How to Ignore Your Enemy

Three Methods:Avoiding Your EnemyBeing the Best Person You Can BeGathering Your Support Network

At various times in our lives, we all face enemies—those people who do not wish us well or are otherwise critical, skeptical, and generally keep us from reaching our goals. These people may feel threatened by our accomplishments or skills or be fearful of others.[1]There may be no logical or clear reason at all. Having some strategies in your pocket for ignoring such individuals can help you manage them and not let them hold you back.

Method 1
Avoiding Your Enemy

  1. Image titled Ignore Your Enemy Step 1
    Shift your mindset about your enemy. You may not always feel like it, but you are actually in control of the situation. Adversaries are good at making us feel bad. Approaching them with the right attitude will help you keep them from affecting you.
    • Focus your thoughts on positive things and people in your life.
    • Make the decision not to allow your enemy to get to you with his negative words and actions.
    • Remember that your time and energy are better spent on positive and productive things—not responding to negative adversaries.
    • Decide where you want to be in life and pursue that path with confidence.
  2. Image titled Ignore Your Enemy Step 2
    Don’t invest mental energy in the person. Staying calm and collected is your best strategy for managing difficult situations and people.
    • Ignore any comments or behavior enemies use to taunt you or provoke a reaction from you.
    • Come up with some go-to thoughts for the times when your enemy gets to you: “When they bring me down, I will start thinking about last year’s trip to Hawaii…”
  3. Image titled Ignore Your Enemy Step 3
    Reject any negativity they project on you. Your enemy may continuously try to bring you down with negative comments. Your job is to keep those comments from affecting you.
    • Don’t take his comments to heart.
    • Think of positive thoughts, places, experiences, or people.
    • Be the master of your own happiness—you decide who to avoid and who to listen to.
  4. Image titled Ignore Your Enemy Step 4
    Sidestep any potential encounter with him. It may be impossible to avoid your enemy completely, but it’s worth investing some effort to avoid meeting him if you can.
    • Avoid places where you commonly meet or cross paths of an enemy who’s a coworker or classmate.
    • Delete social media connections to him, if you have any.
    • Don’t engage in conversation if you cannot avoid him completely—acknowledge his presence, but ignore any attempt at engagement.
  5. Image titled Ignore Your Enemy Step 5
    Take control of encounters. If you cannot avoid your enemy, you can at least make the decision not to engage with him, or minimize that engagement.
    • Don’t listen to what he says to you.
    • Try not to react to his taunts and negative words, even when it’s difficult.
    • Do not, under any circumstances, get pulled into an argument or fight with him.
    • Walk away if you must—being cornered by your enemy can lead to engagement.

Method 2
Being the Best Person You Can Be

  1. Image titled Ignore Your Enemy Step 6
    Be the bigger person. It goes without saying, this is always a good strategy in life, but when you have an enemy who’s trying to bring you down, it’s especially important. This is because you can’t change your enemies—you can only change how to react to them.
    • Avoid the temptation to get revenge or otherwise hurt them.
    • Don’t react to provocations.
  2. Image titled Ignore Your Enemy Step 7
    Act friendly without engaging with him. Your enemy has a harder time being mean when you are being friendly. It may be hard to be nice—fake it if you must—but taking the wind out of his sails by doing what he doesn’t expect can be a good way to cool down any conflict.
    • Smile and make eye contact.
    • Acknowledge his presence, but don’t engage in conversation.
  3. Image titled Ignore Your Enemy Step 8
    Focus on your goals. Even if your enemy is trying to derail you from doing what you need to do, it’s key to not let him influence your decisions or obstruct your progress.
    • Pursue whatever goal(s) you have that your enemy is trying to sabotage.
    • Consider your goal achievement as a kind of reward for tolerating your enemy.[2]
    • Don’t act like he does—you will always be glad you stuck to your principles.

Method 3
Gathering Your Support Network

  1. Image titled Ignore Your Enemy Step 9
    Focus on the people who care about you and support you. It’s easy to spend energy on your enemy and how to deal with him, but you will feel better and stronger if you remember all of the positive and helpful people in your life instead.
    • Think about your army of supporters even if they’re not physically present.
    • Imagine your support network cheering you on in difficult situations.
    • Strive to find new allies at work, school or other places you spend time.
  2. Image titled Ignore Your Enemy Step 10
    Stay positive. Keeping a positive attitude will help you avoid spending too much energy and time thinking about your enemy’s behavior. This also means you can focus on the helpful people in your life such as your supporters.
    • Think about your support network every time a negative thought comes to mind.
    • Never lose track of your goals and how you will reach them.
  3. Image titled Ignore Your Enemy Step 11
    Be your own best supporter. Think of what you admire most in yourself and focus on your own accomplishments. Friends and family are valuable supporters, but it’s also important to take care of yourself.
    • Make a list of the accomplishments that make you proud.
    • Think of a recent compliment by a loved one or coworker.
    • Come up with a daily mantra (or two or three): “I am the strongest person I know!” or “I can handle anything that comes my way.”


  • Give it time. Just wait for the conflict to fizzle out, which it eventually will.
  • Never assume you did something to cause this person’s poor treatment of you.
  • Another way to avoid enemies is to is to find a quiet corner and put earplugs or ear buds and tune your self out that way you don't hear them talking to you and sit there and just ignore them.


  • Do not hurt yourself physically as a result of your enemy’s behavior—seek help if you are considering self harm.
  • Ignoring your enemy may make them angry[3]—continue to avoid contact with them if this happens.
  • If the person continues to harass you and it becomes bullying, you should seek help from someone.
  • Never engage in any physical aggression with the person, no matter how bad they treat you.

Article Info

Categories: Managing Arguments | Maintaining Relationships