THE POWER OF IGNORING
There is power in words, in money, in influence, you name it.
One power freqvently used in our society is the power of ignoring a person. People who use it may feel that they are sophisticated and way above others. It sounds even worse when that power is used in a place where it should be unity. I don’t want to make a list of the motives that pushes somebody to dismiss individuals in a group. But the idea behind it is this:
“I’m much better than you and you have no value. ”
SAY IT STRAIGHT!
I grew up in a world where if somebody had something against you, that individual would come and talk to you. Sometimes the language would be harsh, passionate and even rude. But after that conversation you would know where you stand in that relationship. Most of the time, simple people operate the best in clarity.
A SAD STATEMENT
I remember years ago when I was brand new in the US that, while interacting with a person, somebody would drop in our conversation and start a new one with my companion without acknowledging me. In the beginning I would just wait for the new comer to finish, and then timidly I would introduce myself to that person. It was a surprise to see that that individual continued to look only at my interlocutor, without seeing or hearing me. In the beginning I thought that somebody acting like that was disabled and I had compassion for her.
When this kind of incidents were repeated, I understood that THEY, THE INCIDENTS, WERE A SAD STATEMENT.
“You are invisible to me.”
“I don’t care about you.”
“You are not important to me and I don’t bother greeting you.”
“I’m better than you.”
“You don’t exist.”
“You are not part of my perfect world.”
I was talking to somebody on the church’s patio a few months ago. My friend and I were laughing and having a good time together when this lady came from behind and started talking to my friend in the middle of our conversation. There was no “Hi!” to me or a smile or even a head turned in my direction. It wasn’t something like “I’m sorry but I need to tell you this, it’s urgent.” She just kept talking and talking and talking to my friend as if I wasn’t there. Haha, I knew what she was doing. She was using her power of ignoring me.
Maybe you would have just give up and leave. Well, I didn’t. I waited for her to finally finish and when she wanted to depart, I stepped next to her and told her that what she did wasn’t OK.
“Why?” she asked visible surprised that I had the courage to confront her.
“This is why,” I answered and told her what she did and how that made me feel.
I could see she was uncomfortable and surprised, and right before leaving she said:
“There is only one person who could dare to do this. And that’s you.”
I liked it.
There were many friends who told me during the years that they were hurt by other people who were using the same strategy against them.It hurts to be told that you don’t matter, even if you are told that with or without words. Because the one who wants to hurt you counts on the fact that you would not confront her/him. And they win.
If you want to clarify the situation and not dwell in the pain of feeling that you have no worth, you should say something. Show to that person what you sensed and see if that’s the case.
When you reveal it, that is powerful as well and it changes the balance.
I know this is not usual in the American culture, but it’s healthy. You shake off the doubts about yourself, and walk tall, with your head up. Because you have value and your value doesn’t depend on random people.
On my side, I like being in unity and embracing others.
Segregation hurts. Unity heals.