Ghosting, more techniques for introverts – the tutorial

Scroll and quill-pinterestAs a follow-up to my whine post (no, not wine) about people, some friends introduced me to ghosting.

Editor’s Note: This is not the ghosting that you do when dating where instead of “officially” breaking things off, you disappear. This is what you do with friends, even good friends at social functions. It does not mean that you don’t want to be friends but that you’ve had your fill of people for the evening (or you are convinced your cat just barfed on your bed). In my case it usually means that the party is bigger than my attention span or people tolerance.

I’ve been doing it for years but didn’t know it had a name. Now I know. Cool!

Ghosting is slipping out the door when no one is looking.

It’s leaving a social event without the requisite “good-byes” (which I always find tedious and somewhat artificial). It seems like an abrupt departure but you’ve been contemplating it for a good half hour. Maybe longer…like since you received the invitation.

Some examples of standard goodbyes are:

“I’ve had a wonderful time and hope to see you soon” which translates to “I thought I’d never get out of here alive and where the hell did you find such deviates to attend your party?”

“I really miss seeing you” which translates to the universal “Don’t call me. I’ll call you.”

“The food was exquisite!” which translates to “my cat would try to cover it like poop.”

These are stock phrases you feel compelled to use as you leave. Manners dictates it.

If you truly like someone you will find a way to see them and connect even if it’s Facebook or email. No need to declare undying loyalty at every event. That appears clingy. Never appear clingy!

Disclaimer: There are people I truly do miss, enjoy and hope to see soon but using these phrases for everyone dilutes the value of the comment.

According to our friends there are ghosting rules. You can only do it when there are at least six people attending. That means if you are with a friend and excuse yourself to go to the bathroom, you cannot crawl out the window. That would be rude.

If you are the third wheel in a group, you cannot fade into the background and slither out. You must use one of the standard goodbyes although with a small group you can claim you have a headache. (Buck up buttercup! You accepted this invitation!)

You should be upbeat and positive during the time you are there. That helps to disguise the ghosting.

Keep your coat and pocketbook or anything else you need for a quick departure in the car. It doesn’t matter if you turn purple from cold or your nose needs frostbite treatment. In the end, it’s easier. And kinder. Sort of.

The beloved husband and I do this for large parties all the time. Usually by the time we are ready to head out, the host/hostess is engaged in conversation with one of the deviates invited guests or cleaning up the kitchen. In either case I hate to disturb (or get sucked in).

Once you are ready to go, you blend into the background (smiling and nodding your head all the way) and slip out, walking sideways like a crab on a beach. Once out the door you run for the car! Life is good!

I hope this tutorial has been helpful.crab


37 thoughts on “Ghosting, more techniques for introverts – the tutorial

  1. I have never heard the term! Now I know! I have no problem doing this when it’s a large party, but anything smaller than probably twenty people and I’d feel uncomfortably rude. My best position is to not accept the invitation in the first place. I have been known to accept a request and then at the last minute decline…that’s also incredibly rude, I think. But when I begin thinking exit strategies before I even arrive, I know it’s not for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not a fan of big gatherings. Sometimes you have to go and preplanning an exit strategy goes much smoother. I’d feel comfortable ghosting out with 20 people. I’ve done it. When no one notices you are gone, there are too many people there.


  2. I never knew it had a name! (good point about leaving stuff in the car…only here it might get stolen, so could fanny packs possibly return as style? )
    (Odd observation. While some may say manners and set phrases are so superficial and fake, back when people used manners it seemed a lot more cordial and peaceful?)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Been doing the “ghosting” a long time! Very hard to do with a family of huggers, who really aren’t all that in to hugging… just happened Labor Day. The lining up and hugging each person and telling them good bye, see ya, it was great. It’s not like we all don’t see each other regularly and we all let each other know we love and care in other ways too. I was so worn out from all the togetherness on Labor Day that I passed out on the couch before 8pm… and we didn’t even have wine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My family is not hugger-centric (how do you like that word?). However, a few years ago when one got cancer, we have all started hugging. We don’t see each other that often although we connect on Facebook. Since many of my family members are like me, the goodbyes don’t go on and on. I swear we can do it in less than 30 seconds a person.


  4. My husband loves ghosting. He has no concept of etiquette. In fact, the man disappeared while I was saying my good-byes/ being sucked into a conversation at the party last weekend. It was down the block and so he just walked home. Without me.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Haha! I especially liked this:

    “You can only do it when there are at least six people attending. That means if you are with a friend and excuse yourself to go to the bathroom, you cannot crawl out the window. That would be rude.”

    Some good-byes are interminable. Better to exit when they aren’t looking.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Now that I have read your excellent instructions, I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for ghosters at our next gathering. It might be fun to have a secret lock on the front door. I’d watch slitherers and crab-sidlers trying to melt through a locked door. I feel a bit guilty for having read your post, since I’m obviously one of the ones the rest of the world is trying to get away from. I have only two arms for hugging people, but I’ll bet ghosters think I have eight.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve done this before… I wasn’t aware that it had a name. It’s always a relief not to have to say a bunch of good-byes, which can often lead to another half hour of wasted time. A neighbor did it this weekend at a Labor Day party. I think she enjoyed herself while there but, when it was time for her to go, she just wanted to exit. Funny thing, her husband had no idea that she left.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love your neighbor! My husband is usually leading the charge! I don’t really consider it rude at all. Sometimes I will motion to the host if it’s unobtrusive but sometimes that just leads to all those tedious goodbyes and “do you have to leave” guilt trips.

      Liked by 1 person

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