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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.

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5 thoughts on “12 Ways to Ignore Someone Who Mentally Stresses You”

  1. too much? says:

    I have physically ignored someone who stresses me out. I have a wonderful boyfriend right now but my past suitor keeps bugging me. I turned him down for a reason but even though he is literally seeing my boyfriend beside me, he keeps on trying to talk to me. Luckily my boyfriend is one cool ass nigga. He understands the problem of that poor guy but me, I just get stressed out. I confided to my boyfriend about that and he said that the next time it’ll happen he’ll make that shit of a guy stop. He wasn’t joking, he sucker punched that poor thing the next time he bugged me, from outta nowhere. I thought that was the end of him bothering us but I didn’t know that he would result to having a gun pointed at me the next week. Yes, He came to my apartment, I was getting my mail downstairs and my boyfriend was upstairs still sleeping. I had nowhere to go, he said that I should let him fuck me so that he won’t pull the trigger on me. There was a closet next to the mail box at my apartment complex and he said that I should go inside first. I took off my clothes because he told me too, I’ve never been so scared. He was about to put his finger in me but suddenly the door busted open and my boyfriend came to save me. He killed the mother fucker, saving me from being touched by him! He literally tore his head off, my boyfriend is a really strong guy and he really did that in front of my eyes. It should have been scary but I enjoyed him getting his head torn off his head by my boyfriend’s bear hands. I got saved once again by my wonderful boyfriend.

  2. abby w. says:

    This is one of the worst things that can happen to a person. Someone you have to be around all the time actually mentally stresses you and is bad for your persona. AWFUL! I’m really not a whining person, but I have to share what happens to me with the world. My boss is such a grumpy person, he shouts at his employees and at me no matter how well the job is done. I have to go FIVE times a day to his office so that he gives me instructions and those are the worst. It’s as if my feet are going backward. I begin to think maybe of quitting my job and finding something else. I don’t know, but this is something I can’t endure for long. I tell you that 🙁

  3. Antha says:

    Hello, I am feeling very very stressed out. I wish that I could just pack my things and leave and go away somewhere for a few days and get away. Everyone around me is stressing me out! My MIL,my mother and my husband!thats in addition to financial stress, and studying for my board exam! My MIL stresses me out with just the way she is, if you read my story “I hate my mother in law” you will understand the reason why she stresses me out.It’s too much to write about. My mother is stressing me out because she drives me crazy. She wants us to have this great relationship, which is not possible because we have completely different personalities and perspectives and views on things and life. My mother wants to be my friend, however, she isn’t and she never will be because of the way that she is. It’s been that way for a very long time. My mother is a very unhappy, consumed with anger and a negative person. She is the last person that I come to if I need anything. I do not feel comfortable talking to her about most thngs because she takes things the wrong way or turns them around or makes something minor into something major. She calls me every single day and complains about either her job or god knows what else. She always has something negative to say about something. I am originally from Europe, my mother was away for a month last month and I was so happy. Even though, I haven’t lived with her for over 6 years, I felt free and independent from her. I talked to her once a week and I was completely happy with that. Honestly, I was not and am not happy that she is back. My mother has always been overprotective and strict with me all of my life. She never agreed with any decisions that I ever made. And I was not a bad kid. When I was 18 I worked 2 jobs, 7 days a week whie I was still in high school, in my senior year. I bought my own car with my own money and I have always been very independent. I always worked when I lived with my parents, from the age of 16 because I wanted to get out of the house and I bought a car at 18 to have freedom and independence. It was either that or I was going to move out. My mother wants to have this great relationship with me but that is not possible at all because our personalities completely clash. She takes everything way too seriously and there have been many times that I wanted to tell her something and then I thought to myself that I shouldn’t cuz she will throw it in my face later and then if I did end up telling her something, I did later regret it. This always happens, so I stopped telling her things and I have nothing to talk to her about especially because I know that she will not understand various things and she will see her negative perspective of things.She is not a person who I see as someone that I can come and talk to when I need support or when I need to talk to someone or when I need advice and that is sad because that is my mother and she should be the first person I would want to and should turn to for help and advice. For example, during the Easter holiday, my husband and I went to her house for Easter. I’ve told my husband in the past to watch what he says because she turns things into something they are not. My husband started to say that he read a story about a Caucasian couple who had an African American baby. And my mother started saying that it is impossible and that one person most likely cheated on another and that that is how it happened and then the conversation turned into something that it completely wasn’t …it was ridiculous She turned totally into something it was not. I even told her to relax and calm down because he was just telling her a story. It was ridiculous! Since then, I’ve told her that the way she acted and the way that she turned things around was ridiculous and that I am not going anywhere for any Easter holiday ever again….I did not want to go anywhere to begin with. If it was up to me I would have stayed home and relaxed. That is a holiday to me not all this unnecessary drama. I am perfectly happy talking to my mom once a week and seeing her once a month. The less, the better. But no, she wants to talk to me everyday and see me every week and god forbid if I don’t call her for 2 days she starts to text me like crazy, “what’s going on” “call me”, etc. It’s pathetic. Really, leave me alone and get a life of your own. I moved out for a reason! I have nothing to talk about, some days, I just want to be left alone and I don’t feel like talking, I have a right to that! Just because I am her daughter doesn’t give her the right to treat me a certain way and just because she wants somethingdoesn’t mean I need to do it ! No, it doesn’t work that way! I’m an adult and I have a right to my own decisions and choices and what I want also matters and there need to be boundaries. So not only do I have an overbearing MIL, I also have an annoying mother, who I would NEVER EVER EVER move next door to or even around the corner or back in with ever again, no matter what! As soon as we left my mother’s house on Easter I told my husband, I am so happy that I moved out and that we should move to another state because our parents are going to make our lives miserable and the farther we r the better. In the 6 years that I have been moved out, I can honestly say that I do not miss living with my parents at all. There is nothing that I feel attached to there at all. Instead of going over for dinner, I’d rather make my own dinner at home. Regardless of how hard things have gotten in life, I have never felt or said “Oh, I miss living with my parents”, no that has not happened. Honestly, there is nothing that draws me to go visit my mom at her house. I feel no desire at all to do that and if I do go over there or meet up with her, I just want to get it over with. This sounds cold and I am not a cold person, at all. I just want my freedom and space and independence. I moved out of my parents house for a reason and I will be moving away from my MIL in one year! and I want everyone to leave me alone. live your own life, the you want to and let me live mine how I want to! What makes you happy is not what makes me happy!Live and let live!!! My husband is also stressing me out since yesterday. He has a history of addiction and is in recovery., he has been diagnosed with depression, anxiety and borderline personality disorder (BPD). He is a full time student and he is having a very hard time with life. His moods change so quickly. For instance, yesterday the first half of the day was fine. Then we went to see his psychologist and that went well. When we were driving home, I could tell he was thinking about things and his entire mood had changed. He said he is frustrated with the way that things in life are and he was angry and upset for the rest of the evening and all of today. He is shutting me out and not talking to me and he doesn’t want to talk to me about what is going on. He tells me he wishes alot of things were different. He said yesterday everyday he wakes up and he feels empty, which is a part of the BPD. Everytime I suggest to go somewhere or do something he always tells me no, he doesn’t feel like it. He told me today and yesterday that he doesn’t care about anything anymore and he is very down. I have no idea what triggered this. I told him he can’t keep living in the past and telling himself I couldve, wouldve, shouldve. He is where he is now and he needs to move forward. I told him he’s been doing great and that he has made progress and improvements and to keep taking things one day at a time and that things take time. He has the BPD diagnosis and that was diagnosed about a month ago. It helped him better understand himself and the reasons for different things. However, it is difficult. It is very very stressful I feel like I don’t exist. I feel like I don’t matter. I feel like all I am good for is cooking, cleaning and paying bills and thats it. He never wants to go anywhere or do anything. Like today, it’s a beautiful day. He was helping his dad with renovations earlier, which is a good thing, but he came back in the same mood he was in yest and earlier today and then he said he was going to a meeting, however, I doubt that is where he went and I have no clue where he is. I’m concerned because of the mental/emotional state that he was in when he left; very sad, depressed, down, unhappy, etc. It’s very very stressful. Instead of us going out and enjoying this beautiful day together, this is how it is. And I am taking my board exam in 2 weeks and need to focus on my studies!!! Yeah, good luck to me, no wonder I’ve taken it 3 times and havent passed! What a surprise! It’s devastating! Thank u for reading and listening. I appreciate it. Have a good day.

  4. jellycake says:

    Guys and girls do this, either on purpose or not. It’s empowering and it’s rather scummy and I hate how the human mind rewards this kind of behavior. Humans want things that aren’t easy to get or are just out of their reach. In relationships when the other person is more mysterious, less talkative, etc especially in the early stages of the relationship it makes them appear more attractive to the person. Right now you’re feeling heavy feelings of infatuation. We’ve all had these feelings, at the beginning of the summer I tried so hard to convince myself I really did like this girl but I just came to the conclusion that she wasn’t worth it. The downward spiral of self pity “No one will like me, I’ll be alone forever, etc” it also something that happens. Either that, or the “Fuck myself I’m not trying ever again, not point, etc” response. Being on the receiving end of someone liking me and me not liking them back, it’s honestly not that easy to respond. Especially if I have respect for that person, things become easier if I just delay my response. Let me forget about that person for a while, because I just simply felt bad. Of course this may not be your situation, since some people just simply don’t care. What could have been an amazing weekend for you could have been an awkward, annoying weekend for her. I’ve been fooled like that before and it hurts, a lot. Especially when you share a room with that person for days just to find out they can’t stand you. I know it sounds stupid, but it’ll get better. Just try to go easy on how you perceive these girls to be honest. It just adds so much stress, flex your ego around them and joke a lot. Don’t let them know that you’re into them, let them do the chase, etc. It feels nice to be honest, but you don’t even necessarily have to be a liar because of it. Just be loose with them because they can smell insecurity from miles away. I learned this the hard way so many times, and I’m not sure if I’m making any sense with this post. It just sort of resonated for me because it’s pretty relate-able.

  5. This is mentally stressing me says:

    Just FREAKING IGNORE THEM! What else could you possibly do? How else could you possible ignore someone truly if you keep on thinking of a way to ignore them? It makes no sense at all. Come on, now. Where is the common sense of all people gone too? Are all your brains stuck in a fan somewhere in the middle east?

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