How to Ignore Someone

Four Methods:Use Body LanguageUse TechnologyChange Your RoutineIgnore Someone in Any Setting

Ignoring someone can be tough, especially if you can't stop running into the person you're trying to avoid, or if that person keeps trying to talk to you and doesn't get the memo. But if you really want to ignore someone, you just have to look busy, change your routine, and cut off all contact with that person. If you want to know how to ignore someone, just follow these steps.

Method 1
Use Body Language

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    Don't make eye contact. Not making eye contact is the best way to ignore someone. Once you lock eyes, you're acknowledging that you know that person exists and are blowing your cover. If that person is near you, avoid their eyes at all costs by making sure to make eye contact with every person but them, looking straight ahead, or even looking at the floor.
    • If the person is shorter than you, then just stare right over their head. If the person's taller than you, make sure not to look up.
    • If the person is the exact same height as you and standing nearby, try blurring your vision so you have a "dead" look in your eyes if you do lock eyes by accident.
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    Walk quickly. Another way to ignore someone is to walk as quickly as possible. This will show that you're a busy person with places to go, and that you have no intention of lingering around to catch up with the person you're ignoring. Walk with your arms at your sides and your head held high, like you're staring ahead at your next goal, even if you're really not going anywhere special.
    • If you see that person approaching from a distance, leave enough space between you so you don't brush up against that person.
    • Don't go out of your way to walk away from that person. If you cross the street or duck into a hallway, that will make it look like you care too much. But if you see the person from a far distance and you're sure he doesn't see you, then you really should just try walking in the other direction.
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    Look "closed off." If you happen to be near the person, fold your arms over your chest, cross your legs, slouch, and do anything you need to do to look completely unapproachable. Your body should say, "Don't talk to me, buddy," and hopefully the person will get the message.
    • Don't smile, either. Keep a straight face, or even a frown, planted on your face to look like you don't want to talk to anyone.
    • You can also go for the creepy blank look on your face - that will scare anyone off from trying to talk to you.
    • If you have longer hair, bangs, or a hat, try to keep part of your face covered to discourage the person from trying to make eye contact.
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    Keep your body busy. As an alternative to looking closed off, you can also just look really, really busy, like you couldn't possibly talk to that person because you have your hands full and don't have a second of time to spare for a silly conversation with him.
    • If you're with friends, turn toward them and gesture wildly, looking so animated that you couldn't possibly stop to talk to the person you're ignoring - let alone to look at them.
    • If you're alone, look engrossed in a book, magazine, or a textbook. You can even quietly read the words to yourself, looking like you're intent on memorizing them.
    • Keep your hands full. Whether you're walking or sitting, hold your phone, textbooks, or even an unwieldy potted plant. This will discourage the person from trying to talk to you.

Method 2
Use Technology

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    Use your phone. Using your phone will also help you ignore almost anyone. There are a few things you can do to ignore someone with your phone. First, you can just use the phone to look busy whenever you see that person. Talk to someone else on the phone, laughing wildly, or look engrossed in an intense text-message exchange with someone you actually want to talk to.
    • Change your phone number so the person can't call or text you.
    • Block that person's number from your phone so you can't receive messages from them.
    • Set an alarm on your phone to ring when you know you're near that person, so you can pick it up and pretend to be talking to someone.
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    Play music. Invest in some headphones, and wear them at all times when you're alone, even if you're not listening to music. When you see that person, blast your music to deafening volumes and bounce your head to the beat, so you look completely absorbed in your tunes, with absolutely no time to waste on the person you're trying to ignore.
    • If you want to be really annoying, you can even close your eyes and sing along to the music, giving the person you're ignoring almost no chance to talk to you.
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    Ignore someone online. Ignoring someone online is even easier than ignoring them in person because you don't have to physically avoid them. To ignore someone online, just make sure to avoid any of that person's emails, Facebook posts or messages, Twitter feeds, or any other attempts to contact you online.
    • Block that person from any of your social networks. Make sure he has no way of reaching out to you online.
    • Change your email address and other usernames if you have to. That person should have no way of contacting you online.

Method 3
Change Your Routine

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    Find a new walking route. If you want to ignore someone by changing your routine, the easiest thing to do is to change your walking route so you no longer bump into that person. If you always bump into that person between classes, take the long way to get to your next class so you don't have to see that person. If you always run into that person at work, start using a different hallway or bathroom to minimize contact.
    • If you always see that person when you're walking no matter where you go, start driving places.
    • If that person seems to have changed their walking routine to fit to yours, keep changing yours until they give up.
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    Avoid that person's favorite hangouts. This one is a no-brainer. If you know that person's favorite bars, restaurants, and parks, just don't go there anymore. It won't be worth it, unless you want to spend the whole time there actively ignoring that person.
    • You can also learn the days when that person goes out. If he only goes to their favorite restaurant on weekends, and you really want to go there, you can just go during the week.
    • If that person only goes to a certain bar during happy hour, just hang out there later at night.
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    Go places that person will never go. If that person is a meat lover, start checking out the vegetarian restaurants in your hood. If that person hates jazz, check out the latest jazz concert in your area. If their mortal enemies with one of your friends, then that friend's parties are a great place to escape that person.
    • By actively going to places where that person will never go, you're not only ignoring them, but seeking out newer, cooler hangouts that don't involve that person.

Method 4
Ignore Someone in Any Setting

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    Ignore someone in school. Ignoring someone at school can be tricky, especially if you share all of your classes with that person, but you can still find a way to ignore someone in school without being too obvious about it. Here's how to do it:
    • If you normally sit next to that person in class, switch your seat. If you have assigned seats, talk to your teacher and ask if you can change.
    • If you see that person in the cafeteria, see if you can sit in a new place.
    • If you run into that person in the hallways, just look straight ahead, like you're so focused on getting to your next class that you didn't even notice.
    • If that person asks you a question in class, just look away and pretend that it didn't happen.
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    Ignore someone at work. Ignoring someone at work can be difficult, because it's likely that you sit near that person or even work on projects with that person. Still, there are a few things you can do to minimize contact.
    • Avoid the break room or kitchen when that person is there. Learn when the person goes in the kitchen to get their lunch or for a refill of coffee, and make sure you keep a different eating and caffeine-drinking schedule.
    • If you sit near that person at work, stay focused on your computer, and keep a stack of papers at your desk so you can always look really engrossed by them instead of looking up at the person.
    • Don't jeopardize your professional life. If you really have to talk to that person to get some work done, do it. The person will be even more annoyed if you talk to them at work and then ignore him completely after work.
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    Ignore someone socially. Ignoring someone socially is easy if you know what to do. You just have to lean on your friends and try to stay as far away from that person as possible even if you're in the same room. Here's what you can do:
    • Stay busy with your friends. Talk with your friends and laugh it up like you're having the most hilarious conversation in the history of the world.
    • Dance. If the person comes near you and there's music playing, grab a friend to the dance floor and start rocking out. If the person still approaches you, close your eyes like you're really feeling the music.
    • If that person is standing in your circle, be extra engaged with everyone else around you. When that person talks, scratch your ear or check your phone - act like nothing is happening.


  • Try to avoid eye contact as much as possible, and if the person is getting really irritating, just pretend that someone else needs you, and go to them.
  • Make sure that you have a good reason to ignore this person: Mean, bully, annoying, ex, frenemy, or some one who gets you in trouble. If you ignore a person for no reason it sends mixed signals especially if you used to be friends. They might not even know what they did wrong.
  • Stay away from the person who is trying to come closer to you. Stay busy in front of that person whenever that person is around you.
  • If somehow the person you're ignoring has tempted you back into communication, just "ride the wave" of desire, which will rise and fall, and let the urge pass. Usually waiting ten minutes is long enough and plenty of time to remember all the reasons you chose to ignore them in the first place.
  • Keep eye contact, make new friends and pretend that you happy without him or her. This will surely encourage the one to leave you whom you like to ignore.
  • If you know you might run into them at a certain location (i.e. the grocery store), check to see if their car is parked outside before you go in.
  • If he or she takes it personal and starts to threaten you or get dangerous, such as stalking, tell a trusted adult.
  • When the person tries to talk to you, take out your phone and pretend to be answering a call/chatting.
  • If the person you want to ignore sits next to you, when you grade each other's papers, grade the person in front of you.
  • Make sure you have a legitimate reason for ignoring this person. (For example, if they're trying to apologize for something, maybe give them a chance.)
  • Consider talking to the person if there's a solvable reason/problem on why you're ignoring him or her in the first place.
  • If the person you're mad at really is sorry, it might be best to forgive them or talk it out before you lose them. Give him or her a chance - it's most likely a misunderstanding.
  • Try talking about it first because you could solve it by having a conversation. If you ignore someone it really hurts them emotionally.


  • Ignoring someone who really wants to talk to you is deeply hurtful and causes the person real emotional harm. Before you start ignoring someone, make sure he/she really deserves it.

Article Info

Categories: Language Nuances