Ignore me

This is a DBT prompting event worksheet. It’s a way to process feelings, to make sense of what the feelings are saying, and to decide how to wisely respond to the feelings.

I am not in a crisis, not in an abyss, just processing some feelings about several people not answering my direct questions.

Prompting event for my emotion:

I offered (July 18) to play live music for the Twice is Nice Children’s Resale. They have a limited number of vendor booths for area businesses, as well as all the donated clothing and other children’s items. I offered to play without charge, suggested having my CDs available. On July 31, having received no answer, I asked if they had had a chance to consider my offer. I still have received no reply.

There are a number of other unrelated situations in which I’ve asked a direct question and gotten no answer.

Emotion names:


Interpretations (beliefs, assumptions):

Am I really that ridiculous or awkward? Is it really such a gaffe to think playing dulcimer might be something other people could appreciate? What about the various other things involved in my other questions? Am I supposed to feel embarrassed and ashamed, or is it okay to only feel angry and insulted?

Physical sensations:

Hot, restless

Body language:



To stop talking to everyone, stop asking, offering, stop trying to communicate with people who so obviously can’t be bothered to communicate back.


I wrote an email to the Twice is Nice coordinator explaining my disappointment and saying that it is unkind not to give an answer to a direct question. Even if the answer is “no thank you” or “we’ll get back to you on [date],” it’s much better to get an answer than silence.

I haven’t done anything about the other situations beyond asking again.

After effect:

I still feel angry and hurt.

Challenge to the interpretations:

Do I have current actual evidence that people think I’m ridiculous or awkward? It is interesting that that interpretation is the first and strongest one. I usually give the benefit of the doubt at first, figuring people are busy and who knows why they don’t answer, but when there’s a lot of not being answered, when the people involved are obviously doing plenty of other things with other people (just not with me), when waiting for the answer has gone on for a long time, then I start to feel like the people involved must look at me as a freak of some kind and that they wish I would just go away, and that asking again would be not getting their obvious and clear “go away” message, and that asking again would be awkward and embarrassing for them.

I have current evidence that my music is good and that there are some people in the world who really like it.


10 thoughts on “Ignore me

  1. That looks like a really helpful worksheet. I like how they really break down all the sensations. I’m sorry you’re having to deal with that. My counselor used to ask me What does this mean about you? I guess that would go under interpretations. I ask that to myself in these situations too. But the answer is so emotionally charged it’s hard to challenge πŸ™‚ Grace to you.

  2. It annoys me that the consensus is that I don’t have the right to be angry when people ignore an email or facebook message — that I should use the phone or ask in person. I guess they’re right to say that… but for whatever reason it’s hard for me to use the phone to ask questions. Perhaps I could still ask via email or facebook initially but follow-up with a phone call if I don’t get a quick answer. And I suppose I should work on being less quick to suspect a “go away; you’re awkward” message when someone doesn’t answer. But I wish everyone else were as diligent to answer their emails and facebook stuff as I try to be. Even if, as in the resale situation, the boss is on vacation and the other staff isn’t sure what to say, they could very very simply say, “Our leader is unavailable at the moment” or “we’re not sure yet!”

  3. How funny~I don’t do well with e-mail for some reason but do very well on the phone! I think it’s just a matter of preference/personality on that probably? I still struggle with the feel my emotions thing…

  4. I appreciate how you feel insulted because there was no response. I guess with technology I just worry that perhaps the email address is old and no longer being checked or that my email went to the SPAM or junk folder and was never seen.
    Being in sales, I reach out to people all the time and get no response. It doesn’t bother me. I guess that wouldn’t be the right type of business for you to be in! πŸ™‚
    Are you totally sure the email got through? Sometimes I follow up with a phone call and say “I emailed you and didn’t hear anything, just want to be sure you received it.”
    Sorry this is difficult.

  5. Most of the time I’m dealing with people I normally communicate with — so I know their email works and they are obviously active on Facebook. When dealing with people I haven’t emailed in a long while or am not facebook friends with, yeah, I give that benefit of the doubt about junk folders or old addresses. It is another of my pet peeves to see business websites with forms, email addresses, and the like, that obviously don’t actually use them. It’s better to have no email address, no forms, etc, than to have them and not use them.

    Yes, my lack of interest in sales impacts both my music and my sewing business.

    Maybe non-response is the norm, or considered part of the deal, but to me it’s not the way things should be, business or otherwise, and I don’t approve of it. Now, that said, I still need to accept that reality is reality — but I can do so and still say it’s not the way it should be.

  6. Sadly, the new norm is no response means no. I think it’s shocking myself, and like you always send a follow-up email.

    Sometimes, it could happen inadvertently. They are not interested, but don’t want to take the time right then to say so, so procrastinate, and it slides, and then they assume that the person understands.

    Good manners are important in the online world too, but fewer people seem to observe them, alas!

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