Monday, July 21, 2014


I read my Papa's views on Stonewalling, and it made me think about ignoring. Both are similar concepts. Both are communication blockers. Both create the feeling in one person that his or her view or feelings are not important.

Stonewalling means: "not answering any question when asked directly or refusing to participate in a discussion."

Ignore, as the dictionary defines it, is: "refuse to take notice of or acknowledge; disregard intentionally."

Disregard intentionally?? The reasons anyone would do that to me is if they:
  • don't care for me
  • have no respect for me
  • don't care what I think
  • don't care for my feelings
  • are really mad at me
- It is a very typical behavior that if you are mad at me you will ignore me (because just looking at me will make you even more mad). But I think if you are mad at me about something - then come on and lets fight it out. Just finish the cold war. Hash out the differences; one way or another, figure out what is going on. Not every fight will have a happy ending but at least we would have tried.

- If you are ignoring me just because you don't want to reply to my concern or question - then it means you don't care about me or my feelings. Or that maybe you are hiding something from me, which breeds distrust in relationships.

 - If you are ignoring just because you don't like me - then really!!??? Just grow up and be mature. Learn to handle your feelings such that you can be civil without being superficial. We are all adults and we all don't have to like each other - but we can be civil.

The one thing I have never been able to stand in my life is being ignored. If I know someone is ignoring me, I take it very personally and I make it a point to avoid that person so that I don't have to behave the same way (although in some ways they do make me behave like them....I may have to ignore them too).

In my view - no one should be ignored; no one is that trivial (not even kids!) that their sentiments be ignored; their feelings be ignored or their views be ignored. Everyone should get a chance to be acknowledged and be heard. Because in reality - everyone wants to be acknowledged. (I have written about this before) Everyone wants to feel they are valued and that their existence matters.  I don't have to agree with everything they say, but at least I can give them my attention.  Ignoring someone's emotions/feelings/views makes the other person feel all sorts of complicated emotions and then I don't know what the short/long term consequences might be. Don't forget - every action has consequences.

When I am ignored, I feel -
  • worthless - like I have no value in the other person's life,
  • they don't give a damn about what I feel, which means they don't care about me
  • they don't respect me
  • non existent - that I don't even exist for them
  • hurt.....
  • uncomfortable in their company
  • and most importantly - I cannot trust them anymore. Because I don't know when I am being taken seriously and when I am being ignored.

Of course it also depends who is ignoring me: 
  • A student or distant coworker: it does not matter. They are too busy in their lives. If I am important to them, they will not ignore me.
  • An acquaintance: don't worry - they are not that important anyway, let it go.
  • A colleague: jealousy is a big factor here. This is really hard to deal with.  It has to be taken care of diplomatically.  I have dealt with this one too many times and each time it has exhausted me.
  • A good friend or family: this is the hardest one. Where I have deep emotions, time invested in a relationship, then I also have more expectations, and if I am ignored by them, then it is really hurtful.  It definitely needs to be taken care of. Talking is the best way; but of course that is a two way street - the other person must be willing to participate. Once the misconceptions have been cleared up then the trust has to be rebuilt. And then time and emotions are again invested in that relationship.

I know how I feel when people ignore me, so I have changed myself.  I try my best to not ignore people. I let them know that I am not available, or I am busy - because they deserve a response - however untrue it might be.  And if someone is important to me then I will always be honest about what is going on. Honesty is the best policy.

Ignoring anyone is very hurtful and I will just say - ITS NOT NICE - so don't do it.

One last point to mention here is when after saying something serious, someone says to me, "Ignore what I said." How does one do that? Just like an arrow, once shot from a bow can never be taken back, spoken words can also not be called back. The thoughts that come to my mind when I hear those words are, "What else should I ignore?" "Why did you say something if you did not mean it?" "What about in future? Should I know already what to ignore or will you tell me again?" I cannot ignore what my friends and family say to me.

One absolutely last point.....sometimes I just don't know what to say or how to talk to someone anymore. This dilemma causes a time lapse in communication.  Unless the other person takes the initiative to communicate, the time lapse becomes longer and it feels like I am ignoring the other person; when really I just don't know how or want to talk to them anymore.

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