Bad Behavior? 5 Ways to Ignore It When Someone Acts Out

Everyone has good and bad days. Keep in mind when we’re talking about bad behavior, we’re not only referring to kids. I’m sure you know from personal experience that grown men and women also suffer from bouts of badness. So, why would you ignore someone’s bad behavior?  Because the perpetrator is probably just bored and looking for someone to ‘play’ with.  If you don’t buy-in, then there’s no game. We’re trying not to reward bad behavior. Just sayin’.

5 Ways to Ignore Someone’s Bad Behavior

How to defuse the situation when someone is acting out.

1. Remove yourself

Simple, isn’t it? When confronted by bad behavior, just put yourself in a time-out. There are a number of ways to do it. For example, you could take a walk, go to your room, go for a ride to get something to eat, call a stress-buddy, or hide in the bathroom. The important thing is to separate yourself from the person who wants to tussle. Don’t play their game.

2. Change the subject

Redirection can allow everyone to focus on something that makes them smile. Basically, you’ll want to manage the other’s feelings by changing the subject. If they’re able to settle down a bit, you both can get to a point where you can effectively express yourselves and acknowledge each other.

3. Turn a negative into a positive

Otherwise known as seeing the sunshine, we attempt to turn the negative bad behavior into something good. By using a phrase like, “The good thing about this situation is that it allows us to learn more about each other’s expectations. And, we can begin to have a conversation that will make our relationship stronger.”

4. Respond, don’t react

Bad behavior has a way of getting to you and making you say or do things you don’t mean. Unless you make a conscious effort to respond in a thoughtful, well-meaning way, it’s easy to mirror the behavior you’re seeing. Don’t be pulled into a confrontation just because the other person has rattled your cage. Take your time and feel good about your response. This is a teaching opportunity that will definitely pay off.

5. Pay a Compliment

Paying someone a compliment is a sure way to help them use better behavior. As an example, it could be something as easy as, “Do you know what I like about you?” Think about the possibilities – their passion for a particular subject, the way they stand up for themselves when they think they’re right, or even their intelligence and good looks. It’s a sure way to get them to settle down enough to open a dialogue.

By the way, here’s a post that will teach you what to look for when someone’s considering being naughty. It’s about learning to read people’s faces and expressions.

One more thing, try this Dance Safari post, “12 Easy Ways to Stay Cheerful When Surrounded by the Cheerless” for some ideas to help you stay happy and relaxed.

dance safari logo


  1. Good recommendations. I met another guest at a B&B twho asked where I lived. Once he heard it, he immediately made a snide comment about our governor. I told him his information might not be correct. He continued om the same vein, so I asked if we could agree to disagree and t talk about something else. He still continued to be bellicose so I left the room. He was supposed to be a long term guest at the B&B, visiting his family be day and spending the night in the Inn. I later heard he left sooner than expected. My unsubstantiated guess is that even his family got tired of his willingness to overshare his ill informed opinions.

Leave a Reply