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How to Successfully Ignore Someone

There are some people in our lives that we're better off without, but it can be hard to get rid of them. Discover how to successfully ignore them and move on with your life.

Sarah Hall By Sarah Hall Reviewed by Lea Bennet

Sometimes there are people in our lives that are doing things that are impacting us negatively, and we need to take a step back from them to feel better. A good way to do that without completely throwing away your friendship with them is just to ignore them so you can have some distance. Below you’ll learn how you can ignore someone to accomplish what you want.

7 Reasons to Ignore Someone

Woman smiling.
Reasons you might want to ignore someone.

1. They like you, but you don’t like them.

When someone has feelings for you, but you don’t share those feelings, you typically want that person to leave you alone and not cling to you. A effective way to distance yourself from them and ensure they stay away for good is to ignore them. If they don’t receive attention, they’ll likely become disinterested and move on.

2. They disappointed you.

You might be ignoring someone because they disappointed you, and you’re upset with them. You may not be ready to discuss the situation or handle matters, so you choose to ignore them until you feel prepared to address the issue.

3. They lied to you.

If they lied to you, you’re likely quite upset about it. Whether they confessed the truth to you or you had to uncover it yourself, their dishonesty disappoints you, and out of anger, you ignore them. It’s normal for someone to ignore the person who caused their anger until the negative emotions subside.

4. They are a negative influence.

If they’re not a good person or a negative influence in your life, it wouldn’t be surprising for you to ignore them. They’re not contributing positively to your life, and you don’t really want them to be present for this reason, so you choose to ignore them as a precaution.

5. They have selfish intentions.

They’re only being your friend because they know it’s in their best interest and simply the most convenient thing for them. They call you because they know you’re going to help them achieve things they can’t accomplish on their own or because you’re going to offer to pay. They’re merely taking advantage of you, and when you figure that out, it’s understandable that you would want to ignore them.

6. They give you strange vibes.

You ignore them because something about them rubs you the wrong way or just seems off. There’s nothing that’s necessarily wrong with them, but because you’re not 100% comfortable with them, you prefer to maintain some distance, and to do so, you choose to ignore them.

7. They don’t show respect.

If they don’t respect you or what you’ve been communicating to them, the best thing to do is to ignore them. Getting closer to them is not advisable, and it’s best that you establish certain boundaries with them. Ignoring them is a good first step in doing so.

9 Steps to Ignore Someone

Whatever your reason may be for wanting to ignore someone, these are the things you’re going to want to do to successfully ignore someone.

1. Silence their phone calls and text messages.

You want to avoid all contact with them if you really want to ignore them. Don’t let them have a way to reach you. If they already have your number, mute their phone calls, so you’re not tempted to answer. Block them if you have a hard time ignoring them because you can’t help but answer. Do whatever it takes to stop being in contact and to avoid them having a way to reach you.

2. Turn off notifications associated with them.

With the technology available nowadays, there are many platforms that they could reach you on and many ways they can get a hold of you if they really want to. This is why the best thing to do is to mute or block them, so they can’t contact you, regardless of how badly they want you to.

3. Avoid hanging out with mutual friends.

This can be hard to do, but sometimes the best thing to do is to cut out the people that are related to them from your life. It’s challenging because they didn’t do anything to you directly, but if you don’t want to risk seeing them or them having a way to reach you despite having blocked them, then you want to distance yourself from any friends you may have in common.

It wouldn’t be odd for them to ask their friends to deliver certain messages to you or tell you something on their behalf. So even if you think ignoring them is enough, that’s not always the case. Sometimes you must ignore all of their friends and any family you may have had contact with to make sure you get rid of them.

4. Address their intentions.

If they are persistent in getting your attention, and they seem desperate for it, there could be a more serious reason why they haven’t given up despite ignoring them for so long. If you really think there’s something else going on, consider talking to one of their friends to find out what’s going on so that you don’t have to confront them directly.

Then, depending on the situation, you can confront them personally or continue ignoring them. If you confront them directly from the start, it could all just be a ploy to get you to stop ignoring them.

This is why it’s better to go through a third party, the closer they are to you and not to them, despite being their friend too, the better. That way, you can make sure they’re not going to bring it up to them if you ask them not to.

5. Use body language to demonstrate rejection.

Your body language can help you a lot in this situation. You can most definitely convey the message of ignoring them with your body language in very simple ways. You need to make sure that your body language makes you seem uninterested in them. You want to face away from them at all times and make yourself seem closed off.

This makes you seem unapproachable, and that sends the message that you don’t want to interact with them, and then they can hopefully take the hint that you are ignoring them and that you don’t want them to give you attention.

If you weren’t like this and you were facing them the whole time and had more open and friendly body language, they wouldn’t understand that you’re not interested in socializing with them. This is why body language can be very important and play a big role in ignoring someone.

6. Avoid making eye contact.

This goes along with the previously mentioned point of using your body language. Eye contact is very important when you’re talking with someone because it shows that you are engaging in the conversation with them even if you are not talking at that moment, and it shows that you are a good listener and that they have your attention.

When you’re ignoring someone, you want them to feel the opposite and not get the vibes that you care about what they’re saying and want to listen. So make sure you avoid eye contact with them, so you don’t send the wrong message.

7. Change your routine to evade them.

If the person you’re trying to ignore knows you really well, you might want to change things up and try changing your routine a little bit. This way, they won’t know exactly what you’re up to or where they can find you, and you’ll be harder to interact with.

8. Maintain a distance from them.

Do your best to distance yourself. Don’t reach out to them for anything, even if you really need a favor and they’re the only ones who can help you with that, avoid reaching out and find another way to get what you want. If you do reach out and you fail at distancing yourself, it could cause a major setback, and all of the effort you put into getting them to start forgetting about you and leaving you alone could have been for nothing.

9. Maintain your efforts for a month.

Repeat these steps for at least a month, and the person that won’t leave you alone will no longer be interested in you. It takes some time for them to rewire their interests, lose interest in you, and forget their bad habit of constantly wanting your attention.

A month may seem like a long time, but in reality, it’s very necessary for them to forget about you completely. Even then, in some cases, one month isn’t enough, but in most, it is.

What to Do if Ignoring Doesn’t Work.

Woman ignoring.
Ignoring doesn’t always work.

Sometimes ignoring someone isn’t enough, and it’s not accomplishing what you need it to. If you seriously need someone to leave you alone and ignoring them isn’t enough, these are some things you can try:

  • Confront them. If ignoring them doesn’t work, do the complete opposite and confront them about the issue. They may need to be put in their place to finally leave you alone.
  • Get someone else involved. If you feel like you can’t confront them on your own or like you shouldn’t be the one to interact with them because it’s not going to be good for you, get someone else involved. Ask for help, and have someone else tell this person to leave you alone.
  • Cut them out completely. Ignoring them might start to help with whatever issue you have with this person, but it doesn’t always work. Cut them out if you notice it’s not working and you’re truly tired of them. Eliminate them from your life in all aspects, and then they will be gone for good.

Wrapping it up

Remember, ignoring someone won’t always solve your problems, and it can take a lot of persistence and determination to truly ignore someone. It’s hard not to let things slide and start talking to them, but if you want it to be worth it, you’ll have to practice and master the art of ignoring them.

About the Author

Sarah Hall Image

Sarah has been writing since 2016, taking after her parents' literary passions that inspired her even at a young age. She holds a degree in Psychology, which has aided her writing career by enabling her to understand others and approach them more effectively. Currently, she serves as an Editorial Writer for Chat Line Numbers, contributing to the blog with insightful articles and thought-provoking content. In addition to writing and Psychology, she enjoys playing tennis on the weekends.