Why Do People Ignore Me?

Being ignored is quite a painful experience. It can make us feel so alone and invisible. If we are not invited to join our friends for a dinner, or if we’re picked last for a team at school, it can really feel awful. Besides the initial resentment and anger, there are also often feelings of worthlessness or even failure, because it all just seems so unfair. How can we learn to deal with being ignored?

Why Do People Ignore Me at Work?

1. You’re Too Talkative

Perhaps you’ve been called out on talking too much in a playful way, but remember that all jobs always have a bit of truth behind them. Your co-workers may feel that you hinder productivity by chitchatting, so it’s best to be clear and concise in a professional setting.

What You Can Do: Keep track of your time when conversing with colleagues and stay on topic, try not to take more than two or three minutes. Daily interactions should be short and sweet.

2. You’re a “Debbie Downer”

You’re stressed out at home, in your personal life, and your officemates know it. Do you complain a lot? Do you have a hopeless disposition? This can make your colleagues feel uncomfortable.

What You Can Do: Try your best not to bring your personal life to work. Use positive affirmations, and set a timer that reminds you to smile. Adjusting your attitude to something more approachable and warm will have your co-workers felt more at ease.

3. You Like to Toot Your Own Horn

Or even worse, you’re a one-upper. Boasting about how great your life comes off as obnoxious. Do you show off? Do you come in on Mondays talking about how incredible your weekend was, even if no one asked? This sort of arrogance turns people off, and can make them want to avoid you.

What You Can Do: Hold your tongue, and ask others about their experiences. Switch the focus to those around you and you’ll find your interactions to be more pleasant and easy.

4. You’re Too Quiet and Expressionless

People who are very shy and hardly speak at all are actually quite unapproachable. Your colleagues may figure “why bother?” when it comes to trying to engage you because you’re too standoffish.

What You Can Do: Even if it’s just small talk, try to spark a conversation with your teammates at least a few times per week until you feel comfortable enough to discuss common interests. Once you find commonality among your colleagues, striking up conversations will gradually become easier.

5. You’re Not Confident and They Know It

Do you put yourself down at work? Do you tell others about your professional, or even personal, shortcomings? This is typical attention-seeking behavior and most sharp witted individuals can see right through it.

What You Can Do: Don’t point out your flaws for others, as it is not an endearing trait. Show your officemates that you are confident but not cocky, it will encourage them to collaborate more with you.

Why Do People Ignore Me Socially?

1. Your Presence Is Unremarkable

People naturally focus on other people who catch their attention, people who are charismatic and confident, who speak clearly and self-assuredly. Wallflowers get ignored; those whose body language is insecure and whose voice is feeble might as well be invisible.

2. They Don’t Know You

Most of us ignore strangers. While it may seem impolite, it’s usually more comfortable. When dealing with a group of mixed company, those you know and some you may not, it’s best to be the one to break the cycle of ignoring the stranger.

3. They Think You’re Unfriendly

Maybe you are outgoing but you just felt a bit uncomfortable at the time. If you’ve blown your first, second, and perhaps even third impressions on others by being too short and unwelcoming, then they may peg you as downright unfriendly.

4. Your Social Status Is Low

Think about the DJ at your favorite nightclub, his social status in that venue is high, whereas a first time patron has a low status. Those with a high status are confident and have great social skills. No one ignores those people.

5. You’re Surrounding Yourself with the Wrong People

Say you’ve done everything right. You were friendly and talkative, but to no avail. Then the best answer to “why do people ignore me?” would be as simple as you just haven’t found the right people yet. And that’s okay.

What You Can Do

Figure Out What They Think

The truth hurts, but once you know what others think of you, it’ll be easier to address the issue. When you don’t know what their reasons are, you can find yourself in a rut. Generally, people aren’t mean for no reason.

Examine Your Social Skills

  • Is your sarcasm too hurtful? Maybe your jokes aren’t as well received as you intend them to be.
  • Do you consider small talk to be a waste of time? Do you look down on those who enjoy small talk?
  • When you talk to others, do you have valuable things to say? Are you funny and interesting? Do you tell good stories and give good advice?
  • Do you feign interest when listening to others’ stories?
  • Do you find yourself trying to maintain a conversation that fizzles out before you’d like it to?

Make Some Changes and Believe in Yourself

  • Ignore those who ignore you.
  • Come to terms with the fact that some people just may not like you.
  • If you give others respect, they will in turn respect you.
  • Try not to look for the approval of others.
  • If someone is jealous of you, they may want to ignore you.
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