The Painful Effects of Being Ignored in a Relationship: How to Deal with It

Suffering and Healing

Dealing with Being Ignored in a Relationship

It’s a feeling that no one wants to experience – the sinking feeling in your stomach when the person you love decides to ignore you. It’s a painful experience that can leave emotional and physical scars.

Being ignored by a partner in a relationship can have a devastating effect on an individual. It can lead to an array of psychological and physical consequences, including low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, digestive problems, and muscle tension, to name a few.

In this article, we will dive into the effects of being ignored in a relationship, and how to deal with it in a healthy and productive way.

Psychological Effects of Being Ignored

Being ignored can cause severe psychological harm, often leading to a decline in mental health. Some of the most common effects include:

1. Low Self-Esteem

Being ignored can do a number on your self-esteem. When the person you care about doesn’t pay attention to you, it can leave you feeling unwanted, unloved, and unworthy.

Over time, this can erode your confidence and self-worth, leading to a host of anxiety-related issues.

2. Anxiety and Depression

It’s not uncommon for individuals in a relationship to feel anxious or depressed when they are repeatedly ignored. The constant stress of not knowing what’s going on in your relationship can lead to a perpetual state of anxiety.

If the problem isn’t resolved, it can linger, leading to depression and other mental health issues.

3. Social Withdrawal

When a person feels ignored or neglected, they may start withdrawing from social situations or avoid interacting with others altogether. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation, ultimately leading to a decline in mental health and general well-being.

4. Eating Disorders

A correlation between being ignored in a relationship and eating disorders has been noted. When someone feels as though they are not being heard or recognized in their relationship, they may turn to food as a coping mechanism, leading to disordered eating patterns.

5. Chronic Pain

Stress, which is usually associated with being ignored or neglected, can lead to physical health issues such as chronic pain. Stress can cause tension in your muscles, which can lead to chronic headaches, backaches, and other types of pain.

Physical Effects of Being Ignored

Being ignored also has a profound effect on our physical health. Here are some of the most commonly experienced effects:

1. Insomnia

When you’re in a state of emotional distress, sleep can become quite elusive. Insomnia is a common symptom of being ignored by someone you care about.

This can affect your productivity, mood, and general well-being.

2. Headaches

Stress-induced headaches are another physical component of being ignored in a relationship. They can range from a mild tension headache to an aggressive migraine.

3. Digestive Problems

The body’s reaction to stress can also manifest physically in the digestive system. Stress can lead to digestive problems such as acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, and even ulcers.

4. Compromised Immune System

Prolonged stress on the body can also weaken the immune system, making you more susceptible to illness. When we’re in a weakened state, we’re more likely to fall ill or experience other health problems.

What’s the Difference Between Needing Space and Purposely Ignoring? It’s important to differentiate between needing space and purposely ignoring someone.

The request for space is a normal part of most relationships. People need time to themselves to process emotions and recharge.

However, deliberately ignoring someone is a different dynamic, where one partner is using emotional manipulation to control the other. It’s important to recognize when you are being manipulated and stand up for yourself in a healthy way.

How to Deal with Being Ignored in a Relationship

1. Take a Step Back

In the moment, being ignored can feel like an emergency. Your first instinct is probably to argue, plead, or even beg for attention.

However, instead of lashing out, take a step back. Give both yourself and your partner some space to cool off.

This is where you get to work on your emotional intelligence and self-esteem. When you respect your decision to take a step back, you’re showing yourself that you trust and value your opinion.

Doing so, it can go a long way in restoring your self-esteem.

2. Distract Yourself

It’s essential that while taking a step back, you resist the urge to wallow in your feelings of hurt and rejection. Instead, keep yourself productively occupied with activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.

Hobbies are an excellent distraction, and physical activities like exercise can help with releasing endorphins that improve your mood. These activities are also an excellent way to keep your mind on something other than the problem in front of you.

3. Surround Yourself with People Who Make You Happy

It is crucial to surround yourself with people who uplift and support you. Feeling ignored is already painful enough, and the last thing you need is to feel lonely too.

Positive social support can lift your spirits and help you regain a sense of self and purpose.

4. Find a Support System

Having a support system is vital when dealing with any relationship problems. Friends, family, or experts can provide insight, advice, and lend a sympathetic ear when you need to vent.

Couples counseling and therapy can help you identify any toxic dynamics in your relationship while teaching you healthy communication and conflict resolution techniques.

5. Communicate

Sometimes, we forget that all relationships require communication. Opening up and expressing your emotions can be difficult, but holding things in can lead to resentment or bottling up.

When discussing your feelings, use active listening to ensure that both sides are fully heard and understood. Once you’ve expressed your feelings and concerns, work together to find a solution that is acceptable and sustainable for everyone involved.

6. Become Your Biggest Fan

With so much time and emphasis placed on our significant others, it’s not uncommon to forget to love ourselves. So make it a point every day to purposefully practice self-love and self-care.

Whether it’s getting a new haircut, buying yourself a lavish gift, or just taking some much-needed time off, taking care of yourself is paramount.

7. Break the Cycle

In some cases, being ignored can be a form of emotional abuse or manipulation. This type of behavior is not acceptable in any relationship.

Recognize, acknowledge, and address the issue. It’s essential to break the cycle of toxic relationship dynamics and prioritize healthy communication and validation.


Being ignored can happen to anyone, but it does not have to be the end of the world. By taking a step back, keeping busy, surrounding yourselves with positivity, and having an open and honest dialogue, you can work towards a solution that works for both you and your partner.

Understand that your emotions are valid, and focus on building your self-esteem and strengthening the relationships around you. Remember that ultimately, your mental health and happiness are important, and it’s okay to take a step back when you need it.

In conclusion, being ignored in a relationship can have profound psychological and physical effects, leading to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, chronic pain, and compromised immune systems. By taking care of yourself and the relationships around you, communicating openly and honestly, and recognizing when you are being emotionally manipulated, you can break the cycle of toxic relationship dynamics and prioritize healthy communication and validation.

Ultimately, your mental health and wellbeing are essential, and it’s okay to take a step back and seek support when needed. Remember to focus on building your self-esteem, strengthening your relationships, and prioritizing your happiness.

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