Sitting here writing this post, I am reminded of the current ghost that I am trying to forget. For the lucky ones who do not know what ghosting is, it is when someone abruptly disappears on you i.e. goes full-on MIA (missing in action). There is no contact, no explanation, no closure, just unanswered questions. If you suffer from low self-esteem, ghosting further decimates your confidence as you’re left wondering WTF you did wrong to cause someone to literally disappear.
Even for those of us with healthy levels of self-esteem, you begin to question what you did, said, or how you could have done things differently. Ghosting has a way of bringing out all the insecurities in you, more so than full-on rejection. With rejection, there is closure, finality, sometimes even a pathetic excuse or explanation. Though rejection may hurt, the person or business has the maturity and empathy to communicate to another that they can no longer continue with the relationship or hire someone as an employee. Ghosting, on the other hand, is just disrespectful because one person has shown no consideration for another’s feelings or time invested. With ghosting, the door is not shut but left ajar to haunt us. So how do you increase your bounce-back rate and turn into a ghostbuster? By following the below playbook, that’s how.
- Send one last text or email: I’m usually not a fan of chasing people or companies giving in to your feelings especially when you’re vulnerable and not feeling your best. However, if you believe you had a genuine connection and their lack of response/acknowledgment is eating away at you, text or email them one last time. Keep it simple and light, even if you’re angry. Their response or lack of response will tell you everything you need to know and give you the final push to move on.
- Keep busy: Exercise, hang out with your girlfriends, pick up a new hobby, and focus on anything but this romantic related person, company, or business partner. You need to detox and break any habits/routines that you had developed with them. DO NOT at all costs reach out to them. They have already shown through their lack of action, how you rank on their priority list. You deserve so much more than settling for someone’s inconsistent behavior. And even if the ghost reappears, ask yourself if you are comfortable going for another stretch of time NOT hearing from them. Unless they had a good excuse for disappearing (life-changing news, no way to contact you), their reappearance should not unhinge you or reset all the progress you’ve made.
- Focus on yourself: Why did this ghosting affect you so much? What insecurities did this bring out? Were you looking for validation from that person, job, or business partner? What can you do better or improve in your dating, business, or career situation? How will you react if this happens again? Is there a reoccurring pattern among the people you are choosing to date or the jobs you apply for or people who you try to work with? Remember, someone ghosting you is never about YOU. It is about that person’s baggage and lack of maturity. However, choosing the types of people you date, want to work for, or work with, how you react to the situation, and moving on is in your control. This evaluation can reveal a lot more about yourself than the ghost ever could.
- Get back out there: after some time has passed and you’ve healed from the ghosting, get back out there to find someone, the job, or business partner who is available. You should be able to spot any red flags a lot quicker the second time around from someone who is (emotionally) unavailable, immature, and just not able to meet your standards.