Why are people ignoring you?

Found this list in an old notebook – I have no idea what exactly prompted the list. Guess I was feeling ignored at work :) Instead of blaming others, I took a shot at self-criticism, and assumed the problem was mine. What could it be?

Why you are being ignored (The rude Q&A style list):

  • You are silent
  • You are not as clear as you think you are
  • You aren’t convincing them why they should care
  • You pick too many battles and have never won any of them
  • You sound stupid to them
  • You are stupid (at least about the thing you’re being ignored about)
  • You waste time and never get straight to the point
  • You haven’t earned anyone’s trust
  • You don’t share your passion
  • You haven’t worked to find an ally
  • You smell funny
  • You always ignore everyone else
  • The people you work with are true fools

I’m sure you know someone who has potential, but always gets ignored – what else should be added to the list?

13 Responses to “Why are people ignoring you?”

  1. Jay Zipursky

    How about:

    – You’ve given up
    – You don’t provide value
    – You haven’t educated people enough or effectively

  2. Bill

    – You don’t provide enough context when conveying your ideas so they seem to come out of left field.

  3. Ben Buchanan

    – You mention the same problem/idea more often than they want to hear it

    I’ve noticed that some people expect things to just go away after a while. Even when it’s something like “that website is not accessible” and absolutely nothing has been done, some people think you will just give up on the idea if they ignore it long enough.

  4. Betawriter

    – The truth of your comments is not welcome
    – Your comments expose someone “above you” is not doing his job
    – Your comments expose collective issues that management always postpone

    And the best of all,

    – Your comments may make your colleagues think


  5. Sam Hasler

    – Do you even need their attention now. Could you start it on your own and they’ll get interested in it once you’ve got something to show them.

    – You don’t understand their POV well enough to convince them (basically another take on “You always ignore everyone else” or Santiiiii’s “You don’t listen”)

  6. Paul Carey

    You speak in a soporific monotone

  7. thiru

    – you are at the wrong place at the wrong time

  8. Jason

    You do not tailor your delivery for the audience.

  9. jj

    – it’s not actually clear what you’re trying to say
    – you’ve told them everything except what they could do about it

  10. Monte

    A couple weeks ago, I wrote a paper with suggestions for improving our development process. I gave it to my manager and didn’t hear back. Finally, I printed your list, grabbed a highlighter and asked her to highlight the reason she hadn’t read my paper.

    She replied, “I don’t have time to read your paper now, I’m too busy. I’ll get around to it in a couple weeks.”

    I probably should have been more patient.

    – Bad timing

  11. Lynn Cherny

    – They just don’t like you [you’ve seen the lovable fools vs. competent jerks research, right? one citation: http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/4916.html.%5D
    – You’re saying something they can’t do anything about, even if it’s true [same as jj’s second, probably]
    – You said it one too many times
    – Your signal to noise is considered low
    – Not your issue, it’s theirs: they’re too busy/stressed/overcommitted to listen
    – They heard but didn’t acknowledge: What are you after, being heard, or having action take place? These are different things.



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