Sometimes, they won’t care.

woman and man wearing brown jackets standing near tree
Photo by Vera Arsic on

There will be a time in your life when you need to say something to someone.  From your perspective, it’s the truth.  Sometimes the truth can be ugly and hurtful, but it still needs to be said.  Unfortunately, there are times when people won’t care about what you have to say.  What should you do?

What should you do if you find yourself in a situation where you feel like what you have to say needs to be said, but they aren’t listening.

  1. Remove your feelings from the equation. – A lot of times, your truth will hurt so bad, that the other party will try to hurt you back, through ignoring you, demeaning you or attempting to elevate themselves by putting you down.  This is an emotional response.  This is a form of bullying and a manipulative tactic that can be overcome by removing your feelings.  This allows you to rise above the situation and places you in a space of power.  When others are out of control, you are automatically in control.
  2. Say it anyway. – Just because they don’t want to hear it, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said.  Evaluate why you need to say whatever it is you need to say. Truth is always the best option.  You need to be fearless when doing this, but you don’t have to be ruthless. Remember, stay in control by controlling your emotions.
  3. Only say it once, very clearly. – Your job is to plant the seed.  It’s up to them to nurture it.  If they don’t hear you, at least you did your part.  How long should you beat your head against the wall trying to make someone understand something?  You’ve got stuff to do.

But it’s not that simple…  What if the person to whom your message is intended absolutely, positively doesn’t want to hear it and has no intention of listening?

This could be the greatest gift of all.  When someone won’t even listen to your thoughts and feelings on a subject, especially after you’ve expressed that you perceive it to be valuable information, they have just tipped their ace.  You know exactly who you are dealing with.  Either they are very angry and frustrated in the moment or they don’t respect you at all.

Either way, only you can figure out what to do next.

Are they worth it?  Is the situation that deep?  Should you let it go?  Can you let it go?  Are you even right?

A lot of times in situations like this, if the relationship is important enough to salvage, leaders take the high road.  They turn the other cheek and, for the sake of the relationship, give up trying to make the other person understand their point of view.

Leaders change themselves and adapt to the situation.  

This is one of the biggest lessons you will ever learn in your life.  By accepting personal responsibility and looking at yourself in order to see what you could have done differently, you gain control over the issue.  When you blame others, you give away the chance to fix the problem.  It becomes totally dependent upon their choices moving forward.  Since you can’t control them, the outcome is inherently out of your grasp.

In other words, if they won’t listen, change the game.  Whatever that means for your individual situation.