“I’m going to just ignore that you said that.”
Have you ever ignored a situation?
Have you ever pretended not to see?
Has someone ever said something rude and you ignored it?
Have you ever said something rude and then ignored the person you said it to?
How’d all that work out?
Ignore means “to refuse to take notice of or acknowledge; to disregard intentionally; to fail to consider (something significant).” Its roots are in words meaning “to not know.”
Do we really “not know” when we ignore?
I’ve said, “I’m going to ignore that,” to my kids so many times, and I’ve cautioned them to “just ignore it” when they’ve been on the receiving end of something unpleasant. It seems like something we should do. It seems to save us from negativity. It seems.
I’m less and less convinced that ignoring is a good idea. The more I study communication, psychology, and Biblical truth, the more convinced I am that we need to think differently about “ignoring” because “ignoring” is strong communication. And it’s not the kind of communication that is going to build relationships or connections or help us to honor and positively impact other people.
So what do I propose that we replace “ignoring” with?
Instead of “ignoring,” we should be “considering” or maybe “contemplating” or possibly “analyzing” and certainly “praying.”
I just fervently believe that we are not meant to ignore. We are meant to have positive impact, and we can’t ignore and do that, too.
Ignoring is not the same as not knowing. Ignoring is choosing to act like we don’t know. Choosing to act like we don’t know says something. It says something to those we are ignoring, and maybe more importantly, it says something to ourselves.
None of our ignoring is positively impactful.
When we find ourselves in moments where we are tempted to ignore, let’s ask ourselves what’s causing our emotions. Instead of mentally trying to check out of the situation, let’s check in more fully and consider all of the particulars that are building communication in that moment. Let’s analyze what and how and use what we find to change the direction of the communication.
The work is hard and humbling. It’s necessary and rewarding. We are directed to do this hard work.
Let’s replace ignoring with attention and intention to craft a positive impact in every moment.
Connie Benoit Sirois
Consultant | Writer | Speaker
We are called to love others as ourselves. Our communication gives us continual opportunities to do this. We should never miss a chance to honor others. I’d love for you to read about my mission.