, in the moment, it somehow feels kinder to not say anything at all as opposed to saying the unpleasant thing that needs to be said. But this is all backward. When a person ghosts us, it feels like they’re saying: “I don’t think you’ll be able to handle what I have to say, so I’m choosing to ignore you instead.” What could be more unkind than that? And I’ll tell you another thing. Every single time I’ve had to let someone down, whether it meant breaking it off with a guy or choosing another person’s services, they in return expressed their gratitude for my telling them. People appreciate, value, and respect honesty – even when it’s uncomfortable.
Reason #3: It denies you the chance to become a better communicator.
Sure, having hard conversations is, well, hard. But as with anything else in this world, the more you do it the easier it becomes. Remember that your job is NOT to control how other people feel or how your actions affect them. Your job is simply to communicate your needs and what’s best for you as kindly and as clearly as you can. Rejection does not have to equal unkindness. When we choose to have difficult conversations with the people in our lives instead of ghosting them, we’re telling them “I have faith in you. I know you’ll be fine.”
Because you know what? They will. And you will too 🙂