Ignore people

Ignore people you don’t want anything to do with anymore

It can be difficult to ignore someone who upsets you or causes you a lot of grief. It can be even more difficult if that person is someone you interact with regularly at school, work, or family events. However, learning to distance yourself from negative people and replacing them with positive, supportive people can help you maintain your own happiness and stability in life.

Distance yourself from others

Stay away from places where you know this person is.

The easiest way to ignore someone is to avoid an encounter altogether. You can reduce the likelihood of bumping into the person by avoiding places you’ve spent time together in the past or where you know that person frequents. Find new restaurants, bars, and cafes to go to. Look for places that are slightly outside of that person’s immediate neighborhood. If possible, shop at stores that are a little further from this person’s home (if you know where they live). If a mutual friend invites you out somewhere, ask that friend if the person you’re avoiding will be there. Then you can decide whether to go or not.

Limit your interactions with the person.

Limiting contact with someone is a good way to ignore them without necessarily excluding them from your life. It can be difficult to cut ties with someone if you are related or if you go to the same places regularly. However, avoiding regular interactions with the person can help you, which can make you feel better. Keep conversations and interactions as short and infrequent as possible by providing short, unemotional responses without further elaboration. You could e.g. For example, say something like “I’m fine. I have to get back to work.”. Resist the urge to say something mean or hurtful as it will only make things worse. By limiting contact and avoiding unnecessary interactions with someone you don’t want to associate with, you can essentially sever ties with that person without closing the door on polite social interactions in the future.

Deflect the person’s attempts at conversation.

Whether you work together, have mutual friends, or just meet up every once in a while, it’s important to resist the other person’s attempts to draw you into conversation. You can ignore the person if they want to talk to you. Avoid eye contact with the person. Try to ignore what she says and resist the urge to respond. If you’re in a social situation where you absolutely need to say something, try to share your personal thoughts or feelings about something unrelated to what the other person said. Whether you directly ignore what is being said or talk about your own interests as if you didn’t hear or understand the other person, you are effectively communicating that you are not interested in what they have to say.

Have a “shock absorber” with you if you absolutely have to talk to this person.

If you can’t avoid bumping into someone at work, school, or a social event, having an outside friend with you can help. This can help you soften your encounter with the person you want nothing to do with. He can help keep things polite and can steer the conversation onto a neutral topic if the other person is trying to take things in an uncomfortable direction. Tell your puffer what to do. Make sure your friend is okay with taking on this role beforehand so they don’t feel confused or used afterwards. Develop a non-verbal signal so that you can apologize if you need to rush away.

Try to be polite to people you can’t avoid.

If you can’t avoid certain people, you can always be extra polite to them. Sometimes a kind approach can curb the negative behavior in others that you want to avoid. Resist the urge to be rude to people you don’t like. Instead, be strong and confident. Reflect on your positive qualities and remember that you are a capable person who deserves to be happy. Don’t let the people you want to avoid drag you down with their negativity. Get above it by just not getting into it. Say something nice when you feel the urge to be mean, and then just apologize and leave the room. You could e.g. For example, say “You did a great job on this week’s presentation. I’ll go get another coffee, sorry.”.

Say strong and safe

If you’re trying to avoid someone, chances are that person is being negative or otherwise uncomfortable. These types of people are usually trying (whether consciously or not) to get under your skin. They may tell you that you are foolish for daring something, or they may try to discourage you from even having hopes and dreams. When you have decided that you no longer want to be associated with someone, it is important that you remain strong and try not to let that person get to you or to change you. Even if you don’t feel safe or strong, it’s important to believe that you can be strong. This can help put a buffer between you and the negative people in your life. Don’t let the negative words and actions of others affect how you feel about yourself or how you live your life. Break out of negative thoughts the person is causing you with positive affirmations and self-talk. Remind yourself that you are a good person and that your friends and family are there for you. This must mean that you have positive qualities that the other person just doesn’t want to see.

Cut off electronic communications

Block the contact on your phone.

If you want to end contact with someone you no longer want to be involved with, you may want to prevent that person from calling or texting you. This may not be necessary if you don’t have regular contact with the person, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. To block calls on an iPhone, select that person from your contacts list and go to “Block This Caller”. To block text messages (SMS), go to Messages, go to the person you want to block, then Details, About, and Block Contact. To block calls or texts on an Android phone, go to the call settings and select “Call rejection” which will bring you to a list of auto rejects. Here you just search for the number you want to block and select it. To block calls or texts on a Windows phone, go to Settings and then “Call and text filter”. Then slide “Call Blocking” to “On”. Then touch and hold the number you want to block, select “Block number” and then “OK”. If you have a BlackBerry phone, you’ll need to speak to someone at your carrier to prevent unwanted numbers from contacting you.

Cut social media connections.

Even if you manage to avoid someone in person, that person can still contact you on social media. If you are friends with or follow someone on a social media site, that person can find out what you’re doing or where you’re going, and could also send you offensive or threatening messages via social media. If you’re friends with or follow someone on social media, you can end the friendship or unfollow them. You can also block that person so they can’t see what you’re posting or contact you in any way. If you’re not friends or following this person, or you’ve already unlinked them, change your privacy settings on this page so only your friends can see what you post.

Prevent someone from emailing you.

If the person you are trying to avoid has your email address, you may be afraid that you will receive an aggressive or confrontational email from them. You can prevent this by blocking them from emailing you or by filtering out all messages from that person (depending on the email provider you use). To filter out emails in Gmail, select a message from that person in your inbox by checking the box next to it. Click on the drop-down menu, go to “More”, then “Filter messages like this” and on the page that comes up, select “Delete”. To block emails in Microsoft Outlook, simply right-click an email from that person, click Junk, and then click Block Sender.

Keep our happiness

Learn to recognize the things that trigger a reaction in you.

There may be times when you can’t avoid being around a negative person. Be it a co-worker, relative, or neighbor, you may need to be around (or even interact with) negative people from time to time. If this is the case, it’s important to recognize the things that trigger a reaction in you and try to be aware of those triggers as much as possible so that you can avoid them. Make a list of people, places, and things that make you unhappy, angry, or frustrated. Think about why these people, places and things trigger a negative reaction in you. Think about how these triggers may come up in your daily life and plan strategies to avoid or minimize these situations.

Resist the urge to complain about the people you don’t like.

Although you may want to vent your frustration, doing so can actually alienate other people. Maybe they’re friends with the person you don’t like, or maybe they’re just tired of listening to you talk bad about others. Constantly complaining about someone can even make the friends and co-workers you spend time with want to distance themselves from you. Instead of complaining about the person you no longer want to be involved with, don’t talk to others about them. Talk to others about positive things that you like. Otherwise, the person you don’t like will take up a lot of your time and energy.

Take responsibility for your own words and actions.

When you blame others for your own negative words and actions, it gives that person power over you and subtly takes away your control over yourself. Ultimately, no matter how angry you are with someone, it’s your choice whether to feel angry are angry, frustrated, or letting go of those feelings. What you say and do, even if you do it out of frustration with someone, is still your choice and your responsibility. Your words and actions do not exist in a bubble. You can’t blame others for the things you say or do, even if you’re mad at someone you don’t want anything to do with. If possible, change the way you think about this person. Your thoughts influence your words and actions, so capturing and holding back negative thoughts can help you give meaning to those thoughts. Once you learn to ignore the person who is upsetting you, just let them go. Stop wasting your time and energy thinking about that person and stop yourself every time you find yourself thinking about them.

Attract positive people into your life

Recognize and show your best qualities.

Positive people are generally attracted to other positive people. If you want to attract positive people into your life, it makes sense that you let them know that you are positive too. You can do this subtly once you learn how to attune to and display your best, most desirable qualities. Think about what makes you a positive person. Make a conscious effort to do these things more often – not just so that others see you, but to maintain a more positive lifestyle. Let your actions speak for you when it comes to what kind of person you are and what kind of life you live.

Seek and find the positive people that are already in your life.

There are probably already strong, positive people in your life. When you distance yourself from people you no longer want to be around, it’s important that you replace those people with the people you want to be around. In general, it’s best to be around positive, caring people as they are good friends and can influence you to be a better and better version of yourself. Think about the friends, family members, and co-workers who are always positive, even in the face of adversity. You should also consider who are the kindest, most caring, and most empathetic people in your life. Reach out to these people. Make an effort to spend more time with them and, if possible, invite them to social events so that you can spend as much time together as possible.

Meet new positive people and spend time with them.

In addition to the people you already have in your life, you should actively seek out new people to befriend. Finding new, positive, and compassionate people will help you bring people you admire and want to be around even more firmly into your social circles. Find new, positive people at the gym, at a faith group or club, or in other places where nice, positive people hang out. Try volunteer work. It will make you feel great and you will meet other people who care about a cause (and who are generally positive and caring). Even spending a short amount of time together, whether for coffee or lunch, can boost your spirits and perspective. Be proactive. If the positive people you meet are busy, reach out to them and plan some time together when it’s convenient for both of you.


If you ever see this person in a store, pretend you don’t see them. Adjust your speed as you walk, stop or make unpredictable turns. If she says something to you, tell her you’re in a hurry and you really need to go. If all else fails, just be quiet. Just because someone is related to you doesn’t mean you have to take on their negative behavior. If someone makes you feel bad or hurts you, you have every right to politely and respectfully cut ties with that person. Don’t you too be rude or mean to that person. This doesn’t fix what she did to you and eventually makes you a worse person.


If you decide to really ignore someone for an extended period of time, you have to assume that the two of you will never talk to each other again and put up with it. There may come a time when you decide to communicate with the person you’ve been ignoring to resolve the dispute. Keep in mind that this may not always be possible or reasonable. However, if it is someone you are forced to see regularly (e.g. a relative or colleague), it may be necessary. If the person is an abusive partner or friend, ignoring them will provoke them and make the situation worse. Seek professional help and remove yourself from the situation!


About the Author

Karren Brandenburg

Karren Brandenburg is a travel and shopping expert. She has been quoted in Street Insider, Yahoo Finance, Reuters, ABC News, and MarketWatch. Karren has a total of 18 credit cards, using reward points to see the world on a budget.