21 Real Ways to Ignore Someone Without Hurting Their Feelings

Last updated on June 12, 2024 by Michelle Devani

Do you have someone in your life that you need to reject? Are you wondering how to best do this without scarring them for life? There are many ways to ignore someone without hurting their feelings! Today, we will go over those ways so that you can know exactly what to do when it’s time to give the old silent treatment

Sometimes, you have to think about how the other person feels. No one wants to face rejection or an awkward conversation about how they are too needy, but sometimes, words are better than ignoring a person. 

However, the opposite holds true, as well. There are times when you must hurt someone, as much as you hate to, by ignoring them in order to get them out of your life.

If you are in a problem scenario like this, you are in luck because we will be covering this topic in full today! Let’s try to NOT hurt someone even if we must ignore them. Are you ready? Let’s get started!


How to Ignore Someone Without Causing Too Much Pain

1. Ask yourself why you need to ignore this person

ask yourself why you need to ignore this person

As you determine the right ways to ignore someone who was previously a part of your life, you need to ask yourself why you are doing this. In fact, you should get out a pen and notepad and make a list of all the reasons that you want this person out of your life. Do they bring negativity with them wherever they go?

Obviously, that would go on the list as one of the reasons you need to avoid this person. If they make you miserable or require too much attention, those would be other good reasons to list. If you’ve made mistakes in the past by doing things you regret with this person, you might list that down as “They are a bad influence on me.”

Keep this list handy, so you will always remember why you needed to remove this person from your life. If you feel that it would not harm anything, I would suggest having a conversation with them to let them know you will be ending your friendship; you don’t have to say why; just say those words and walk away.

This list will help you with the acceptance that you have made this decision and are going to stick to it. If you think there is a better way to get this person out of your life, you may want to consider that. Talk to a trusted friend or family member about this issue, and then decide if this is the best way to remove this person from your life. 

2. Tie up any loose ends

If you are ending a friendship or even a relationship with an acquaintance, you may have some unresolved issues. You split the money to purchase some great seats at an upcoming football game or concert. Now, what are you supposed to do? You can always give them to your ex-friend and allow them to use them since you are leaving.

Also, consider buying them out of the tickets if you really wanted to go. One way or another, you don’t want issues like this to be outstanding months after you’ve closed off this relationship.

3. Be honest, and tell them how you feel

Sometimes, talking things out is the better choice. You may just have to have one conversation before ignoring them for good, but it may be the right thing to do. Determine how they might react to this news, and decide if ignoring them is the best way to end the relationship or not based on your analysis of the situation.

4. Just say NO to any requests that involve them

As tempting as it may be to do something where they will be involved, just say NO. You don’t want to backslide if you’ve already made the decision to leave this partnership. You also don’t want to give them attention when you are trying to get them out of your life. That just sends them mixed signals.

5. Refuse any deliveries or gifts you may receive from them

If this is a boyfriend or close friend, they may try to win you over by sending you gifts or something to make you smile. Provided you have the willpower to resist such displays of affection, just tell the delivery person you do not accept the delivery. Over time, they will get the point and stop sending you gifts or other special deliveries.

6. Show them you aren’t interested through your body language

You can do this by not making eye contact and keeping your arms crossed. Show “closed” body language. According to one source, you can also do this by keeping your hands close to your body when you talk, closing your legs, and talking in a somewhat monotone tone of voice with little inflection in your tone.

If this guy or gal is looking for a sign you are no longer interested in them, closed body language should demonstrate this just fine. In fact, it may show them that you are pretty upset over something they’ve done. I know with my man, when I talk in a monotone voice, he automatically knows I’m upset about something, even if I don’t!

What I mean to say is that closed body language can be powerful, and it works like a charm. If you aren’t sure you are giving off the right signals, read more about closed body language. For one thing, don’t mimic their body language; that shows a connection and will give off the wrong signals, the opposite of what you are trying to do. 

Another good one mentioned in that article that I do when I’m upset (but don’t mean to) is not laughing around the person. When my man says something funny or cracks up over something on the television, and I do nothing, he knows something is wrong with me. He’ll immediately ask me what happened and why I’m upset. 

7. Hang out with someone new or someone else

It’s a smart idea to widen your inner circle if you are taking one individual out of the mix. Meet new people, make new friends, go to new places, or spend time with people you don’t usually have time for. You never know where this road could lead you!

8. Send a final text message or social media post

send a final text message or social media post

If you don’t want this person harassing you when you ignore them, it may be smart to give them one final text, explaining why you wish to have no further contact. You could say, “It’s been real, but I feel we need to part ways now. Best of luck to you. Take care!” Another thing to say would be, “I need time and space from you. All the best!”

9. Do not respond to tagged photos on social media

I know it’s tempting to hit like or make a comment on all the photos he or she is posting with you in them but resist the urge. You are a strong, capable individual who can resist this temptation. Social media is addicting, and I’m sure you want to do something, but just back off. That way, you don’t send mixed signals to this person.

10. Do not contact them under any circumstances

They are giving you the guilt trip; they are trying to get you to fall for the pity trap. I understand because I’ve been there, but you must stand strong. Someone else can help them this time around. It’s not your responsibility to fix every problem. Instead, stand firm, hold your ground, and be proud that you were strong.

11. Give them their belongings back

As you end this partnership, it’s a smart idea to return their belongings and try to get anything you’ve left at their place. If possible, ask a friend or relative to be your third party to make the swap for you. Things are just neater, cleaner, and less hurtful that way. I always have my dad take care of things like that for me.

12. Don’t reply to messages on text or social media

This is especially hard when you are feeling lonely. How do they know the exact moment when you would feel so vulnerable? It seems like they have a hidden video camera or something and just KNOW when you are alone and lonely craving attention. Hold firm; stay strong, and don’t reply to any message via any technological means (or in-person)!

13. Delete their contact information from your cell phone

If you have their information memorized or don’t answer unknown numbers when they call your cellular device, this is a good idea. This will help you as you resist the urge to text or call them when you are lonely. You might be less tempted if you do not have their contact information handy or have labeled it “Ignore This Person’s Calls.”

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14. Make yourself too busy to notice their absence

A great way to not be tempted by loneliness or the absence of this person is to get busy! It doesn’t matter how silly it may seem; just do something to keep yourself occupied. Hit the clubs, the library, your local community college, a knitting group, a Bible study, your friend’s baby shower, or the beauty salon!

15. Don’t post private stuff publicly on social media

As you distance yourself from this individual, it’s probably best not to post to the public when you post private things online. Instead, keep your messages for friends only, so your personal information and whereabouts stay private. You don’t need to accidentally bump into them because they say where you’d be on social media.

16. Consider getting a restraining order

If this person has become a danger in your life, be sure to contact the authorities right away without hesitation. You’ll want to keep your distance and maintain accurate records of all of the things this person has done to invade your privacy or put you in harm’s way.

17. Go ahead, and block them on social media

Make sure you do this on all social media channels. This is very important as you don’t want to post something private and have them read it, especially if it involves them. That would hurt them and embarrass you at the same time! You don’t want that!

18. If they show up where you are, go ahead and leave

If this is possible, go on and exit the event, especially if you are going to be in a tight group with the person you are trying to avoid. You don’t need things to get any more uncomfortable than they already are. If it’s no big deal, just leave; go find another way to spend your day - something just as fun and exciting!

19. If they are unavoidable, show that you are uninterested

if they are unavoidable, show that you are uninterested

How can you show that you are uninterested? Yawn when they are talking; pretend you can't hear them when they try to talk to you. You don’t have to roll your eyes or storm off; just do what you can to avoid them in a polite way. You will feel like the bigger person for doing this (instead of acting like a child about the whole deal).

20. If you see them, walk in the opposite direction

This is a great move if you are about to accidentally run into them. The last thing you need is an awkward moment, especially if you are already having a great day! You don’t want something unexpected like that to ruin your day. Just do what you can to stay out of sight and keep them out of sight. Remember, out of sight helps keep them out of mind.

21. Move on with your life

This is probably the most important way you can go about ignoring someone. Just move on with life. You might take up a new hobby or develop a passion for something you never knew anything about. Learn something new by doing self-discovery. Read some self-help books or hit a seminar led by self-improvement or motivational coach.

If you work on yourself, the time will fly, and you will forget all about this person who is invading your life right now. Instead, you will be caught up in a new passion or hobby! Enjoy your life; you can choose who you want to have in it. If this person wasn’t right for you, you made the correct choice for your life, and you should be proud of yourself!


How do you politely ignore someone?

It all depends on the circumstances because each situation is different. If you are having an argument with someone, don’t play the blame game; it won’t help get the problem resolved. Just ignore their calls and messages, and if a permanent split is necessary, cut them out of your life.

How do you ignore someone you really love?

You must be kind but firm. Explain what your boundaries are and how they need to be respected. If this person had a lack of boundaries, you could let them know why the relationship didn’t work out, so they will know what to do or not do in the future.

Is it better to block or ignore?

In my opinion, it is better to block someone rather than just ignore them. If you block someone, you won’t have to feel crummy every time they call or text you or each time you get a social media notification regarding them. It’s much easier to move on this way.

Is ignoring someone disrespectful?

Ignoring someone can be disrespectful because you aren’t letting them know why you are ignoring them. They may wonder for a million reasons why you are doing this but have no real clue. Giving them the silent treatment doesn’t show them what went wrong in the relationship.

How do you make someone miss you?

Look your best and take a lot of fun pictures! This is the perfect way to deal with a breakup or problem with a boyfriend; just go out and have fun without them! Then, post those awesome shots on social media, and they’ll crawl back into your life quickly.

To Sum It All Up

How do you best deal with someone you want out of your life without causing them pain? Do you think ignoring someone is the right thing to do? Do you give people the silent treatment? Does the silent treatment work? We’d love to hear from you! Please comment, and share!

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Michelle Devani
My name is Michelle Devani, and I've been helping people with their relationships since 2003. In 2017 I decided it was about time I started a blog on the topic, and since then more than 2 million people worldwide have read my relationship advice. Drop me a comment below to let me know what you think.

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