Home  >  My Life  >  Work and Play

12 Ways to Ignore Someone Who Mentally Stresses You

Feel frustrated, but unable to ignore someone? Learn these 12 ways to get rid of an annoying colleague, a frenemy, or a leech without being too harsh.


There are some people who are simply unpleasant to be around. They tend to be negative, gossipy, critical, and everything they touch becomes ugly. These people are the exact opposite of charming. However, we can’t totally avoid them because they’re family, our boss, our client, or our best friend. As much as we want to get rid of them completely, that’s just impossible; we work in the same office with them, or we share the same circle of friends.

Unless there’s a concrete reason for you to hate someone *they talked behind your back, they did not pay back the money the owe you, etc*, it’s just a bit weird to have a sit-down talk with them because, chances are, it’s their personality that you don’t like, not something that they did.

How to ignore someone who rubs you the wrong way

Here are some easy ways you can avoid or ignore someone who mentally stresses you.

#1 Hide them from your newsfeed. Let’s say you are friends on Facebook, or any social media, and their posts are killing you day by day. The solution is simple: unfollow them! It just takes 5 seconds to do, and after that, you’ll feel relieved that they don’t exist in your online world anymore.

It would be nice if you could unfollow them in real life, too, but let’s take things one at a time. Weed out all the annoying, stressful people in your social media accounts. Simple. But a part of you would still want to get updated, right? You want to know just how annoying they can get? It’s not worth it! Unfollow them now, and if there are times you really get curious, just visit their page. [Read: 5 big lessons you need to learn to deal with judgmental people]

#2 Keep answers short and simple. If you do not like someone, do not engage in long conversations! Why would you? You don’t have to! That is another plain and simple thing, yet some people find it hard to do because… A: they’re people pleasers; B: the person they hate is someone powerful *boss, client, etc.* or C: they’re scared it might be too obvious, and they’re scared 2of confrontation.

It’s okay to be a fake toward bosses and clients, but if you’re faking because you don’t want people to think you’re not nice, it’s time to get real and get some balls. Keep conversations short and direct. You can appear to be busy, or you can just exit and go to your cubicle to take a good nap. [Read: 20 signs you’re a people pleaser and don’t realize it]

#3 Don’t flash a big, warm smile. There is absolutely no need to fake a smile. Don’t worry: it doesn’t make you an ice queen. Smiling at a person that’s giving you stress is like giving food to a crazy dog. Just do what you’re doing, and hope they will ignore you, too. Even small talk could affect your well-being, so don’t entertain that by flashing a big smile.

#4 Delay replies as long as you can. Whether through e-mail, text, DMs, or Skype messages, make it a goal to always delay your replies—unless it’s for work. Be calm, and realize that replying late is not offensive. This “cold shoulder” should send them a message that you don’t want to be close to them. What’s so great about this is that it’s effective, yet they can’t confront you about it. They would sound clingy or bossy if they asked you why you’re not replying quickly.

#5 Listen to music on headset. What a great way to escape the world without explaining yourself, right? It’s one of the most popular anti-social devices, which you can easily use when you want people to leave you alone. Not only will it prevent you from talking to them, it also really soothes your nerves. Make a playlist with all feel-good music, so that when they come marching toward you, you simply press play to counter the bad energy.

#6 Limit face-to-face interaction. If you’re pissed with a co-worker, it’s difficult to avoid them for a very long time, because it will affect your work. You could get fired by not complying, just because you opted to avoid them. But you don’t have to torture yourself by seeing their face every day. If there’s a way for you to submit your work through e-mail or consult via chat, do it. This will make your life easier. Less interaction, less stress. [Read: 13 happy things you need around you for a really happy life]

#7 Change your routine. If you usually leave the office around 5 PM, maybe you should leave a little earlier or a little later. If you usually eat at McDonald’s, try eating somewhere else. Use another path to get to work. These little changes in routine will likely change your pattern of interaction with the person that stresses you.

#8 Find out their routine and stay away from it. Take time to notice the routine of the person that stresses the hell out of you, and just stay away from it. If that person happens to be your neighbor, pay attention to his or her schedule so that you won’t be in the same place at the same time. If they mow the lawn every Saturday morning, don’t have barbeque in your garden at the same time.

#9 Say no to invitations. If they invite you to party in the Hamptons, yet they really stress you out, don’t go. Say no. Come up with an excuse so you won’t appear unkind—but even this is not a requirement. Simply saying, “Thank you, but I’m too tired lately, and I just want to stay at home and sleep all day” is not too lame. [Read: 10 tips to set boundaries around difficult people]

#10 Don’t attend parties they’re attending. If you know they’re attending a certain party, don’t go there! Again, plain and simple in theory, but could be a bit challenging in real life—especially if you have a lot of common friends. Just limit the parties you attend, and if you do attend parties where they’re present, stay away from them without being too obvious.

#11 Deep breaths. If you’ve done all the things mentioned above, yet they’re still around, maybe it’s time you start living with the fact that they’re always going to be around. Take long, deep breaths for at least one minute, and it will help you recharge after being exposed to negative energy. It also keeps you from bursting into a fit. This way, you will be able to protect your core from their negativity and function as you should. [Read: 12 steps to change your life and fill your life with happiness]

#12 Be joyful to the point that they won’t affect you anymore. This may sound like advice from Dr. Phil, but it’s the best solution on this list. Yep, the best way to ignore someone who’s mentally stressing you is by being so joyful and exuberant, that you’ll even want to hug your enemies.

If you develop this kind of attitude, there’s absolutely no one that can rain on your parade or make you bitter. It takes a ton of work, though, as you have to rewire the way you think and feel. Aside from cultivating an “I don’t give a damn” attitude, you should also develop your inner strength to shield yourself from stressors.

Being in constant contact with people who are negative, critical, and annoying can be emotionally, psychologically, and physically draining. We can avoid them by following the tricks mentioned above.

[Read: 12 simple ways to calmly deal with negative and difficult people]

However, if avoiding them is impossible, we have to learn how to live with them gracefully; if we can’t ignore them, we have to kill them with kindness. You won’t believe how this can transform your relationships and your way of thinking.

Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life.

LovePanky icon
Team LovePanky
The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...