Reasons Why People Choose to Ignore Others
Reasons Why People Ignore Others
Why do people ignore other people? It is a very uncomfortable situation when people ignore you. The person who gets ignored, often, feels like that it is deliberate and other people are out to get them or they just don't like them. Although this is a "valid" feeling, this might not be always the case. There are many reasons (acceptable and unacceptable) why people ignore other people. Let's examine both, and start with the acceptable or non-malicious reasons.
Acceptable or Non-malicious Reasons:
- People are worried and are in deep thought at the time that we have approached them. For instance, there may have been an argument with their spouse, a child not doing well in school or possibly dealing with a drug addiction, things not going well at work and so forth. It is possible that he/she did not realize that we were trying to get their attention at the time.
- People are preoccupied. They were probably in the middle of negotiation with their boss/business associate, busy with paperwork or having a conversation (in-person or telecon) with someone else.
- People are having health issues: The person might be feeling ill, which could range from a mere cold or flu to a more serious health issues such as cancer. He/she might not be in the best of health and did not feel like socializing.
- Just simply did not hear you. It could be that the room was full of people and noise or they have their earphones on or they just merely did not hear you. This happens to everyone occasionally, but it does not mean that it is deliberate.
- *People did not know how to handle a certain situation, so instead of acknowledging you, they have opted to ignore you. Sometimes, a person can be confused at the moment, and did not want to add any confusion to the current "chaotic" situation.
- People have other priorities: This one refers to "e-mails." Sometimes, people have other priorities and reading e-mails is not on top of their lists, so they are unable to reply in a timely manner. You may try to call them on their land line or cell phone or even text them. Chances are they will get the message and will get back to you.
'*'=this could neither be good nor bad. There are times that people are not quite certain how to handle a specific situation and ignoring you was probably the "best" thing to do at the time.
Unacceptable or Malicious Reasons:
- When it is habitual: It happens frequently, even when you try to get their attention several times. To me, this seems to be something more personal, as if they are deliberately ignoring you.
- When a person is "choosy" to whom to pay attention to. Let's just play this scenario: There are 3 to 5 people in a group. Person A tried to say something, but no one paid any attention to him. Then Person B tried to say something, and sometimes, it is the same thing that Person A said, then all of a sudden, Person C says, "Wow-what a great idea!" We can give Person C the benefit of the doubt that he/she did not hear Person A; however, if it is a recurring situation, this seems to be deliberate. Then it might be a "personality conflict" issue which we will reserve for another topic.
- *When we are talking to a person whose reply is always "u-huh" or "right", and when you ask them if they understood what you're trying to say, their reply is, "Say what now?"
'*'=In this instance, it could be that it is unintentional. It may have been the time that the person had a lot on his/her mind; however, when this happens frequently when conversing with the same person that this becomes an issue.
- Makes an effort to ignore you. Please, consider the two (2) scenarios below:
*When you are only a few feet away from them, but you still have to yell from the top of your lungs several times to get their attention.
*As you are entering a room, all of a sudden, everyone walks out like you are a "leach", which makes you wonder, "Do I smell or something?" even when you know that it is not the case. At least, we hope not!:-)
Step 1: Try to examine yourself if there is something that you've done that may have angered or felt made the other person uncomfortable. If after examining and reexamining yourself, and you are still unable to think of any reasons why the other person would ignore you, please, go to Step 2.
Step 2: If the same scenario repeats time and time again, try to ask the other person: "Is everything all right?" This will give the other person a chance to explain a certain situation such as "My son/daughter is not feeling well", or "There was a leakage in our bathroom this morning" or "An elderly loved one is ill" or they may be busy with work or something very important event such as an engagement party or wedding plans. If the other person continues to ignore you without any valid explanation, please, go to Step 3.
Step 3: Ask if there is anything that you've done to upset them such as "I really value our friendship/work relationship, and if there is anything that I've done to upset you, I would really appreciate it if you let me know." Most people would probably state some issues that they have been experiencing and might change their behavior towards you in the future. However, if no explanation was rendered and the same scenario happens over and over again, then it's time to move on. You have done everything you can to resolve the situation at this point. Although despite of your effort and they are still not willing to meet you halfway, the situation is out of your hands. I suggest that you forge ahead and be the best that you can be. Have a wonderful life:-).
In all fairness, we all have been ignored as well as being on the other side of the coin. Either way, it is an uncomfortable situation. With that said, I believe that most people do not make a "habit" of it. It is when a person makes an effort to ignore you it becomes an issue which needs to be addressed. In final consideration, most people are unaware of how their behavior affect other people. The one who feels "ignored" is who suffers the most. For the most part, when people are confronted how their behavior are affecting you, they will try to conduct themselves in a more positive and well-mannered ways in the future. More power to you and good luck!
By: Caroline G. Vestuto Copyright 2012