One of the most useful things we can do to alleviate uncomfortable or distressing situations or people is to ignore them. When we ignore small instances of facetiousness or loud tantrums, most likely the instigators of the disturbance will stop once they realize they are not getting the attention they desired. When we ignore someone who is ranting and raving on about something irrelevant to the situation, the hope is that they will stop, and think about what they are saying instead of continuing on with greater and greater separation from the point of the original discussion. We can also use ignoring as a matter of manners; when we see someone obviously embarrassed about an action or word of theirs, we can turn away and allow them to recover their equanimity rather than staring and flustering them further. This is not to say that to ignore an uncomfortable situation is always the way to handle one; in some situations ignoring is the worst thing to do. If we don’t use our powers of observation and assessment at a time we are tempted to ignore an action or words, we be contributing to the worsening of that same situation. We must look, assess, and make an informed choice about how to treat any volatile circumstances. Isn’t assessment better than always ignoring a situation or leaping into it with both feet?