Control by delays & ghosting.

control by delays and ghosting red flag professional behaviour from the pen of

1️⃣ Definition

Where control in a healthcare setting is the misuse of their authority, disrespect your power and rights and isolate you from your sources of support. They use the following methods to achieve this.

▶️ they tell you what to do or else they will discharge you, close your complaint. In other words they dictate their terms to you with no room for compromise.

▶️ influence your decision

▶️ manipulate you into doing things the ‘right way’ ie their way.

▶️ and/or deny you health treatment.

2️⃣ Some of the more subtle signs of control can be:

control by delays and ghosting funny red flag professional behaviour from the pen of

▶️ Threatening you with an ultimatum of do as we say or go away.
▶️ Putting you down when things don’t go their way. i.e. ‘You don’t understand’


▶️ Using banter as a disguise for criticism.
▶️ Making you feel unworthy or worthless. i.e. ‘you are the only person who has ever responded in this way.‘

3️⃣ This can lead to:


▶️ Fear of being without treatment leading to a deterioration in your condition.
▶️ Difficulty taking action or making decisions. The freeze stress response
▶️ loss of trust and sometimes hope that things will ever get better
▶️ chronic threat/stress chemical depletion leading to the creation of a chronic and toxic Trauma-stress disorder.

4️⃣ Delays


If a report or clinical investigation is delayed at the last minute, it causes uncertainty about the trustworthiness of the treatment provider. I liken it to waiting for exam results or the outcome of a job interview.

Living in anticipation of the results can be anxiety provoking but you can limit your anxiety levels by reminding yourself that you are playing the waiting game and the game will end shortly.

4️⃣.1️⃣ But how do you cope when the games ‘ends’ and the other player decides to start a new game?

▶️ Do you join the new game and play along?

▶️ Feel anxious as you are unsure what the new rules are? ▶️ Do you refuse to play and/or

▶️ strongly object to the introduction of the the new rules? Generating increased levels of anxiety in case you are penalised for not playing the game?

4️⃣.2️⃣ When the timeline of the response is out of your control, you are unable to:

▶️ plan your time.

▶️ Or regulate your emotions

▶️ plan for the future

You live in a constant state of uncertainty as you have no idea when the response will arrive.

5️⃣ Control and communication

In a healthcare setting where the treatment provider or complaint handler have all the control and no accountability. This causes more stress.

Stress chemicals affect the way you interpret events. So you may come across as angry, rude or abrupt. Which is why delays are so powerful, because they have ‘evidence’ to discredit you or character assassinate you.

5️⃣.1️⃣ GHOSTING

control by delays and ghosting funny2 red flag professional behaviour from the pen of

In this case, the practice of suddenly failing to reply to communication without any explanation.  A classic complaint handling example of ghosting is refusing to listen to you or reply to your written communications.

5️⃣.2️⃣ Honey Potting

When they honey pot you, they reel you in with promises of wanting to resolve your complaint. 

They will occasionally treat you with:

▶️ mildness,

▶️ moderation,

▶️ superficial kindness

▶️ and even remorse,

to give you false hope.

As you will probably think:

▶️ “Maybe they are really not THAT bad,”

▶️ “Maybe things are going to get better,” or

▶️ “Let’s give the process and them another chance.”

But beware! The ‘resolve and embrace’ mildness is designed to make you lower guard down before the Wham, bam of the next act of gaslighting begins. Which crushes your hope and leads to a greater sense of betrayal.

If you bring this bad behaviour to their attention, they will ghost you again. 

6️⃣ How to deal with control