Why being ignored is much more painful than fighting

Being ignored hurts. It hurts like hell. Especially when you are ignored by the one you love. 

But even if it is not your significant other, even if it’s the social circle you are gravitating around, it can still be incredibly painful. In fact, it could be much more emotionally damaging than arguing. Because when you argue, both sides have control over the situation. You say something, the other person responds and presents another argument, and eventually, you resolve the issue one way or another.

However, being ignored or socially excluded means losing control. Understanding that your opinion, your emotions, and your perspective don’t matter makes you feel worthless. This inevitably leads to severe mental health issues. But why?

Here are 3 reasons why being ignored hurts so much:

1. Being ignored hurts because it inflicts feelings of self-doubt

A natural response to being excluded is reflecting on yourself in search of answers. You begin analyzing every single thing you did and said to find out why you are being given the cold shoulder. Sooner or later, you find yourself in a vicious cycle of overthinking that overwhelms you in the worst way possible. It makes you cringe at every moment you felt incompetent or irrelevant. It shifts your focus to all the negative traits you believe you have, even if most of them exist only in your fragile mind.

On the contrary, when arguing, you have the opportunity to address the issue, acknowledge it, and work on solving it.

2. Being ignored hurts because you have no control over the situation. 

When you are being treated with apathy, and nothing you do or say makes a difference, you feel as if you have no control over the things happening around you. You are there, you see what’s going on, but there is nothing you can do to change it. You are being deprived of the possibility to use your voice and state your views. This only increases your feelings of insecurity, which severely affects your sense of self-image.

On the other hand, in its essence, an argument is a form of dialogue. It represents an exchange of opinions, meaning that both sides have the chance to express their positions.

3. Being ignored makes you feel worthless. 

When everyone around you acts as if you don’t matter, you unavoidably begin questioning your worth. It happens even if it’s only one person, but a person whose opinion matters to you. The alienation makes you feel painfully insignificant as if you were never of value to those who now chose to ignore you. This shatters your whole reality and makes you lose your sense of self.

Who am I? Was I ever worthy of love? What’s wrong with me? Millions of questions rush through your mind creating chaos you cannot find the strength to control. If only you had the chance to defend yourself and explain your point of view. If only there were someone to listen…

Contrarily, when fighting over something, your opinion matters. Your words are significant because they bring value to the conversation. Your perspective helps resolve the issue when combined with the views of the person you are arguing with.

The difference is tremendous.

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