How to Ignore People Who Don't Care About You

Three Methods:Dealing With a Hurtful PersonGetting Over Being IgnoredDealing With an Indifferent Person

“Don’t worry about what that person thinks, or says, or does” is easy advice to give, but hard to follow. Most people naturally crave acceptance or at least acknowledgment, be it from a stranger who won’t give you the time of day or someone close who has proven unworthy of your affection. Ignoring someone who doesn’t care about you — either passively (through indifference) or actively (by being hurtful) — is sometimes your best option. It’s not easy, but there are tips that can help ease the process.

Method 1
Dealing With a Hurtful Person

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    Don’t accept abuse. People who have hurt you by betraying your trust or being overly critical can and often should be ignored. People who have actually hurt you physically or emotionally do not deserve to be let off so easy.
    • Yes, you should absolutely cut off contact with someone who has physically or emotionally abused you. But do not hesitate to contact the proper authorities if you feel unsafe or believe this is a pattern of behavior likely to be repeated.
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    Seek understanding without justifying their hurtfulness. There is a fine line to walk here. You should never feel like you deserve to be mistreated, but you can consider what role you may have played in another’s lack of concern or care.
    • For instance, you shouldn’t blame yourself for your boyfriend cheating on you, but you can examine how your jealousy, lack of attention, or some other factor may have given him an excuse to justify his hurtfulness.
    • People seek out the type of relationships they had in their childhood, even if they weren't productive relationships. This process is mostly subconscious. See if you're pursuing relationships with people who remind you of your past relationships.[1]

Method 2
Getting Over Being Ignored

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    Work on your other relationships. If you stop focusing on the people who don't care about you, you can focus instead on establishing healthy relationships with people who do care about you very much.
    • If you need to meet people, see if you can go outside your present social circle at the moment.
    • If you're in high school, look for activities you can join that you will enjoy and that will give you an opportunity to meet people.
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    Find your outlet(s). Once you determine that you must cease contact with someone who has hurt you, you may need to find ways to take your mind off them, or activities to help fill the void left by their absence (if it was a close relationship, for instance).
    • Almost as if you are quitting smoking or another vice, think of this as a chance to start a healthy habit in place of a bad relationship. For instance, if you like art, you can try joining a pottery or a painting class. Or, you can try something you've always wanted to do, like rock climbing. Jogging, cycling, or yoga can be good for the body and mind. A gourmet cooking class or family history project can be an enlightening distraction.
    • Another classic saying is appropriate here: life is short. Consider this an opportunity to pursue your passion, freed perhaps from someone who was holding you back or shutting down your dreams. Take your shot at becoming an actor or sculptor; go back to school for that degree you never finished; see the Great Wall of China.[2]
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    Take comfort in those who do care. Many, if not most, people notice and hold onto negatives more than positives, so it can be easy to let one hurtful relationship cloud all the caring relationships in your life. Let removing the bad be an opportunity to cherish the good.[3]
    • It is easy to say you’re not going to care what anyone thinks of you anymore, but in reality we all desire at least some amount of validation from others. Be selective in whose opinions should really matter to you.[4]
    • Take the time to thank a good friend for always being there for you, or your sister for standing by your side in difficult times. Use the time you gain by ignoring a hurtful person to spend more with those who truly care.
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    Focus on what you can control. As much as we like to think it so, we cannot change other people, only ourselves. You can’t make someone care about you if they don’t want to. The most you can do in situations where you are dealing with people who don't care about you is to find out why it bugs you so much. It's an opportunity for you to grow from it.
    • Examine how you feel about the uncaring person’s lack of concern. This will provide insights into your needs, and what adaptations you may be able to make to move past feeling a need for acceptance from that person.[5]
    • It’s a simple and old axiom, but it is still as true as ever: you can’t please everyone. Some people aren’t going to like you no matter what, so focus on caring about yourself by being true to yourself.[6]

Method 3
Dealing With an Indifferent Person

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    Consider their motives and reasons. Sometimes it is more difficult to deal with someone who doesn’t even seem to know or care you exist, as opposed to someone who seems directly interested in being hurtful. Take time to think about possible reasons for their seeming indifference toward you.
    • Modern technology has brought us the dreaded “person-who-never-texts-me-back,” and this version of being ignored can be quite frustrating to some. Consider, however, whether this thoughtless person may just in fact be very busy with work, family, or something else, or simply not a gung-ho texter like you.[7]
    • Sometimes, what appears to be indifference is really just the result of a misunderstanding. Maybe your grandmother doesn’t seem to care about your acting on your dream to become an internet entrepreneur because she has no idea what it is you are doing (and thus how important it is to you), even though you explained it to her.[8]
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    Try to remedy the situation. Before turning a blind eye to someone who seems to be doing the same to you, think about ways to resolve the situation favorably for both parties.
    • Raise your concerns tactfully. Don’t accuse or blame the person (“You’re a phony,” or “You’re self-centered and inconsiderate”). Instead, let them know how you feel.
    • For instance, say “I feel unimportant to/ignored by you” or “I’m sad you’re not interested in friendship with me.” If necessary, however, establish your limits: “I’m going to stop initiating contact with you.”[9]
    • The other person may not respond favorably even to a tactful approach; if so, remain calm and reiterate your view, then let things end at that. Feel secure that you have done what you can.
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    Choose not to care — without being uncaring. Not caring what someone else thinks (or doesn’t think) about you requires a conscious decision and ongoing effort on your part. Not caring, however, is not the same thing as being uncaring.[10]
    • You can stop being concerned about someone’s actions or views without losing your compassion for their well-being as a fellow person. You’re doing what you need to for the benefit of your own health and well-being, not to harm or punish them.
    • Ignoring some people is going to be more difficult than others, of course. You may not be able to dissociate from a co-worker or relative. Instead, you’ll have to emotionally detach; in other words, practice a “cognitive reframing” whereby you interact superficially without letting the other person impact you.[11]
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    Live your life for you. As mentioned before, no one can be universally liked, and life is too short to be overly concerned about how others feel about you.
    • Being ignored hurts, and choosing to ignore someone in return, even when done as kindly as possible, may hurt both of you. In the end, however, you have a responsibility to do what is best for you.[12]
    • Living life for you doesn’t mean you can’t let others in, or be caring, compassionate, or loving. It does mean you should live without fear or regret.
    • As mentioned previously, take the opportunity to try something new, or do something you’ve always wanted.
    • Whether others care about you or not, you should always care about you. This is all you can control.

Article Info

Categories: Relationship Issues