Don't ignore people | Two businesswomen talking, even though one looks like they don't want to.

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Ignore People? You Might Be Ignoring the Better You Too

Rude as it may seem without context, it’s become common to ignore people. Athletes, office professionals, students, and others will commonly “ignore the haters.” Conversely, they may also ignore the yes men. Which makes sense! In many situations, you do have to ignore people in order to operate optimally.

But in other situations, ignoring people can be detrimental to your success.

I’m not just talking with your inner circle either. Or with a teacher. Sometimes, it’s the stranger who shouldn’t be ignored. Or even a mortal enemy. Because you never know where valuable insight will come from.

The importance of listening to people

People learn from people, for better or worse. So, when you ignore people, you may very well be ignoring a lesson that could help you become a better person. Of course, not everything everyone says will be useful, but you don’t want to miss the fraction that is. As such, it’s often better for you to listen and decide what to do with whatever information is presented than to reject the information from jump.

This is especially important when you’re trying to learn about yourself. Self-evaluations, while of some value, are generally flawed by nature. We may think we’re better at something than we are. A novice at something we’re actually world-class in. We have blind spots, and we’ll likely stay blind to them until people speak up—and until we listen to what they have to say. 

When people tell us about ourselves, be it a compliment or a critique, they’re giving us an opportunity. Sometimes it’s an opportunity for self-development. Other times, it’s an opportunity for career development. And in other instances, it’s an opportunity to pivot out of something we’ll fail at. But when we ignore people, we dismiss any opportunities they may present.

And those opportunities stack up.

So, don’t dismiss what people have to say before you’ve listened to them. Don’t ignore people. Even when the people are strangers. Listen to others, then do what you will with the information. But give yourself the opportunity to receive more opportunities. Give yourself the opportunity to become a better you.

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