Elie Wiesel wrote, “The opposite of love isn’t hate. It’s indifference.”
Apparently there are have been scientific studies which prove that the brain registers as physical pain when a person is being ignored. I have read a couple of articles on it but I don’t have the scientific sources. If it is true though, why do we feel so much pain at being ignored and what can we do about it?
Silence can feel like a dignified, high road response but the silence is really saying a lot. It’s also a way to inflict pain without fighting. It’s a type of passive aggressive behaviour.
When someone ignores you how do you feel? Angry? Hurt? Irritated? Sad?
When we are ignored we start to think all sorts of things about ourselves such as:
- They don’t like me
- I’m unloveable
- People always ignore me
- I am invisible
- Fill your own in here ………………
These type of thoughts and beliefs we have create the pain we feel.
What can we do?
Ask yourself questions. For example:
- Is it true that I am invisible? (No it’s not because if you turn to someone and ask them they will verify that you are visible to them).
- Is it true that they don’t like me? (Well unless you ask them you will never really know).
- Do I need to care that they don’t like me? (Well do you?)
- Can I be myself no matter what? (It may be hard but chances are you can give yourself the permission to be yourself).
- If someone ignores me am I unloveable? (No.)
Affirm yourself with words of love:
- I am a loveable, visible human being.
- My worth is not measured by these particular people.
- There are people who take notice of what I say.
The bottom line is that yes, being ignored is hurtful but it doesn’t mean you are not a beautiful, worthy human being. You just need to remind yourself of that and try not to let others affect your beliefs about yourself and the world. Keep in mind that we inflict this kind of pain on others too and it is good to be aware of our own behaviour and to rectify it in some way.
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