Reject Someone Without Hurting Them

Edited by Ian Gabriel T. Tolledo, Eng, Lynn, Alma and 10 others

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If only you could say, "I want to friend-zone you, but don't get hurt, OK?" Is it possible to reject someone without hurting them? This is a complicated question, especially if the person in question is a close friend or your best friend. It's much easier if the person you're ending things with is merely an acquaintance or someone you've only known for a short time. Whatever the situation is, it's always hard to reject someone when you know feelings will hurt, but it is your right to be with someone you are interested in. Here are some useful steps you can use to reject someone without hurting them too badly.

Things to Consider

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Make sure you don't want this relationship, as after you end it, it might be impossible to get it back if you change your mind. Friend-zoning a guy will ultimately hurt his feelings, no matter how brave a face he puts on in front of you. The tips here will serve to lessen the emotional hurt the guy will experience when you break the news to him. If you're having a hard time deciding if you really need to reject someone, see the checklist below for ways to reject an advancing guy - or whoever person it is you want to reject.

Rejecting someone without hurting them

  1. 1
    Honesty is the best policy
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    This is truly so when rejecting (friend-zoning) someone. You might be afraid rejection will hurt him badly, but it's more hurtful to let someone live in a fantasy that you and will both end up living happily ever after when you know he doesn't stand a chance. To do this you must:
    1. Not be brutally frank. Understand that you can disagree without being disagreeable. Being honest doesn't necessarily mean that you should say, "I don't like you," or, "I can't imagine being with you," sort of thing. Simply state that you value his friendship and acknowledge his feelings for you, but you want to keep the things between you neutral.
    2. Explain that you're not ready to be in that situation and will not be happy to lose him as a friend, and that you don't want to taint your friendship. If he really is a good friend, or perhaps at least a good sport, then he will get the hint and stop his advances.
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  2. 2
    Drop hints
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    Subtly state, whether in text chats or conventional chats, that you have are not interested in him that way - possibly say that it is not going to change. For example, if he texts you, "Want to go out tonight?", politely decline by saying, "I have other plans." The person might do this repetitively, but once you give it enough time and make some more of those excuses, then he will get the hint. Although after the second occurrence you should be more direct and state that it will never happen. Note that this doesn't always work. In that case, follow the first step.
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  3. 3
    This step is almost the same as friend-zone, but it can be effective in keeping him in your life or causing him excruciating pain. You have to play your cards right on this one. Explain that you love him, although not as a lover might, but as a family member...a brother, perhaps. Now if he values your friendship, he will be very happy to know this. Otherwise, if he never wants to be only a regular friend or acquaintance, follow the first step as well. Give him the time and space he needs to adjust. Being friend-zoned is hard.
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  4. 4
    Distance yourself
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    How do you suppose you can get the guy to stop pursuing you if he sees you or encounters you daily? So one of the best things you can do is distance yourself from the person. Do not return his call or texts immediately. If you really must, then do it sparingly and keep the conversation neutral. If he dogs you for being inconsiderate, tell him that you're busy with other things, like your studies. If he asks you why you can't spend time with him, just make up simple excuses like chores, training, extra-curricular activities. Fake sickness if you must, but honesty is best.
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The Straightway

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This may be off topic, but we will put it here anyway. Stop beating around the bush and go tell the person up front. When everything is said and done, there's almost no way for you not to damage your friendship after you've rejected him; there are less hurtful methods, like the ones stated above., but they are not always effective. If you already have a boyfriend, tell him that. If he doesn't alter his behavior then he isn't the kind of friend you'd want in the first place. Be cautious with this type of person, as they are most likely the type of person who turns into a stalker, or becomes obsessive. Truly, putting someone in the friend-zone in the hopes of not hurting that person is nearly impossible, unless you're dealing with an incredibly emotionless, robot-like, or at least extremely resilient person. Best case scenario - he felt the same way and wasn't sure how to tell you.

Are you in the Friend-Zone?

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Do you, for some reason believe that you are in that wretched zone? Looking for signs that you're on the downside of your potential lover's care? Look at the list below to know if you're already in the friend-zone.

  • You're looking in forums like this one for answers to that question, you are probably already in the friend-zone.
  • You've never taken the opportunity to let the person know your desire, either physically or verbally.
  • You've been in the same bed together, or other intimate situation, yet the other person didn't even try to make a move, or rejected yours.
  • She either takes a long time or doesn't return your texts or calls. If she wanted to return messages, she would. She's either not at all interested, or is afraid you'll assume her responses will encourage you to pursue her when that is not what she wants.
  • You've gone to several places together, and hang out with each other often, yet the person hasn't even made a single, subtle move on you.
  • You find yourself listening to his/her problems and emotional issues, especially when they are about a love-interest. You may think of her/him as a potential lover, but she/he probably considers you a friend and confidant.
  • She always invites her friends whenever you ask her to hang out with you.
  • The person talks about having sex with other people.
  • She tells you you're such a good friend and hopes that never ends.
  • You're always too available to her and don't do anything romantic together.
  • You find yourself always being upset whenever she goes out with another man, and she doesn't care if you know.
  • She says that she likes you, but doesn't want to ruin your friendship.
  • In desperation, you find yourself begging and crying her to see you as more than just a friend.

If you ever find yourself in this situation, chances you are in the friend-zone or you have already been rejected. This checklist might not be specific, but it does show a prevalent situation where rejection oftentimes happens. Be the judge.

Questions and Answers

How do you reject someone without hurting their feelings?

When it comes to a person's feeling they will feel rejection whether or not your do it the right way or him wrong way. If you want to do it in a nice way simply sit them down and explain how you feel about that person. This will allow them to see that you do care about them, just not in a romantic way. Face to face is kinder than telling them through text or having them find how you feel from someone else.

How to leave a guy who doesn't care and love you?

You need to find time to have a serious one-on-one conversation with that person. You have to talk about the difficulties in the relationship and you need to decide together what's good for both of you. In this conversation, keep it as calm as possible so that you both can think clearly. Also, it may be worthwhile to tell him how you feel and listen to what he has to say about it. Maintain two-way communication so that you come up to a better decision. If in the end, after this talk, you realize that you really have to part ways, at least, you're not leaving bad blood between the two of you.

How to bust a guy without hurting them?

I don't want to hurt my best friend

Informing on a best friend is a serious dilemma. If your friend is harming himself or others, committing a possible crime, involved in drugs or putting himself at risk - you need to report him. It will feel like a betrayal of trust, however, you are doing what is best for him and may save his life or someone else's. An ideal way to go about this is to speak to your best friend first and let them know that what they are doing is harmful and you feel the need to report it because you care for them. If you think that your friend will react poorly, you need to report the issue first and then speak to your friend, ideally with another person present, such as their parent.

A boy likes me but he is 22 and I am 13?

Refuse the boy without hurting

Well if he is pursuing you, his actions are actually illegal in most countries. You need to avoid contact with him and inform your parents or guardian. You may feel like his peer but in reality, you are still considered a minor. This is a serious issue. Speak with your parent's about the situation immediately. You should have them with you addressing the situation.

I have 2 friends both are close equally but now I have to unfriend them?

I don't want to be in conflict because both are truly good friends but they both don't like each other and I can't handle that at all.... and in next month my exam is there and it is very important and not only I but we all 3, we can't even study only headache or something wrong with oneself. I have tried: All this mess going in my mind. I think it was caused by: I am the cause of the problem

Lots of people have friends that do not like their other friends for whatever reason. The way to avoid your current situation is to explain to both of them at the same time that you want to be friends yet you can't all be hanging out or studying together because of friction. This may bring them to attention and actually they may work on their issues together so that you can all hang out without tension. If they do not work out their issues you will just have to do what others have done and only hang out with one of them at a time.

How do I say no to someone about a date?

I have a friend and he asked me to be his girlfriend. I don't want to date him but I don't want to ruin our relationship. I have tried: Not replying to him. I think it was caused by: I don't know honestly.

The suggestions in this article will help you on how to tell him you just want to remain friends.

My best friend asked me out. I rejected for no fault of his, but for a genuine reason of my own. Is there anything wrong in being friends again?

I rejected a very good friend of mine for a genuine reason cause I wasn't sure about it myself and didn't want to play with his feelings. But after all this, he doesn't want to be friends with me even. We have been gr8 friends but he doesn't want to continue it. Should I give him some time to get out of it? Or should I just let him go? I have tried: I have apologized to him so many times. Still, he is behaving like we were never true friends even. I think it was caused by: No fault of him. I am not planning for a relationship right now as I am not ready for it and don't want uncertainty in his life too.

Tell him that the timing was not right for you to be in a dating relationship. While speaking with him be honest and explain that although this is not the right time there was a good friendship previously. He may be removing himself from your life for his own emotional protection but you could send him a note letting him know that you miss speaking with him and would like to explain yourself further. If he refuses to meet then let him go.

I am in love with four girls and I think is the right time for me to let go 3 of them and pick only one as my wife to be?

I am short of words but would like to let go and get only one girl

Sounds like you are living the life of a contestant on The Bachelor. The reality is that you can't truly love 4 women. You may like how they make you feel or how they look but true love means that you are exclusively bound to one person no matter what. Take this time to figure out why you need the attention of so many women before deciding to settle down with one. It would be best to determine if you can remain monogamous before trying to put yourself in that situation and failing because you were not ready.

How can I say no to nudes without hurting my boyfriend?

My boyfriend is a great person and we share almost everything. I like it when he shares his nudes with me but I totally dislike the idea of me sharing my nudes with him. Exactly how can I tell him that I don't like sharing my nudes? I'm I being selfish?. TIA. I have tried: Video nudes. I think it was caused by: I don't feel right exposing my own body

You are not being selfish. Explain to him that this is a choice you make on a grander scale such as not walking around scantily clad. The fact is that so many women share these types of images only for them to eventually wind up on the internet for the whole world to see. Just let your boyfriend know that you choose to keep yourself private and wish to not share compromising images with anyone. If he respects you then he will understand. Bravo on being smart and protecting yourself from online harassment potential. In this digital age, we tend to forget that something posted in a text message can wind up as a viral post on the internet.

How to say no to your employees without un-liking you as their boss?

How can you say no to your employee without hurting them or without unliking you as their boss?. I have tried: So far I tried to talk to them in a very professional way. I tried to explained what's in it for me and what's in it for them. I think it was caused by: It might affect their relationship with me.

Being in management means that there is no longer a popularity contest with co-workers. You are no longer their peer but their authoritative figure. As long as you keep it professional then you will be okay. Do not undermine any opinion but rather discourage diplomatically. As long as you treat them with respect then they will also respect you which is what you need to manage efficiently. If you find that you need to dole out some tough criticism then you will always want to do this privately with the employee. With your points of critique be sure to include some positives about their performance. Just remember that you are not there to gain friends. You are there to ensure the success of the company when you are in management.

Does this guy like me because of our 30 years age difference, does he wish to have a relationship with me?

I met a 25 year old guy in the same volunteer activity. He seemed to display most of the signs of interest. I texted him and told him I like him a lot and that my gut feeling is that he also likes me. He texted back that he likes me like any of his other friends. He now keeps a distance and approaches me to talk only when there are a few other volunteers around me. But I do not know how to react and try to cut the conversation or try to avoid him.

You misread him just being cordial with you as something else. So now, the situation is awkward. Hit it directly and tell him that you apologize for misreading his signals as something else and wish for the sake of volunteering to put it all behind you.

How do I go out with a guy that my best friend already dated?

My best friend Desiree dated this guy named Santos and she broke up with him. 5 months after their break up he started flirting with me and asked me out yesterday and I didn't know what to say. I said I'll think about it and I called my friend Janet and told her and she said she doesn't know what I should do. I called my friend Ernie and she said yes. Then I accidentally called Desiree and told her and she said that she would be shocked if he went out with me. I honestly really do like him I just don't what to do. It doesn't involve ruining a friendship it just explains on how to say no to a guy but I just need help. I have tried: I said the I'll think about it as well as I don't know. I think it was caused by: I have no clue but he has liked me forever even when he dated Desiree

If you are going to ruin your friendship with Desiree, he is not worth it. Also, depending on how their relationship ended, he may be doing this simply to hurt Desiree. Any guy that wants to ruin a friendship is not someone you should be interested in. You should make an effort to avoid hurting Desiree further. Then ask yourself how you would feel if Desiree dated one of your ex boyfriends.

How can I go back to a guy that I rejected and tell him I changed my mind?

This guy named Montana likes me and he asked me out today. I said no but then I changed my mind. How can I go back to him and say that I will actually think about it without being rude or cocky?

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Article Info

Categories : Relationships

Recent edits by: Cassandra L Ramos, ElixaMoira, Njambi

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