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How to Respectfully Ignore Someone Without Hurting Them

September 25, 2023

7 min read

Author : United We Care
How to Respectfully Ignore Someone Without Hurting Them

Maintain your dignity by ignoring the person you would not prefer to associate with by politely. Please find out how you can skip the person without hurting their feelings.

Do you feel at ease when you are away from some people? After all, mental peace is of prime importance. But ignoring someone without being rude to them is not as easy as it seems. However, the person you would not like to be associated with, you can use a few tricks to overlook respectfully.

4 Ways to Ignore Someone Without Hurting Them

There are a few ways to ignore someone without making the situation look awkward for both. Here are some points that may help you with doing so –

4 Ways to ignore someone without hurting them

  • Avoid direct eye contact.
  • Please give them the cold shoulder when they try to communicate with you
  • Ignore them on all social media platforms and do not respond to their calls
  • Be persistent with your attitude to them to make them believe that it’s your normal behaviour

Must Read: 8 Things To Do When You Feel Feeling Unwanted In A Relationship

Why Would You Want to Ignore Someone?

No one adopts the silent treatment, i.e., ignoring someone without purpose. Why ignore someone without a cause? There has to be a strong reason behind this. Listed below may be one of the reasons why you would want to miss someone –

  • They have a habit of bad-mouthing – A true friend or a trustworthy colleague will never bad-mouth you. If they do so, then you should know when to ignore someone.
  • Interference in your life – If their active presence interferes with your work or social life and makes it hard for you to handle certain circumstances, you must know how to ignore these people.
  • Clash of views – Disagreements may lead to anger, depression, fighting, and mental trauma, so avoiding such situations is better to preserve mental peace. When you know that the person’s mentality differs completely from yours, you would not like to waste your precious time making that person understand your perspective. It is then essential to ask yourself, how can I ignore someone?

Is it Rude to Ignore someone?

It depends on how you ignore someone. You should not show anger, display inappropriate behaviour, or use improper language, and don’t be rude. Instead, the best option is to lead under your body language so you are not eager for interaction. This way, you maintain your dignity and self-respect without hurting the person you want to ignore. In most cases, you may need to practice this attitude of dealing with the person before that person understands your intentions and maintains the distance you want to keep with them.

But you should be careful that during this avoidance phase, you should not directly confront the person in a way that turns the situation bitter and leads to unwanted problems which can spin out of control. It would help if you had complete control over your behaviour and words so that in the process of ignoring yourself, you do not hurt yourself or the person you are trying to forget.

How to Ignore Someone Without Hurting Them?

You can hurt someone not only physically but also mentally. Sometimes, when we do not feel comfortable interacting with someone or try to avoid someone’s presence, we often directly use harsh words, which can, in turn, hurt that person. That way, the situation gets sour and can permanently impact their mind. This inappropriate behaviour or unnecessary words can lead to depression for someone close. You can practice milder ways in such cases by showing an unfriendly demeanour.

Some ways are:

  • Pretending to be not able to hear when they call you by your name
  • Displaying unfriendly body language like looking in the other direction with your arms crossed
  • Not lending any help asked or required by them
  • Walking in the opposite direction from that person

By practising these soft avoidance methods, you are not directly confronting them verbally. Thus, even if your behaviour makes them uncomfortable, it will not hurt much.

Also, whatever the reason, you should not physically assault anyone. That is an extreme step that is not justifiable by any means. That can hurt them not only physically but also can lead to various unfavourable circumstances.

Read more about: Overcoming Limerence: Practical Steps to move on from Obsessive Love

How to Ignore Someone You Work With?

In professional life, we often struggle to keep a distance from someone we dislike. It is because we must interact with them as part of professional duties, even if our inner self thinks of how to ignore them. The key here is to be polite but firm. Interactions with such a person should be formal only. For example, if that person enquires about your day, a typical reply can be, “Doing good, and I have to get back to work now as a lot of piling things are there.” You should strictly not discuss your private life with such a person.

Delayed mail or chat responses can also show your intention of avoidance. If your desk is just in front of that person, little tricks like regularly keeping files piled up to block the line of sight can help you get some breather. You may also prefer to look engrossed in work to avoid direct interactions. Other ways to prevent a visit to the cafeteria when that person is having coffee or lunch, as the restaurant is where interactions are bound to happen.

What is the Best Way to Ignore Someone?

Silence is the most potent weapon when you are trying to ignore someone. However, if you need to interact with the person due to work-related matters, ensure that the conversation is only about the work. Limit your interaction time as much as possible. And with time, you will notice a change in that person’s behaviour towards you, as, after a time when the person will not get any response from you, they will also stop chasing you.

In the entire process, if you do not want to hurt that person, make sure you do not abuse, taunt or overdo the act of ignoring. Politely Ignore while conserving your self-respect. Your goal should be letting that person know you no longer want any interaction or association with them.

How to Ignore Someone You Love

The very purpose of ignoring the person you love can be to increase the affection towards you. In this way, you willfully try to create a certain distance with them to make them feel your value in their lives. When you are always available, it often diminishes your value. So, at times such ignorance can do wonders in strengthening the bond with the person.

Some great ways to ignore someone you love can be:

  • Not responding to text messages and phone calls immediately
  • Show that you are busy, but in the process, you should not wholly neglect that person
  • Listen to music or appear engrossed in your mobile in their presence
  • Superficially converse with them without sharing too many details on the subject
  • Do not rush toward them when asked for a favour
  • Be patient in the interactions
  • Don’t jump on buying too many gifts, which are often unasked for

Prioritize your happiness and put your emotional well-being above everything else.

If you seek professional help and empower yourself with the knowledge of self-care, then read, watch and listen to inspirational tales at United We Care.


1. M. T. Williams, “Psychology cannot afford to ignore the many harms caused by microaggressions,” Perspect. Psychol. Sci., vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 38–43, 2020.

2. N. van Quaquebeke, D. C. Henrich, and T. Eckloff, ” ‘It’s not tolerance I’m asking for, it’s respect!’ A conceptual framework to differentiate between tolerance, acceptance and (two types of) respect,” Gr. Interakt. Organ. Z. Angew. Organ. (G.I.O.), vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 185–200, 2007.

3. W. B. F. Brouwer, “Too important to ignore: Informal caregivers and other significant others,” Pharmacoeconomics, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 39–41, 2006.

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Author : United We Care

Founded in 2020, United We Care (UWC) is providing mental health and wellness services at a global level, UWC utilizes its team of dedicated and focused professionals with expertise in mental healthcare, to solve 2 essential missing components in the market, sustained user engagement and program efficacy/outcomes.

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