7 Ways You Show People Not to Bother Communicating with You

Communication involves more than just your words. Your body language, what you do and do not do, tells a story all on its own. To have healthy relationships in life it is good to know exactly what your body language is silently telling others.

With your body you can tell a quick story that is absorbed in an instant without chance for your explanation. Here are 7 ways you are telling people not to bother communicating with you.

arms in air and look on face showing bad communication skills

1. Lack of Eye Contact

This one can be a little tricky. In America it is a sign of weakness and disrespect to not look someone in the eye when communicating. In some countries it is actually disrespectful to look an elder in the eye. As a general rule with communication, not looking at someone when they speak to you signals a disinterest on your part. You are telling them what they have to say is of no interest to you or not deemed worthy.

2. Unengaged or Negative Body Language

When your body is unengaged in the conversation you tell a person you are not interested or do not value what they are saying to you. You are dismissing them and the conversation. Examples of this include turning your body away from the person communicating, looking down or away, and walking off. Negative body language can signify your being closed off to their statements (crossed arms), attacked or blaming (staring), looking at your watch (disinterested).

3. Distractions

The person in front of you (or attempting to have a conversation with you) should be the most important thing at this moment. Put down your phone, turn off social media, turn off the tv, and put the book down. Give that person in front of you your undivided attention (put that phone on silent or better yet, put it completely away). Engaging in distractions tells the person in front of you that they are not that important to you.

4. Multitasking

Much the same as distractions, and broadens to include seemingly important tasks such as washing dishes or cooking; working on a project; work itself; homework; or whatever may have your attention. If someone is trying to communicate with you stop what you are doing and listen.

5. Anger, Yelling

Anger or yelling tells the person you are attempting to have a conversation with that you have already made up your mind. Their involvement is not really necessary and you have already cast judgment. It is always okay to have and express emotions. However, when those emotions turn to extremes such as yelling and anger it may be time to step away and gather yourself first if you want to be heard or understood.

6. Walking Away

Walking away when someone is talking to you can show two things. One it can show a disinterest in the communication. It can also show your lack of attention to the present moment and the person in front of you. Walking away when angry, in the form of storming off, tells the other person once again that you have already made up your mind and have cast judgment. It also signifies a lack of control and need to place blame somewhere other than yourself.

On another hand, walking away from an angry person can sometimes be necessary to allow the other person to calm themselves in order to have constructive communication. In this case, it is best to articulate to the other person calmly and without judgment that you would like to revisit the communication when both parties are more settled. This action tells the other party such behavior is not acceptable. You are also acknowledging their hurt and anger, while not necessarily agreeing with it and showing your concern with an attempt to further the discussion at a later time. (If you are the angry person in the dialogue, you would let the other person know you need some space before continuing—again, in a controlled polite manner).

7. Eye Rolling

This simple and sometimes automatic motion tells the receiver you do not value their opinion. It also portrays disgust. Think of how it has felt to have someone roll their eyes at you. It signifies no interest in communication and borders on disdain.


All of these examples communicate, non verbally, a lack of interest and even disdain or disgust with the other person. These actions tell another person not to even bother attempting a healthy communication with you as you are not open.

Each of these also tells another you do not value them, their opinion, feelings or their time.

These actions also broadcast to the other person or room of people that you are not in control of your own feelings or self and have issues you are in need of resolving on your own.

Ask yourself, is there ever a person or situation deserving of this treatment?

There is not.

We should seek to treat all people with respect and compassion—that is what we each want and must also give it to receive it. It only takes a moment to stop, be open, focused on the person in front of you and to listen, while seeking understanding.

This could be your last communication with someone. Make it count.


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