The Psychology Of Being Ghosted At Work And How To Deal With It

“No replies to my emails, no calls, my texts going from unseen to seen and ignored, I have seen it all. It affected my mental peace and made my social anxiety alarmingly high. But, then I learned that being ghosted doesn’t speak about my worthiness for being included and loved.”

Ghosting, to all those who have experienced it but don’t know the term, is the act of disappearing into thin air at a speed of light or sometimes, gradually, without any written or verbal explanation for doing so. Being ghosted at work is as common a phenomenon as having a Netflix subscription. Every relationship has a beginning, middle and an end and that includes business relationships. But, when a particular relationship begins on a positive and promising note, be it an internship for which you have been shortlisted, then it is natural to expect a bit of responsibility and obligation, hence, unexplained goodbyes or endings are tough to gulp down. It is our extreme and uncontrollable urge to expect something in return for what we have invested, both emotionally and physically, that leads to severe disappointments after being ghosted at work or in personal life.

So, to present a clear and concise story about the psychology of being ghosted at work and the ways to deal with that grief-stricken hangover, we bring to your knowledge the following specimens of the human psyche.

1. The Busy Ghoster

The busy ghoster can be your immediate boss at work or your colleague from the marketing department who goes on and on about how much busier their life is than anyone else’s. At times, you will try to find justifications for the pile of unread texts or seen but not replied ones, and that can be taxing but you will be able to convince yourself that it is not hated.

The Psychology

Over the time, you will come to a realization that it is not about being extremely busy, it is about not being in their priority list. Being ghosted at work brings a whole new level of low self-esteem. You begin to question your worth and that disturbs any kind of mental tranquility. One thing you need to know that the other person who has built walls of indefinite silence is the one to blame for zero communication.

The Solution

The only solution is to put her in a position which she can’t avoid. Working your way back to his/her to-do list for work purposes is difficult but not impossible. Ask for deadlines and finish the work before or by the deadline so that it is not you who didn’t do the work but it’s that person ghosting you who needs to get rid of their personal vendettas and reply because it’s a responsibility and accountability too.

2. The Ghoster That Can’t Say No

The ghoster that can’t say no is the worst type to deal with at work. Being surprisingly ghosted at work despite being on the same page with every format of the project or the new brand marketing idea can be magnanimously upsetting. This type of ghoster is always in agreement with you and whispers sweet nothings every now and then. But, when you actually begin to rely on him/her for work advice and decide to go on dinner or lunch to discuss the next big seminar, you might end up waiting for the person your entire life. They don’t say no when you communicate, they just ignore and that’s plain and simply annoying.

The Psychology

There are some people who don’t have the courage to be upfront about their real feelings and thoughts. So, they stay mum and go round and round in circular orbits of ‘yes, yes, yes…’ but when the deadline or the day for the dinner comes, they sheepishly back out, leaving you in an inevitable position of waiting. That makes us impatient and we, for a moment, forget that the person too is human and can feel uneasy about reciprocating the actuality of their emotions and opinions. Don’t we do the same when we are afraid of being taken not seriously or when we are trying to impress anybody?

The Solution

It takes a toll to confront yourself with the knowledge you have been denying all the while. There will be times in life when someone would cancel on you but never take it to heart. There might be several reasons for being ghosted at work and never make that your weakness by giving them an upper hand of superiority over your self-worth. Keep in touch and never make them feel guilty for bailing out because they might actually be feeling guilty already.

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3. The Indecisive Ghoster

The indecisive ghoster is one of the most common attributes found among young aspirants in any field of work. Speaking from few real-life experiences, we can say that students applying for internships in their own field of academics, generally tend to be more excited and pumped up to give their best in the initial days which kind of decreases by the time the workload is at peak. They haven’t ever been in actual pressure of a job and that’s new and can be tiring so indecisive ghosters can’t really be blamed.

The Psychology

The ideas of the employer and the work details might not be fascinating to the intern or the employee after the first week of excitement has subsided and blended into the mayhem of professionalism. Ultimately, the employee is going to resign from the position and that’s better than reluctant, poor quality work submissions. So, if you as an employer haven’t been able to sell your idea or pitch about it then, the fault of things not working out and eventually being ghosted at work can be divided as 50-50.

The Solution

Once you have got the idea that the intern or employee isn’t interested in your working scheme anymore, try and push, challenge and take him/her out on a lunch to discuss what you are lacking at. Talk and try your best to make him/her feel important and valued from your side. But then, if a resignation is meant to be, then it will happen even if the entire universe conspires against it.

4. The Serial Ghoster

The serial ghoster is very similar to the busy ghoster. Being ghosted at work by them is disheartening but you can never stay mad at them. They know how to win your heart and break it while you just learn to cope and the cycle goes on and on. They make up to you by showering all the love possible verbally the next day and you, prone to falling for sweet words, forgive them.

The Psychology

Their functioning psychology is difficult to put up with. Not being in the priority list of someone whom you work for is very saddening and it’s a strenuous battle between hoping against hope and truth of the situation. Serial ghosters are witty when it comes making you work despite your wish. They don’t play hard but they are very hard to get hold of.

The Solution

Try reverse psychology on serial ghosters. Now, what is reverse psychology? It is one of the most common techniques used in an employee-employer relationship. Reverse psychology is the presentation of an idea or reaction that is supposedly opposite to the desired one. Use sentences like, “that is how firm partners work. You do something; I return the favor and repeat.” Persuade them indirectly to keep in touch with you and collaborate more and more despite their choices.

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5. The Permanent Ghoster

The permanent ghoster is everyone’s nightmare. You will be ghosted, ghosted and ghosted at work by them and nothing you do will ever be sufficient for them. Your best efforts will go unrecognized and unappreciated and that’s not only depressing but also discouraging. You end up finding faults in yourself and that can deteriorate your mental peace in no time.

The Psychology

The doors of silence are the hardest to be broken and entered. You might not realize, but permanent ghosters belong to the judgmental species and from your very first introduction, he/she has decided that you just don’t fit into his/her requirements. We all get spam emails from Amazon, Myntra and what not, do we bother reading those emails? No, right? We consider that as a waste of time, and for all you know and however harsh it sounds, you might hold that level in the permanent ghosters’ lives.

The Solution

There is only one solution. Write better than you can. Steps are:

  • Write subjects that are catchy and can draw anybody’s interest.
  • Convey what you want to. Don’t go round and round and end up scattering important here and there and ultimately giving the message no meaning at all.
  • End like an out-of-box person. Be courteous and sign off with gratitude rather than pretending to be extremely faithful and sincere.

Cold acknowledgments are similar to being ghosted at work on a daily basis and in this article, we have tried to put emotions to ghosting incidents so that at the end of the day, you feel that you are not the only one.  

What do you think of being ghosted at work? Share with us in the comments below.
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