How to ignore everybody around you

At some point in your career, you’ll undoubtedly cross paths with colleagues that irk you. Maybe it’s the presumption that their opinions are the only correct ones on the planet or their blatant brown-nosing to get on the boss’ good side. Perhaps you can’t stand how their arrogance, moodiness or quick temper puts a damper on the company culture.

Difficult co-workers can high-jack your emotions. They trigger something in you that causes you to almost act or think irrationally , which is not exactly a healthy situation in which you can succeed. You may find that sooner or later your exasperation expands until every little thing that person does makes you want to tear your hair out.

Unfortunately, in the case of annoying co-workers, you can’t simply remove them from your life. Avoiding them around the office or circumventing one-on-one meetings probably won’t work either.

Fortunately, there’s a way to put a positive spin on the situation that stems from a counter-intuitive insight about dealing with difficult people. When we discern a quality in someone else that irks us, we can benefit from pausing to examine exactly why we have that reaction and look more closely at what it can teach us about ourselves.

The friction of interacting with an annoying co-worker actually presents a chance to cultivate essential leadership skills like assertiveness, self-awareness and confidence. It can provide an unexpected opportunity for personal growth that goes far beyond solely testing the limits of your patience.

How to ignore everybody around you

I know it can be pretty hard to learn how to ignore something or even someone who’s been bothering you, especially if they play an important part in your life. Ignoring something or someone is never easy, but with a bit of practice and with a lot of patience, you’ll be able to achieve this goal and not let it affect you (especially emotionally). In order to change something, you should start with changing yourself first and the way you look at things. I really love Ram Mohan’s advice who said: “When you end up in a fight with someone, make sure you don’t carry the feeling next day because if you do so, you allow a part of yourself to remember ignoring and hating someone unimportant each time you wake up.”. Here are a few, in my opinion, very helpful tips on how to ignore something that is bothering you:

1 Realize Why That Thing Bothers You

The first thing you should do if you want to learn how to ignore something that is bothering you is to realize why exactly that thing bothers you in the first place. Could it be your fault? Are you over-reacting or is that thing (or even person) really getting on your nerves? Could you do anything else than ignoring it in order to feel happy? Try to understand the real reasons for not liking a situation, a thing or a person before you decide you need to ignore it to get on with your life.

2 You Can Only Change Yourself

No matter how hard you may try to change things around you, I must tell you that you will never succeed because you can only change yourself. Just like Celestine Chua, the Founder of Personal Excellence, said: “The best way to address the situation is to change how you perceive it and how you react to it. By changing that, everything else will subsequently change as well.”

3 Set Clear Boundaries

Before you decide to ignore something or someone you should set some clear boundaries first, so you will know what you can tolerate and what you can’t. This way, you’ll know what kind of behaviors you expect from others or what situations or things really get on your nerves. It’s natural to protect your personal space and in order to do it; you should first draw some boundaries, even if you do it just mentally. Don’t allow others to step all over you and do not tolerate things that you don’t agree with and that affect you and your well-being.

4 Realize That Everything and Everyone in This World is Different

Realize that everything and everyone in this world is different and that it is not necessarily a bad thing. You might see things in a certain way and others might not agree with you, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t like you or that they want to hurt you. Learn to move on and cherish the difference between each individual because that difference is what makes us so unique.

5 Resolve That Issue

In order to be able to ignore something, you must first try to resolve that issue. It is pointless to try to simply erase a problem without first trying to solve it. If you don’t do something about it, it will come back to haunt you later and you’ll never get rid of those unpleasant feelings.

6 Find the Aspects That You like about That Thing/ Person

If you can’t just ignore a thing, a situation or a person because they play an important part in your life, remember the aspects you love about them. Focus on the positive things and simply ignore the negative ones! I know this may seem hard to achieve sometimes, but with a bit of practice, you’ll overcome every difficulty and you won’t let anything bother you or interfere with your happiness.

7 Simply Ignore Them

In time, you will learn to just ignore the things or people who really get on your nerves and you’ll realize that it doesn’t even require that much effort on your behalf. Try to focus your attention on something else and you’ll surely forget all about that thing that’s been causing you problems. Take your mind of the things that bother you by trying to engage yourself in other pleasant activities that will make you feel good.

It can be pretty hard sometimes to ignore a situation, a thing or a person who is constantly annoying you, but with a bit of effort and with a lot of patience, you won’t let it get in the way of your happiness. Do you know any other tips on how to ignore something that it’s bothering you? Please share your suggestions with us in the comments section!

The critical thing you must do before confronting a negative person.

How to ignore everybody around you

“There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. That little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.” –Robert Collier

I’m pretty sure I don’t need to tell you how important being upbeat, optimistic and downright happy is to your well-being. For decades, you’ve all heard how being positive improves your relationships, your academic potential, and even how successful you’ll be in your career. And in recent years, research has shown that negative emotions are directly related to a slew of physical conditions, such as hypertension, impaired immune system, cardiovascular disease, digestive disorders, and infection.

Bottom line? It’s better to stay happy!

But even on good days, when you’re bopping around like Pharrell Williams singing “Because I’m happy!” at the top of your lungs, you can run into that professional grump who is determined to ruin your mood with his complaining, whining, criticizing, balloon-popping negativity.

Many of us weren’t around when the L’il Abner comic strip was popular. But there was a character named Joe Btfsplk in the comic who walked around with dark rain cloud over his head. Misery and bad luck struck anyone who came within Joe Btfsplk’s vicinity.

Sound like anyone you know?

The fortunate (and unfortunate) thing is that your brain is naturally sensitive to negativity. Fortunate because if the source of that negativity could do actual harm to you (say, a saber tooth tiger ready to pounce), your brain is ready to signal your body to spring into action to defend yourself. But it’s unfortunate because your amygdala doesn’t distinguish between a real threat and your crabby neighbor whose specialty is doom and gloom. Even if the negativity does not threaten your physical survival, your brain will still turn a good amount of your attention to that negative source—and your happy mood is shot.

So how to get the Pharrell Williams track playing again? How to get the happy back—or never lose it in the first place?

In Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), we use the phrase “perception is projection.” In other words, whatever you see out there is in some way a reflection of what is inside of you. That said, the truth is that there are negative people in the world, people who, given the opportunity, will do harm to others. But before dealing with Mr. or Ms. Bad News, you need to check to see how much of your negative reactions to their negativity comes from your own internal issues.

The first step is to track your triggers, those things that instantly make you feel mad, bad, or sad. It can be a particular type of person, like someone who is very successful or someone who is a non-stop talker. It can be a particular topic like your weight or certain political views. A trigger can even be a certain tone of voice such as a patronizing tone or a high-pitched squeal. Pay attention to whatever it is that bumps you out of your feeling of well-being.

Make a list of those things or people, and notice if you can see any similarities or themes. For example, you might notice that you’re bothered by people who constantly gossip about other people—your co-worker, your father-in-law, or your golf buddy. As soon as they start in with the back-stabbing, you feel particularly defensive and uncomfortable. What’s the real issue here? Are you worried that they’re doing the same thing to you when your back is turned? Are you feeling judgmental about others as well but ashamed to admit it?

Just becoming aware of and acknowledging your triggers can go a long way toward helping you maintain your positive mood around negative people. But sometimes a trigger runs deep and needs a more concerted effort to unplug you from your reactions. When that’s the case, you can use what NLP calls a “reframe” by asking yourself: “How can I see this differently?” For example, with the gossiper, you might reframe it and notice that by gossiping and letting off steam, these people are less likely to do actual harm to the people they’re criticizing!

If reframing doesn’t work, your trigger may run deeper. Perhaps you saw an elementary school bully taunt others before pummeling them. You may have some deep-seated fear attached to people speaking ill of someone else that needs releasing. In prior articles, I’ve talked about several techniques like ho’oponopono and the Mental Emotional Release Process® (MER®) that can help with this release.

However you do it, it’s critical to release your own stuff before you confront that negative person. Why? Because by doing so, you’re able to come from a place that is clear, a place that will serve your highest and best intention. Let’s compare how you might respond to the gossiper with and without your own baggage in the mix:

If you haven’t dealt with your own issues, odds are your confrontation will go something like, “I’m sick and tired of hearing you gripe about other people. What’s wrong with you? Can you say anything nice?” Compare that to: “I’m uncomfortable hearing you talk about others that way and I don’t feel good participating in it. Can we talk about something else?”

I’m guessing both approaches would get a reaction from the gossiper. But which feels more centered? Which has the potential for maintaining the relationship, maybe even allowing the gossiper to consider his actions? Which would get you back to happy the soonest?

Bottom line: You’re responsible for and in control of your own happiness. And being happy is important to your overall health and well-being. To paraphrase a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, no one can make you unhappy without your permission!

How to ignore everybody around you

It's normal to feel a little alone when your friend starts ignoring you all of a sudden or seems to just forget that you exist.

When Your Friend Is Ignoring You

Has your friend started ignoring you all of a sudden? Maybe they ghosted you after your last conversation or even blocked you on social media. Now you're wondering what you did and haven't heard a peep out of them for awhile. They might even be ignoring you in public, which has you extra worried.

The good news is that there might be nothing wrong. Your friend might not even be ignoring you on purpose. As a more introverted person, I've drifted away from friendships many times when I needed to spend time alone, and didn't even notice I was missed until I came around again. I've been on the receiving end of this, too, and it's best not to assume the worst.

Only your friend knows for sure why they're suddenly pretending you don't exist. The human mind is complex, and each person has their own set of triggers. Most of the time, the reason won't be logical, even if they eventually offer some seemingly logical excuse in the future. In fact, the real reason may have nothing to do with you at all.

But here are some possibilities you might want to consider while you wait for them to contact you again:

1. Your Friend Had a Sudden Emergency

The first and most obvious explanation is simply that something unexpected happened to them. Even if they might be physically fine, they could be going through the aftermath of something major and it's absorbing all of their attention.

For instance, they might be facing the death of a loved one or the sudden need to relocate from their home. There are many possibilities. When someone is trying to handle an emergency, probably the last thing on their mind will be hanging out with friends.

If it's only been a few days since they started ignoring you all of a sudden, try giving them the benefit of the doubt.

2. They Are Going Through Something Emotionally Difficult

Similarly, your friend could simply be going through a period of emotional upheaval. Maybe something difficult happened to them–such as a messy breakup–and they are completely devastated.

Everyone will eventually go through times like these, but not everyone gets comfort from talking to friends about it. Some people have the opposite reaction and end up locking themselves in the house for days or weeks. Even if they don't physically isolate, they may emotionally isolate themselves and walk around without talking to anyone.

While it's not good for people to isolate themselves forever, and certainly it would make sense to check up on your friend if you suspect they need help, this is simply how certain people process their emotions. Don't be offended if they let you know they need space or start ignoring you–because they're ignoring everyone.

3. They Are Overwhelmed With School or Work

Sometimes life can get overwhelming. It may be that your friend is not trying to ignore you at all, it's just that their attention is entirely on their work or school projects at the moment. Maybe they are facing a particularly busy period and it wasn't their intention to make you feel bad.

If you suspect that this may be the issue, then consider bringing it up next time you see them. Get their attention and ask. Don't demand that they make time for you, of course–that is completely up to them–but it might ease your mind if they have a mundane explanation. "Oh, sorry, I was so busy with school!" It can happen to anyone.

If you're a particularly attentive friend, maybe you can even offer to take something off their plate so that they can hang out!

How to ignore everybody around you

If the friend that is ignoring you is a cat, then don't worry about it. That's pretty normal.

4. Your Friend Is Angry or Offended

Maybe your friend is angry about something, and they either blame you for it or think you had something to do with it. A person who does not like to confront people or who lacks a certain emotional maturity may then choose to ignore you over this.

It might seem unfair, especially if you don't even know what you did, but some people find it exceedingly difficult to discuss their feelings. Often, these people grew up in families where it was not OK to feel negative emotions, where it was impossible to disagree without offending someone, and where everything was therefore swept under the rug.

This has happened to me before with a person who had that kind of emotional background. After a fairly minor disagreement, they shut down and began to ignore me. Sadly, there wasn't a whole lot I could do. This was simply how the person responded to conflict in relationships and I had not been the first friend they had started ignoring in this way.

Your friend may suffer from a similar pattern. Think back to other friendships they've had, maybe among mutual friends of yours. Is there anyone else that they just cut out of their life over some random thing, without even discussing the issue and trying to reconcile first?

Communication is a basic requirement for understanding each other, and it's hard to reconcile when someone won't even talk to you. You may simply have to let your friend go until they come to their senses, especially if you've tried to reach out to them more than once.

Of course, this is all assuming that your "offense" was minor and not something you could have known would bother them ahead of time. If you hurt them on purpose, then don't be shocked if they no longer want to deal with you.

5. They Think YOU Are Mad at Them

Along similar lines, your friend could be ignoring you because they think you're mad or offended at them. Think back to your last interaction. Do they have reason to believe this?

That's still no reason to ignore you, but maybe they're trying to avoid confrontation. Try contacting them first and clarifying that you're not angry with them (unless you are). They may not respond, but if they haven't blocked you, they'll probably at least read the message.

As I spread the word about my current plans to do a round the world trip, I’ve started to get some feedback regarding this “unconventional” travel style and its destinations.

(Update: I’ve already spent over 3,000 days traveling around the world! Best thing I’ve done… following this dream.)

In general, most people have been very positive and supportive of it, but there have been a few naysayers that have made me think for a second; “what am I doing?”

But, only for a second.

How to ignore everybody around you

Facing Gatekeepers

It’s not all bad to get the “gatekeeper’s” perspective when you tell them you’re about to follow your dreams. An outside opinion can help put some perspective, but we must be smart and know how to separate constructive criticism from negativity.

I’m all in for constructive criticism, but I’m not going to let other people’s negativity stop me from following my dream.

Too many times I’ve experienced this situation.

Before setting on my first solo backpacking trip to Thailand, I got so much negative feedback about the fact that I was traveling alone to a “dangerous” country and that I was “wasting” the little money I had by going there.

I was, and still am too stubborn to let that stop me. When I set my mind to doing something… I do it!

Following my dream…

In the end, I went to Thailand and experienced one of the most important turning points in my life that made me realize world travel is something I’m truly passionate about.

Traveling the world long term is a dream I want to follow.

Doing a round the world trip has been on the back of my mind for over 10 years and I feel now is the time I can properly do it and enjoy it. So, I’m not letting anyone make me from doing it.

Update: I followed my dream and have now traveled to over 138 countries in the last 9 years. Below I share why and how to follow your dreams.

How to ignore everybody around you

Now, in response to what naysayers, gatekeepers, or anyone might say to keep you from dreaming, I want to share 19 reasons why you should ignore everyone and follow your dreams:

1. The only “yes” you need to follow your dreams is yours.

2. You’ll regret it later in life, and if you’re delaying it, you’ll question yourself why didn’t you do it sooner.

3. Not following your dreams makes you feel unaccomplished. Eventually, this will stop you from dreaming altogether.

4. It will attract some attention, even from the naysayers and haters. You will feel strong as you prove the naysayers wrong. As Walter Bagehot said; “The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.”

5. People who follow their dreams are doers . Doers have more power to create, influence, and change their environment… and eventually the world.

6. Life feels more memorable; hence you feel and become more memorable.

7. Following your dreams might take unexpected turns, but those are the exciting and memorable challenges of living the dream.

8. Those challenges will help you grow as they make you step out of your comfort zone.

9. Dreams make you take chances, but chances can bring more opportunities.

10. Afraid of it? Good. Being afraid makes you feel more alive, so smash through that brick wall of fear. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Elbert Hubbard once said, “ The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”

11. Your dreams and your actions define you. Don’t let others define you with what they tell you to do and not to.

12. You will inspire others to follow their dreams, even if they know nothing about you.

13. Following your dreams makes you interesting.

14. Who doesn’t love to challenge the status quo?

15. There are no rules in life so why limit yourself to what everybody else is doing?

16. Accomplishing your dreams will spark even bigger dreams. (Following this dream made me realize an even greater one: I became location independent! Learn more about it here. )

17. You feel you have something more to live for.

18. Even if your dreams fail, you’ll feel proud you gave it your all to accomplish them. Dreamers fail now and then, but they also learn more in life. You learn from failure. So, dust yourself off and try it again.

19. It’s your life, live it under your terms!

How to ignore everybody around you

It is up to you to live your dreams. For now, I’m going to continue to plan living my round the world trip and following my dreams.

What dreams are you following or want to follow?

Update: It’s now been more than nine years since I left NYC to travel the world, and I’m still traveling long term thanks to my passion and desire to make this dream happen.

These may not be the exact feelings, fears, and steps you may need to take, but it could help reading how other people went through this process.

You can take what you think resonates and works for you, and turn it into your own process to build a plan to reach that dream of yours.

How to ignore everybody around you

Lastly, I want to add a resource I read before starting my trip that genuinely inspired me to push forward, and still does to this day. It’s a book by Chris Guillebeau called The Art of Non-Conformity. It elaborates on the same 19 reasons listed above and much more! Worth a read!