What is ghosting and why you should never do it.

 

Ghosting is usually talked about in relation to dating, but it’s happening in friendships, business, and other kinds of relationships.

Ghosting – When a person ignores or cuts off all communication (phone calls, texts, social media, or in person) with their friends, peers, colleagues or the person they’re dating, with zero warning or notice beforehand or explanation.

Chances are you’ve been ghosted and/or you’ve ghosted someone in the past.

Ghosting is really bad for many reasons, and I’d like to share with you the impact of it and why you should never do it.

With that said, what I’ll share with you applies to ordinary life scenarios where more than anything you just don’t want to communicate with the person, you don’t want to have “the talk” so you just chose to disappear.

The tips below don’t apply to extreme situations such as stalking or abuse. If that’s what’s happening, you should contact the right authorities.

I’m sharing these tips with you to help you see that ghosting is a really shortsighted way of ending a relationship or avoiding uncomfortable conversations. 

Here is why.

1) How ghosting makes you look

Don’t think for a second that disappearing makes you look better than saying what needs to be said. If you’ve been ghosted yourself, you know how it made you think about the other person.
Ghosting makes you look weak, without respect for the other person, narcissistic, selfish, insensitive… the list could go on.

If you no longer want to see or communicate with the person, muster up the courage to let them know. Do it without drama and blaming. Tell them what your reasons are. State the facts.

You may not be liked for that, but at least you will be respected.
If you ghost someone, you won’t get either.

 

2) You don’t know what damage you’re making

On top of caring how ghosting makes you look, you should also be mindful about what impact it can make on the person you’re ghosting.

Whether it’s in dating, friendship, or business ghosting can be pretty harmful. It makes people feel disrespected, less worthy or even disposable.

Why? Because ghosting is a form of social rejection. Research showed that it activates the same pain pathways in the brain as physical pain.

Our brain continuously monitors our social standing and communicates that information back to us through feelings of self-worth and self-esteem. When we’re being rejected or ghosted the low feeling it creates is meant to be a signal that our social standing is low.

The problem is that it may not be about them at all – but rather about you.

Apart from that, there is a psychological impact as well.

When you ghost someone you give them no clue why you’ve done so and thus how to react. This creates the ultimate scenario of ambiguity.
And because our brain doesn’t like ambiguity, it will try to resolve it by coming up with all possible scenarios to fix it.

Should they be worried? What if something happened to you?
Should they be angry? What if you just took, took and disappeared?
Is it something you just do?
The list can go on and on.

The worst aspect of ghosting is that it not only makes them question the quality of the relationship but it will most likely make them question themselves. If you ghost someone who has low self-esteem, they will probably take the blame on themselves and receive yet another blow to their self-confidence.

Why didn’t I see this coming?
Was it something they did?
What’s wrong with me?

You may think “Well, but that’s not my responsibility.”
It kind of is because you triggered it and you could be more grown-up about it by being honest with them.

 

3) GHOSTING IS A TERRIBLE THING TO DO

If there is a personal or professional relationship that you no longer want to continue, whether it’s because your feelings have changed, or you just changed your mind, you got a different offer, whatever it is, do the right thing and communicate that.

You don’t have to go to elaborate details why, unless they ask you.
Sometimes the right feedback can really help someone out.

They can then close the chapter rather than obsession over it for ages, and you can feel that you’ve dealt with it like an adult with principles.

 

4) It will make you feel better about yourself (WHEN YOU DON’T GHOST)

Dealing with the situation is usually the more uncomfortable scenario but when it’s all over you can look in the mirror and feel good about yourself because you’ve done the right thing, faced the challenge, rather than chickening out and letting others deal with it.
These things add to your confidence and character.

When you do that you’re encouraging the right principles in you.

So, these are the four reasons why you should never ghost someone.
I hope it gave you something to think about.

I’d love to hear about your experiences with ghosting and what other reasons you’d add to the list. Let me know in the comment section.

If you need the support of a life coach to help you with making a great first impression or with any other areas of your personal development, you’re always welcome to contact me and let’s find out if we’d be the right match.

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2 Comments

  1. Sophie

    Hi, I think I’ve been ghosted and I am not sure what to do about it. I met a guy on a discussion site and we hit it off intellectually, sharing similar tastes in terms of books that we like, art, etc. I am an art historian working as a Curator in the Arabian Gulf, he is Italian and based in Rome. I think many of us came together on the site during COVID lockdown when we were isolated, and after some fun and friendly discussions, we moved onto IG direct messaging though never followed one another. As well as enjoying some interesting exchanges, I also advised him and did some research on artworks in his collection, as a friend rather than a consultant. We have been communicating regularly since April 2021. During the Christmas and New Year period, he responded less and used only emojis and he was busy and had serious family problems &c. Our exchanges were perfunctory for a while but became more chatty in recent weeks. However, eight days ago, he didn’t reply to a message and has not replied. I have sent a few short messages, which I can see he’s read, but he has not responded. This is quite unusual, and I am left feeling confused and missing the interaction and wondering if I have inadvertently caused offence or if something terrible has happened in his life. He is not posting on the site where we both posted and ‘met’. The real body-blow would come if he started contributing to the site and ignoring me there and on IG. The problem with ghosting, if this is what this is, is that it doesn’t give one closure and I’m the sort of person who needs closure to move on. Eventually, if I don’t hear from him, I will have to write a final message. The question is if I give him the benefit of the doubt in case he has a very good reason for not being in touch, what would be a reasonable time to wait before doing this? A month? And what can I write to make my point while preserving my dignity?

    Reply
    • Tomas Svitorka

      Hi Sophie, thanks for the question. I’ll comment based on what you shared. Sounds like you two had a good connection through your interests. My suggestions would be:
      1) Make sure you keep facts (what you actually know) and the story (what you’re imagining may be happening) separate. Unless you want to make the story work for you, stick with the facts. It’s easy to make it personal (he ghosted you because you said something wrong). This will only play on your mind and will do no good.
      2) If hes’ not active anywhere, then he’s probably busy or unable to be active online for unknown reasons.(Again, stick with what you actually know).
      3) What was meant to be the purpose of this connection? Friendship, professional connection, love? Were your expectations aligned?
      4) Here is how I see ghosting – If it happens, I’m glad. It says a lot about the person and their character, as well as how they valued our relationship. I personally don’t want people like this in my life. If you upset him with something you said (doesn’t sound like you did anything like that intentionally) then the grown-up thing would be to say… “hey, I didn’t like that.” Not disappearing. That’s not ok.
      5) If it was going on since Apr 2021 – that’s a long time. Things like this need progression otherwise people lose interest especially if it’s online only.
      6) Closure – I understand. Many people use “closures” to guilt the other person into responding. That’s not ok and frankly desperate. You can make a closure within yourself without burning the bridge.

      In a situation like this, I’d write something like: Hi John, I haven’t heard back from you for a while. I’m a bit concerned. Is everything ok? Let me know.
      If they choose to ignore it (meaning, you see them being active elsewhere) then I’d move on. Put your time and energy into something with a better ROI. 🙂

      Hope that helps.

      Reply

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