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What I Don’t Know I Can’t Fix 4 February 09

Posted by Fantastic Four in Life, Random Thoughts on Stuff.

The worst kind of punishment someone can give to someone else. It’s not shouting abuse, not swearing at, not arguing, not telling what bothers one about the other, not communicating what the problem is if there is one, but simply ignoring anything one says. As if the other does not exist. Seeing right through as if the other is transparent. Responding or engaging in a conversation? It feels a bit like an exhausting favour.

What would you do if this happened to you? Would you ask the person what is wrong,  or what you have done wrong? Would you keep quiet and just wish for it to change? Would you walk away and ignore them back?

You see I don’t like ignoring, because it is too painful if it happens to me that I don’t think it’s fair to do it to anyone. I may be too sad and go quiet for a while, but mostly I just try to talk about it. I can’t fix anything I don’t know, so I ask to see if it’s something I have said or done.

And if I have a problem with something someone has said or done, I just tell them what bothers me. In the past, when I did this I thought it would be ok, because I prefer that I get told what the problem is. I think like the other person has a right to know as it is regarding them or something they have done or said. I don’t like them any less for it, but I might be annoyed or irritated or simply I don’t agree and I say it as it is. This could come across as confrontation but to me it is the best way of communicating, gives a chance to talk it out. Or simply agree to disagree at the end, and that’s fine, too.

But I suspect that sometimes if someone ignores me because they don’t like me, then there is nothing I can do about it. How do I make sure that this is the way though? Can I just walk right up to them and ask “Do you not like me?” If they don’t want to come across as a mean person, they probably just say “What are you on about?”  The person simply doesn’t like me perhaps. Then of course I wonder why it is that they don’t like me? It must have been something I have repeatedly done, said, that bothered them. The way I look? The way I talk? The way I walk? What is it? If it’s something I would also like to change, I would. And I don’t know what it is, I just get the silent treatment so I will never know. Sometimes knowing won’t help me fix it. Can’t make someone like me, and in that case it is not enough that I like them either.

It’s not a win win situation, the silent treatments. I prefer anytime a good old argument or stone cold truth slapped on my face than being ignored.

PS: I might be over-sensitive and over-analysing. Only because I care.



1. Nick - 4 February 09

If someone ignores me, I tend to just ignore them back. I figure they’re ignoring me because I don’t interest them or I have nothing to offer them and therefore trying to get their attention is pointless. I just look for someone who IS interested in me. Life’s too short to waste on non-opportunities.

I think if I’ve actually offended someone they’ll usually make that clear in some way rather than simply ignoring me.

2. Gaye - 4 February 09

That makes sense Nick. I think I might just need to practice that. I worry and worry and worry, but only when I care about the person. I guess it also affects me much more than it normally would have, because my father used to punish me for doing things he considered as “mistakes” by giving me the silent treatment.

3. Megan - 4 February 09

Well, I like you…

4. Gaye - 4 February 09

You made me giggle, thank you Megan. 🙂 I like you, too. I think the trick is to make sure, then, that if that changes for a reason we let each other know. 🙂

5. wisewebwoman - 4 February 09

This is so complex, Gaye. Sometimes I’ve had to walk away from people for valid reasons to me. Perhaps they’ve abused me too much and I reached my snapping point (it takes me far too long to reach this conclusion when I really like someone).
Other times, people walk away from me and I try reconnection a few times and when that doesn’t work, like Nick, I let it go. Sometimes I take a stone and visualize them and wish them all the best and toss it in the lake or sea. I don’t lose sleep over it then.
And whatever you think it is that upset them is never the truth. Like I said we’re complex creatures and some people are users and abusers.
And not as wonderful as we are. ;^)
I like you Gaye.

6. Baino - 4 February 09

Aww Gaye. I know what you mean. I’ve been receiving the grouchy silent treatment from my boss now for two weeks and wondering if it was mee – I just couldn’t fathom why. I found out today because I finally had the nerve to shut his door and say ‘Right, what’s up . .what’s going on. . this is so out of character for you . . .’ it turns out it has nothing to do with me, he’s just introspective about a personal issue but didn’t know how to express it.

I’m like you, I will confront (not aggressively but resolving conflict is a big part of my job so I’m not half bad at it – I will ask) rather than put up with non communication. However, you’re right, if the person simply doesn’t like you, there’s little you can do. I think the silent treatment is incredibly immature actually, it’s attention seeking and sulky, the sort of behaviour that children indulge with when you take away something they want. I’m sorry it’s upset you tho . and like Megan . . I love that you’re up front. I would much rather have everything out in the open and agree to differ than be confronted with a wall of silence or have to ‘watch my words’ all the time.

7. Gaye - 5 February 09

WWW ~ It is a complex issue, that is why, although I normally would, I can’t just simply ask why the person is ignoring me. I don’t think it’s actually punishment, I think I am prolly not cool enough. That’s ok. I am now fine with it and moving on.
And, thank you! ❤

Baino ~ Sometimes it’s like that, and I am over-sensitive at times and think too much, so I have been sort of hesitant in reaching a conclusion in the matter. One last thing showed me that I am being ignored so now I just quit making an effort. That’ll be that.

I can’t be up front with this person, because I am 100% sure I will get told I am dreaming.


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