‘Ghosting’ from business relationships—and leaving ill will behind

The moniker for fading out on a relationship is familiar on the dating scene, but it happens in business as well. Some say the vanishing act is necessary when vendors don’t deliver.

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Friedmutter emailed, “Hey girl, I know you’re busy but I’d love it if those updates could be made.”

Not a word, despite follow-up emails, texts and a voicemail.

As days went by, Friedmutter worried. Had the designer died, been in an accident, suffered a family tragedy? Had she been paid for past work? Gradually, an awful realization set in: Friedmutter was being “ghosted.”

“Ghosting” is the practice of disappearing from a relationship and ignoring texts, phone calls and other attempts at making contact. The New York Times recently highlighted ghosting in personal relationships, but it happens in business, too.

Ghosting can baffle and infuriate those on the receiving end, and some say it harms those who ghost, costing them future business and good will. Others insist it can allow a quick escape from an unsuccessful relationship.

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