Ghosting is the most valuable tool in an introvert’s arsenal.
If you don’t know what ghosting is, this guide may not be for you. You may, however, find it useful for catching out that family member who disappears from Christmas dinner before dessert. Without saying goodbye.
(It’s me. I am that family member).
Ghosting is exactly what its name suggests: the art of vanishing into thin air. Of sipping a glass of wine and being mid-conversation one moment… and being out the door the next.
Sure, there are one or two basic rules to follow. But ghosting is a loose concept… it’s malleable.
I encourage you to take the general concept of ghosting and make it your own. Add some flair. A few signature moves, perhaps.
And look… I know it’s not the politest thing to do. But I’m all about efficiency. And wasting 40 minutes doing the ‘goodbye’ rounds? Ain’t nothin’ efficient about that.
Listen: Robin Bailey and Bec Sparrow discuss small talk – questions to ask, and those to avoid – on The Well. (Post continues after audio.)
There will be times when, for whatever reason, you gotta bail. You just gotta.
And here are the four steps to follow when you’re upon those times.
1. No goodbyes. Period.
This is your bread ‘n’ butter. If you say goodbye in your ghost, it’s not a ghost.
You CANNOT TELL PEOPLE YOU’RE LEAVING. Because it starts a chain reaction of goodbyes. Some short. Some long-winded.
Most people don’t understand that ‘goodbye’ means you’re ready to leave. They take ‘goodbye’ as a conversation opener. They want to know why you’re leaving. They want to know where you’re going. They want to make a follow-up meeting which will, no doubt, never be followed up.
When you give someone the ol’ “Was good to see you, I’m heading off”, it’s never met with, “You too, see ya.”
It’s met with, “Aw, you’re not having fun”, and “I see you have somewhere better to be…” and awkward jokes that make you wish you’d just made a run for it. Which is exactly what you should’ve done.
2. Don’t tell people you’re ghosting.
This seems like an obvious one, I know.
My Dad’s a big ghoster — it must be where I inherited the gene from. The problem is, he prefaces his ghosts with a disclaimer: “I’m ghosting in five minutes.”
Think about spending months in training, practising a super secret set play… and then telling the other team what it is before you use it.