Ghosting Professional Contacts Is Not A Good Look. Here’s Why

Have you ever suddenly stopped communicating with someone without giving an explanation, or have you experienced this from someone else? It's quite common to ghost someone, abruptly ending contact without an explanation. I must admit, there have been times when I ghosted individuals who either triggered me or made offensive remarks. However, as I've matured and gone through over twenty years of therapy, I've recognized the importance of understanding the impact of such actions. Reflecting on instances where I have caused someone distress helps me understand better and improve how I handle conflicts going forward.

As a person recovering from alcoholism, I truly understand the two-way nature of relationships. The Big Book used by Alcoholics Anonymous teaches us to thoroughly examine ourselves and accept that acceptance is vital, which is also applicable when we find ourselves ghosted. Professionally, when I choose to cut off contact, it's to protect my sobriety, which for me, is a life-or-death issue—as I could consume an astonishing amount of vodka in a short period.

Now during Mental Health Awareness Month, it's crucial to discuss the ramifications of ghosting. Often, we may quickly hit "block" on our phones or "restrict" on social platforms without considering the emotional aftermath for the person on the receiving end. That's why I consulted Dr. Shané P. Teran, a seasoned mental health professional and CEO at SP Consulting Group, LLC. Originally from Ohio, Dr. Teran highlighted the negative appearance ghosting can have in professional contexts. She pointed out that those experiencing mental health challenges are more prone to ghost, particularly if they are not actively receiving treatment.

Ghosting can be incredibly damaging. It affects the mental health, self-esteem, and worldview of the ghosted party. I've recognized that not all disappearances are personal. Life's responsibilities like jobs and family can lead to unintentional ghosting. For example, an editor once stopped responding to me due to the birth of his child; he eventually got back in touch, which clarified that his silence was not intentional ghosting.

In my drinking days, I would cut people off immediately for actions I found disrespectful or annoying. But now, with a degree of emotional sobriety, I reflect deeply before deciding to sever ties. It’s healthier and more productive to discuss issues and clarify feelings before deciding to take space or end contact. Ghosting someone without discussion prevents transparency and resolution, and it often sends a harsh message.

Ending relationships or professional contacts should involve open communication about feelings of hurt or disrespect before making a final decision. Realizing the value of a short conversation has been a learning curve for me. Therapy has been instrumental in helping me understand my choices to ghost, block, or report someone. It's pivotal to acknowledge people are not disposable—both in personal and professional realms. Therefore, taking accountability is key, which is something Dr. Teran and I agree upon, pointing out the unprofessional nature of ghosting and the importance of cultivating healthy communication skills in professional settings.  

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post