Self Ghosting: The New Trend | Jennifer Magley

Ripping open the first box, the scent of roses filled the air. These boxes containing roses were everywhere and it seemed like they would never stop coming through the door. Once unpacked they consumed my living room and took over an hour to get situated. When the cardboard and counting settled there were 18 dozen roses.

Yes, 216 roses (in boxes) were delivered to me from…eh hmm… my boyfriend of over a year. My heart surged with elation as I laughed at his over the top gesture. Finally, I whispered, as my heart swelled. Finally I was loved.

Imagine then if you will, how it felt when he said the next day, “I’ll call you tomorrow” but the phone did not ring.

Two days.

A week.

A month.

Around day seven the roses became more like funeral arrangements wilting as my hope sagged. The phone never rang again.

I, had been GHOSTED. 👻

Since this term was not popular in pre-social media days I described it as “he disappeared.” However, I knew he was doing just fine when he played in the Super Bowl weeks later and won. Surely nothing too horrible had happened to him when I saw him smiling in Chunky Soup commercials, his mother in tow. 

Seeing him happily living his best life did not appease my fully broken heart or answer my questions. 

It is devastating when someone we care for “ghosts” on us. When they break their word or evaporate it can be utterly perplexing. Once you get past the stages of sleuth like reflection (did I miss the signs) and the blame (was it something I said) you quietly settle into indifference.

Party City’s “Ghost Costume”

Ghosting has become a sort of recent phenomenon as more people implore its tactics. Apparently, “Ghosting” is so popular now that Party City has a Halloween costume devoted to the practice. Forbes calls it “A billion dollar dating problem” while companies around the world are citing it as a “crisis” in the hiring process and beyond. 

Suffice it to say, chances are you have both been ghosted or have ghosted someone before. Whether it be going to get a gallon of milk and never coming back or not attending that afterwork event without an explanation, all have sinned and fallen short. Yet here is a question worth considering:

Are you ghosting on yourself?

Here is the number one sign that you may be breaking promises and not showing up for you:

  1. “I’ll start tomorrow…”

Over the last 10 years I have heard this from coaching clients that have an all or nothing mentality. I ate a cookie so the whole day is f’ed, bring on a dozen more. When you want something you can control but do not have it, look closer to see if you are more committed to something else. For example, I really want to be healthy for my kiddos is in direct conflict with the commitment to driving through the fast food lane every day. 

Am I saying that you are more committed to a cheeseburger than your child?

Yes.

There is no blame in this truth and we are not alone. Harvard released a study where they told 100 heart patients they would die in a year if they did not change their habits. A year later how many had changed? Only one in seven took action, that’s right only 14 people changed.

When you say you will be healthy and then take adverse action: you are self ghosting.

When we blame others for the position we are in: self ghosting.

When we accept being broke, broke down, and broken for too long: self ghosting.

It’s as though we are writing checks to ourselves and never bother to cash them. Take that promise you made to yourself to the bank. When we show up and hold ourselves accountable then success is within reach. As Goethe once said “Whatever you can do or dream, you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” Take heart, magic dispels ghosts every single time.

Jennifer Magley is a former professional athlete, speaker, author, and High Performance Coach. More information can be found at www.magleyjennifer.com and videos on YouTube.