What does it mean when someone ignores your questions?

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What does it mean when someone ignores your questions?
The problem may lie with the person choosing to ignore you. (Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

People may ignore you in different circumstances for different reasons. It doesn't always mean that there is something wrong with you, although being ignored may make you feel that way. If you are in the workplace and you are ignored, you may not feel like a valuable member of the team. If you are ignored within more intimate circles, such as family and friends, you may feel like you have done something wrong. If you are relying on social media to communicate, it may simply be a matter of oversight. How you deal with it depends on the relationship, the situation and your own set of standards.

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Timing Is Everything

In today's fast-paced society many people are juggling an armload of commitments that leave their attention stretched thin. If you call your friend and leave a message, it is entirely possible she simply won't see it right away. A memo on your boss's or co-worker's desk may get buried under other paperwork. An e-mail or tweet or message, likewise, can get buried and easily overlooked. Try to ask your question again, preferably face to face.

A Matter of Priority

If your boss doesn't get back to you regarding your questions right away it may be that more pressing matters come first. The same is true for a spouse, family member or friend with a hectic schedule. Communicate with anyone who is withholding an answer to your question to ensure that you can get a time frame when he can get around to you. If it is someone especially busy, you may have to ask more than once. Patience and persistence are key.

It's Not You, It's Them

Another casualty to a tech-heavy, fast paced society is simple courtesy. People may have just got in the habit to forsake small kindnesses and have become comfortable being rude, such as ignoring an e-mail. They blow off communication as a rule, and not just during specific situations as listed above. Consider people's personalities and how they treat others before you take their ignoring you personally. Communicate with the individual to let her know such behaviour is unacceptable.

It's Not Them, It's You

Some folks are a major time investment. Self-centered individuals require more than a simple answer to a question, and there people who do not have the time to spend on anything more than a quick "yes" or "no" might ignore this type of person entirely. Examine your previous interactions with this individual and see if maybe the fault may lie with you. Make a conscious point of being more considerate of the time and attention of others so these types of relationships may improve.

Silence as an Answer

Sometimes the silence itself is the answer. These apply to situations where a "yes" or "no" question would require more information for the "yes" than the "no." If you are pursuing a job or a relationship and you haven't heard back from a prospective employer or date, the answer may indeed be "no." Weigh how much you have invested into this scenario and then make your decisions accordingly.

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