Lonely isn’t a feeling when you’re alone, lonely is a feeling when no one cares. – James Merrow
Even though some dread to admit it, attention is pretty much an important nutrient for human existence. Some of us crave it more than others, but in the end, for the sake of our sanity and psychological growth, we all need a little bit of attention from other people.
For this reason, it is never a pleasant feeling when we find ourselves being constantly ignored by the people around us.
In cases like this it is inevitable to not just wonder “why do people ignore me?”, but also whether we are really being ignored, or it is all just a product of our insecurities.
Unless we take the embarrassing step of approaching the person or group of people ignoring us, it is usually hard to come up with a conviction or a reason for it on our own – unless we know how to identify the signs and interpret them.
To save us from the worrying and constant headache arising from asking, “why do people ignore me?”, we have provided below an in-depth analysis of 10 of the most common signs to recognize when and why people ignore us.
After each sign, we have also included an additional section that provides detailed suggestions on dealing with the signs and rising above them.
10 Signs on Why People Ignore You and How to Get Around It
1. They Pretend You’re Not in the Room
I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone. – Robin Williams
A way to answer the question, “why do people ignore me?” can be encountered when we find ourselves in a room with person or a group of people, and it somehow feels like we’re not in the room at all (bundle of negative emotions).
In a group, all conversation flows but never seems to flow towards us. Whenever we choose to chime in, the conversation dies.
Another less obvious manifestation of this can be found when we’re never quite acknowledged even though we’re allowed in conversations. Our contributions are taken and dismissed immediately. We’re in the room, but it never quite feels like it.
○ Make Your Presence Felt without Overdoing it
A common way to get around this is to make your presence felt. Understandably, this can be easier for some than others.
Some people just don’t have that imposing nature that constantly demands to pay attention whenever they are in a room. This is fine. No matter our nature, no one deserves to receive silent treatment.
This is why there must come a time when even the most optimistic person has to make their presence felt. It is also imperative that we do not overdo it in situations like this and waste energy.
The goal is to make our presence felt without being overly aggressive about it. If we make the mistake of overdoing it, people ignore us even further, using it as an excuse.
2. They Exclude You Altogether
A less subtle sign to answer the question: “why do people ignore me?” is to be excluded altogether from important activities regularly.
Of course, it is worth emphasizing the “regular” aspect of this because not every exclusion is a sign of being ignored. Sometimes it is possible to be excluded for valid reasons. However, when this becomes a regular occurrence, it is a surefire sign that we are receiving silent treatment, and something has to be done.
○ Build Skills that Makes You Impossible to be Ignored
The best way to deal with constant exclusions is to make ourselves impossible to exclude. How do we do this? By making ourselves so valuable that it becomes virtually impossible to leave us out of major activities.
Of course, as mentioned earlier, there might still be areas where our expertise is not needed. But when we have built skills that make us valuable in many areas, then there is no way we will continually be ignored in all activities.
No matter how they feel, we would have become so crucial that nine times out of 10, we would have to be present for any gathering to succeed.
3. They Pretend to Listen but Never Act on Your Ideas
Another subtle sign that you are being ignored is when people pretend to listen to you, even acknowledge what you say and tell you it is a great idea but never act on it.
This is a particularly disturbing way of being ignored because it gives us a false sense of assurance only to take it all away when we find out the truth that they never really listened or cared about what we had to say in the first place.
Of course, it could just be an isolated event that occurs due to a short attention span. In that case, we don’t have to worry. But when it becomes repeated over and over, then we have unequivocal evidence that we are being ignored.
○ Find a Way to Develop an Idea on Your Own
Pretending to listen but never acting is a sinister form of being ignored. It tends to leave us feeling even worse than if we had been ignored straight up without pretense.
That is why the only way to get around this is to find a way to develop our own ideas and prove to them that we should never have been led on and ignored.
The goal here is to build things on our own and achieve so much in life that they regret ever ignoring us in the past.
4. They Refuse to Listen to What you Have to Say
Another sign to answer the question, “why do people ignore me?” occurs when those around us refuse to listen to anything we have to say. Their refusal may be masked with a lot of cunning, or they may even blatantly tell us that they don’t want to listen.
Either way, this is an obvious sign that we are being given the silent treatment. For whatever reason, it is always an unpleasant experience whenever we find people refusing to listen to us.
There is always a nagging feeling that we have an essential contribution to make that is being ignored. If left unchecked, this feeling can spread and become cancerous.
○ Talk less, Listen more
In specific scenarios, it is vital to learn how to get people to listen to us to stop the pain of being ignored from spreading and taking over us.
Ironically, the best way to get people to listen to what we have to say is to talk less. There is value in silence, and people cherish that. The more you speak, the lesser the values of your words become. Instead of asking, “why do people ignore me?”, we should try to listen more to what they have to say.
People like it when they are not interrupted and appreciated for what they say, so always give them space to talk and only talk when needed. In the end, you will find that they would have no choice but also to give you a chance and hear what you have to say.
5. They Force You to Repeat the Same Point Over and Over
Another sign to tell when we’re being ignored is having to say the same point repeatedly. This is more subtle than being overlooked in a room, but make no mistake about it; it is just as disrespectful.
Here their goal is to make us feel alienated by tiring us out. Instead of acknowledging what we said and acting on it, they pretend they don’t hear us and ask us to repeat the same things over and over.
Nobody wants to keep saying the same thing every time. So they know that sooner or later, we’re going to stop talking altogether. That is their ultimate goal, and such disrespect should never be tolerated.
○ Be Concise and Go Straight to the Point
One of the ways to get around this is to be concise whenever we are dealing with people like this. It is easy to pretend they don’t hear us when we’re verbose and not getting straight to the point.
Once we know what we want to say, it is worth taking the extra step of condensing it to a few short points. This should deter them from deflection and force them to listen.
Of course, if we do this and people ignore even then, it is time to move on in life and find a better company.
6. They Only Tell You Things When It is Decided
Many of us are familiar with people coming to tell us about a situation that has to be decided. They tell us about this situation, making us believe that we have a say in it.
The only problem? Whenever we make a suggestion, we have it dismissed, only to find out that the decision has already been made. They are only coming to us to pretend as though we have a say in the matter. This is known as a fait accompli, and it is a sign of being ignored.
Of course, as in all signs of being given a silent treatment, there must be an element of consistency and repetition to it. Otherwise, it could just be an isolated event.
○ Never be Afraid to Let People Know What You Can Do
If this kind of scenario has been going on for a while, we can tell for sure that we are being ignored. The way around it? Be outspoken and let people know about our capabilities.
They tell us about the decisions only after they have been made because they know we will always accept them and keep moving.
Secondly, they do so because they believe we do not have anything interesting to offer. This is why the only solution to this is to prove our usefulness to everyone around us. We mustn’t get too angry and selfish in our reactions.
Instead, we should serve others, make tangible contributions to their lives so that they may know just how valuable we are and can be in decision making.
7. They Never Remember Your Contributions
Furthermore, another vital sign of being ignored to look out for is people’s reactions to our contributions. As mentioned earlier, some people ignore us completely; some may ask us to repeat to tire us out, while some may only ask us when decisions have been made.
Another manifestation of this can be found in those who don’t push us off, ask for our contribution, act as though they appreciate it but end up forgetting. Now it should be noted that this is different from those who intend to forget and not act on our contributions in the first place.
In this case, they don’t necessarily have to want to forget, but they just find themselves never remembering our contributions because, deep down, they never really care.
○ Always Let them Know the Roles You Play
Of course, this kind of reaction is also a form of people ignoring us, no matter whether they intended to or not. The way to deal with it is to let people know the roles we play.
Once we carve out a well-defined role for ourselves, among friends, family member, even in our place of work, we become the default go-to person for any decision regarding this area.
They begin to value our contributions because of our expertise, so much so that they will never forget them.
8. Their Body Language is Always Rigid Against You
Body language can be a very accurate read to tell whether or not you’re being ignored. But one also has to be careful when deciding this way because sometimes we may misinterpret body language to see exactly what we want to see.
Either way, when answering the question, “why do people ignore me?”, some body languages are easy to tell.
For instance, when people tend to gravitate away from us in the same room, never making eye contact with us, making sure to engage in other silly activities that exclude us, we can usually take these as a sign where people ignore us.
○ Be Free, Build Self Confidence and Learn to Make Eye Contact
The first step to dealing with this is to build enough self-confidence to negate these body signs. For instance, when people don’t make eye contact with us, we should take the lead and make one with them.
It is harder to ignore people when they happen to be looking you right in the eye. Furthermore, if they gravitate away, we should gravitate towards them.
Negating their bad body language gives you control, but of course, all of this takes self-confidence, and that is we should master that first.
9. They Always Tell You the Time Isn’t Right
Another sign people ignore you can be found when they come up with excuses regarding time when we try to talk to them or pitch them ideas.
This is the oldest trick in the book. It is usually what people go to when they want to ignore but are too cowardly to admit it. When repeated enough, it is a surefire sign that we are being ignored.
○ Learn to Pick Optimal Times to Initiate Contact
An effective way around this is to make sure we always pick the right time to initiate contact.
Undoubtedly, there is a wrong time to have conversations, and if we always happen to choose these times, we will be ignored and keep asking “why do people ignore me?” .
If we are meticulous enough to study and pick the right time, though, we may enjoy better success. If we do everything we can to choose the right time and continue to be ignored, it is time to move on and look elsewhere.
10. They Tend to Stray From You in a Group Setting
Being ignored in a group setting tends to hurt more than being ignored in a one-on-one. Either way, a sign to tell that people ignore us in a group can be found when they tend to leave us on our own in such arrangements.
It could be the whole group leaving us, or one particular person who would rather be among others than be where we are. Once this starts to happen on multiple occasions without fail, it is a sure sign that we are being ignored.
○ Confront them about it in a gentle manner
Sadly there are no subtle ways to deal with this. All we have to do is confront the person or group of people, and hope we can resolve whatever reason they have for ignoring us.
If a resolution is made, that is great. If we can’t resolve, sadly, there is nothing to do but sever that relationship. Both are much more desirable outcomes than being continually ignored.
Being ignored tends to have a debilitating effect on our mental health. To a degree, everyone needs attention. To be continually ignored and starved of this attention can cause considerable damages to our well-being.
This is why, to get rid of it, we must first be able to tell the signs and actively work towards either fixing it or getting over it in one way or another. Sometimes people ignore us due to our faults (not being concise, lack of self-confidence, and so on), and sometimes people ignore us out of their insecurities and depravity.
Ultimately, it is worth having in mind that once we try our best to resolve this and still find that they continue to ignore us, we should learn to move on and find better people who can appreciate us.
In the end, our well-being is exactly what matters. It is infinitely more advisable to look after ourselves than remain in situations where we are continually ignored and taken for granted.