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How to Reject a Guy: 30 Ways to Turn Him Down Nicely & Not Hurt Him

He’s asked you out and you’re not interested. Now you need to know how to reject a guy without destroying his feelings. It’s hard but it can be done. 

how to reject a guy and turn him down nicely

Turning down a guy is easy if you’re feeling heartless on a particular day. But on every other day, turning down his advances is just as awkward as it is for the guy doing the asking out. That’s why it’s important to know how to reject a guy without upsetting him or frustrating yourself.

By knowing how to navigate through the steps, you’ll always be able to speak your mind and let a guy down easily, without breaking his heart or drawing a conversation out for ages. At the end of the day, you know it would have taken a lot of courage for him to confess his affections for you. [Read: How to be just friends with a guy who asks you out]

Where rejections get hard

Let’s face it, rejecting a guy you don’t know is easy. Tinder, just swipe left. Dating sites, just say no. A guy approaches you on the street, easy to just say walk away.

But where it gets hard is when a guy sneaks out of the friend zone and tries to hook up with you or wants to go on a date with you. It’s weird, but he’s your friend. You don’t want to be rude, because you two are friends.

At the same time, you can’t just be nice and flirty back in return, because he’ll assume you’re kind of interested!

It’s tricky circumstances like these that make turning down a guy difficult. But knowing how to reject a guy depends on the situation; you can be rude when you need to be, and soft at other times. [Read: How guys flirt – 25 things they do differently when they like you]

How to turn down a guy friend nicely

If you want to know how to reject a guy, here’s a list of things you can do to get the message across. Start with the first one, and work your way down the list.

Somewhere along the line, you’ll surely find a way to get the message across that can harden his heart and make him move on. Whew! [Read: The real reason behind why guys chase girls]

1. Tell him the truth

This is plain and simple. If a guy that you’re not particularly interested in asks you out, tell him straight out that you aren’t interested in him.

You don’t really have to be rude, unless he’s persistent. You really don’t owe every guy who falls in love with you an explanation about why you’re uninterested in him, or why you want to reject him. [Read: How to stop a guy from flirting and hitting on you]

2. Tell him you’d rather be friends instead

You want to reject a guy, but are not sure you want to lose him because he’s been a great friend. In that case, tell him you don’t want to go out with him, but his friendship is so valuable to you.

This is a wee bit selfish, and best used when you’re not sure yourself. Take a bit of time to figure it out, and depending on how things go, you can always change your mind!

You are stringing him along though, so you need to be careful not to lead him on accidentally. [Read: 20 ways girls lead guys on and make the guy eventually hate them]

3. Make it clear

If the guy you rejected asks you to go out with him again, it’s time to be firm. You’ve already been gentle before. So this time, tell him clearly and firmly that there’s no way you could ever like him back. And also tell him that you’re starting to get annoyed with his behavior.

Many guys have an annoying habit of wanting to know the logical reason behind why you’re rejecting them. They want you to explain it, and even if you do, they try justifying it and want more explanations.

So instead of getting yourself in a bind, just make your rejection clear and don’t go into elaborate details. He’ll never be happy with your answers, no matter what you say.

4. Tell him you’ll need to avoid him for a while

If he’s a friend, this is a veiled threat that scares him into accepting your decision. When he persistently hints about dating or hooking up, tell him you’re starting to get annoyed with his behavior.

Tell him that you’ve started disliking him, and may have to avoid him, and the more he asks you out, you’ll only end up wanting to ghost him. [Read: How to friendzone a guy without leading him on]

5. Set him up on a date with someone

Tell him that there are other women out there who will reciprocate his feelings. As proof, see if you have any friends who are looking to date someone new and set them up. The fact that you know their tastes and preferences can potentially mean that they’ll hit it off really well.

Who knows, you might be looking at a future in match-making! [Read: 20 unmistakable signs your friend is crushing on you]

6. Prepared to be saddened by his proposal

If a guy’s rather persistent, but yet, quite kind and nice, have a talk with him. Tell him that you’re getting upset and saddened by his persistence. Tell him you’re having a difficult time getting through the day because of his incessant behavior.

When you show your sensitive side to a nice guy, there’s a good chance he’ll back away even if he still wants to ask you out repeatedly. [Read: 75 huge signs a guy is really into you and doesn’t want to give up]

If none of the earlier ways on how to reject a guy work, here are a few harsh ways that will get the point across.

7. Avoid the guy

Some guys may be nice, but their persistence can be really annoying. Avoid the guy, and make it obvious that you’re avoiding him.

If he asks you about it, you can tell him that you tried everything else, but he’s just not getting the point.

8. Don’t speak to him alone

Guys like it when the girl they like has a conversation with them alone. It shows preferential treatment over other guys. So avoid giving away any signs that could be taken positively.

Avoid the guy, and even if he tells you that he wants to speak with you alone, don’t give him a chance. Tell him you’ll speak with him alone only when you’re convinced he’s not hitting on you. [Read: Do guys like shy girls and find them attractive?]

9. Sometimes, you have to be rude

If being firm doesn’t help, be rude. But play hot and cold. Hang up on him or ignore his texts.

Tell him you’re done talking to him, and don’t want him to text you anymore.

You can soften the blow later if you’re feeling upset about the whole thing. Text him “I just wish you’d understand. I really don’t want to end our friendship this way, but you’re leaving me helpless. Why don’t you get it, I don’t like you in that way and I never will…”

10. Cut him off from your social circle

Text him and let him know that you can’t stand his behavior anymore. Tell him that you want to be friends and nothing more than that.

Explain that you’re going to take him off your friends’ lists on social networking sites. Say you’re going to avoid him if you meet him. And tell him you won’t answer his calls anymore.

And finally, explain that you’re willing to be friends only if he can look at you as a friend and behave as one. Explain to him that he can call you again the day he can look at you as a friend and nothing more. [Read: How to manipulate men and get a guy to do what you want]

11. Ignore him

The final frontier that will always work. If you’ve tried all of the above suggestions, then this should be your last resort. After you’ve cut him off from your life, ignore him completely.

Walk past him, and don’t wave or even look at him. If he confronts you, be nice and warm though. Don’t be rude.

Speak to him like he’s a five-year-old. Explain to him nicely that you’ve already told him what he has to do. Both of you can be friends only if he promises to look at you as a friend. [Read: Are you more than friends? 17 signs you’ve already gone from talking to dating]

How to reject a guy who is a total jerk

This can be that arrogant guy who can’t stop talking about his expensive car, his high-paying job, or how many women he’s slept with. For one reason or another, he thinks his approach to getting women is effective.

If you sense that this guy seems like the type who has zero sensitivity to your feelings, and just wants to pursue you, turning him down could turn out to be pretty fun for you!

Don’t try to spare his feelings, he probably has zero regard for yours. [Read: The unassuming signs that show you’re dating a jerk]

1. “Listen, your strategy isn’t working”

Note how you have to say “listen” at the start. This is because jerks usually love the sound of their own voice so much, that you won’t even get a word in.

Before he realizes that he has just been rejected, slide off the bar stool and casually walk over to a more quiet area.

2. “I’m allergic to misogyny/bullshit”

This may feel a bit extreme, but it’s a slap in the face for men who just can’t seem to get over their own machismo. If you notice that he’s being rude, demeaning or sexist, it’s time to use this line.

And once again, it’s a good idea to move on to another area. [Read: Misogynistic men – what it is, 18 signs and psychology of a sexist women hater]

3. “You don’t get it, do you?”

If he persists or he keeps following you, this line should get him in check. While he’s trying to figure out why you’re not attracted to his greasy hair and awful pickup lines, take it as your cue to signal to security that you’re being harassed by a clueless buffoon.

4. “I’m calling security if you don’t stop”

Sometimes, it takes a firm grasp on the collar to figure out that they’re being rejected. It’s a safety measure made especially for their kind. [Read: The seriously sneaky techniques guys use to try to sleep with you]

How to reject a colleague

Dating an officemate can be exciting and fun, but it also opens you up to a lot of workplace gossip. In addition to this, dating someone you work with may even be against office policy.

If you don’t want the awkwardness or the potential grounds for termination looming over your head each day, reject that amorous coworker with these tactics.

1. Mention office policy against dating

Chances are he’ll take a hint, since he definitely wouldn’t want to give up his job for just one date with you. If he doesn’t take the hint, casually mention that your boss won’t like this or that the HR department won’t be too pleased to know about this little issue.

He’ll back off before you can utter your next sentence.

2. “I’m putting my career first”

Tell him that an office romance isn’t really your thing, because you want to focus on your job whenever you’re at work. Tell him that you’re aiming for work advancement and that dating someone in the office would only serve to distract you from important tasks.

This can either be true or it can be a lie, but it’s a good way to reject a guy while being professional at the same time! [Read: How to balance your career, social life, and dating life]

3. “I keep my work and personal life separate”

If you don’t want to seem like you’re married to your job, you can still reject a guy by using this line. It shows that you don’t want to muddle up your career and your personal life, so you can’t date anyone in the office.

The bad side of this is that if the guy resigns, he might think that he’ll finally have a chance with you. But since you know him and he can be called a “friend,” then you can use the tactics mentioned in the section above for rejecting a friend. [Read: The most important tips to be good friends with your coworkers]

How to reject a stranger

Strangers who come up to you can actually be quite fun to play around with. You don’t know who they are, but you know that you’re not interested in them.

Since they know nothing about you, you can come up with the most whimsical stories to keep them away!

1. “I’m actually a lesbian/married/engaged/taken”

A guy won’t continue to pursue someone who’s clearly interested in the same sex or is already taken. But if he persists, then he may just be looking for someone to talk to.

You can choose to indulge him in some small talk, or you can politely tell him that you’re just looking for some alone time. [Read: Not interested in dating? The reasons and why this is becoming the new normal]

2. “I’m scheduled to go to prison tomorrow, want to be pen pals?”

The mere mention of going to prison will make any guy want to back off. But if he insists, make sure you have enough creative juices to come up with a story that’s believable enough.

If nothing else, it should be fun to watch his facial expressions as he tries to work out if you’re serious or not!

3. “No hablo ingles”

This means “I don’t speak English” in Spanish, but do feel free to pick a language of your choice. To make it super believable, make sure you have your accent down pat, and you finish it off with a gigantic smile.

Speaking with a woman who doesn’t speak his language may be too much effort for him to muster, so he’ll probably just back off and quit pestering you.

4. Don’t explain yourself

No is a clear and concise response that leaves little, yet so much to the imagination. Remember, if you don’t want to explain your reasoning for turning the poor guy down, or can’t think of a polite way to do so, don’t!

He’s not your mommy, and he doesn’t need the 411 on why you’re saying no.

5. Nip it in the bud

If you smell a crush-reveal forthcoming, try and nip it in the bud before anybody ends up embarrassed! For example, if a stranger has started talking to you and you can tell he’s going to ask you out, take action first.

Tell him how you’re dating, talk about your ex a lot, or use your charming wit to tell him that if another guy asks you out, your head is going to explode. Basically, drop an extreme hint that you’re just not interested. [Read: 15 excuses and nice ways to let a guy know you’re not interested in dating him]

6. Just because you don’t know him, doesn’t mean you can hurt his feelings

It’s important not to be cruel or needlessly blunt when turning down a poor guy who has summoned the courage to ask you out. Don’t find him attractive? That doesn’t mean you have to laugh in his face and call him ugly.

Simply be as nice as you can be while firmly getting your point across. However, remember, it’s sweet that you don’t want to hurt his feelings, but that doesn’t mean you owe him anything.

7. Just tell him you’re not interested in dating at the moment

If he asks you any follow-up questions, cut him off. You don’t have to explain. If he attempts to say that you can both just have fun, walk away.

Most guys take this line with grace, but some are simply persistent! [Read: Types of guys to avoid dating if you don’t want to be used or hurt]

8. Say that you don’t feel a connection

Do you have a giant passion for travel, music, business, or some other hobby that absolutely *must* be reciprocated in a relationship? Let him know in your rejection that while you’re flattered, you need someone who is as genuinely passionate about *insert hobby here* as you are.

Just don’t let him take this as a hint to purposely do what you like to do.

If you’ve really never met the guy before, you could always say that you’re a big believer in love at first sight and that you’re not feeling it. [Read: How to recognize a soul connection when they walk into your life]

9. Tell him you’ve just got out of a heavy relationship

Everyone relates to some traumatic event they have had in their past. If you tell him you have been hurt and are just “damaged goods,” he may actually think he is dodging a bullet.

No guy wants to fall into a relationship with someone who is a wounded bird. That only leads to having someone who is needy, clingy, and needs constant reassurance. If you tell him you have been hurt, it is likely something he can relate to and something he won’t take personally.

10. “I’m just into being really selfish right now”

No guy wants to be with a girl who is selfish. If you say it in those terms and use those words, then he starts to see you in a whole new light. Clearly, if you are selfish and don’t want him, or a relationship with him, then it is all on you.

That won’t hurt his ego or make him think you don’t want him. Being into yourself is not a bad thing, nor is being selfish when you are young wrong. It is the best excuse possible for not wanting to share by being in a relationship with someone. [Read: Selfish people – 20 ways to spot them and stop them from hurting you]

11. Tell him you’re not over your ex

No guy wants to be with a woman who is still in love with her ex. The truth is you can’t be in love with two people, especially not if you haven’t let go of your previous relationship.

Let him know your last ex is still on your mind, and you pine for the day he comes back to you. That should do it.

12. “I have a five-year plan, and it doesn’t include a relationship”

Girls are planners, and most guys know that. If you simply tell him you have a five-year plan, and it doesn’t involve a serious relationship, a romance, or kids, then it lets you off the hook. [Read: The best ways to friend zone a guy without leading him on]

Learning how to reject a guy is useful, but tailor it to the guy

Now you’ve read our advice on how to reject a guy, you have a different set of strategies for various situations. But, remember that you’ll never really know which route to go down until it happens.

Perhaps you are asked out by a friend but he suddenly turns into a jerk. In that case, it’s perfectly acceptable to use the strategies we mentioned that are more ‘to the point.’ You don’t have to be nice if a guy acts disrespectful or annoying.

With the need to reject comes a huge responsibility. Don’t hurt someone’s feelings for the sake of it, but don’t feel don’t feel guilty if it’s necessary either.

[Read: Get a guy to stop texting you: Perfect excuses and examples]

And there you have it, girls, how to reject a guy in the easiest way possible. Use these points and see how simple and effective turning down a guy can really be!

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Preeti Serai
A true believer in the beauty of life and the world we live in, Preeti finds every excuse to lose herself in nature, be it smelling flowers on a street corner o...