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The Ultimate Guide On How To Turn Someone Down Without Hurting His Feelings

Being dumped (ouch!) sucks! But saying no to someone can feel worse. Men might think otherwise, but the truth is women don’t enjoy rejecting someone. And there are plenty of times when turning someone down leads to uncomfortable or even unsafe situations. For this reason, women try their best to turn men down as gently as possible. Strangely, they end up hurting men more, thereby causing problems for everyone!

Today, let us look into how we can carry out a rejection in a more mature and respectful way, which is in everybody’s best interests. But first, you need to know where you are going wrong. Here are some incorrect ways of turning someone down which many of us are guilty of.

Suggested read: 10 graceful ways of turning down a date without hurting their feelings

a. Avoiding

bad date_New_Love_Times

Image source: Tumblr

“Okay, so I will ignore his calls and texts, and I am sure he will know that I’m not interested anymore.”

This one always backfires. Most men cannot move on unless they get an obvious rejection. They will not be able to believe it has happened if you don’t tell them explicitly. And then there are men who will hound you ‘til you reject them outright! The point is, ignoring the problem will not make it go away.

b. Engaging without committing

“I will stay in touch with him, but will stop meeting him, making lame excuses every time. He will soon get tired and give up on me.”

Trying to save yourself from the trauma of saying to his face? Or you still want his attention because hey! That feels good! The guy keeps asking you out and you keep postponing it. When he does realize that you are only stringing him along, he is sure to get upset, and rightly so!

c. Not being ready yet

“I don’t want to see someone right now. In the future, I might, but now, NO!”

Okay, imagine what is going to happen if this guy finds you traipsing around with another guy? He will start accusing you of lying to him! The truth is that you are not into him at all, and that’s why you don’t want to date him, in particular. You are inviting horrible situations by hurting this guy who will want to hurt you back!

d. Turning the rejected into friends


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“I cannot date you, but we can be friends!”

An awful suggestion this! The guy might say yes, and you think that he has handled it well. Little do you know that he is thinking of ways to make you change your mind! Hanging around according to him is: More time to make the impossible possible. So, this guy will linger on under the façade of a friend, and when you do get involved with someone else, he will flip out! He will get angry with you for ‘using’ him, when the truth is that you were only being a friend!

So next time you think of turning down a guy by becoming friends with him, think again. Do you really want to be friends with him? Or are you trying to make him feel a little less bitter? If so, I suggest you just move on, and let him do the same.

So how do we go about turning someone down gently? Here are some tips.

1. The easiest way out!

It is uncommon to find an easy exit out of an uncomfortable situation. Most of the times, we leave the crime scene either with the help of an excuse or the truth. What if I tell you there are other legit ways of saying “No” to an awkward ask out? Here are some.

  • You are in a relationship with someone else already, and you guys are going quite strong.
  • You live quite far away from this person interested in you, and are not up for a long distance relationship.
  • You are going to move abroad soon! So no point.

Yep, that is it! He is sure to prod a little more, but the above three should do the trick! For those of you who are single, available, and not relocating anytime soon, the following excuses should be more than enough!

2. One line that does it all!

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Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

There is one typical line that you can use to turn someone down politely, and it goes somewhat like this:

“I am extremely flattered, but I don’t see you the way you are expecting me to. I am sorry. I hope I have not hurt your feelings.”

And if you guys were friends before, add:

“Can we still be friends? Only if you are comfortable with that.”

Men don’t like no for an answer, and this works only if he is a practical chap. For the insensible but sensitive ones, apply the next tip.

Suggested read: Tips on how to cope with rejection

3. Stop explaining yourself!

More than often, nice girls need to handle things in a clear and simple way by just saying NO! The power of no is something women need to be taught about. No is a perfect and concise response which leaves little, yet a lot to the imagination. If you do not want to give reasons, you don’t have to. He is not your parent, and you need not give him the 411 on why you just said no!

4. Put the kibosh on it!

If you sense that a guy is about to reveal his feelings for you, and you sadly are not interested, you have got to nip his desire in the bud before causing embarrassment to both him and you. For instance, if you sense a friend having a crush on you is on the brink of disclosing his feelings, engage him in some bro talk. Talk to him about who you have a crush on, talk about the guy you are hypothetically dating, talk about the imaginary ex who made you hate love. Tell him how you would kill any guy who asks you out next. Scare him into not saying anything stupid. Although this is a bit cruel, it’s better than saying no and having him face rejection, yeah?

5. Do not hurt him

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Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

If you are a nice girl, which I am sure you are, it is essential not to be harsh or unnecessarily blunt when turning someone down. If you don’t think he is attractive, it does not give you the right to laugh at him face or call him hideous.

Not hurting the man is among the biggest worries for a woman while rejecting him. Like I told you, rejecting someone really sucks regardless of whether you have known them for a week or for decades! Never mistake compassion for responsibility, however. It is sweet of you to try not to hurt his feelings, but that in no way means that you owe him something.

6. Don’t say “I don’t want to date anyone, at the moment,” unless it’s true!

In case you do say this without meaning it, and he catches you with your boyfriend the very next week, he will lash out at you. He will call you a liar, and ask you why you told him that you were not interested in dating anybody. He will wreck your mood, and create a scene while doing the same. If, however, you actually are not interested, you are golden!

7. Tell him you are seeing someone and things are pretty serious between the two of you!

Just make that thing up!

In this digital age, many are dating a bunch of people at the same time. If that is you, you can use the “It is not you, but me” trump card. Qualify it with an “I think you are a great guy. Sorry dude, but thank you!” though!

8. “I just don’t feel a connection between us!”

couple talking_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

I am sure there are a number of qualities you are expecting in your partner. You might be passionate about music or books or travel etc. and you want that to be reciprocated in your relationship. So when you are rejecting the guy, just tell him, “You are a great guy, and I am flattered. But I need someone who shares my love for *the hobby of your choice*.” Be stern about it or else he will think he can work around this, and get you to like him… and love him too!!

Suggested read: The step-by-step guide to getting over rejection

9. Post rejection footnotes

Once you are done with the dirty work of rejection, don’t avoid him like the pandemic! You should, moreover, abstain from doing that if you guys were friends previously. I know it is supremely awkward, but going back to ‘quasi-normal’ becomes easier when you hang out with each other like you used to.

No matter how good you are on your feet, it is quite hard to wrangle a believable excuse while trying to turn someone down. “You bore the hell out of me,” or “I am not attracted to you, and I am positive about that,” do not make the cut! You need more polite ways of rejecting a guy who is interested in you. So for all the nice girls who want to make an attempt to turn a guy down more graciously, the above 9 tips are failproof.

Want a comprehensive guide to modern day dating? Its pitfalls, its triumphs, and the love-hate relationship we share with it? More on that, in the next article. Until then, stay tuned!

Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Article Name
All You Need To Know About Turning Someone Down Gracefully
There are plenty of times when turning someone down leads to uncomfortable or even unsafe situations. Here's all you need to know about doing it gracefully.
Riya Roy

Riya Roy

“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.” This Isaac Asimov line, embraces my love for writing in the finest and most desperate way that it is and should be! I was tormented by the earnestness of the written word not very early in my journey. But once smitten, it has helped me devour life twice over; savoring the moment and indulging in its memories. As a flâneuse, I wander to understand the intricacies of human relationships. Realizing that, they are just different manifestations of the same feeling of love, has been my greatest learning. I seek to share its opulence through the words I type.