The Silent Treatment

One of the hardest parts of life is the moment that we realize that we are being ignored. For whatever reason, it feels like being ignored seems more scary and intense than having someone argue with you. Perhaps it’s the knowing that even when conflicts arise if that one person is vocal with their anger, they are still talking to you. Either way, being ignored does something to you that puts them less at ease. Maybe you’re being ignored as a way of punishment, the silent treatment. Or they may be ghosting you because they don’t want to answer you. No matter what form of being ignored, it still doesn’t make it any easier.

As long as there are people, we will always come up against conflict. It can be a “hot form” such as an argument. Or a “cold form” such as the cold shoulder. No matter which forms you are experiencing, being ignored hurts more than being in an argument. It’s that fear of being socially isolated, but it also triggers our social receptors. It’s the feeling of being excluded that causes our surroundings to feel quieter. What many may not realize is that when it’s quieter it triggers issues with our self-esteem. Being ignored forces you to have to self-reflect in order to find out what went wrong in the relationship. It also means having to go through the negative words that have been said and having to re-experience such negativity inevitably causes a hit to self-esteem.

Lack of control is another reason for why being ignored can be more difficult. During an argument, there is communication between two people. When that communication is cut off, there is less control. When ignored there is a lack of control that can exist, making it feel impossible to salvage or repair the situation. Other reasons are the feeling that you aren’t worthy of attention. Feeling ignored can bring about the belief that they aren’t significant enough to warrant any attention. It leads to not putting in the effort to try and reconcile, and for that belief alone, many times we forgo having a friendship, rather than resolving the issue.

Consider the possible reasons for the argument and why you’re being given the cold shoulder. Think of the goal when considering what will be our strategy. What is it that you are trying to achieve? If you have received a nasty comment, consider whether you should ignore or answer it. If you want to clear up a misunderstanding, then arguing may be the option. If the comment is that you may not rank high enough on social media, the best option may be to consider silent retribution.

Being ignored is never easy, but there are ways to figure out what is meant to be by examining what it is that we want out of the disagreement.  It also means finding inner peace to realize that you are worth it. Even if you may not have the control you seek by being ignored, you still matter, and you still have the choice to either try again or walk away from the situation.


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