how to reject someone nicely

How To Reject Someone Nicely

Need to know how to reject someone nicely without hurting their feelings? You’ve matched with someone on a dating app. They seem nice enough, but you’re just not feeling it. Or maybe you’ve been friends with someone for years, and all of a sudden they decide to come clean about wanting to date.

What do you do when you don’t feel the same way? Nobody likes rejection but many times it is necessary. What’s not necessary is absolutely crushing someone’s soul when all they’re guilty of is being interested in you!

How to Politely Reject Someone

The good news is, there are some tried-and-true ways to let someone down easily. 

Be Honest and Clear

how to reject someone nicely

It can be tempting to leave the door open a crack by saying something like, “Maybe in the future when I’m not so busy”, but mixed signals will only lead to confusion and more heartbreak down the line. It’s not fair to lead someone else, even if you enjoy the attention and feeling of being desired.

No one likes to be played with. So if you’re sure that you don’t want anything more than friendship, it’s best to close the door completely. That way, there’s no doubt in either of your minds about what’s happening (or not happening) between you two.

Be Kind

how to reject someone nicely

Even though you’re rejecting someone, there’s no need to be unkind. In fact, being rude will only make the situation worse and leave a bad taste in both of your mouths. Rejection stings enough, asking someone out only to have them say no. But compassion will ameliorate at least some of that sting.

You can highlight some positive points about the person while letting them down like, “You are an amazing friend, but I don’t see us working out in that way”, or “You are very attractive, but I don’t see you as more than a friend.”

Use “I” statements

how to reject someone nicely

One way to ensure that your rejection doesn’t come across as overly harsh is to use “I” statements, rather than “you” statements. For example, instead of saying, “You’re too clingy for me,” try, “I need my alone time” or “I’m just not looking to be in a relationship right now.”

This shift in perspective will help the other person feel like it’s not personal and won’t give the impression that there’s something they can change about themselves to change your mind.

Be Brief

how to reject someone nicely

If you are approached by someone you don’t know and don’t already have some type of relationship with, it’s best to be brief. You don’t need to go into great detail about why you’re not interested. Just keep it simple and to the point. For example, you might say something like “I’m sorry, but I’m just not interested”, or “Thanks, but I’m already in a relationship”.

If it’s a close acquaintance, you may want to offer more of an explanation, but keep it short and simple. If you were getting rejected, would you want the moment to go on and on, listening to all the reasons why someone does not find you to be a suitable partner? No! It’s awkward and both people are probably looking to get out of there fast.

Wrap Up

how to reject someone nicely

As much as we might wish there were, there’s no magic formula for rejecting someone without hurting their feelings. Rejection is an inevitable part of life. Whether from a potential romantic partner, friend, family, or in the work environment- it can leave you feeling bad about yourself all the same.

Treat others with the same kindness you’d like to have given to you. Besides, being asked out on a date is the ultimate compliment. There’s no need to be offended or try to hurt someone just because you’re not interested. 

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