Whether receiving unwanted attention or that annoying coworker or acquaintance keeps getting under your skin, learning how to ignore someone is the key.
The secret to understanding how to ignore someone you don’t like isn’t like ignoring an actor you don’t like. You can’t just change the channel and avoid them.
Learning how to ignore someone you don’t like is harder than it sounds. You think you don’t like someone so ignoring them should be easy as pie, but it is human nature not to do that.
Strangely when we don’t like something we get sucked into that dislike, annoyance, or even hate. Instead of ignoring someone you don’t like, you fester in that feeling. You get mad, you fight with them, or you just let those feelings put you in a bad mood.
It doesn’t have to be that way. You can learn how to ignore someone you don’t like. [Read: How to ditch the bad company in your life]
How to ignore someone politely
Ignoring someone may initially sound mean or cruel, but it is also something you must do for yourself sometimes to be happier. You don’t want to hurt an old friend or a coworker but cutting them out may be exactly what you need.
But, if you want to do it politely, you certainly can. Simply do not reach out. Avoid making eye contact if you have to be around them at work or events. If this seems too harsh to you or you want to explain to someone why you are ignoring them, you can.
This is something I’ve actually done. I had an ex-boyfriend that wanted to stay friends. That friendship was preventing me from moving on. The only way I could move forward was by ignoring him. I felt guilty not answering him and avoiding him when I’d see him out and about.
Instead of letting things go on that way I sort of broke up with him again. I told him that by remaining in contact I wasn’t able to move on, and it wasn’t healthy for me emotionally. Thankfully, he understood, but even if he hadn’t I would have had peace of mind.
By giving a short explanation to someone about why you’ve chosen to ignore them, you are being as polite as you can. Being straightforward is the best thing you can do here. [Read: The guide you need to grow up and face life like an adult]
How to ignore someone online
It is both the easiest and the hardest to ignore someone online. It is almost impossible to escape someone’s online presence, but it also only takes a few steps to avoid it as much as possible.
People are everywhere online. You’ll see their posts on Facebook, their comments and likes on Instagram, and their rants and ravings on Twitter. First things first, you’ll want to block them. That is definitely the most effective way of ignoring someone.
You can do the same to their phone number and they never have to know. When you block someone on social media or via phone you’ll not be bothered by them or their posts but they’ll likely never know that you are ignoring them.
So, if someone’s online presence or postings put you in a bad headspace, go ahead and block them. I’m sure that’s what they invented the block for in the first place.
How to ignore someone you don’t like
Other than virtually and nicely, there are more methods you can take when learning how to ignore someone you don’t like.
#1 Stop thinking about them. I know this is going to sound more literary than literal, but the only reason you want to ignore this person is because you are letting their existence have power over you.
Stop thinking about how they annoy you or what you don’t like about them. If you can do that everything else will fall into place. [Read: 17 ways to welcome positive energy into your life]
#2 Be positive. Not liking someone and cutting them out is the next best thing to not caring. When you have negative feelings toward someone, cutting them out is one way to ignore their presence, but if you focus on the positive instead of the negative you won’t have to put so much effort in.
Instead of reminding yourself of the rude things they say, the inappropriate things they do, or anything else, remind yourself that you are surrounded by plenty of people you do like.
#3 Keep everything brief. Sometimes we have to interact with people we don’t like. Whether you work with them, they’re a member of your family, or anything else, you may have to interact at some point.
When you do, do not give in to what you don’t like about them. Keep the conversation or interaction as short as possible and move on. Don’t make a big deal out of it.
#4 Be cordial. I am not telling you to compliment their hair or flash them a nice big smile. What I am telling you is to be mature. Handle yourself around this person like a polite adult. You don’t want to make things worse.
Indulge in the necessary small talk and move on.
#5 Stick with a friend. If you are running into the person you want to ignore regularly hook up with a buddy when you know they’re around. Not only with this take your mind off of the person you’re ignoring but it will prevent them from approaching you as well.
#6 Let go of the urge to push back. People we try to ignore tend to push our buttons. It is easy to push back and then blame them for our bad mood. Instead, let whatever they say or do wash over you as if you’re wearing a poncho. You are aware they are there and annoying but it doesn’t affect you. [Read: The art of not giving a shit – How to not care in 15 steps]
#7 Don’t be fake. Remember when I said to be cordial just a few seconds ago? Well, do that but keep it neutral. You don’t have to fake-like them or go out of your way. You also don’t have to show distaste for them. Just be neutral and polite.
This will end the interaction as quickly as possible so you can go back to fully ignoring them.
#8 Distract yourself. Don’t like someone? Having trouble ignoring them? Easy, just do something else. If you are letting them get to you and can’t seem to shake them, stay busy. Take up a new hobby, get a side job, or make plans with the people in your life that bring you happiness.
#9 Focus on those you do like. It sucks how the smallest bit of negativity in our lives can outweigh all the happiness. But in this case, it doesn’t have to. Instead of focusing on ignoring this person, enjoy the people you do like.
Not only will this help you ignore someone but help you be happier overall. [Read: How to surround yourself with positive people]
#10 Focus on yourself. If you have focused on others that bring you joy, take the rest of your time to focus on yourself. Practice self-care. Clean your place, purge any stuff that doesn’t make you happy. You can do to your home the same that you are doing to your friendships. Ignore what you don’t like.
#11 Don’t blame them. When we don’t like someone we hold onto that and can turn it into a grudge. It becomes an ugly festering sore that eats away at your positive outlook. We blame them for annoying us. We blame them for having to actively ignore them.
But we shouldn’t have to change our routine or plans to avoid them when they are the annoying one. But, that isn’t really their fault. Some people are just annoying to us and that’s it. Don’t blame them for their personality. It is what it is so we have to move on. [Read: 20 most common reasons why some people are disliked by everyone]
#12 Don’t gossip. Gossip is a nasty thing. When we start ignoring someone that we don’t like instead of having less than pleasant interactions, we may vent to our friend or coworkers about them.
This may seem less direct, but it gives the same effect. If you are going to learn how to ignore someone you don’t like, actually ignore them fully, not partly.
#13 Remind yourself why you’re ignoring them. If you are having a hard time ignoring someone you don’t like because they have a charming side, they are friends with one of your friends, or any other reason, actively remind yourself why you are ignoring them.
Remind yourself how they affect you and why you don’t want to be around them. [Read: The shallow traits a superficial friend just can’t hide]
#14 Tune them out. This sounds the easiest, but it isn’t. Tuning someone out to ignore them takes a lot of practice, but it is doable and widely effective.
We all have someone or multiple someones we don’t like. But, now that you know how to ignore someone you don’t like, move on with your life and spend more time with the people you do like.