I read this article today and it was about young people ghosting work and it has been driving employers crazy. As I finished reading it and I was sharing it, I found myself chuckling, because I couldn’t believe it. That it is actually happening in the workplace and it’s now a thing. Perhaps let’s start with the definition of ghosting according to Urban Dictionary which is the main reference for any word, whose literal definition doesn’t make sense in the context it has been used in.
It is the act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date. This is done in hopes that the ghostee will just “get the hint” and leave the subject alone, as opposed to the subject simply telling them he/she is no longer interested. It is not specific to a certain gender and is closely related to the subject’s maturity and communication skills.
Then go into where it all started, dating. Have you ever ghosted someone and has someone ever ghosted you? What made you do it? What did it make you feel on both accounts, being the doer of this ghastly act or the recipient of the same? Well, for me it’s yes and yes. When I have ghosted someone, it mostly happens subconsciously, where I lose the interest in having conversations with that person. It could be because I’ve picked up something from our conversations that I don’t advocate for and our positions on it are extremely contradicting (especially on matters values/beliefs/principles) or I make an observation that implies that it will be a real struggle nurturing this relationship that we’re trying to build. I’m not proud of doing it, because it just displays my immaturity in handling some of these things. I chose to run away from it as opposed to dealing with it head on. Sometimes no response is a response, but not necessarily the best even for me, because it’s left as a grey area.
The times I have received the same treatment, I just go with the flow. I take hints real fast, especially when I am unsure of my space in someone’s life. I call it self-preservation. I take it as it is instead of trying to make sense of something that’s not in my control i.e. another person’s choice or decision. And I know for a fact that when someone goes silent on me for too long and there’s no desire or interest to reach out to them and vice versa, then for sure we didn’t have enough glue to hold us together. This is with regards to dating. As for friendships, what works best for me are they type of friends who when we meet it’s like we were never apart. We catch up where we left off even if we had not talked in a long time. And that to me does not equate to ghosting, we’re just doing life the best way we know to.
As for work, it’s fascinating, because I know that it’s the recruiters and employers who ghost interviewees by not giving themany feedback whatsoever or taking eons to give them the feedback. I mean it hurts to be told you didn’t get the job, because there were other better or more competitive candidates, but it hurts even more not knowing or being left in limbo, because you’re still hoping they will call you or there’s a chance that you might have scored it! But in the article the recruiters share their frustrations,
Among younger generations, ghosting has “almost become a new vocabulary” in which “no response is a response,” says Amanda Bradford, CEO and founder of The League, a dating app. Now, “that same behavior is happening in the job market,” says Bradford, who’s experienced it with engineering candidates who ghosted her company.
Whether it’s in a new relationship or a new career appointment, being clear about your position is the mature thing to do. It might hurt to be the one to break the news that you’re not interested or you have a better option or you’re not ready or you just need more time to pursue other things or you’re dealing with your daemons, but at least you’ve said it. So that the next time you bump into the person you were with or were dealing with (i.e. you would have potentially ghosted), it’s not an awkward moment that leads to you thinking of the ‘what ifs and what could’ve beens’, worse yet, be engraved in their little black book of people they’ve cancelled in life.
When you give yourself permission to communicate what matters to you in every situation you will have peace despite rejection or disapproval. Putting a voice to your soul helps you to let go of the negative energy of fear and regret.
Shanon. A. Alder