Sometimes, all you want is to be alone. Perhaps, you don’t want to be in the company of people who bring your energy down, or maybe there’s someone you want to avoid because you don’t feel like having a conversation.
To naturally avoid someone in public, the best way is to appear busy. Pretend to be on a phone call through your headphones, for example, or take on a behind-the-scenes organizational task at an event.
While it’s possible to avoid someone in public, you should try not to look weird in the process. Acting normally is the best way to do it. So, here are tips on how to avoid someone in public in a natural way.
Avoid Making Eye Contact
Eye contact is a major initiator of conversations. If you make eye contact with a person, don’t be surprised if you start talking within seconds.
Generally, according to a 2016 article by ResearchGate, eye contact shows interest and if the other person gets interested in you, the action that follows is a conversation. 
Especially for people who are good in random and casual conversations, eye contact is the signal that invites them in. So, for you to avoid someone in public, avoid eye contact as much as possible.
For example, if you’re in a concert and you spot someone you don’t want to interact with, make sure you don’t make eye contact.
The tricky thing is that you’ll have to avoid directing your eyes toward that direction for the entire time the person will be there. However, since your goal is to avoid the person, you’ll have to shift your focus from that area completely.
Keep your eyes busy to avoid the uncomfortable situation of meeting the person you’re trying to avoid staring at you. You have to maintain focus since you’re the person on a mission.
It might be difficult to concentrate on something else while you try to avoid eye contact, especially if you’ll be there for a long time such as at a concert. However, if you’re in a supermarket, you’ll avoid eye contact for a few minutes and leave after buying what you want.
Regardless of the location and event, as long as you avoid eye contact, you’ll succeed in avoiding the person.
Pretend to Be Making a Phone Call
A phone call is largely a private conversation that other people have to respect. That is why people can walk out of a room to receive a phone call.
This is another trick you can use to avoid a person in public.
If you’re in a meeting or gathering and the person you want to avoid is present, it may be awkward to walk away without good reason to do so. The best thing to do is to do something that will not raise suspicion from the person and perhaps other people in the gathering.
Since a phone call is a conversation between you and the other person on the line, the people in your presence will definitely give you time to call.
So, all you need to do is to pretend to pick up a call and move away from the rest of the group to continue with the conversation.
You can just say:
“Excuse me, let me make a call”
The people around you will understand. Be confident as you excuse yourself. In a 2022 article by the New York Times, confidence is a key communication component. 
Also, since this is a fake conversation, you got to make it look real so that the person you’re avoiding doesn’t suspect that you’re avoiding them. Make gestures to show that you’re in a deep conversation with the person on the line.
However, don’t overdo the act because it can backfire; just act normally. Something else to avoid is walking away very fast from the gathering. This will raise suspicion too. Remember, you should look very natural as you do this.
Hide in the Crowd
Another thing you can choose to do to avoid someone in public is to hide in the crowd. For example, if you’re at a social function such as a wedding, it’s easy to hide in a crowd and avoid someone seeing you or locating where you are.
If you spot where the person is, you can find a different place and sit there. This way, you’ll be seeing the person and have control of the situation.
You can even inform the people you’re with about your plan so that they participate in hiding you, if possible.
You can say something like this:
“I don’t want that guy wearing red to spot me. Allow me to stay here with you for a few minutes.”
It will be easier to be in control of the whole situation because the person you’re avoiding doesn’t know where you are. You’ll be able to continue enjoying the event because your chances of being spotted are minimal.
For this tip, you’re trying to make it difficult for the person you’re avoiding to engage with you. He has already seen you, but your goal is to engage yourself with so much that he doesn’t have time to converse with you.
If you’re at a conference, you can volunteer to work with the sound desk or the hospitality team to do some of their chores.
You can approach one of them and ask:
“I would like to help. What can I do?”
Once they agree to your request, you may be required to be at a designated place where the rest of the people cannot be. Also, you may be required to move up and down such that it’s difficult for the person to meet you.
This is an effective way of avoiding someone in public.
Put in Earphones
This is another tip you can use to avoid someone in public. For this one, you’re trying to show the person that you can’t hear them. In reality, you can hear them calling you, but you pretend you can’t hear because of the music playing through your ears.
The person will know that it’s because of the earphones that you couldn’t hear them. Also, the person may just decide to leave you alone because you seem very engaged with your gadget.
In order to convince the person that you’re genuinely concentrating on your gadget, try to make simple gestures to show how engaged you are.
Katie Holmes is a senior author at everyday-courtesy.com with over 15 years of experience in marketing and psychology. As a freelance consultant, she also supports companies and executives in overcoming communication challenges. Katie is a passionate digital nomad working on her first book on the art of communication.