Sometimes it's really hard to ignore someone who constantly irritates us. The situation can be even more complicated if you need to see or interact with the person regularly at school, at work, or at family events. Learning to distance yourself from negative people and replace them with positive, optimistic people can go a long way toward maintaining happiness and stability in your life.
Part 1 of 4: Staying Away from Others
Step 1. Stay away from places where you know the other person will be
The simplest way to ignore a person is to avoid meeting them. You can reduce your chances of meeting someone by avoiding the places where they used to spend time together or those where you know they like to hang out.
- Find new restaurants and bars to visit. Look for establishments a little further away from the other person's neighborhood.
- Try shopping further away from the person's home if you know where they live.
- If a mutual friend invites you to go somewhere, ask if the person you are avoiding will be there before confirming their presence.
Step 2. Limit your interactions with the person
Controlling contact with someone is a great way to ignore them without necessarily "cutting" them out of your life. Cutting all ties at once can be difficult, especially if you are related or visit the same places regularly. However, doing so can help you avoid contact with the person and make you feel better.
- Keep interactions with the person brief and infrequent, responding to them without emotion and without taking too long. For example, you might respond something like, "I'm fine. I need to get back to work now" if she comes to talk to you during work.
- Resist the temptation to say something mean, as doing so will only make things worse.
- By limiting contact and avoiding necessary interactions with the person, you will cut ties with them without having to completely avoid polite social interactions in the future.
Step 3. Avoid conversational attempts
Whether you work together, have mutual friends, or just bump into each other from time to time, resist the other person's attempts at conversation by ignoring them whenever possible.
- Avoid eye contact.
- Ignore what the person says and resist the temptation to respond.
- If you are in a social situation where something needs to be said, share your thoughts about something that has nothing to do with the topic of conversation.
- It doesn't matter if you choose to ignore what the other person says or to talk about your own interests, as if you haven't heard what they have to say, you'll make it clear that you're not interested.
Step 4. Be accompanied if you need to talk to the other person
If you can't avoid contacting her at work or at a social event, it can be very helpful to be accompanied by an outside friend. He can make it easier to meet the person by keeping the conversation level and directing the conversation to something neutral in case the other person tries to make the subject unpleasant in any way.
- Talk to your partner beforehand so that he knows what he needs to do. Ask if your friend is comfortable playing such a role so he doesn't feel used or confused later.
- Come up with some kind of signal so they can withdraw from the conversation if necessary.
Step 5. Try to be polite to people you can't avoid
If you can't avoid certain people, try to be more polite to them. Sometimes a gentle approach can alleviate negative behavior.
- Resist the temptation to be rude to people you don't like.
- Convey a strong, confident image. Show your positive attributes and remember that you are a capable individual and that you deserve to be happy.
- Don't let people put you down with their negativity. Be superior and ignore them!
- Say something kind whenever you feel like being mean. Then simply excuse yourself and leave. You can say something like, "You did well with your presentation. Excuse me, I'm going to buy you some coffee."
Step 6. Stay strong
If you are trying to avoid contact with someone, that person is likely to be negative or unpleasant. Such individuals often try (consciously or not) to annoy you or discourage you from following your dreams. If you're determined not to keep in touch with such a person, stay strong and don't let them change you!
- Even if you don't feel safe or strong, it's important to believe you can! Doing so can help to dampen the contact with the negative people in your life.
- Don't let the negative words and actions of others affect how you feel or live your life. Use positive affirmations to break the cycle of negative thoughts caused by the other person.
- Remember that you are a good person and that your friends and family care about you. The other person is simply not willing to see your positive attributes.
Part 2 of 4: Cutting the Virtual Loops
Step 1. Block the person's phone number
If you want to avoid physical contact with someone, you might also want to prevent virtual contact with her. Blocking her cell phone may not be necessary if you're not in regular contact, but doing so will certainly not hurt.
- To block calls on an iPhone, select the person in the contact list and select the "Block" option. To block text messages, open the messaging app, select the individual you want to block, tap "Details", "Information" and "Block".
- To block calls and messages on an Android phone, open the phone dialer and find the contact you want to block. Now, just tap the options and activate the "Block number" key.
- To block calls and messages on Windows Phone, open the settings menu and access the call and SMS filter. Activate the "Call Block" function and tap on the number you want to block. Tap the "Block Number" option and tap "Ok".
- If you use a BlackBerry device, you must contact your service provider to block a specific number.
Step 2. Cut social media connections
Even if you manage to avoid physical contact with the person, she can still contact you over the internet. If you are friends on social media, she can find out what you are doing or send abusive messages using the internet.
- If you are friends or followers on social media, end the friendship or unfollow the person. If you prefer, block her so she can't see your profiles or contact you in any way.
- If you're not the person's friend or follower, or if you've already deleted their friendship, change your privacy settings so that only your friends see what you post.
Step 3. Avoid contact by emails
If the person you want to avoid has your email address, they may send you aggressive or unwanted messages. You can prevent such interactions by blocking the email contact or filtering her messages, depending on your email server.
- To filter emails in Gmail, select a message from the person in the inbox. Then click on the dropdown menu, choose "More" and select the "Filter messages like this" option. Then check the "Delete" option.
- To block emails in Microsoft Outlook, right-click a message from the person and click "Junk", followed by "Block Sender".
Part 3 of 4: Keeping Yourself Happy
Step 1. Learn to recognize the things that irritate you
There will likely be times when you will not be able to avoid contact with a negative person. It doesn't matter whether it's a colleague, a relative, or a neighbor, you will eventually need to interact with negative individuals. When this happens, it's important to recognize what irritates you and try to avoid such triggers so you don't get upset.
- Make a list of people, places, and things that make you unhappy, nervous, or frustrated.
- Think about why such people, places and things trigger a negative reaction in you.
- Think about how such triggers might occur in your daily life and plan strategies to avoid or minimize such situations.
Step 2. Resist the temptation to complain about people you don't like
As much as you may want to express your frustrations, doing so can turn others away from you. They may be friends with the individual you don't like, or they may just get tired of hearing you complain. If you complain a lot about someone, the people closest to you may end up walking away.
- Instead of complaining about the person you want to avoid, try not to discuss them when talking to others.
- Talk to others about the positive things you enjoy doing. You don't want the person you don't like to consume all your time and energy, do you?
Step 3. Take responsibility for your words and actions
By blaming others for your negative actions, you give the other person strength over you. No matter how much a person irritates you, you have decision control over how to act (or not act, depending on the case). The things you say or do, even in response to someone else's frustration, are still your responsibility.
- Your words and actions don't exist inside a bubble. You cannot blame others for what you choose to say or do, even when you are irritated by someone's presence.
- Try to change the way you think about a particular person. Your thoughts influence your speech and your actions. Restrict negative thoughts so as not to overpower them.
- When you learn to ignore the person, just forget about them. Don't waste your energies and your time thinking about her! Whenever you find yourself thinking or talking about it, control yourself!
Part 4 of 4: Attracting Positive People
Step 1. Identify and project your best qualities
Positive people usually attract other positive people. If you want to attract individuals who are good in life, it makes sense to make it clear to others that you are that way too. There are some subtle techniques to help you emanate your most desirable qualities.
- Think about what makes a person positive. Do you praise others or strive to be kind, for example?
- Make a conscious effort to do these things more often, not just so that others will see you as positive, but to create a more upbeat lifestyle.
- Let your actions speak for you when it comes to the kind of person you are and the kind of life you lead.
Step 2. Find the positive people who are already in your life and spend more time with them
Chances are, you're already surrounded by optimistic, strong people. As you distance yourself from those negative and pessimistic individuals, replace them with people who add to your life experience. In general, surround yourself with individuals who are optimistic, confident, and who care about you. Your life will improve a lot!
- Try to remember friends, family and co-workers who always remain positive in the face of adversity. Think of the kindest and most compassionate people you know.
- Get closer to such people. Strive to spend more time with them and invite them to social events so they can enjoy life more.
Step 3. Meet new positive people
In addition to those that are already in your life, you should always keep trying to find new, optimistic friends. Finding positive and compassionate people will help you to strengthen your social circle with individuals you admire and want to be around. In time, you too will become a better and more desirable friend.
- Look for positive individuals at gyms, clubs, faith groups, and other places that often house kind, upbeat people.
- Try volunteer work. You will feel good and find others who care about a common cause. Volunteers are usually positive and compassionate people.
- Even short periods with positive people can help you improve your mood and outlook on life.
- Be proactive. If the positive people you meet are busy, try to make an appointment that's convenient for both of you.
- If you ever meet the person in a store, pretend you haven't seen them. Speed up your pace, stop or turn in another direction. If the person says something to you, say you're in a hurry and need to go. If nothing else works, just be silent.
- Just because a person is related to you doesn't mean you have to put up with their negative behavior. If she makes you feel bad, you have every right to break off with her.
- Don't be rude or mean to the person. It won't fix what she did to you and will only make the situation worse.
- If you choose to ignore the person for an extended period, be aware that doing so may cause complete lack of communication between you in the future.
- At some point you may choose to communicate with the person to try to "get it right." Remember that doing this will not always be possible or appropriate. If you are forced to see the person often, this may be the best option.
- If the person is an abusive partner, ignoring them will only provoke them and make the situation worse. Get professional help and get out of this situation!