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Caspering…the friendlier version of Ghosting

As often happens when I sit down to "unpack" a topic or respond to an email from a hertelier reader, I usually unpack it for myself first. This part of the process inevitably leads me to Google, where I then explore the subject––in this case, Ghosting––from a variety of viewpoints in order to write a column that could actually help someone.

ghost in coffee

Holy crap! Do you have any idea how many articles—both personal and professional- there are on Ghosting? So many, in fact, that it nearly made me change direction…until I came upon Ghosting, Caspering, and six new dating terms you've never heard of, in The Guardian. More on this in a bit…stay with me.

Ghosting originated in 2011 and became more widely known around 2015 when news outlets reported that actress Charlize Theron broke up with Sean Penn by ghosting him (can you really blame her?) Widely popularized as an exit strategy on dating sites, not surprisingly, the term seamlessly gained traction in the business world, because in spite of the antiquated notion that business is business…business IS personal! Case in point, this article on Work It Daily, 8 Reasons You Got Ghosted By A LinkedIn Connection, which includes;

  • They're Too Busy. ...

  • They're “On" LinkedIn, But They're Not Really “Active" On It. ...

  • They Saw Your Message But Simply Forgot To Message You Back. ...

  • You're Too Aggressive. ...

  • You Didn't Make An Effort To Get To Know Them. ...

  • You Asked For Something Right Away. ...

  • You Gave Them A Creepy Vibe

Not all that different from dating…right?

Listen, I have been ghosted both personally and professionally and it sucks; and I have also been the person who did the ghosting, which sucks in a different way. This is why I found The Guardian piece so compelling. The author, Max Benwell, defines Caspering as, “a friendly alternative to ghosting. Instead of ignoring someone, you’re honest about how you feel, and let them down gently before disappearing from their lives.”

Unpack It with Nancy Mendelson

Truth is, both Ghosting and Caspering are going to sting no matter what, unless the person is heartless, toxic, mean spirited, without conscience, in which case you have done yourself a favor; and if you are on the receiving end, ask yourself if you really want to be in a personal or professional relationship with someone who doesn’t want to be with you. No, you don’t…You are too Boo-tiful for that!

1 Comment

Nico Sheers
Nico Sheers
Oct 31, 2021

Interesting. Another one of the many reasons I'm delighted to be out of both the dating and business worlds.

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