Friday, Sept. 10, 2004 | 3:28 p.m.
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I have recently been reintroduced to a pet peeve of mine -- feeling ignored. I absolutely hate feeling ignored, though I recognize that sometimes the ignoring is all in my mind, and not at all the intention of the person I think is ignoring me. To feel ignored is somewhat arrogant, isn't it? It's assuming I am important enough that people pay attention when I say something and that they will respond.
I have to be up front and say that I am examining this in light of a current situation where I feel ignored. There is some physical reality of many emails going unresponded to, but there are any number of reasons for that lack of response. I note communication from these people in other places, which leads me to tell myself the story that my issues are not important enough to invoke a response -- I am being ignored. But that's my story, you see, and may not reflect reality at all.
This is a pattern I've experienced before, where I have exerted a lot of energy to communicate something, usually via email, and then not received any response. Sometimes I simply ask about it, like I did here a few weeks back, in the case of comments/feedback. The response to that was fabulous and enlightening. But here the issue is again, rearing its head in another forum, and forcing me to look at myself and consider why I feel this way.
So why don't I just ask why no one is responding to my emails? What does feeling ignored buy me? It lets me feel indignant and angry, instead of hurt. That's one thing. For me, anger is easier than hurt any day. Anger feels powerful, while hurt just feels vulnerable. And everyone knows it's rude to ignore someone, so I get to feel all indignant and angry and justified in doing so. And if I choose to ignore the ignoring, to keep telling myself the story about being ignored but chose to take the higher ground and not stoop to that level, then I get to feel morally superior too. What a deal!
So instead, I'll do the thing that makes me feel vulnerable. I will ask why no one is responding to my email. And I may not like what I hear -- that's the other reason to keep my fingers in my ears while I tell myself my story -- but at least I'll know.
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