Conflicts are a part of all our relationships, and we can healthily resolve them. While sometimes conflicts can result in outbursts and heated arguments, sometimes they may result in becoming cold and distant in the relationship.
Being ignored by someone, whether it’s someone close to you or an acquaintance, or whether it’s intentional or not, can make you feel taken for granted, self-doubt, and unworthy.
As humans, we crave for others, especially our close ones, to see, hear, and value us. When we are not appreciated and dismissed instead, it can make us feel lonely and even resent them.
Remember: whatever you feel in such a situation is valid, but how you respond to it can make a lot of difference.
Are you in a situation where someone is ignoring you? Let’s speculate on the reasons behind it and constructive ways to deal with it.
Why do you think someone ignores you?
It’s not a great feeling to be ignored by someone. However, understanding the reasons behind why someone is ignoring you can help you in deciding how you want to approach your relationship with them. Here are some reasons why people might become passive and ignore you:
- They’re going through personal issues and are emotionally overwhelmed themselves: They might be unintentionally ignoring you because they are preoccupied with their own problems. In this case, they might become distant not just from you but from others in their life, too, as they’re busy figuring out how to cope with their problems.
- There have been some misunderstandings between you: If you feel like they’ve started ignoring you after a particular incident, it might be because they feel offended or like you have crossed their boundaries. In this case, they might not be open to addressing the issue yet, and so they’ve resorted to distancing themselves from you.
- It might just be because of how they are as a person: They might just not be great at communicating and responding to people. Especially given the amount of information overload that can happen in the digital world, it’s not uncommon for any of us to want to disconnect from time to time.
- They are intentionally trying to avoid you: If they are clearly engaging with others while distancing themselves from you, they might be angry, disappointed, or resentful of you. They might resort to silence to protect themselves or avoid confrontation. In some cases, they might be trying to manipulate you, wanting to make you feel guilty about something that happened and hence using silence as a punishment.
Whatever the reason might be, it’s essential to approach the situation with empathy and open-mindedness. Sometimes, it’s less about you and more about what the person is going through.
What to do when someone ignores you for no reason?
As humans, we don’t like ambiguity and seek clarity in whatever we do. Having someone ignore you without any reason can be annoying, to say the least, and even distressing sometimes. Some constructive ways to navigate this situation can be:
- Looking inward: You must reflect on your feelings about being ignored. Is it triggering any insecurities and past experiences for you? Simply recognizing and acknowledging your emotions without being too critical of what you’re feeling can help you navigate this situation better.
- Practicing open communication: In case of any misunderstandings with them, you can initiate a non-confrontational discussion and express your concerns without blaming them. Using “I” statements can help. Give them a fair chance to express their perspective.
- Giving them space: We all need space to reset from time to time. When their behavior is unrelated to you, you must not pressure them to engage with you. It’s best to respect their need for some distance. Let them approach you when they’re ready.
- Going for therapy: If being ignored is causing you significant distress, a therapist can help you with coping strategies to work on your perspective and navigate your relationship dynamics.
What to do when someone you love ignores you
Are you feeling insecure, confused, and rejected because someone you love is ignoring you? Well, it’s only natural to feel these emotions intensely when you’re in this situation with a close one.
The most important thing you can do in this case is try to understand their perspective and situation. Are you aware of any recent changes in their life or stressors they may be facing? Simply reflect on this without making any assumptions. Provide a safe space for them to open up and encourage them to share what they’re going through.
Sometimes, they may genuinely need some time alone to sort through their thoughts and feelings. In that case, respect their need for some time or space. If you are really concerned, you may also suggest setting a timeframe for the space they’ve requested, after which either of you can check in with each other.
Taking an empathetic approach to the situation and trying to understand that they might be struggling in their own way can help. It is always best to identify and acknowledge your feelings about the situation, seek professional help, maintain your routine and engage in activities that you enjoy.
What to do when someone purposely ignores you
The difference between someone ignoring you without reason and on purpose is that the latter act could be an act of manipulation, control, or punishment. This kind of silent treatment can be especially hurtful.
In this case, try to stay calm and don’t jump to conclusions. It might be easy to assume the worst of them or the situation but try to keep an open mind because there might be other factors influencing their behavior that you aren’t aware of. To avoid any misinformation or added tension, it’s best not to discuss or gossip about this situation with mutual friends.
You can let them know you recognize what’s happening, communicate your boundaries clearly, and be assertive about being treated with respect. If they consistently fail to respect your boundaries, be honest with yourself about whether you need to distance yourself from the relationship. 
Actively focusing on other important relationships in your life and spending more time figuring out and engaging in activities that make you feel good can help you deal with this situation better.
The experience of being ignored can feel a lot of different things for different people. At United We Care, we have a team of mental health experts ready to provide you with the most appropriate strategies to deal with such a situation. Book a session with one of our experts today and get on the path of healing and true well-being.
 Kipling D. Williams, Ostracism: The Power of Silence. [Online]. Available: https://books.google.co.in/books?id=M0flM4dgpDUC&lpg=PA1&ots=NROIxZqXDq&dq=people%20who%20intentionally%20ignore%20silent%20treatment&lr&pg=PA1#v=onepage&q=people%20who%20intentionally%20ignore%20silent%20treatment&f=false [Accessed: 25 Oct., 2023]
 M. Becker, “How to Communicate with Love Even When You’re Mad,” Greater Good Magazine: Science-Based Insights for a Meaningful Life, [Online]. Available: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_communicate_with_love_even_when_youre_mad. [Accessed: 25 Oct., 2023]
 Andrea Schneider, LCSW, “Silent Treatment: A Narcissistic Person’s Preferred Weapon,” GoodTherapy, [Online]. Available: https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/silent-treatment-a-narcissistic-persons-preferred-weapon-0602145. [Accessed: 25 Oct., 2023]