Why you should never ghost someone
It’s a peril of modern dating, and the question no one wants to ask – “am I being ghosted or are they busy?”. Unfortunately, it seems it’s rarely the latter. But you are not alone – being ghosted and ghosting is extremely common.
Ghosting has become such a phenomenon today that there are ghosting memes, quotes on ghosting, and even songs about ghosting.
People often think about ghosting in terms of dating. However, it is not just limited to relationships. In fact, it is becoming increasingly common in friendships and across business.
What is ghosting?
Ghosting is when someone ceases all communication without explanation or warning and ignores the other party’s attempts at making contact. It’s called ghosting because it involves someone essentially “vanishing” into thin air as if they were a ghost.
Following the popularity of the term, numerous other creative verbs to describe other dating behaviours such as “benching” and “zombieing” have arisen.
How do you know if you’re being ghosted?
Generally speaking, if you have to ask the question if you’re being ghosted, chances are, you are. There are, however, warning signs you’re being ghosted that you should look out for.
5 signs you’re being ghosted
If the other person is:
- Bailing or cancelling plans last minute
- Unenthusiastic and half-hearted in their responses
- Showing no interest in arranging future plans
- Delaying or non-existent responses
- No longer initiating contact.
If you are experiencing any of the above, chances are you are either about to be or are being ghosted.
Ghosting in the workplace
It doesn’t just take a dating app to get ghosted. In recent years, ghosting is increasingly occurring in businesses around the world.
One of the most dangerous times to ghost for a business is when the media calls. Ghosting and saying ‘no comment’ to the media has damaging consequences.
Having a strong and positive relationship with the media is highly valuable. It increases the chances of your business being able to earn positive media coverage. Businesses rely on positive media coverage to boost brand awareness, build third-party credibility, and promote their business, which is why maintaining strong media relations is vital.
Ghosting journalists will negatively affect your relationship and damage your reputation – especially when in a crisis.
When is ghosting okay?
When it comes to dealing with the media, it is never okay to ignore media enquiries. While you may think ghosting avoids conflict by simply shutting down communication, when a business is under media scrutiny, it has the opposite effect. Running from the camera, saying no comment, and ghosting a journalist will only intensify the scrutiny. This is why saying ‘no comment’ is never an option.
What are people actually saying when they say ‘no comment’?
‘No comment’ means you refuse to respond to a question or give your opinion on a certain topic or event. For businesses, this can be dangerous when under media scrutiny.
No response is a response.
Saying ‘no comment’ can make you appear guilty and suggests you are hiding something. When a business fails to respond to the media, it leads to speculation and mistrust. For stakeholders, it can raise questions concerning transparency and accountability.
Instead, a business should never waste an opportunity for media coverage. Responding to the media gives a business the opportunity to deliver its key messages, to promote its core work, and protect its reputation.
If you don’t feel comfortable responding to the media, or are scared you will say the wrong thing, you may need media training. Media training is essential to building confidence and to equipping company spokespeople with the skills and techniques needed to respond to the media.
Ultimately, ghosting is never the answer. It’s important to communicate and answer questions (even the ones you’d prefer not to). While it can be uncomfortable, it ultimately strengthens your reputation and helps you to maintain positive relationships – saying nothing is almost always worse.