People Share The Best Ways To Gently Reject Someone
Photo by Alessandro De Bellis on Unsplash

Not everybody is your cup of tea. If you've lived in the world, you likely know this. You'll meet at least one person a day that you know you are unlikely to ever want to spend time with in real life.

Unfortunately not everybody that you're going to encounter is going to be on the same wavelength about you as you are about them. And you will have to set your boundaries and learn how to do that while being kind.


Redditor yakunii-kun asked:

How do you kindly reject someone without making them hate you?

Here were some of those answers.

Rejection Can Be Sour

"Don't be rude and be honest, if they hate you for that, that is all coming from them and not you."

"That said, feeling rejected can sour an existing good relationship. It can be hard for people to accept that a certain balance in the relationship is now gone, probably because it is."

"In those cases, you just have to take it on the chin and move on. Sometimes some time apart can really make a big difference and you can pick up again later."-zazzlekdazzle

Simple And Short

"Just 'No, I'm not interested in you like that.' 'I'm flattered, but no thank you.' Or just no."

"No skirting around it, no letting them down 'easy..' just no. Don't give them any chance to twist it into a slim chance instead of zero! People can do so many logic loop-de-loops in their head it's crazy. Especially with their ego attached to it."

"If they don't take that no for an answer, trust me and don't 'stay friends.' They will keep it up! Plus it's not respectful. Nobody that truly cares about you would hate you over not wanting to date them."-ilikedit227

Be Really Truthful

"Wow lots of people giving bad advice. Don't tell them something like 'I don't want to be in a relationship' unless you actually mean that."

"Because when you DO decide to start dating someone they will resent you both for leaving open a possibility and for effectively lying."

"I've been on that end of things and it hurts a lot more when you hear that and a week later they start dating someone else. It's way better just to say you like someone as a friend but you just don't have any romantic attraction to them. Be unequivocal."-Altiloquent

The piece here that is the hardest is kindly rejecting someone, and the ability to keep composure.

Directness Does Favors

"Being kind and direct, but also respecting the person enough to have a chat about it, regardless of whether you intend on continuing the relationship or not."

"There was a girl who I was head over heels in love with when I was 20, and she took time off her day to sit down with me and hear me out and then share her view."

"Of course, I was a wreck for a long time as I really wanted to be with her, but when I think back to it now, I only feel gratitude for her, for doing the right thing and doing it with such grace and sensitivity."

"It really impacts your life after the act, and I have great respect for anyone who acts from this understanding."-greginthesummer

Controlling Is Impossible

"You can't. Either they're the type who will hate you or they aren't and nothing you can do can change how they'll respond. This has a lot to do with why people cheat in some cases."

"People say 'just break up with them before seeing someone else' like that will make a difference, but some people are never going to accept an ending to a relationship and you'll usually know if you're dating that type."

"If telling a person that you want to end the relationship will get them to act like you cheated on them, what's the point? You'll never convince them you weren't being unfaithful even if you have proof that you never saw the next person you dated until after the first relationship was over."-MarkHirsbrunner

It Always Goes Different

"Lol, in my experience, this varies from person to person. I used the same line on two guys (I really like you and I definitely see us as friends if that's something you'd want, but I don't have romantic feelings for you)."

"One of them yelled at me and said I didn't know what I was talking about and that I had been leading him on. The other one was like 'Okay, that's fair. I really like you though and I could always use more friends.'"

"I was invited to his wedding a couple years later. I think that as long as you're kind about it there is a limit to how much you can influence how other people react."

"Because they're hearing the message with the filter of all of their combined life experiences, and that's not always something we can account for unless we know them extremely well."-quirkyhermit

It Really Is Case By Case

"If you're kind, that's enough. If they still hate you, not your fault. That side of the equation is beyond your control, and they may or may not be reacting to you, so much as they are to their own inner… whatever."

"Chalk it up to their own projections, self-delusions, obsession with whatever they thought would happen."

"You never can tell with some people."-OCYRThisMeansWar

The truth is, rejection never feels good. But the betrayal of rejection after a long time--that's much, much worse.

A Reason For The Season

"Never rejected anyone but I've been rejected a few times and I'm just gonna say that it hurts a lot less when we're given a reason."

"It doesn't need to be good and it could be complete bullsh*t but it's better than nothing because then we're just stuck trying to figure out what we did wrong."-anonymous32434

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Make Sure They Are Worthy, But Clear

"Yeah I think this will have the opposite effect. You need to be straight with people while still remaining kind and gentle."

"Telling them they are special to you and how lucky you would be to have those feelings for them will likely lead to them working extra hard to win you over."

"You gotta spell it out directly. 'You are a wonderful person and a good friend but unfortunately I don't have romantic feelings for you,' something like that."-smorkoid

Everyone agrees-kindness comes from direct communication with gentle, soft edges.

It's impossible to keep everybody fully happy and spare everybody's feelings, but as long as you are clear on your own intentions, other people will trust them, too.

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