Have you ever been ghosted by a person who means something to you? The feeling of being ignored is a painful one. When ignored, people feel inadequate. They lose themselves in doubt, sadness, and a plummeting sense of self-worth. The act of ignoring is seldom discussed as a psychological weapon, though it is a mighty powerful one. It is powerful because it requires minimal action from its user, and uses the mind of their victim to attack itself in Kamikaze fashion.
This article does not advocate for you to ignore every person who you have a disagreement with. The act of ignoring another individual should only be used when they fail to admit their wrongs, act to mend your relationship, and offer their opinions in a peaceful manner. Ignoring someone works best when their own actions can be used against themselves, without you needing to do anything. You should always strive to work things out with those you argue with. Don’t allow there to be many loose ends and burnt bridges in life. With that being said, here’s why ignoring someone is powerful in winning when they just can’t seem to let go of pride.
Pressing Buttons and Pulling Levers
Have you ever seen a child become obsessed with pressing buttons and pulling levers of any kind? This childhood need stems from making an impact on the world around us. It is an intrinsic human need to make a mark on your environment and on those around you. When we ask questions and partake in conversation, we serve to influence people’s social behavior and shape it to better interact with us. We feel validated when people answer our questions, respond to our text messages, and reach out when we are down. The act of being acknowledged by others is akin to a child hearing a satisfying ‘ding’ when they press the next stop button on a bus. We feel like we belong in a world where we have the power to make our mark. We feel real, and we feel part of another person’s life.
The intrinsic need to make an impact on someone else, makes silence a golden weapon in times of psychological warfare. The act of ghosting/ignoring people who seek to bring you pain, will entice them to doubt how much impact they’re having on you with their words and actions. Ignoring people reduces the measurable damage of their attacks to zero. It gives a sense of you winning the bout as silence conveys perfect confidence in all you’ve said prior to their rebuttal. It sends the message of you having nothing more left to say, which makes you seem absolutely confident in the last message that you’ve sent.
You’ll cause doubt to build in the mind of those who you ignore. The more they try to stab at you with attempts to garner a response, the more damage they’ll be doing to their own psyche. They will begin to feel their attempts to not be making any impact. With each attempt of theirs to hurt you, the timer of how confident they were in their last attempt restarts. With each ignored iteration of their attacks on you, they grow weaker, and they know it. It begins to look bad and rather desperate on their end. The things they write, say, and do in order to shine a light on you serves to twirl that light around and shine it right back at them when there isn’t a recipient to their attempts.
Picture a person stabbing and slashing air with a knife in the middle of the street. Without any context, you would automatically think this person to be out of their mind. The same effect occurs when you are silent in response to the attacks of others. You will make them seem upset, angry, and a little crazy. They will begin to doubt the effect their words have on you and the effect their actions have on the world at large. Be careful, as silence is a powerful contributor to their behavior becoming increasingly violent. People will go out of their way to see an effect to the actions that they commit. Ensure the people you ignore aren’t capable of allowing their dark thoughts to turn into darker actions. Be prepared and always consider your own safety first. Silence should be used when you know you are not in any physical danger from the other party.
Silence has a perk which not many psychological or physical weapons provide. This perk is the lack of incrimination. You cannot be held accountable for causing pain to another person by remaining silent. People don’t get in trouble for ignoring the attacks of others. There are those however, who react to others’ jabs, pokes, and stabs, only to incriminate themselves in the process. Silence is a perfect tool when you use it well. It will drive your opponent into a dark psychological space in which they feel inadequate compared to you. You will rise above without incriminating yourself, and will move on with your life while the other person potentially regrets things they’ve said or done.
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