Sometimes It’s Best to Ignore People

When you know that you’re not going to be able to give a nice response back to something someone has said, then it may be best to ignore him or her.  People can really work your nerves sometimes, so just try to ignore many of the things people do intentionally and unintentionally to get on your nerves.  Sometimes people will get out of their place and try to get all in your business.  Now, one has the option to respond to nosy individuals in harsh ways or one can elect to say nothing to them at all.  There comes a time when you will not be able to hold back from going off on nosy people, and they need going off on many times, but you will find that you will affect those nosy people in greater ways by ignoring them.  How so?  Nosy people don’t like to be ignored.  They become frustrated, angry, restless, and etc.—things that simply going off on them will not necessarily be able to produce.  You’ll be the one who wins when you engender these emotions from nosy people.

Respect people’s privacy!  If people don’t have a desire to share something with you, then you shouldn’t be looking for them to share that something with you.  You certainly shouldn’t be feeling like they owe it to you to share their personal business with you.  Now, when a person usually shares almost everything with you and responds to almost everything you say, then it can be a little surprising to experience him or her not willing to divulge information to you.  However, when there are those certain moments when a tremendously open and transparent person doesn’t want to reveal things to others, then he or she shouldn’t be criticized for not being forthcoming.  Everything is not for you to know and everything is not for everyone to reveal, especially not publicly.  People can be so selfish and think that you should just promulgate all of your business to them for it to circulate in the public domain.

For you nosy people, have you ever considered that people might not want to unveil certain information to you because it could be a matter of safety?

What drives people to want to know everything about everybody’s personal business?

If nosy people would invest more time concentrating on their own business, then they might be much better people and they might make greater progress on pursuing their own goals.  Often if nosy people would just wait a little longer, people will disclose the information that they want to know.  What’s more interesting to learn, however, is what does learning the personal business of others do for nosy people?  Nosy people should go out and make their own news, live out their own dreams, and pursue their own interests and stop devoting their time to worrying about learning about what’s going on with other people’s private business.

When you don’t want to share private information or any other information with others, then don’t feel compelled to offer it.  Some moments and information must remain private—no matter how open and transparent a person you are.  Yes, you can be open and transparent but don’t be a fool!

People reveal personal information to you when they feel comfortable divulging that information.  Therefore, you may learn a significant amount about people’s comfort level with you when they are unwilling to disclose personal information to you.

Start pressing the “ignore button” more on your phone and metaphorically in your interactions off of the phone with nosy people.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison


  1. People are good for this nonsense at day jobs… it is so sad. You have the mayor’s wife archetype of individual who lives, craps and breathes the job, not as a career but as life. They HAVE to know where you went to school, whether you’re married or not… wait you’re still single? Are you…. “no?” How come? Haven’t found the right one yet? Pry, pry, pry, pry, pry… I see you have a new car, wow Jim is really paying you guys well in your department….

    Lemme stop, I’m already annoyed even illustrating that example. Nosy people suck badly and in the work environment you lack the choice of going off so silence is the only option or fold and tell em your life so they can use it against you later. Ugh, ya you have to ignore these no-lifes.

    I live and breath the principles of locking annoying people out of my life and being unavailable. Great point.

    1. Lol! Thanks, Greg. Trust me, I very much understand your frustrations. These nosy people would have a life if they would invest more time in living out their own lives. I greatly appreciate you for reading and your very good response.

  2. I always try to keep my distant between people. I have a few friends’ space I can invade and vice versa. Knowing that many time we’re trying to give each other space. I think that’s part of the relationship; knowing when to pull back. Ignore seems like such a harsh word though…

    1. Even when it comes to friends, we sometimes have to ignore them too, especially if they are trying to get us to reveal things that we are not willing to share. Maintaining privacy is crucial. Yes, we all have those friends that we can share more private things with, but even in those friendships there has to be a respect for those moments and information that they don’t desire to share. Ignore may be harsh in other contexts, but not in the context(s) of this article. We ignore people many times, even when we press “ignore” on our cell phones or simply just let the phone ring–that’s not “harsh,” but it’s still ignoring them. Yes, we can invade people’s space, but we should have an invitation to invade their space. Thanks for reading and your response.

  3. I detest, matter of fact I loathe NOSY people who insist on knowing every detail about my business! I can’t stand them, nor can I hide the fact that they are irritating as all hell! Hell hath no fury like African Mami nosed up by nosy people!


    1. Lol! I certainly feel you. I get a “UMIME!” for this article–YESSSSS!!!! Lol. Seriously, nosy people can be some of the most irritating people in the world. Thanks for reading and your response. I always appreciate you for reading and your feedback.

  4. There is a saying, if you too busy in everyone’s business, then your own will go under. Some people just do not know when to stop trying to find out information, if they wanted you to know they would have told you. This article spoke to me because I’m very private, so when I find out people try to acquire about my personal life or what do I do for a living, etc. it ticks me off.

    1. Very true! People have to respect folks’ privacy. I really don’t understand how it will benefit people to learn other folks’ personal business all the time. To me, it seems like nosy people have some weak minds. Nosy people truly are not busy enough because if they were they would not have time to be all up in other folks’ personal business. Thanks for reading and your response.

  5. Great post, T! It’s often stated that some people have too much time on their hands, therefore, resulting in melding in others business. This is true. Some people are nosy, but most are just seeking attention or seeking to destroy relationships. I often exercise my father’s “smile and nod”. Basically, all it says to me is, “I know what you are doing and I choose not to dispense any energy towards pacifying or acknowledging your insecurity”. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks, San! Many nosy people out there are battling deep self-esteem issues and they need to address them to overcome their desire to stay in other people’s business. I very much appreciate your response and thanks for reading.

    2. Thanks, San! Many nosy people out there are battling deep self-esteem issues and they need to address them to overcome their desire to stay in other people’s business. I very much appreciate your response and thanks for reading.

  6. “Life is full of noise.” Most of this noise is generated by people who we do not need in our lives, let alone our business. By hitting the ignore button, you eliminate much of the unnecessary noise.

    Preach brother!

  7. Thank you for this article. I am wondering if we, as private people, attract nosy people into our lives. I am literally surrounded by them! All our family wanted was a house to build our family and we have retired, nosy people living in adjacent houses to us!! I, in case you haven’t picked up on it, am a private person. Preserving the precious moments of my children’s youth and other loved ones is sacred to me. They chronicle everything, then have the audacity to intrude my guests and children!!!
    Does retirement and sickness give people the right to be nosy? We are planning to relocate after 5 years of frustration.
    I need to learn to press the “ignore” button. I have hope for this technique. Thank you.

    1. Some people just will never stop being nosy–no matter what you do. You can, however, elect to ignore them. I encourage you to just ignore many of these nosy people. I think nosy people are really attracted to private people because they want to know why they are private and not so public like them. Thanks for reading and your response.

  8. I agree with many of the comments on this site, i find nosey people annoying myself yes try to ignore them but sometimes it isn’t always easy i find. I call this situation wanting to know the ins and outs of a ducks bottom when they fire questions at you. A friend even asked me if my next door neighbour was going to have kids my reply was i have no idea she would not like me asking such a personal question and i would not like it either, the friend doesn’t know this neighbour anyway. Why do some people give you the third degree it is most annoying and can stress you out i find, This is a very good acticle on how to deal with nosey people and gives some good tips. But i have now distanced myself from these type of people as i don’t want pryers, perhaps they should get on with their own lives and leave me alone.

  9. I am a considerably attractive,free-spirited woman in my 50’s. I am very private and do-not answer my door. There are 3 women who live on the end of me…always watching me whenever I get into my car toi go somewhere…and I hear them saying…where is she going. And whenever I have company…I hear…who is there with her???…The one woman is on welfare,the other retired and the third…a house-wfie with 2 children. this goes on day-after-day. What can I do so they focus on something or/someone else and LEAVE ME ALONE?????……Nancy

  10. I always wonder why people invest too much time in others. I usually get strangers butting into my business and pursuing my daily life like it is their hobby. I just want to understand why people are so mean? When I need help nobody ever helps me but when I do not need it everyone makes sure that I feel like I am helpless. Any ideas why people act this way?

    1. People who are so mean have deep self-esteem problems or low-self esteem, even though they may look confident on the outside. People who feel the need to make you feel helpless are struggling with deep self-esteem problems or low self-esteem. They want you to share in their internal problems by making you feel less than whole as they do. I hope that my answers have provided you with a good foundation to understand your questions. I very much appreciate you for reading and your response.

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