ON BEING IGNORED
One of my greatest fears is to have no purpose for my life—the feeling of being superfluous. I no longer want to be the center of all things and I no longer want to be separate or unique. I want to be part of the human experience and be engaged with my brothers and sisters. This is the way I will grow, learn, and love. I do not want to be ignored.
It is far worse to be ignored than to be disliked. Ignoring someone is a not-so-subtle form of abuse. Purposely ignoring someone is rude, immature, inconsiderate, cruel, and petty. It is extremely damaging emotionally to the ignored.
I cannot abide being ignored by people who want to hurt me for some reason. These folks are generally selfish and have little respect for me or themselves. It gives them power and control over me in their mind. In fact, many of them think they are the victim, thus making my feelings irrelevant.
It is amazingly easy to blame someone else for your problems. If so, ignoring someone is a means of avoiding the problem until it goes away. Being angry with someone and ignoring them is an immature way to avoid dealing with a situation. Ironically, it usually makes matters worse.
Punishment for perceived slights is the common reason to ignore someone. It becomes clear that these folks are too selfish to care about me and my feelings. They do not realize the damage the silent treatment may cause.
When someone gives me the silent treatment, they think it will make me better. Also, these folks could just be avoiding a confrontation, and not realize they have gone about it the wrong way.
At times life is hard and individuals handle problems in different ways.. Figuring out the right way to deal with things is not always easy. Nonetheless, when someone’s existence and feelings are dismissed and disrespected, they feel devalued, unworthy, and insignificant.
The silent treatment can be a mind game for some people, and in some cases can be used as a form of psychological manipulation. It also increases stress levels, which leads to more feelings of grief and abandonment.
So you are being ignored and you are left with a slew of unanswered questions and uncomfortable emotions. What to do? What to do?
Each time you feel ignored by someone, the causes, and potential solutions will be slightly different. In some cases, it may not be possible to get a full picture of what has happened.
However, there are ways to properly deal with these circumstances regardless of how you know the person and what they mean to you in your life.
Through trial and error, I have found a cooling off period to be the best first step. You will not get to the bottom of the problem right away. Let the person have an opportunity to reflect and consider whatever has caused them to ignore you. Try to find other things to occupy your time and attention!
This cooling off period is just as important for your well-being as it is for the other person. You both need ample time to consider what actually happened. If a resolution is possible, it is much more likely after a break.
You would be surprised at how many people assume they are being ignored when in fact they are not! It is possible that other explanations exist. It may be that the person is busy or in a stressful situation or is in a bad mood and ignoring everyone.
When you know for sure that someone is ignoring you, it is so easy to jump to all kinds of dramatic conclusions. In the majority of cases, being ignored is temporary and does not mean that something awful is going to occur. And, in fact, you can reduce the likelihood of a bad outcome by ensuring that you do not overreact.
When you think you know why the person is angry, you can begin to work out how to talk to them about it. Think about how they might have read too much into your actions or how they could have been over-sensitive about a conversation topic. Remember that even if you do not think the anger is justified, understanding it will still help the relationship.
Most likely you will end up talking to the person who has been ignoring you.
If you are dealing with someone who has been ignoring you because they are hurt or angry about something you have done, it’s often the case that an apology is the quickest way to move on. It is always safe to believe you played a part in causing things to go wrong. Offer a sincere and explicit apology that stresses your understanding of what you did. This proves you are serious and not just lazily doling out a token apology.