Are you aware of the psychological effects of being ignored by someone you love? It can cause more damage to your mental health than you think.
I learned the psychological effects of being ignored by someone you love with my first boyfriend. It’s not that I did something terrible that I deserved the silent treatment. We would have our normal arguments like all couples. Instead of resolving the issue, he would ignore me.
He would block and delete me from social media nor return my texts or calls. Basically, I was losing my mind. And this would last for a couple of days, but if he was really angry, it would last longer. And what do you do during that time? You have no idea what’s going on, so you just wait it out—frantic.
What I didn’t know? This was manipulation. Yes, taking some time apart is good and healthy, but not when your partner purposely ignores you without reason. What I didn’t realize is that I was being punished by him.
By ignoring me, he tried to “teach me a lesson” and make sure I never repeated my actions again. Did it work? To a point, yes. But I became worn out by his tactics and eventually broke off the relationship. It was only after the breakup did I realize the psychological effects of being ignored by someone you love. [Read: 10 devious signs of manipulative behavior that you should never ignore]
Why would someone ignore the person they love?
Like I said above, it’s about control and punishment. When a person chooses to ignore you, they’re giving you the silent treatment. But what does this really mean? Well, instead of talking about your problems like two healthy individuals, they act in a passive-aggressive manner.
See, they don’t effectively communicate their feelings and emotions, so, they take control of the situation by making you feel powerless and helpless. It is a form of abuse as it’s done with intent and meant to make you feel emotionally insignificant.
This is done because they want to put the blame on you and avoid taking responsibility. They may just want to hurt you, or they believe that what they’re doing is good for you. Regardless of the reason, it’s abusive behavior and can have serious psychological effects on you.
8 psychological effects of being ignored by someone you love
Being ignored is never fun. Sometimes it can damage your mental health.
#1 It causes emotional trauma. When ignored, you experience a wide range of emotions. One minute you’re angry, the next minute you’re sad. And this rollercoaster of emotions continues to happen until the person contacts you.
Victims of this form of abuse will feel depressed, anger, confusion, guilt, and rejection. Having those feelings inside of you, and when they’re forced upon you by someone you love, you’ll feel unworthy and unloved. This is when you become emotionally traumatized. [Read: 21 big signs of emotional abuse you could be overlooking]
#2 Physical side-effects. When we’re under stress, emotional stress is just one of the side-effects. Our brains detect and measure different levels of pain. When we’re being ignored, our anterior cingulate cortex is activated, telling your body that you’re in physical pain.
The physical side-effects can range from headaches to nausea to anxiety. Depending on the level of stress you’re experiencing, the side-effects will vary. [Read: 10 types of toxic people who’ll make you feel weak and used]
#3 Psychological stress. This is a big one. The silent treatment does more than just make you feel sad. Most of the time, the silent treatment is used as a manipulation tool. It creates a rollercoaster of emotions in you. You question yourself, your self-worth, and self-esteem. Add the psychological stress, and you’re feeling out of control. If the silent treatment continues, again and again, it’ll leave permanent damage.
#4 Behavioral changes. When someone ignores you, instead of looking at them you start to question yourself. What did I do wrong? Is there something wrong with me? What should I do to stop this from happening? These questions are common during the silent treatment.
You start to behave in ways which aren’t normal. You second-guess yourself and doubt your own thoughts and actions. This is when you start to act differently as you feel guilty and out of control. And this gives an opening for the other person to manipulate you.
#5 Leads to physical violence. When someone emotionally abuses you, it increases the chances of them physically abusing you. Though you may not think it could happen to you, if you continue to spend time with this person, it will happen.
In relationships, 95% of men who physically abuse their partner also psychologically abuse them. This isn’t going to magically become better one day, this person is toxic. [Read: A step-by-step guide for how to get out of an abusive relationship]
#6 Promotes narcissistic behavior. Now, this behavior isn’t in you. It’s in the other person. When someone feels that they have control over another person, it promotes narcissistic behavior. And if they have no problem giving you the silent treatment, then they probably are already narcissistic.
Knowing they can continue to ignore you and get what they want, it only fuels them. Narcissists love to manipulate and control the people around them, and they’ll use whichever tactic that works.
#7 Destroys relationships. When ignored by someone, it’s often due to a lack of communication. This person will ignore or distance themselves from you instead of communicating with you. When this happens, it causes a rift in the relationship.
There’s an issue stuck in the middle, but no one talks about it. Instead, everyone waits to see what will happen next. During this time, feelings of intimacy and trust decrease. Eventually, the relationship deteriorates. [Read: How to start communicating better in your relationship]
#8 Affects the autoimmune system. Who would have thought the silent treatment could be this harmful? Well, it impacts the entire body. The autoimmune system is affected by the silent treatment due to high-stress levels.
When someone is ignored, they’re stressed. When the body is stressed, it’s inflamed, which can lead to more health issues and conditions.
The psychological effects of being ignored by someone you love isn’t something you ever should feel. If someone you love gives you the silent treatment, evaluate the relationship. Is this someone you need in your life?