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Why Do People Ignore Me? 29 Truths & Must-Dos When Someone Ignores You

When someone ignores you, it can be very frustrating. If it’s happening a lot, it’s time to ask, “Why do people ignore me?” and make a change. 

why do people ignore me

Being ignored sucks. It sucks even more when you’re wondering, “Why do people ignore me?” and you can’t work it out. At least if you knew why, you could decide for yourself whether or not you want to change your behavior.

If you don’t know the reason why people are ignoring you, it can often feel confusing and hurtful. You take it personally, and who wouldn’t? You end up doing things just to grab their attention as if to remind them that you exist.

But usually, when people ignore you, it’s often a combination of their fault and your own. [Read: How to respond like a grown-up when someone deliberately ignores you]

Have you done something to them?

You’ve obviously given this some thought already, but it’s something we must ask regardless. Do you think there’s something you’ve said or done to hurt them? If you can think of a reason, even if it isn’t a very strong one, chances are that you know what caused them some pain.

Maybe you could talk to them about it or drop a few hints and see if they can open up to you. 

On the other hand, if you can’t think of anything, there are many reasons for this, too. [Read: How not to hurt people’s feelings – the 20 golden rules you need]

Why do people ignore me? A few common reasons

Anyone who knows what it feels like to be ignored will do their best to avoid making someone else feel that way. If you’re wondering why people ignore you, it’s time to figure it out.

We’re not saying it’s your fault, but maybe there’s a behavior you can change to make people approach you or stick around. If you work on yourself and they’re still ignoring you, screw them!

Let’s get to the bottom of this so that you have an answer when you wonder, “Why do people ignore me?” [Read: Am I being ghosted? 25 signs you’re on the verge of being ghosted]

1. You don’t listen to other people

Perhaps your friends have told you that you’re not a good listener, yet you continue not to listen. For many people, it’s extremely annoying to talk to someone who’s only interested in talking about themselves.

Observe yourself whenever you’re talking with a friend and pay attention to whether or not the conversation always tends to steer towards you.

If this is the case, it’s time to work on your listening skills! This is very important in building friendships and relationships. It may be why you keep asking, “Why do people ignore me?’ [Read: The bad friendship skills that push the people around you away]

2. You’re too needy

People want to hang around others who aren’t going to hold onto them. It’s not fun to hang out with someone who needs constant help.

It’s okay to be occasionally needy, but it’s exhausting for others to keep up with you if you’re needy all the time. Back off a bit, and give the people around you some breathing room. [Read: What makes someone a clingy friend and the best ways to change this]

3. It’s never your fault

You have an excuse for everything, even when it’s clearly your turn to apologize. We get it – saying sorry isn’t easy when you have a big ego, but apologizing isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of maturity.

So if you’re wondering why people ignore you, ask yourself if you’ve ever apologized when you were in the wrong.

Your pride and ego aren’t going to get you anywhere. In fact, they ruin friendships more often than you expect. [Read: 18 habits that build friendships that last a lifetime]

4. You’re dishonest

People want to hang around others who are honest and truthful. They don’t want to spend their time with someone who lies and makes them think twice with every word they say. If you’re honest, you generally keep a lot of friends by your side.

But if you’re dishonest, they won’t be able to trust a single word you say.

5. You’re criticizing others too much

Criticism is good, and, to a point, people need to hear it. But you also need to give compliments. If you’re focusing only on criticism and harsh words, you’re not going to have too many friends left.

Friendship is a perfect balance of both criticism and support. [Read: How to be less critical – 15 reasons why you judge and how to stop it]

6. It’s not you – it’s them

There are some cases where you’re not doing anything wrong. In fact, the people who are ignoring you are jealous or bitter over your achievements, so they want to bring you down the only way they can.

This is one of the scenarios where it’s definitely not you who’s in the wrong, but it’s them. Cut them loose. You don’t need them. Find better friends who will support your dreams and accomplishments in life. [Read: The 25 types of bad friends you must unfriend in real life before they ruin you]

7. You don’t see the bright side of life

While friendship is about acceptance and being yourself, you’ll also push people away if you keep seeing the glass half empty. There’s so much beauty in the world, but you stick to the negative.

It’s easy to get stuck in the negative, but you can’t dwell on it forever. [Read: Is your negativity ruining your life?]

8. You’re flaky

You made plans with someone weeks ago, but when the day of the event comes, you bail on them. People don’t like that, and if you do it long enough, they start moving away from you.

It’s acceptable if you really had an emergency or something important came up, and you make an effort to make it up to them. But do it long enough or too often, and people start to see you for who you truly are – an unreliable user with no integrity. [Read: Here’s why everyone should ditch their flaky friends]

9. You’re selfish

You only want to do what you want to do when you’re out with friends. If you don’t get your way, there’s a bit of a temper tantrum thrown. So if you’re wondering, “Why do people ignore me?” maybe it’s because of your selfishness.

You can’t always have things your way, so you need to compromise and meet others halfway.

10. You’re rude

Not everyone wants to defend you in a fight that you started with your bad behavior. If you’re not polite when out in public, you’re not going to have too many friends.

Being rude won’t get you any friends, and you’ll end up pushing away the friends you do have in your life. [Read: 10 simple tips to avoid being rude in any situation]

11. They don’t understand you

So far, this list has been more about you, but let’s get real. People also ignore what they don’t understand. You may be more quirky, outspoken, or artistic than the people around you. If you’re different from everyone else, people may not understand you or know how to approach you.

In other words, ignoring you is the best approach they can think of. Don’t worry. Eventually, you’ll find someone just as different as you, and that’s the kind of friend who will get you. [Read: How to stop giving a damn about what other people think]

12. You don’t express how you feel

If you think your friends are ignoring you, then say something. You may present yourself as someone who doesn’t care or doesn’t need help. If you’re wondering, “Why do people ignore me?” express how you feel and tell them you feel ignored.

This could be the key for things to start changing. For all you know, they don’t realize what they’re doing until you tell them and make them aware of their actions. [Read: The raw psychological effects of being ignored by someone you love]

13. You’re boastful

If you’re always finding a way to boast about your accomplishments and successes to everyone around you, that’s why people ignore you.

It seems rude and selfish on your part. You’d probably be annoyed if you were on the receiving end of this characteristic, so you shouldn’t do this to everyone else. Being boastful just isn’t a good trait. [Read: Subtle differences between a confident & arrogant man]

14. You never take anything seriously

If you keep wondering, “Why do people ignore me?” reflect on whether or not you take important matters seriously. Yes, life is hard, and you should laugh from time to time. But if you never take matters seriously, that’s probably why they ignore you.

If you always make jokes out of everything, people will only come to you for laughs but never for important matters. They might even ignore you altogether.

15. You question your worth

Your self-worth isn’t dependent on other people, but it’s dependent on yourself. If all you do is self-sabotage and talk badly about yourself, it’s not an attractive quality.

If you want to be noticed again, own your confidence and be secure. [Read: How to respect yourself – secrets of self-worth and self-belief]

16. You’re a people-pleaser

We all have a people-pleaser within us, whether we admit this or not. But if you’re wondering, “Why do people ignore me?” especially because of your need to be liked, there’s your answer.

Not everyone is going to like you, and that’s okay. You need to accept this harsh truth and move on. [Read: 20 signs you’re a people-pleaser and don’t realize it]

17. You’re too intense

You’re basically a high-maintenance friend, which is generally exhausting to have around.

If you’re too intense in any aspect, this can be a reason why people are ignoring you. In other words, you’re too much for others to deal with, so you might want to tone things down a bit.

18. You don’t contribute anything to the conversation

People might be ignoring you because you’re not that good of a conversationalist. Assess your conversation skills, and figure out if you’re really giving something in return.

Maybe all you do is focus on small talk or never open up about yourself, which is why people don’t bother maintaining a friendship with you. If you want to change this, you need to work on your communication skills. [Read: How to keep a conversation going & make anyone love talking to you]

19. You’re coming off too strong

This doesn’t just apply to relationships but friendships, as well! If you’re wondering, “Why do people ignore me?” maybe it’s because of your strong and opinionated personality. You think you know everything and have all the answers, and you don’t even let others finish their sentences.

Nobody wants a friend like this, so you might want to soften your personality a bit. Not everyone wants the answer to their problems. Maybe they just need someone to listen.

20. You’re superficial

Friendships are about accepting one another unconditionally. However, when you’re superficial, it’s almost impossible to form any connection with you. All you care about is social media, your looks, image, and reputation.

Caring about these things isn’t bad, but it shifts your focus away from important matters. If you’re too obsessed with how many people liked your Instagram photo, that’s not a trait others seek in a true friend. [Read: Shallow people lack depth – 30 signs you swim in the shallow end]

What to do when someone ignores you 

Before you let it eat you up, there’s one thing you need to know. Friendships aren’t always on a high. In reality, friendships consist of a bunch of peaks and valleys. There will be great moments in your friendship, and there will be less than great moments.

It may feel like those valley moments are the ones where you feel ignored, which is completely understandable.

Figure out if it is one of those moments or if there’s something else going on. That way, you know how to respond properly when someone ignores you. Don’t accept this behavior. Communicate. [Read: Good friends are like stars – 18 ways to build lasting friendships]

1. How are they ignoring you? 

You have to start at the beginning. How is this person ignoring you? There are three ways that they might be acting when ignoring you.

Fake responding

This is when your friend will answer your calls or texts occasionally. If you ask them to hang out, they never really give you a direct answer. Everything is vague and up in the air. If you see them in person, they’re usually quick to leave and aren’t interested in hanging around to talk to you. [Read: How to spot a fake friend and save yourself the hurt]

A slow down

You may text them, call them, or invite them out, and they take hours to reply back. Usually, their reply is perfectly timed so that they miss the event.

If they’re genuinely doing this, you’ll notice this behavior over a short period of time.

Complete ignoring

This is when you know 100% that you’re being ignored. If they completely ignore you, don’t answer your calls or texts, or walk away when they see you coming, you’re being ignored. It’s also called ghosting. [Read: Scenarios where it’s actually okay to ghost a friend]

2. Sometimes, ignoring isn’t malicious

People get busy. If your friend moved to a new city or has a new partner, it’s normal for them to go a little quiet. You’ll be able to tell the difference between intentional acts of ignoring you or being busy.

Whether it’s intentional or not, it’s important that you talk to them and get to the root cause of this behavior. [Read: How to build real friendships in your life]

3. Focus on you

When someone is intentionally ignoring you, they’re not looking out for your emotional needs. Instead of getting lost in your head and thinking about why they’re doing this and what you did wrong, guard yourself.

You don’t need to be taken for a ride by them, so make sure that you protect yourself emotionally. [Read: Why narcissists ignore you, your texts, & do the selfish things they do]

4. Give space

When we feel like we’re losing something, we tend to become needy and clingy, trying not to lose what we are emotionally connected to. Makes sense, right?

If you notice that your friend is ignoring you, back off instead of giving them more attention. See what happens next.

5. Reflect on the situation

You shouldn’t become obsessed, but you should spend some time reflecting on the situation. Is there something you did that would warrant this response? If you can’t think of anything, it doesn’t mean you need to find a reason.

The reason why this person is ignoring you doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with your actions. [Read: Should you overcompensate for your fickle friends?]

6. Talk face-to-face

You need to talk to them face-to-face because most of our communication is done non-verbally, through hand gestures, facial expressions, and body language.

You need to see these small movements to give you a better idea of what they’re thinking. Talk face-to-face about the problem, and come to a solution.

7. Do not overreact

You need to keep your emotions in check. Don’t assume that they’re ignoring you because they hate you. It’s probably not the case.

Whether you lash out in anger or keep your emotions bottled up inside, both are extremely unhealthy, and neither will help you.

Instead, focus on your breathing. If you feel that you’re about to overreact when talking to them, take a deep breath and then answer. [Read: How to make someone feel guilty for ignoring you and take back the power]

8. Use a mediator

If you need someone to be a third person in the conversation, bring in a mutual friend. This person needs to have a well-rounded understanding of both of you and be able to remain neutral. This can be tricky, but it’s all about who you pick to be the mediator.

They shouldn’t give any personal opinion. Instead, they simply keep the conversation moving in a productive way. 

9. If you need to apologize, do it

After the conversation, both of you will come to some sort of understanding and conclusion. Maybe you did something that hurt them, and they decided to ignore you.

In that case, be the bigger person and apologize. Of course, they should apologize for ignoring you. If they don’t, explain to them that ignoring someone isn’t the right response to solve a problem. [Read: How to resolve conflict – the 15 best ways to cut out the drama]

Ignoring someone isn’t a good tactic, but it’s usually a signal

There are several reasons why people may ignore you, and it’s not always because of something you did. It could be your fault, but it could also be theirs.

If you resonate with a few of these, it could be time to make some changes to get people to notice you again. You may want to wave goodbye to people who ghost you and give you the cold shoulder as a form of punishment.

[Read: The psychology of ignoring someone – why we intentionally ignore people even when we know it’s wrong]

Wondering why people ignore you isn’t a nice thought to go to bed with. However, you can always do something about this. Either find new friends or change a few traits of yours!

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...