What To Do When People GHOST You

In the past 4 weeks I’ve observed my reactions to being ghosted (aka, when someone just disappears on you).

Some of the ghosters included:

  • A VERY well known social media guru who’s part of a small mastermind I’m in (trust me, you DEFINITELY know him) who confirmed twice he wanted to schedule time asap to talk, then disappeared and stopped replying to my private messages.
  • The head of an international development firm that boasts Google as a keystone client—explored working with us over the course of several weeks, promised to keep me up to date, promised a hard date by which to provide a final decision, then stopped replying to Skype communications completely.
  • The founder of a highly revered VC firm asking me for help who, like the others, reached out… then stopped replying to all communications.
  • A friend who offered to help me during a time of need, then… disappeared.
  • A contractor we reached out to and to whom we offered both paid work and an incredible trade partnership (that he’d specifically requested) who simply stopped communicating.

Each time, I noticed the low-level frustration and anger I experienced when I realized my communications were being ignored.

So I became curious.

WHAT would cause me to feel so frustrated?

I pondered that.

And realized there were 2 core reasons for my frustration:

🔥 REASON #1: 🔥
A belief I hold onto that it’s WRONG to ignore or not respond to someone who reaches out to you.

🔥 REASON #2: 🔥
An expectation that people OWE me a reply if I invest my time and communicate with them.

Let’s break these down.


Looking at REASON #1 –>

If I believe it’s categorically WRONG to ignore someone, I’ll ALWAYS have negative emotions and drained energy when I don’t hear back from him/her.

  • …even IF it’s not in their best interest to reply to me.
  • …even IF they have more important things to do.
  • …even IF their world might be falling apart.
  • …even IF they have their own headtrash and are feeling embarrassed or nervous or apprehensive about replying to me.

I’ll still feel frustrated and wronged.

(Further, this belief likely also causes me to waste time replying to people I would be better off NOT replying to–simply because I feel it’s wrong to not reply to people.)


Looking at REASON #2 –>

Look at my entitlement here, eh?

Some part of me is pretty convinced that just because I give some time/energy/effort to someone else, I’m OWED a reply.

It’s like my mind is acting as if there’s some invisible contract the other person is signing as soon as I decide to communicate with them or as soon as I try to help them.

But there’s no contract.

Yes, perhaps it’s polite to reply to people, but there’s no agreement or contract saying someone MUST respond to me simply because I EXPECT them to.

Or even because they said they would.

WHAT I (AND YOU) CAN DO INSTEAD

Whenever we feel angry or frustrated (as I did when I was ghosted), there’s almost certainly a feeling of powerlessness underneath the anger or frustration.

There’s almost certainly a sense that “there’s nothing I can do about this.”

But oh…

There so *IS* something you can do here.

You DO have power.

While you don’t necessarily always have the power to force someone else to reply to you…

You get to CHOOSE what to learn from, how to respond, and how to react to ghosters.

Every. Single. Time.

  • You can make the choice to disengage completely.
  • You can make the choice to withdraw your help.
  • You can make the choice to followup. Repeatedly. If you want.
  • You can make the choice to not immediately buy what a ghoster promises to do in the future (and plan accordingly).
  • You can make the choice to not invest further energy into someone who ghosts you.
  • You can make the powerful choice to still care about this person and help them down the road if they do ever reach out.
  • You can make the choice to set up systems, processes, or checks to prevent more ghosting down the road (google “Sandler Sales Post-Sell” as an example)
  • You can choose to learn and reflect and ask yourself what YOU might be doing to INVITE ghosting (pressuring too much, being too demanding, being overly direct).

You are not powerless.

You may not get exactly what you wanted, but you have total control and get to choose what you want to do moving forward.


When I realized I was getting frustrated because others weren’t doing
exactly what I wanted when I wanted…

When I realized I was making others absolutely, instantly WRONG for not replying to me (vs. possibly scared, busy, overwhelmed, embarrassed, etc.)…

And when I realized I was anything but powerless in these situations and could actually learn from them and get what I needed from conversations with others instead…

…it reduced the emotional charge of the ghosting….

…and made it no big deal.

I was able to see it wasn’t always about ME.

And having it be no big deal is exactly what I wanted.

Because stressing over things like this that’ll happen in life is nothing but an energy and time suck that doesn’t help me in any way.

Pretty cool.

I invite you to marinate on what I shared today and try it out in your life.

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