Self-Awareness And Paranoia: Why Do People Ignore Me?

Updated March 17, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Are you worried that people are intentionally ignoring you? While it may occur to you that, logically, not everyone can avoid speaking to you or being around you all the time, the fact that it happens so often can lead to a heightened sense of self-awareness and paranoia. You may experience the general sense that you are being ignored because there is something wrong with you. People can be cantankerous, difficult to communicate with, and if you are being snubbed, it is not a reflection of your inner value and beauty. However, there are strategies that you can use to open the room for you to be heard. In this article, self-awareness and paranoia are discussed along with an introduction to strategies in discovering why you are not being heard and how mental health therapy can help. 

Paranoia And Self-Awareness

Paranoia typically will involve feeling threatened or in danger in some way. However, in some cases feeling an exaggerated sense of suspicion can be a form or paranoia. Self-awareness is distinct from paranoia, because it involves the ability to observe your thoughts, beliefs, and actions and determine whether they are grounded or a product of misdirection.  Paranoia is essentially having a though or series of thoughts that are not grounded in reality, yet you are unable to identify the misconception. If you are overly concerned that people are ignoring you, but you have a sense that it may not be true, you may be experiencing paranoia. 

Paranoia Defined

Anxiety is a natural response to sometimes normal, everyday situations that cause stress or mental discomfort. Paranoia is considered an extreme form of anxiety that focuses on the perception that other people have malintent focused in their direction. 

Fear and worry, along with paranoid thoughts, are a part of our survival traits. After all, if we do not perceive danger and respond with fear or concern, we are much less likely to avoid it. Unfortunately, because human lives are more complex than the lives of other animals, we develop many more ideas of what to worry about. This can include being worried that other people do not notice you are there, or they are intentionally ignoring you. With the right tools, however, you can learn how to stop intrusive thoughts, paranoia, and anxiety.

Defining Self-Awareness 

Researchers have discussed the definition of self-awareness for decades with various meanings, including: 

  • The ability to monitor our inner world, such as values, reactions, and interpersonal interactions 

  • A type of self-consciousness, being aware of our behaviors and actions in relation to others

  • The difference between how we view ourselves and how others see us

Self-awareness can be directed internally and externally. Practicing external self-awareness involves knowing how people perceive you while knowing your own desires, motivators, values, and how you impact others represent internal self-awareness. Once a person finds a balance of internal and external self-awareness, they may find an ease in life that does not require external validation from other people. 

If your concerns about other people ignoring you is rooted in worries that others will not accept you, then practice letting go of caring about what others think. Most of the assumptions that we have about what others think about us are due to our insecurities rather than facts or evidence that someone does not like you. 

If you work on being happy with yourself, instead, you will likely stop projecting negative thoughts about yourself with people with whom you interact. 

Here are some simple explanations as to why people ignore others.

Why Do People Ignore Me?

According to Eduard Ezeanu, there are four reasons why people may not notice your presence:

1) You are not grabbing their attention. People are naturally attracted to loud noises, bright colors, and random gestures. If you are soft spoken, wear neutral outfits, and are rigid, you may not be noticed very easily. If you wish to draw attention to yourself, try to stand out more, which may not be a simple task for those who are timid since it can force them to be someone that they are not. Yet something as simple as wearing a bit more color and raising your voice a little bit when you speak can work wonders.

2) You are considered a stranger to them. Shyness is a natural response to being with a stranger. If someone is showing signs that he's avoiding you and you do not know them very well, the fact that they do not know you either can be the reason why. To break the ice, you may want to ask them about themselves or establish a connection with them by something you know you have in common such as their job, children, or a sports team.

3) You do not seem very nice or approachable. If you have a history of being mean or unsociable, people may avoid or ignore you because of this. You would think that a simple solution to this is to stop being mean or unsociable, but for some, this is just the way that they are. However, regardless of your demeanor, everyone needs to have friends or to be interactive with others. If you are having trouble changing this demeanor, then you may have to seek professional assistance from BetterHelp.

4) You are not talking to the right people. The fact is that you may not have anything in common with those who are around you. To be with others who notice you, try going to places that you enjoy or that you think you will enjoy. Chances are that you will find people there who are interested in you, thus getting rid of your impression that people are intentionally ignoring you.

Why Does Being Ignored Hurt? 

If you are feeling like you are being ignored, you most likely are feeling hurt inside. Human beings are a social species, so any feeling of being socially excluded can have a deep impact on a personal level. In fact, studies show that being ostracized, or socially isolated, affects a person’s sensory perception. People who feel ignored report feeling like their surroundings are quieter and crave social connectedness. 

You may have experienced a conflict with your partner or loved one and they respond not with loud disagreement, but simply ignore you. Being ignored in conflict or in general social interactions can lower your self-esteem and make you feel as if you lack control. Lastly, being ignored may send the message that you are not worthy of attention and are insignificant. Social isolation of any sort is not something any person should experience. If you are regularly being ignored in your relationship, it is important you address this issue with your partner directly or by seeking professional relationship support.

Seeking Support

When you feel ignored, it is completely natural for you to experience thoughts rooted in paranoia. However, when these feelings persist, you may notice that it is impacting your daily functioning and ability to feel happy. Therapy can help. If your symptoms are preventing you from enjoying your life, a licensed therapist can help teach you strategies in letting go of negative thinking patterns and paranoid behaviors. 

There are many effective treatments available for people who are managing anxiety-related paranoid thoughts. Treatment can include psychotherapy, anti-anxiety medication, self-help, or some combination of both. One of the unfortunate symptoms of paranoid thinking is persistently feeling on guard, especially in new places. If you can relate, consider online therapy. You make set the time and place for your therapy sessions at your convenience and they can take place in the comfort of your own home. Research shows that online therapy can play a significant role in reducing anxiety symptoms, including paranoia. For example, one study found that online therapy was just as effective than traditional in-person sessions, with participants in the online group showing continued symptom reduction three months after treatment. 

At, you will find thousands of therapists at the ready to help you reach your goals. If you want to make changes in your life, BetterHelp enables you to easily reach out to a licensed therapist to get help for more serious paranoia and anxiety.


Feeling like you are being ignored can have a serious impact your ability to have healthy relationships and affect your mental health, especially if accompanied with paranoia. However, with a strong intent in developing your self-awareness and increasing your self-confidence, you may find your concerns dissipate. If your paranoia is impacting your way of life, your first step can be talking with a mental health therapist when you are ready. 

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