Why do People Ignore Me?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. I don’t know why, but people ignore me all the time. I try to be friendly at work or what very little social situations I might be in, but when I speak, they just look away. I could be walking down a hallway at work, say hello to someone, they look right at me and keep walking. It makes me feel like I could die inside.

I attend a group exercise class 3 nights a week, and everyone talks out loud to the instructor or the rest of the class, but when I say something, everything goes quiet, and my comment is totally ignored.

I really am a friendly, funny and intelligent person. Being the last of 4 children in my family, I’ve learn to be the ‘comedian’. I tried that angle too, but to no avail.

I have absolutely no friends. My last ‘friend’ was in elementary school (I am 43 now), and I just recently found her contact info on a website, and we started communication, but now she won’t respond back to my last (only 2nd) email. I re-read it over and over to see what possibly could have turned her off, but I cannot find any reason.

My husband doesn’t understand. He is a very sociable guy. Men and women are naturally attracted to him. When we are with his friends, again – when I speak they just turn away and start speaking with him.

I sometimes think it’s a low self esteem issue, and that people might see right through it, and this somehow turns them off. I don’t know. I also noticed this happens much more with women than men. I don’t think I’m ‘trying too hard’, because I know that can be a turn off too.

I find myself fantasizing about how they would feel if I committed suicide or something. Please help.

A. It would be wise to see a therapist about this issue. I do not suggest therapy because there may be something “wrong” with you. I am suggesting therapy because a therapist could objectively assess your behavior in each of the aforementioned situations. The two of you could analyze exactly what was said in these situations, how you approached these people, and so forth. This type of interaction analysis may be needed to determine what is exactly occurring in these situations.

It may be that you are misjudging your own behavior towards others. It could also be that you are misinterpreting social cues and this hampers the possibility of new relationships. The fact of the matter is that at this point in time, something is amiss and the exact cause of the problem has yet to be found. It is therefore important that you meet with a trained professional who can fully assess your behavior and can instruct you on how to best interact with people. It could be that with a few tweaks, you can begin connecting with others and building new relationships.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Apr 2008

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2008). Why do People Ignore Me?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/04/21/why-do-people-ignore-me/