When you’re feeling neglected by someone close to you, it can leave you feeling lonely and wondering if you did something wrong. It’s important to look at the situation objectively to determine what might be causing their hurtful behavior so you can get past it and strengthen the bond the two of you share.
If you’ve ever felt neglected by the one you love, you’re not alone. It happens to the best of couples, but recovering is all in the way you handle it. Healthy, happy relationships take a lot of work and patience, and you should know there are plenty of things you can do if you’re feeling ignored by the one person who claims to love you most.
Neglect is the worst feeling ever!
According to Dr. John M. Grohol, Psy.D. over at PsychCentral.com, one of the surest ways to ruin a relationship fast is to ignore your partner. In fact, being ignored is often worse than being hated by someone.
When someone ignores another person, it essentially says, “I don’t care enough to even waste the effort of anger on you.” If your loved one actively ignores you for extended periods of time, the relationship may be doomed, according to Dr. Grohol.
Before getting all worked up, though, it pays to take a step back and look at things from another perspective. As I said before, there are things you can do to identify the issues and fix them before it’s too late. No one likes feeling neglected, so keep reading to gain a fresh perspective.
What to do to stop feeling neglected
No one gets into a relationship with someone just to be ignored. If that were the case, we’d all go back and relive our high school days, am I right? No, feeling neglected and ignored hurts, so here are some things you can do if you find yourself in a relationship where you are being ignored.
#1 Take a look at yourself and your own behavior first. Before jumping to any conclusions, take a minute to examine your own behavior. If your loved one is ignoring you, it might be due to something you inadvertently did to make them feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable. Maybe you are too clingy or too intrusive. It might just be that your partner needs a little space every once in a while.
#2 Look at the situation from their perspective. It could very well be that your loved one’s lack of attention has nothing to do with you at all. Try seeing things from their point of view. Maybe they are simply busy, or don’t feel well. Maybe they are tired or experiencing a distracting family issue. It’s important to consider all possibilities when you’re feeling neglected.
#3 Slow it down a bit. When you’re feeling neglected, just give the other person a short break. Try not texting or calling them for an entire day. This gives them a chance to miss you and text or call you first. Furthermore, try to stop texting or calling about trivial things, especially if they are going through a tough time or are busy.
By making yourself a little less available to your loved one, you create an air of mystery about you that might lead them to wonder what you’re up to.
#4 Get out of your own head. When someone ignores you, it’s easy to become sad or even depressed. The best thing to do in a situation like this is to get out of your own head. Smile, be happy, and don’t allow the other person’s hurtful behavior to ruin your day. The happier you are, the more likely people are to be drawn to you. Confidence is sexy, so be the strong, confident type, and people will find you extremely hard to ignore.
#5 Remain independent. Always have a backup plan for those times when your partner isn’t available. Go out with your friends or immerse yourself in a project. Throwing a pity party for one is no way to spend your valuable time–and besides, it’s good and healthy to keep a life that’s independent of each other. It keeps you grounded, and having something to keep you busy stops you from overthinking the situation.
#6 Be honest about how you’re feeling. One of the best ways to figure out the situation and get past it is to confront the other person and simply be honest about how you’re feeling. Come right out and ask them why they are ignoring you. Did you do or say something wrong, or is there some other reason? It could simply be that they have no clue they are neglecting you and that you are feeling this way. In this situation, honesty and kindness are key.
#7 Reconnect. Once you find out the reason for the neglect, you can begin to fix the problem. Try reconnecting with each other by talking about your passions and interests. Give each other ample time to talk and express yourselves without interrupting the other when they’re on a roll. Ask questions and truly be interested in what the other person has to say.
#8 R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Demand it. If all of your attempts at being honest and reconnecting with each other fail to rectify your loved one’s neglectful ways, let them know you will not be disrespected that way. Don’t let them continue to get away with it. You deserve better. Tell them that the two of you need to communicate better in order for the relationship to work.
What NOT to do when you’re feeling neglected
When you’re feeling neglected, there are definite things you should NOT do. Don’t:
#1 Accuse. Unless you’re one hundred percent sure your partner is cheating on you, lying to you, or breaking the rules of your relationship in some way, never make accusations. Doing so may push them even further away.
#2 Jump to conclusions. You might be totally convinced you know why your loved one is ignoring you, but never assume. You know what they say about assuming, don’t you? It makes an A-S-S out of U and M-E.
Do not jump to conclusions; you could be totally wrong, or not know the entire story.
#3 Ignore facts. If what your partner tells you doesn’t add up, pay attention. On the other hand, if your loved one conveys in some way that they want help, be conscious of that as well. Get the facts and be able to read between the lines, if necessary.
#4 Get defensive. Feeling neglected can certainly cause you to be angry and hurt, but don’t get defensive. Whining, being needy, or trying to justify your behavior won’t bring your loved one closer to you.
#5 Play the victim. As much as your partner’s neglect feels like rejection, don’t play the victim. Don’t make the situation all about you, unless you know for sure it IS all about you.