This blog is first in my series about Healthy Communication
Ghosting: The act of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.
In other words, people don’t know what to say, so they say nothing at all.
Here’s my professional recommendation: Just STOP it!
Get back to people. Answer their questions. Tell them what you’ve decided. Don’t stick your head in the sand, cross your fingers and hope everything will work out on its own.
To be taken seriously, you must always be in control of yourself and your messages.
Yes, some situations are tough to handle. But you don’t need to resort to ghosting. These three simple steps will help you address any icky situation.
- Speak the truth. You are talented, capable and important, even if it doesn’t feel like it. So, keep a balanced perspective about what is true and what isn’t. Consider both the good and the not-so-good. Did you forge ahead without proper preparation or let someone convince you to ignore values? A truthful yet rational evaluation always leads to happier times and more success.
- Be kind to yourself. Always use positive or neutral words about yourself and any situation. For example, rather than saying, “Man, I really shouldn’t have agreed to that. I’m so impulsive,” say, “I let my excitement get the best of me. But now that I’ve given it more thought, I’ve decided to go in another direction.”
- Remember that there are two sides to every story. Somebody else’s bad day, lack of sleep or personality quirks may affect their opinion of you. And that, my friends, is something you have absolutely no control over. But there’s always your side of the story … and here YOU get to write the ending.
This is what professionals do
Not interested in a new opportunity? Call the person right away and say, “I’ve decided not to move forward and here’s why.” You don’t have to divulge every detail behind your decision, but at least give them one. Don’t leave people guessing. It only damages your credibility. They may counter that reason, but simply stick to your message and politely end the conversation.
Before you act . . .
Often times, people know they should respond, but they just can’t find the right words. So they put it off until they can find the time to craft a suitable message. Then they never get back to this challenging task. After enough time passes, they may feel it’s easier to walk away then send an awkwardly late message.
My suggestion: Don’t put off a difficult message. If you’re struggling to find the words, get help. A timely and clear message will protect your reputation and let you sleep easier at night.