Learn how to say no by, you know, actually saying it.
Whether he’s a friend who wants to be more or a random guy trying to get your attention, there are plenty of times when a simple “no” would’ve sufficed – so why do so many of us do everything but say this tiny-yet-powerful word? Avoiding it does nothing but make the entire universe more awkward for the both of you to exist in.
Yes, rejection stings, but only briefly, so isn’t it better to just get it out of the way? In theory: Absolutely. In reality: It’s like once you’re living the scenario you forget how to say no – or just plain chicken out.
Here are 9 of the funny (in hindsight) things we end up saying and doing when we forget how to say no:
1. “Oh, really? I never got your text… or voicemail. .. or email… or singing telegram.”
Rejecting a guy like this is the worst. I’m not sure when we started thinking avoidance is better than simply saying no in the first place – we’re grown-ass women, after all.
2. ”I can’t, I have to do something terribly boring that night that you wouldn’t ever want to participate in.”
Like go out on a date with someone I’m legitimately interested in. Admit it: Every single time you’ve “made other plans,” the guy you’re avoiding somehow catches you. Womp, womp.
3. ”I just want to be friends.”
You know, friends who never speak or see each other.
4. ”I’d love to, but…”
You tell him you’re focusing on your career, you just got out of a bad relationship, or you go on an hour-long play-by-play about the state of your soul. Basically, it’s such a longwinded rejection that he doesn’t hear the rejection part.
5. ”I have a boyfriend.”
This rejection is probably the most convenient way to soften the blow – it doesn’t do anything to bruise his ego, and it’s about as guilt-free a rejection as you’ll ever experience. If how to say no has briefly escaped your mind, then by all means – but who says you have to be with someone else in order to justify not wanting to be with him?
6. Give him your number… then immediately change it.
Or give him the number to a Chinese restaurant, or type your number into his phone and “accidentally” leave out a digit – this move is just bad on so many levels, yet there it is in our arsenal. Face. Meet palm. All this does is give him false hope. If you’re going to turn him down anyway, just get it over with.
7. Pretend you didn’t hear him.
You know you heard him, and he knows you know. The question now becomes: Who does the walk of shame first?
I’m not talking quietly ducking away to another area of the party or bar, but actually running like you’re representing your country in the Olympics. When my social awkwardness was at its peak, I once thought this was easier than just learning how to say no… even though when you do this in heels it’s mistaken for a Peggy Bundy impression.
9. ”Fuck off.”
As much as I hate to admit it, sometimes an F-bomb just slips out. Either you’ve had a bad day and are fed up with the above options, or the guy trying to hit on you is acting like a disrespectful d-bag. Any guy who’s willing to put himself out there for your attention deserves as gentle a letdown as possible. (Except for the d-bags. Do whatever you want with them.)
Do you know how to say no and then flake out at the last minute?