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Awesome Ways to Avoid People

Updated on September 7, 2011

Sometimes, you just want to be left alone. Sometimes, you just don't want to listen to Bill from Accounting's hilarious joke about the rabbit and the mailbox. Sometimes, you don't want to listen to your next door neighbor Bernedette going on about Fluffy's most recent cat-bulimia psychotherapy session. Sometimes, you don't even feel like waving or acknowledging another human being.

But how do you avoid looking like a total jerk?

Trust me, young grasshopper. There are ways. I will now introduce to you several means by which you can avoid people in a professional, classy, and downright cool manner. After consulting this helpful guide and honing your avoidance skills, you'll never have to suffer unwanted social interaction again.


Hiding in Plain Sight

Hands down, this is one of the best ways to avoid people.

I have outlined this tactic in greater detail in a separate guide, however the gist is this: you must dress or style yourself in a very distinctive manner on a consistent basis so that when you do not assume your getup, nobody will recognize you.

This tactic relies on general human laziness, for most people tend to rely on very superficial characteristics to recognize their acquaintances, and will therefore not notice friends and neighbors when they lack a distinctive hairstyle or outfit.

Hey, it works.
Hey, it works. | Source

Feigning Sickness

I must admit, I have utilized this tactic more than once, and chances are you have too. Don't feel bad about it. All the cool kids do it (Exhibit A: Ferris Bueller).

The key to using this tactic in a respectable manner is creativity. Add a little drama to your performance. Delve into your inner actor and work up some flare that'll really wow those you seek to avoid. Make them not only leave you alone, but want to stay away.

You may make your sickness more convincing by:

  • Rubbing your face hard with a wet washcloth before presenting yourself
  • Sharing an origins story along the lines of "I should have seen this coming... it all started when that homeless woman spat in my eye."
  • Eating something exceedingly spicy before speaking in person or on the phone with Those to Be Avoided
  • Running to your rendezvous point when meeting with Those to Be Avoided
  • Icing your hands before making physical contact with Those to Be Avoided

Works like a charm
Works like a charm | Source

Wearing a Cape

Believe it or not, dressing in an odd manner is an excellent way to make others avoid you. Wearing a cape, for example, is tantamount to actually soaking yourself in human repellant.

I make a habit of wearing somewhat "different" outfits. Some are more flamboyant. I have found that the more costume-like my outfits become (e.g. requiring petticoats, strange headpieces, very, very bright colors), the less likely I am to be approached by others, or to have friends walk with me from one place to another.

I don't know if people avoid the oddly-dressed because being seen with them is embarrassing or because the oddly-dressed are somehow more intimidating/disgusting/strange. All I know is that it works. So if you want people to avoid you (and therefore



Just as ninja have been known to create small, controlled, smokey explosions to make a quick getaway, you can employ the art of distraction to avoid those with whom you do not wish to converse.

Simply think of a good distraction and deploy it before you have been hooked into a conversation. Ideally, this distraction will be utilized before complete eye contact has been made. At the very least, one should distract one's opponent before greetings are exchanged.

To distract one long enough to make a quick getaway, one can:

  • Adopt an alarmed expression while looking behind one's opponent
  • Covertly drop some change to the side to make one's opponent turn his or her head
  • Wave to a (nonexistent) person behind one's opponent
  • Point to a (probably nonexistent) thing behind one's opponent

While the offending person has a turned head, swift evasive tactics must be employed. Distraction is useless if you do not move quickly.

Of course, if these preventative measures fail, you could always carry a small smoke bomb with you and pull the ninja escape thing from time to time. Even if it doesn't work, it'll be hilarious!

Good Luck!

I wish you the best of luck in your avoidance of others. I sure know how it feels to want to be left alone, so my heart goes out to everyone who is unfairly detained by chatty neighbors, forward strangers, and insensitive friends, family, and coworkers.

If you have a tactic that works particularly well for you, share it in the comments below! You'll be contributing to the betterment of society. Believe me.


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    • HubPages profile image


      6 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      Hey, plain rude works!

    • Hendrika profile image


      6 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      I find that distraction works the best for me, I have to admit that I am plain rude sometimes if I am desperate.

    • tamarawilhite profile image

      Tamara Wilhite 

      7 years ago from Fort Worth, Texas

      Another option is to sit on a couch or chair in the books and print magazine section of the library. Very quiet.

    • toknowinfo profile image


      7 years ago

      Very enjoyable read and some very creative ideas too! Thanks for putting this hub together. I never know when I will need to refer to this. Lots of fun to read. Thanks for the good laughs. Rated up all the way.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      These were so funny! I've only tried the sick one - lots of coughing, looking as if I'm trying not to sneeze. That usually does the trick. Thanks for giving us a laugh and more ammunition.

    • Nare Anthony profile image

      Nare Gevorgyan 

      7 years ago

      Ohhh how awesome! At last I know how to do it! Wearing a Cape is my favorite lol! Great job Simone!

    • learner365 profile image

      Saadia A 

      7 years ago

      OMG this is hilarious :D .I will definitely try wearing a cape next time.Loved your ideas,gave me a good laugh :)

    • ytsenoh profile image


      7 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

      Awesome, funny, creative, truthful, great tips for my Thursday. Thanks. If I had a third thumb, you'd get that too.

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      I LOVE THAT!!!

    • alezafree profile image

      A Freeman 

      7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I would also like to submit for your consideration: Pretending you are trying to bite your own ear off whilst walking down the street. It sends that whole "I might be rabid and/or clinically insane" type of message that tends to help you effectively lose friends and alienate people.

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Unanomously anonymous, let me just say that you've selected a brilliant commenting handle.

    • profile image

      Unanomously anonymous 

      7 years ago

      I'm so glad there's other people in the world like me, and i'm so glad the internet has finally updated after 5 years of looking how to avoid people.

    • Brian Burton profile image

      Brian Burton 

      7 years ago

      Wow, too funny! Had to vote up and give you recommendations across the board. Nice!

    • Brightonbreezy profile image


      7 years ago from Brighton, UK

      Yes, the cape option is for me. Although this wouldn't be that unusual in Brighton, people would probably think it was the new fashion!

    • adrienne2 profile image

      Adrienne F Manson 

      7 years ago from Atlanta

      What a unique hub topic! I really like the tip on dressing oddly, that's a sure way to avoid people.

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Beliefe me, missolive, I have been lectured on cat bulimia many a time. And may have given some of those lectures myself.

      Agreed, Brett.Tesol- going for the superhero look is far more entertaining!

      And it's all about the little things, isn't it, TattooKitty!

    • TattooKitty profile image


      7 years ago from Hawaii

      Super-funny! I definitely like the idea of wearing a cape- who knew it was that easy to make people uncomfortable? LOL! Thanks for the great read!!

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett C 

      7 years ago from Asia

      Very funny read, like your style! The simple cell-phone ring is always a good one, but the 'super-hero' outfit could get far more interesting reactions lol.

      Voted up and funny.

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      7 years ago from Texas

      I loved this! "Cat bulemia" lol

      Great hub Simone!

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      What can I say, Abby Lysach! When the practical methods fail, one must resort to more creative tactics.

    • Abby Lysach profile image

      Abby Lysach 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      When I read the sickness part, I knew there's something going on here. But when I read next on the cape and ninja's stuffs, I realize those were silly ideas... But it works! What a great hub, had me laughing all the way through. Thanks for the great ideas, Simone.

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      JeniferRW, you are my hero. That is the best idea ever.

      And thanks so much for the compliment!! I'm a fan of the Hubs you've published so far, too, and can't wait to see what you write next!

    • JeniferRW profile image


      7 years ago from Couch

      I punch people and run. Later, when they ask you about it or call the police or whatever the case me be, just deny it. You will definitely get your alone time at first though.

      Seriously, I just love all your Hubs! I have just spent the morning reading through them. Your style is hilarious and super entertaining. I cant stop!

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      All excellent approaches, applecsmith!

      And thanks, Stephanie Henkel! Hahaa, it's amazing what a difference some coffee can make. And WOW- Mickey Mouse ears!! That's BRILLIANT!!!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      7 years ago from USA

      Great Hub, Simone, as there are always time when we want to avoid people. I've taught my husband to never even talk to me before I have two cups of coffee by just growling at him. At work, I could usually get people to keep their distance if I started swearing at the copy machine or kicking my file cabinet...and then there are the Mickey Mouse ears from 1960...

    • applecsmith profile image

      Carrie Smith 

      7 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      I have definitely used the "I'm sick" and "Distraction" methods. I get other people to be interested in something else, or another topic if I'm trying to avoid a particular subject. Thanks for the great ideas, Simone.

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow, so many comments! Thanks for reading, y'all!!

      And Dusty, it sounds like a pro.

      LittlePayday, your trick is BRILLIANT!! I'm going to give that a try. And I'll get even more of a kick out of it because I don't even have a car! I also like your technology jargon tactic, mtsi1098. I'll have to try that, too!

      So true, theseattlegirl and Ruchira. Working from home is the ultimate preemptive avoidance tactic. Though it is nice to get out from time to time.

      I've pulled that phone trick from time to time, too, Cloverleaf! Alas, I actually know a couple of clipboard/charity folks who work the sidewalks by my office who will literally PULL the phones away from folks who do that. It's made me rethink the tactic! It's always a game of cat and mouse, right?

      Wow, that's a great example of avoidance gone wrong, Rosemay50!

      It really is all about the cape, leroy64. And I think that other half does the same thing you do, so they're unfazed!

      You hit the nail on the head, wannabwestern. Right on.

    • wannabwestern profile image

      Carolyn Augustine 

      7 years ago from Iowa

      I am really impressed and maybe just a teeeeeny bit jealous that you thought of this first. And here I thought capes were just for Halloween and the Society for Creative Anachronisms and Harry Potter wannabes and Trekkers.....Hmmm....Yes, now I see your point. Maybe I'll get some Vulcan ears to go with them!

      Methinks this hub speaks to all of us writers. Isn't HubPages in some ways a way to hide in plain sight?

    • leroy64 profile image

      Brian L. Powell 

      7 years ago from Dallas, Texas (Oak Cliff)

      Oh, now I understand what I am doing wrong. I will get my cape out of storage.

      I thought that staring directly into peoples eyes when they talk to me will drive them away. That only works with about half of the people I talk to. The other half, I wind up dating. They think I am sensitive, or something like that. Can't figure out why.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have to say I have and still do some of these...It works great for in-laws also...I have found another tactic that works for getting out of boring meetings. Ask an encrypted question laced with technology jargon or answer a question with the same jargon :) Well done...

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Yes, yes, yes; secrets of invisibility...

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 

      7 years ago from Illinois

      Too funny. There are a few people I do try and avoid at times, especially if I'm just trying to get an awful task done like grocery shopping. Maybe I should buy a cape for the grocery store.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 

      7 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      What a great hub, had me laughing all the way through. I loved all of these suggestions. Must go out and buy a cape. I use the on the phone trick. And when a neighbor stops me I say ‘do excuse me but I need to got to the bathroom.

      I’ll tell you what doesn’t work. When I was very young I had a workmate who had just been dumped and wanted a few days off work to be alone. Crazy girl only told the boss her mother had just died. Of course her mother hit the roof when there was a knock at the door and a wreath was being delivered.

    • Cloverleaf profile image


      7 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Oh Simone, your hub had me laughing from start to finish!

      I must admit (now don't go telling anyone else this) I have been known to quickly pick up the phone and pretend that I'm talking to someone to avoid an unwanted interruption. Just by gesturing that I'm on the phone and making "uh uh, mm yes" noises, it seems to work and the interrupter will usually wander off. Of course, I'm not in the habit of doing this though :-)


    • Ruchira profile image


      7 years ago from United States

      I agree with theseattlegirl's comment...working from home makes us definitely feel isolated at times but mostly more productive and calm :)

      Loved your topic though...cheers!

    • theseattlegirl profile image


      7 years ago from Seattle, WA

      May I add "Working from Home"?

      You never figure you'll miss seeing those pesky office employees with their occasional drama until you work from home! Just a trip to the local coffee shop seems an enormous blessing some days!

    • hafeezrm profile image


      7 years ago from Pakistan

      Nice hub. I would try some tricks.

    • profile image 

      7 years ago

      Loved it! Staying away I find is a good one - just don't show up - you don't even have to dress differently for this one! LOL - the downside is taking the flak when you do eventually show!

    • anglnwu profile image


      7 years ago

      Haha, love your avoidance antics. Being Asian has its advantages. One of my go-to tactics: I look dazed and shake my head, "Me, no speak English." It works most of the time unless it's someone I which case, I may pull out my cape.

    • wordscribe43 profile image

      Elsie Nelson 

      7 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

      Love it... Now to find my cape!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Sorry can't stop I am on way to the std clinic.Bye !!!

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 

      7 years ago

      hehehe I like all these ideas, especially the cape! Sometimes when strangers try to talk to me at a bus stop, I just pretend I don't speak English and have no ideas what they're saying. It always works. :)

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Simone, I just love your sense of humor. i have tried the sick suggestion but it didn't help me - I teach middle school and my students just seem to want to gather around me and try to make me feel bettr. I never thought of wearing odd looking clothes, maybe that would work. But wait, it may make me blend in instead. Oh well, great suggestions. Thanks for the laugh.

    • Robwrite profile image


      7 years ago from Oviedo, FL

      Excellent suggestions. Avoiding people is a necessary life skill. I, personally, am very good at it. I admit I don't generally worry so much about being rude, though, if I want to be alone.

      Nice work,


    • Austinstar profile image


      7 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

      dark mirrored sunglasses, check; cape, check; petticoat, check; fake tattoos, check; large cell phone, check.

      Now no one will ever speak to me again! Thanks, Simone

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      Simone, funny hub enjoyed it and I'm kinda crude in this arena. I figure I'm old enough that I can do some kinda crazy stuff, I have developed a "fart on command ability of 70%" a well blown fart that is audible in a crowd at the grocery followed by "pretty good sound but needs work on aroma" that statement makes them want to get away from me LOL.

      I wear a hat pretty much 100 percent and simply taking it off and undoing my 28 inch pony tail makes me hard to spot.

      My shirt of tattoos [naked women theme] if displayed in a tank top make most folks more than willing to avoid me.

      I fall to these things when on a mission and I don't care to stand in a grocery listening to ones life history of the past 6 months, rather meet and sit to visit do to my three quarter left leg.

      I'll say, "cut through all the crap and tell me what your getting at or wanting me to know" and it works well.

      I got more and will, maybe, return, that is unless you throw down a good retort to run me off, LOL



    • profile image


      7 years ago

      A grand and studied art you have developed. At Hub Camp I noticed how good you were at disappearing. You remind me of Sherlock Holmes

    • selfdefenselesson profile image


      7 years ago

      Haha I love your weird Hubs.

      Inspires me to write retarded stuff like this.

    • Erika Marie profile image

      Erika Moriarty 

      7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Funny! I can attest to the fact that wearing a cape in public does indeed work to keep people away. People stare, but believe me they stay away! I love wearing capes for this reason;) I am going to give some of your other suggestions a try. Thanks for a good laugh (and sound advice)!

    • Chatkath profile image


      7 years ago from California

      Too funny, although honestly, everyone has times when they just do not want to get social! Thanks for the incredibly original tips!

    • KMattox profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      I said it before Samone, you're funny. Thanks for the laugh (again) KMattox

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      7 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Very funny Simone. Now if you'll excuse me I have to go buy a cape.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      7 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Hiding in plain sight! Awesome idea! I'm going to give that a try! Funny, funny hub!

    • Allana Calhoun profile image

      Allana Calhoun 

      7 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Loved this! Creative and funny too! And although some ideas sound a little crazy - sometimes that's the best way to make people avoid you!

    • Robin profile image

      Robin Edmondson 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      You crack me up, Simone. Your amazingly original outfits are an added bonus to walking down the street with you! I will definitely keep the cape idea in mind when I want to be avoided; I have a feeling people would think I have fallen off my rocker if I did that. Unfortunately, we don't have boys or that could be a good excuse!

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      This is hilarious! I often see people I'd rather not have to interact with (exes of all varieties) that now I'll have an effective set of tools at my disposal to avoid. I usually grab my phone and pretend I'm reading something very important as I dart past them!

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      7 years ago

      I think it is the embarassment issue when you dress oddly. Certainly people in school who weren't interested in any spirit day type participation who freak out if they had to sit next to someone wearing a Halloween costume or school colours etc. These do work, yes, but not with people who live with you. I live alone now, but if you live with someone who is sick, for example, there is only so far away you can get from the sick person.

    • Winsome profile image


      7 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      Simone you have covered the basics for dealing with TTBA's well. You can also look at them with your eyes crossed while you are talking to them or carry on another conversation with a non-existent person who yells at you while you are talking to TTBA's or count to 20 before responding to a question. Any of these will have them looking at their watches and bounding off. This gives you lots of time to prepare for TTBP's. (pursued) =:)

    • Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

      Tracy Lynn Conway 

      7 years ago from Virginia, USA

      What a humorous approach to handling interactions. Thanks for the laugh! Voted up and funny.

    • RTalloni profile image


      7 years ago from the short journey

      Fabulous and fabulously funny!

      I like very dark glasses. People don't like to look in the face of someone with large dark glasses on so they tend to walk away.

      Your hub made me think of one to use when we are blindsided with no escape: in the middle of a sentence stop, look blank, and say, "Oh no. I've forgotten something important. You'll have to excuse me." and walk away tsking one's self.

      Great stuff--I look forward to seeing the comments this hub will generate. :)

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 

      7 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      Great hub, Simone, very funny ... I shall road test all your suggestions and see which is the most effective.

      Voted up, funny ... and useful!

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie Marie 

      7 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      This is an awesome hub. I don't have any good ideas on what does work to avoid people, but I can tell you one technique that does not work: having earbuds in your ears listening to music. Countless elderly neighbors still stop and bother me even though I make it obvious that I am forced to turn down my music or take out the earbuds to talk to them. I understand they may not see them at first, but once I make it obvious, they should back off. It never stops them. It never stops anyone asking me for directions either. I need to start working on looking crazy and that should get rid of them. I hope.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image


      7 years ago from United States

      Love it, Simone! I think I shall wear a cape when out in public..but then my son will want to wear one too. Does multiple cape wearers keep more people away? ;) I have also seen people pretend to be on their cell phone when trying to avoid others. I used that tactic once when a fellow employee known to talk for hours cornered me after worked like a charm!

      Thanks for giving me a good laugh!

    • waynet profile image

      Wayne Tully 

      7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Wow! I've tried some of those distractions and they really do work like OMG!!? Christ has risen sporting an afro and he's right across the street!!

      I once had this friend who dressed like Coco the Clown and the distraction technique worked everytime!

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      7 years ago from South Carolina

      Thanks for a good chuckle. I stick my nose in a book when I want to be left alone. Those trying to start conversations about the book get short answers delivered with a smile, but then my head goes back down toward the book. Unless of course, the person trying to start the conversation does so with great wit and seems more interesting than my current read. (smile)

      Voted up, funny and interesting.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      7 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Yes - all very good ideas, Simone.

      But try topping this one: Move from hip apartment in large city entertainment district to travel trailer in rural Texas.

      It's amazing the results I've got with this method. I used to be exposed to thousands and thousands of persons daily, and now I've narrowed it down to the two demons that brought me into this hideous orb, and I can just lock the door when tired of them. . .


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