Being ignored is one of the worst, painful, and most confusing feelings in the world. It can leave our mental health in shambles and is mad more intense when it comes from loved ones. This is because humans are social creatures and long for a feeling of acceptance. We all want to belong to someone or something. We all desire to have at least a small circle of people who accept us the way we are and who get us. However, we should not change who we are just to become part of a group. You should never change your identity to fit the standards of another or a specific social situation. If you do, you only lose the most sacred thing, yourself. At the end of the day, your self is what is most important. We must learn to love, embrace, and respect ourselves no matter what others think.
What Does Being Ignored Mean?
When your loved ones ignore you or exclude you without reason it can feel like they are tearing at your heart. This feeling can make you think and behave in ways you normally would not. This can change how you feel about yourself and you may even wonder if you are the problem. You may worry you are too clingy or needy and that is what caused the other person to behave in such a manner toward you. This damages your self-image and can lead to self-doubt. The truth is, ignoring people is a common trait of the narcissist and those who are soulless. These individuals are likely to struggle to maintain healthy relationships with others. When someone ignores you, it is about them, not you.
The silent treatment is harmful to our general well-being. It provokes negative feelings and leaves a person with scars emotionally and mentally. It can even ruin a person’s self-esteem fully. Some suffer so greatly that they develop pistanthrophobia, a fear of trusting people. This makes it impossible for a person to maintain a relationship or emotional connection. Shared below are a few of the consequences of being ostracized. Take a deep breath and pay attention to each.
- Shaken Self-Esteem – Whether it’s a friend, family member, or coworker, being ignored hurts. In addition, the silent treatment can be confusing, You may want answers which may lead you to the wrong conclusions. This can leave you questioning your self-esteem and take you down emotionally. The pain can leave you questioning your social skills and affect your relationships with others.
- A Threat to Mental Health – Being ignored by a loved one is a threat to mental health. It can take years to repair the damages. This damage can cause more damage than you are aware of in the moment. It can even negatively affect your day-to-day life and the way you connect with others.
- Increased Stress – When you feel excluded, negative feelings rise. This can negatively affect your everyday life. As your stress levels rise, your body responds and you may be unable to focus and unmotivated to perform tasks or meet obligations. This stress can lead to sleep issues that can then lead to physical symptoms or pain.
- Further Negative Emotions – The link between stress and anger is well known. Most people in stressful situations end up frustrated, angry, and even hostile. We may not be able to change it this because we are not thinking clearly. This allows stressors to pile up and we can only react in emotional outbursts. The silent treatment puts our self-esteem under attack.
- Emotional Abuse – Ignoring is a form of emotional abuse and manipulation. This is what others use to control you. They use your feelings against you and can cause deep trauma through ignoring behavior. This does not mean you can never heal, but the trauma is real. While the scar may forever remain, remind yourself of how brave you are and your own strength. It is a reminder of a lesson learned about never letting people ignore or neglect you.
- Emotional Pain = Physical Pain – Any emotional pain you experience will also affect you physically. Some people experience headaches, a nervous stomach, dizziness, nausea, or a rapid heartbeat. This is the brain reacting to stress and serves as a reminder to take care of yourself.
- Social Anxiety Disorder – One of the worst consequences of being ignored is a person developing a social phobia. This can leave someone to a point that they can no longer maintain any type of relationship. Social anxiety manifests as extreme fear when it comes to social situations. A person with this disorder struggles with meeting new people, maintaining eye contact, and talking in front of groups. Those with social anxiety will show insecurity with body language and behavior when surrounded by others.
- Manipulate Normal Routines – When you are overwhelmed by emotion, you may do things that are outside the norm for you. These are likely going to be regrettable. Being under such strong emotions means we are not thinking clearly so we do not act reasonably. Express your emotions, but do not act out in illogical ways. You have control over your emotions.
- Toxic, Codependent Behavior – People who are being ignored by loved ones tend to seek out validation from others. This leads them to another form of toxic relationship where they end up codependent, needing the other person for validation. They will find comfort in these people and their acceptance even if it is an unhealthy relationship.
Dealing with being ignored is not easy, especially if you do not know why the person is ignoring you. You cannot make your loved ones change, but you can learn to deal with their behavior. Start by acknowledging your situation and accepting it. Denying the obvious will only complicate things further. Take a step back before confronting the person. Try to understand what made them behave as they are, even if you would not behave the same way. Then, let the other person know how you feel. Stay calm as you do this, even though it is normal to feel a whole range of emotions. After talking to the person, accept and process your emotions. It will be painful, but necessary. Whatever you do, do not overreact. Give your loved one some time and hope they soon ask for forgiveness. As you wait, focus on your own well-being. If they never come back and ask forgiveness, know it was not your fault or choice. You must let go and move on with your life. If you are still struggling, seek professional help to get you through. You can get through being ignored, just remember to take care of yourself along the way.