Should you ignore someone who makes you question your self-worth, or even your sanity?
Should you ignore a friend who is needy and makes you feel guilty for spending time with others?
Should you ignore a parent who is manipulative and tends to interfere with your goals and dreams?
Or would it be immature?
Honestly, it all depends on the situation. But in general, ignoring someone is not a sign of immaturity. Keep reading…
Is it immature or childish to ignore someone?
No, it is not immature to ignore someone. Ignoring someone is immature only as a form of arrogance or inaction. Provided your behavior does not come from arrogance or a tendency to run away from problems, you are free to ignore those who are toxic to your wellbeing.
For example: let’s say there is an issue in your relationship or friendship, and the issue could easily be fixed if you just let the other person know (we assume they are not aware of it).
In this case, ignoring them would be immature in the sense that a responsible adult would be able to communicate the issue, even if it made them feel a bit uncomfortable.
By contrast, imagine a victim of narcissistic abuse, or toxic management in the workplace, or fake friends who talk behind your back on purpose.
In some circumstances, taking about the issue would not be sensible because either the other person is fully aware of it or they are too silly or stubborn to change.
So what do you do? It depends. But usually, ignoring them is the best solution. Being assertive and standing up for yourself may work as well, but it’s not always the most sensible approach.
The power of ignoring
Fundamentally, everything in the universe is energy. Entities need energy to survive; remove the source of energy and they die off.
This applies to everything including us human beings. We need energy to survive. The most obvious example of that being food. If we don’t eat, we die.
Now, here’s where it gets fascinating: you can apply the same exact principle to emotions and feelings. It may sound weird, but it’s true.
When you ignore someone, you remove their source of energy — your attention, your time, being emotionally involved, changes in your feelings or behavior.
This is why narcissists and bullies are terrified of being ignored. Ignore them, and stop being afraid of them, and they no longer have any power over you.
Why? Because they are no longer able to feed off your negative emotions.
Another example is energy vampires. They feed off your own energy. Ignore an energy vampire, and detach yourself from all their drama and misery, and they can’t touch you.
And like I said, being assertive and standing up for yourself has its place. We all need to be assertive from time to time. You won’t solve all your problems in life if you just ignore them.
But do be aware of the power of ignoring toxic people. It’s powerful and fast and easy. And it’s not immature if you have a good enough reason to do so.
You should ignore someone when…
Thinking about ignoring someone or cutting them off for good? Here are five signs you want to pay attention to.
1. Unacceptable behavior
Anything that has to do with abuse, harassing, bullying, manipulation, etc. is obviously unacceptable behavior. But it’s not always that obvious if the other person is manipulative or becomes aggressive gradually.
One example of this is a narcissist who ignores or abuses their partner after the love bombing phase.
You want to be very clear about your boundaries. And realize that no matter how angry or frustrated the other person may feel, there are things that they simply cannot do.
If you are ever abused, in any way, it’s time to ignore the other person and move on. Respect yourself and don’t waste a second on manipulative people.
2. Their behavior doesn’t change
Here is another important sign you may need to ignore or ghost someone.
Have you already talked to them? Have you tried to set boundaries, explain why or how they hurt you — countless times? Yet the other person simply won’t change?
Regardless of their personality, this isn’t healthy. It’s not healthy for you, and it’s not healthy for them.
If you’re stuck in the same situation because the other person simply won’t change, ask yourself whether it’s worth it to stay on the same path.
3. They are intrusive
Whether it’s intrusive phone calls, text messages, or questions. Anything that makes you feel uncomfortable could be a red flag.
The other person doesn’t have the right to be intrusive. Nor do they have the right to try and control you.
Clear boundaries are one of the foundations of healthy relationships. We must learn to connect with others and be clear on what cannot or should not be shared.
If the other person doesn’t accept boundaries (because they’re too clingy or because they don’t value your time), then give yourself permission to ignore them.
4. You feel drained
Pay attention to your own feelings! Does the other person or group of people drain you (you can check the eight most common signs here)? Then it may be wiser to ignore them.
When you are honest with yourself, and when you are in touch with your own emotions and feelings, it’s surprisingly easy to determine who’s right for you and who isn’t.
Feeling drained all the time (or whenever you meet or talk to the other person) definitely isn’t normal.
If you’re not sure whether it really is the other person, then try to take a break. But if it’s definitely them, you have the right to ignore them — it’s not immature.
5. You need to move on
Lastly, ignoring someone could be the most sensible option, or the only option, if it’s the only way for you to move on.
It’s not your fault, and it’s not necessarily their fault either. There are times in life where you are so focused on your future self you may need to completely ignore those who remind you of your past.
In a way, this doesn’t even count as ignoring. You are simply investing all of your mental energy into something new and cannot afford to spend time with those who are not aligned with what you want.
As the quote says, change is the only constant in life and although it’s usually possible to change without sacrificing any friendship or relationship, at times change needs to be a bit more radical.