Monday, October 31, 2016

Overthinking everything you might have done wrong

I recently met a woman at a party who sees ghosts. 

Not paranormally, of course. Human ghosts. Men who appear to be interested in dating her, but all of the sudden, stop replying to text messages and never call back and leave her hanging like a tire on a bike rack. 

Meanwhile, she’s waiting around without clarity or closure or certainty, wondering if this clown has disappeared off the face of the earth. 

It’s a very real phenomenon in modern dating. It’s called ghosting, colloquially defined as a pervasive act where one dater ends a relationship by simply disappearing, without an explanation of any sort, leaving the ghosted wondering where he or she went wrong. 

It’s confusing and frustrating and hurtful and dismissive. It makes people never want to date again. 

What’s worse, it launches people into an infinite regression of overthinking everything they might have done wrong to cause ghosting to happen. 

Because that’s the natural human response to a lack of communication. We revert to worse case scenario thinking. 

What’s interesting is, ghosting doesn’t just happen in dating. It happens in business too. 

I receive emails every week from potential clients who are keen on hiring me as a corporate trainer at their company. And so, I write them back and send them books and leave them messages, doing everything in my power to wow them, scratching and clawing for weeks and months at a time, only to get crickets. 

And I think to myself, you guys came to me, what the hell? 

But then I remember how human behavior works. 

First, confrontation is hard. And rejecting people is even harder. That’s why most of us would rather say nothing than no. Accept it. 

Secondly, it’s not personal, it’s just timing. Look, people change. Budgets go away. Calendars rearrange. And there’s not much anyone can do about that except move on. 

The point is, everyone gets ghosted eventually. Either when they’re dating, when they’re doing business, or both. And it feels shitty.

But the moment we start giving it energy and creating unnecessary psychological fuel around it, before we know it, that ghost suddenly has power over us. 

Are you skilled at letting go?


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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
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