It’s been a difficult week for me. I am a bonafide Ignorer by nature, and in the past seven days I have had numerous attacks on my personal space and seclusion.
People who want to, like, wave, and talk, and hang out. At the ballgame, on my neighborhood walk, at my church, in my house—literally everywhere I go.
I told you it’s been a rough week.
So I figured I’d write out a list of ways I can more effectively Ignore others. This article is dedicated to all my fellow Ignorers. It is my prayer that you will be able to find the rest and peace and social isolation and lack of interpersonal responsibility that you have been looking for.
Here’s five strategies for you to do just that:
1. The Phone
Must I say anything else? “The Phone” seems reason enough to me. If you truly want to be an expert at Ignorance, you must be able to wield The Phone appropriately.
It works perfectly in any situation: I see someone from high school that I don’t really wanna talk to; I’m in a grocery line; the inning just finished at the ballgame; my class/event has a little break… all these = pull out The Phone.
And once I pull out The Phone, I have one of an infinite number of options. I could lift my phone to my ear and pretend like I’m calling someone. I could actually call someone. I could begin texting someone and act like I don’t notice anyone else. I could simply look down at my phone in general and gaze at the lock screen that I put in place eight months ago but haven’t thought to change.
You see? Infinite.
The people that actually, like, want social interaction are the people who deliberately keep nothing in their hands when in public.
This is the worst idea possible if you truly want to Ignore someone.
2. The Earbuds (or AirPods, or Headphones, or whatever else u got)
Now this one is dynamic. For those of us who have been Ignoring for a while, we all know the art of utilizing The Earbuds.
You see someone you don’t want to talk to: put in The Earbuds.
Someone says something that you don’t care about (or want to pretend not to hear): put in The Earbuds.
Someone has just moved within fifty feet of you: put in the Earbuds.
It’s a quick fix for anyone walking the neighborhood, traveling from one gym station to another, or even moseying around the house.
Those who refuse to wear The Earbuds in public have this ridiculous notion that being able to build relationships with others is a positive thing. Why they would think this I have no idea. It’s like they want to act as if they care about their neighbors or something.
This is stupidity. The Earbuds are an excellent help for Ignorers everywhere.
3. The Blinds
Close your blinds at all times. Tint your windows. And don’t go out.
Buy your own workout equipment. Deliver food to your door. Make sure you have personalized TVs, phones, cars, and so forth for every individual in the household. Obviously interaction with other parents at sporting events or performances is a necessary evil, but use The Phone or The Earbuds when able.
And get in and out of church as quickly as you can. Lord knows those people want to, well, ask questions. Ignorers must learn to detest questions, because questions can’t be ignored.
Bottom line is use The Blinds to make sure no one can enter your home, or, better yet, your personal life in general. Make sure your whole life is individualized so that nothing has to be shared. And make sure everything in your life is as quick and interaction-free as possible.
People who do not close The Blinds tend to live life in such a way that lets others see them for who they really are. This is dumb. Being real means people know you.
It’s hard to be Ignored or to Ignore others when you know each other.
4. The Calendar
This is a personal favorite:
“Um, I—uh, yeah… I’d so love to… Except I really just don’t think my schedule would allow it. I’m suuuuper busy.”
Shabam. That swiss army knife of an excuse is a solution to just about every Ignorer’s problem when needed. Of course, it’s best if you never even have to speak to the other individual, but when unavoidable, this line is CLASSIC.
And The Calendar can be used over text, email, in-person, on the phone, Facebook, Instagram—you name it! Even when someone bumps into you and suddenly wants to (Heaven forbid) have a conversation with you, there’s always the:
“It’s so good to see you except—” this is the beauty of it “—I can’t chat long. I’ve got to run.”
The Calendar is always a helpful out.
Individuals who leave space on their calendars will be in peril of having time to meet, to hang out, and to stop (curse the word) to chat with others.
This cannot be us, fellow Ignorers. An empty calendar is an invitation for others to fill it.
5. The Signals
Some people say body language is like 90% of communication or something. That’s why The Signals are crucial to Ignoring.
Keep your head down. Don’t make eye contact. 6 feet is minimum spacing… 23 feet is preferable. Only speak to others when absolutely necessary. No waving. Don’t appear to have time (again, utilize The Phone and The Earbuds here).
AND DON’T YOU DARE SMILE AT ANYONE!!!
If you offer yourself to people, they will take from you. Your time, your attention, your energy, your effort. And when you give a mouse a cookie…
Those who refuse to use The Signals often end up having to listen to others’ stories or feelings or—even worse—problems.
Again, The Signals are the best way to let others know, ‘I don’t really care about you right now’ without being terribly rude and actually saying it out loud.
Again, it is my prayer that you can use these tips appropriately and in their proper contexts. Of course, there’s dozens more simple ways to Ignore, but this is the free version. You can buy my other helpful hints on my website: ignoringsanity.edu
Keep fighting the good fight!