Many people have learned the psychological effects of being ignored by someone they love through experience. It’s not that they did something terrible and deserved the silent treatment. They probably have normal arguments like all people. But for some reason, instead of resolving their issue, one or more of the people ignore the other.
A person might block and delete you from social media or not return your texts or calls. And this can make you lose your mind. It could last for a couple of days or even more. You have no idea what’s going on, so you just have to wait it out—frantic.
What you need to know is that this is manipulation.
Yes, taking some time apart is good and healthy, but not when your partner purposely ignores you without reason. What many people don’t realize is that they are probably being “punished” by the other person.
By ignoring you, they might be trying to “teach you a lesson” and make sure you never repeat your actions. Does it work? To a point, yes.
But you might want out because of these tactics and eventually break off the relationship. And it might only be after the breakup that you realize the psychological effects of being ignored by someone you love. [Read: 10 devious signs of manipulative behavior that you should never ignore]
Like we said above, it’s about control and punishment. When a person chooses to ignore you, they’re giving you the silent treatment. But what does this really mean? Well, instead of talking about your problems like two healthy individuals, they act in a passive-aggressive manner.
They don’t effectively communicate their feelings and emotions, so, they take control of the situation by making you feel powerless and helpless. It is a form of abuse as it’s done with intent and meant to make you feel emotionally insignificant.
This is done because they want to put the blame on you and avoid taking responsibility. They may just want to hurt you, or they believe that what they’re doing is good for you. Regardless of the reason, it’s abusive behavior and can have serious psychological effects on you. [Read: How to deal with passive-aggressive behavior calmly and with class]
Being ignored is never fun. And sometimes, the psychological effects of being ignored by someone you love can damage your mental health. Here are the deep ways in which it can hurt you when someone toys with your heart.
When ignored, you experience a wide range of emotions. One minute you’re angry, the next minute you’re sad. And this rollercoaster of emotions continues to happen until the person contacts you.
Victims of this form of abuse will feel rejection and all sorts of other negative emotions. Having those feelings inside of you, and when they’re forced upon you by someone you love, you’ll feel unworthy and unloved. This is when you become emotionally traumatized. [Read: 21 big signs of emotional abuse you could be overlooking]
When we’re under stress, emotional stress is just one of the psychological effects of being ignored by someone you love. Our brains detect and measure different levels of pain. When we’re being ignored, our anterior cingulate cortex is activated, telling your body that you’re in physical pain.
The physical side effects can range from headaches to nausea to anxiety. Depending on the level of stress you’re experiencing, the side effects will vary. [Read: Broken heart syndrome – Can a heart physically break or is it just drama?]
This is a big one. The silent treatment does more than just make you feel sad. Most of the time, the silent treatment is used as a manipulation tool. It creates a rollercoaster of emotions in you. You question yourself, your self-worth, and your self-esteem.
Add the psychological stress, and you’re feeling out of control. If the silent treatment continues, again and again, it’ll leave permanent damage.
When someone ignores you, instead of looking at them, you start to question yourself. What did I do wrong? Is there something wrong with me? What should I do to stop this from happening? These questions are common during the silent treatment.
You start to behave in ways that aren’t normal. You second-guess yourself and doubt your own thoughts and actions. This is when you start to act differently as you feel guilty and out of control. And this gives an opening for the other person to manipulate you. [Read: The subtle signs you’re being manipulated by your lover intentionally]
When someone emotionally abuses you, it increases the chances of them physically abusing you. Though you may not think it could happen to you, if you continue to spend time with this person, it will happen.
In relationships, 95% of men who physically abuse their partner also psychologically abuse them. This isn’t going to magically become better one day, this person is toxic. [Read: A step-by-step guide for how to get out of an abusive relationship]
Now, this behavior isn’t in you. It’s in the other person. When someone feels that they have control over another person, it promotes narcissistic behavior. And if they have no problem giving you the silent treatment, then they probably are already narcissistic.
Knowing they can continue to ignore you and get what they want only fuels them. Narcissists love to manipulate and control the people around them, and they’ll use whichever tactic that works. [Read: How to deal with a narcissist in the best way you possibly can]
When ignored by someone, it’s often due to a lack of communication. This person will ignore or distance themselves from you instead of communicating with you. When this happens, it causes a rift in the relationship.
There’s an issue stuck in the middle, but no one talks about it. Instead, everyone waits to see what will happen next. During this time, feelings of intimacy and trust decrease. Eventually, the relationship deteriorates. [Read: How to start communicating better in your relationship]
Who would have thought the silent treatment could be this harmful? Well, it impacts the entire body. The autoimmune system is affected by the silent treatment due to high-stress levels.
One of the big psychological effects of being ignored by someone you love is intense stress. When the body is stressed, it’s inflamed, which can lead to more health issues and conditions.
Being ignored by someone you care for is sometimes even worse than being yelled at or another type of expression of anger. The reason for that is because it makes people feel “invisible.” At least when someone is engaging with you – even if it’s negative – they are acknowledging your presence.
But when you are being ignored, it really takes a toll on your self-esteem. You think that the person doesn’t even care enough about you to talk to you. Then, you think you are worthless. [Read: How to love yourself – 23 best ways to find love and happiness]
When you are being ignored, it makes people anxious. There are so many thoughts running through someone’s head. Why are they ignoring me? What did I do? What should I do now?
When someone is ruminating all these questions in their head, they are very anxious. They don’t know how to fix the problem, which leads to free-floating anxiety.
Even if the person is ignoring you for a short period of time, it can make you sad and unhappy. You probably like the person’s presence in your life, so you’re grieving their disappearance.
If the person ignores you for a long period of time, then it can turn into full-blown depression. This is a form of emotional abuse, and if they won’t acknowledge you, then you will feel depressed unless you take measures to avoid that. [Read: The worrying signs you’re being taken advantage of in a relationship]
Because you are so afraid of the silent treatment, another one of the psychological effects of being ignored by someone you love is that you will become a people-pleaser. You want to do anything and everything to avoid this happening.
So, you will do anything the person wants you to do. And not just for the person who is ignoring you – but for anyone. It can carry on into all of your relationships if you’re not careful. [Read: People pleaser – 21 signs you’re one and how to stop being so eager to please]
There are different forms of emotional attachment that people can have in relationships, and one of them is anxious-attached. Someone with this form of attachment is always feeling anxious that someone is going to leave them.
Because of that, they tend to “chase” the other person. They become needy and want to have their full attention at all times. But ironically, this can push the person even farther away if you keep doing it. [Read: Insecure attachment – the different types and how they affect you]
When someone is ignoring us, we have no control over the situation – because we have no control over their actions. We can try to talk to them, but they can also just keep ignoring us.
All of these actions leave you feeling like you can’t do anything to control your life.
You might not even know why this person is ignoring you. You might be confused and have a lot of feelings of uncertainty.
Even when you wrack your brain trying to figure it out, you just can’t. [Read: 25 honest truths and ways to stop feeling ignored by someone you like a lot]
Maybe you know why they are ignoring you. And maybe it’s because you did something wrong. You could have cheated, lied, or otherwise betrayed them.
If this is true, then you might feel a lot of shame for what you did. Their silent treatment might even be justified, and this leads to a lot of negative emotions over what you did wrong.
If you are feeling shame, then you are probably feeling guilty too. Guilt is a strong emotion that weighs very heavily on people. You might not even know what to do to try to fix things between the two of you. [Read: Guilt complex – what to understand about this powerful emotion]
If you don’t know why they are ignoring you or what you can do to fix it, then you can also have feelings of hopelessness and despair. Maybe you’ve tried to make things better but you just can’t.
You don’t know what to do, and you feel like giving up – not only on the relationship but maybe on other things in life too. This can lead to depression if it goes on for a long time, too. [Read: Feeling hopeless – how to stop feeling overwhelmed and see hope again]
Instead of feeling intense emotions such as shame or guilt, some people just get numb. They block out their emotions in order to cope. But being numb is no way to go through life. We all need to process our emotions in order to be mentally healthy.
When someone ignores you, it might make you feel resentful. You might think, “How dare they ignore me! I didn’t do anything wrong!” So, as a result, instead of feeling emotions like shame or guilt, you just get angry.
This anger can affect all areas of your life too. It could spill over into your work life, friends, family, or any other part. [Read: How to let go of resentment, stop feeding the hate and start living]
One of the psychological effects of being ignored by someone you love is substance abuse, especially with people who are prone to addictions. Whether it’s drinking alcohol, doing weed, or another hard drug, being ignored might push you over the edge into addiction.
The reason this could happen is that you are trying to numb the pain of being ignored. It allows you to escape the real world temporarily. But of course, it will never solve the problem.
If you are anxious or feeling other negative emotions because you are being ignored, you also might have some serious sleep problems. Maybe you have insomnia and can’t ever sleep. Or, maybe you sleep too much and can’t get yourself out of bed because you are depressed.
When all of your negative emotions linger too long, you might start to give up on the things you need to do on a daily basis. Maybe you stop cleaning your house or even showering. This is a serious problem if it occurs because then you are barely functional.
[Read: The 18 critical signs you are in an unhealthy relationship]
The psychological effects of being ignored by someone you love aren’t something you ever should feel. If someone you love gives you the silent treatment or intentionally ignores you, evaluate the relationship. Is this someone you need in your life?
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