“Nobody ever listens to me.”
Do you know this feeling?
The good news is that you are not alone. Feeling ignored by others is a pretty common problem to many of us. At the same time, we know that we can’t always listen to what everyone around us has to say.
It is impossible to give everyone in our lives full attention at all times—even if we want to.
And that’s where the problem starts. Someone ignoring us or not listening to our ideas might not have anything to do with us. Maybe the other person is just caught up in their own thoughts? If it happens to us, why shouldn’t it also happen to others?
But we can only change our own behavior, so let’s focus on that for now.
Here are five reasons why we feel ignored by others:
1. Not listening
When there is a lot going on in our lives, we always run danger to overthink. As we are trapped in our thinking process, we feel to urge to share our feelings with others. The problem is that we are not really open to fully listen to folks around us while being stuck in our minds.
Listening is not a one-way street. The more we listen to others, the more they will listen to us.
2. Criticizing everything
We might label our criticism toward others as caring and supportive, but that doesn’t mean it will be perceived that way. Most of us know how challenging it can be to constantly feel criticized, so why is it surprising that our nagging might annoy others to a point where they start ignoring us?
It’s okay to share criticism, but it’s about balance. Maybe we can weave in a few kind words to sound less threatening?
Having a bad day is one thing, but having a bad day every day is another. When we are spiraling into negative thoughts, it’s not surprising that others might try to stay away from that. These folks have their own problems and are not willing to carry the weight of our pain on their shoulders. Who could blame them for that?
Toxic positivity is a real thing, but that doesn’t automatically mean that we are entitled to dwell in our negativity either.
4. Presence and body language
What makes us listen to others? How does someone get our attention?
Most of us prefer listening to someone who seems confident about what they have to say, right? Why would we waste our precious time listening to someone who is full of self-doubt? Apparently, this also works the other way around. Folks around us sense insecurity and might end up ignoring us.
There is a fine line between not overthinking our words and what I would call verbal diarrhea. We simply can’t share everything that’s on our minds, but we also need to be careful not to escape into an internal monologue when we are around friends, family, and coworkers.
The problem with that conversation in our head is that we are the only ones listening to that conversation. We might feel engaged in a discussion because of that internal monologue, but how are the ones around us supposed to know that?
As you probably noticed, these five reasons why we feel ignored by others are somehow connected to each other. We can’t listen to others when we are overthinking—and that might manifest in our body language. Not to forget that overthinking might cause negativity and a tendency to be overly critical toward everything happening around us.
The bad news is that being more mindful about these things does not automatically better our situation. Folks around us might also be struggling, and their lack of interest in our words might have nothing to do with us.
There is no easy solution to this problem, but it might be a good first step to acknowledge that listening is not a one-way street. All these listed behaviors go both ways.
We decide who we listen to, but others do exactly the same—and that’s perfectly fine.
Here is the clip that inspired me to write this. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did: