While it can be very upsetting to get rejected by the person you like, it’s not very pleasant to be the one that needs to reject either. In the dating world, rejecting people is known to be a very awful experience for both parties involved.
Rejecting someone is far from fun, it can be very awkward, uncomfortable, and painful. Wondering how to reject someone without breaking their heart?
According to Bianca Walker, a licensed professional counselor in Atlanta, when you have to reject someone, make sure to do it kindly, without hurting their feelings. The other person needs to understand that the rejection is not about them, so they shouldn’t take it personally.
Usually, you feel the need to reject other people when you don’t like certain things about them or you feel like you’re incompatible with each other, but that doesn’t mean it’s something wrong with the other person.
According to Walker, the same person you didn’t like could be perfect for someone else. That’s why it’s essential to learn how to reject someone without indirectly saying ‘there’s something wrong with you.’ Doing it the right way, you’ll send the right message: ‘I know what I want and I feel like we’re not compatible’.
However, rejecting someone can be very awkward and it’s not very easy to find the right words. Make sure you always consider the other person’s feelings and do it in a compassionate manner, whether it’s a stranger you just met or a co-worker who’s been a good friend for years.
Therefore, read on to find out how to reject someone you’re not into, and still be nice, according to relationship experts!
You shouldn’t apologize for not being interested, whether you went on several dates with this person or just exchanged a few messages on Facebook, you need to be polite and direct, but stay away from apologies.
You could say something like this instead: ‘I’m really flattered that you’re interested in me, but unfortunately I’m not able to reciprocate it. I know it’s not what you want to hear, but I’m not interested.’
Don’t forget about your needs
Especially when meeting someone on a dating app when neither party invested too much time and energy, you need to ask yourself if this person is what you need.
According to Walker, “In this case, you’re want to say, ‘I’m sure you’re cool, just not right for me and I’m mature enough to recognize this and be upfront about it, essentially freeing up time for both of us to find someone more fitting.’”
You could try saying something like this: ‘I reached a point in my life where I know exactly what I want and what I need, and even though you seem very cool and amazing, I don’t think we’re a good match. I hope you find the person you’re searching for.’
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According to Cheryl M. Bradshaw, a registered psychotherapist in Canada, author of Real Talk About Sex and Consent, “Both sides feel respected when we validate the other person’s vulnerability.”
Getting approached by someone in a public place can be very awkward, but you should try to be classy and respectful.
Bradshaw suggests saying something like this: ‘I really appreciate you asking and being so respectful, and I know it’s not very easy to put yourself out there, but unfortunately, I’m not interested.’
Additionally, if the other person is disrespectful and doesn’t like to take no for an answer, you should change the strategy. According to Bradshaw, with these types of people, you need to be firm and try to escape the situation as soon as possible.
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Value your friendship
Rejecting someone can be very awkward and challenging, especially when it’s someone you care about as a friend. According to Kaitlin Kindman, LCSW, practice director and co-founder of Kindman & Co, when you have to reject someone who’s in your social circle or a very good friend or colleague, chances are you don’t want to lose the friendship, that’s why it becomes even more challenging.
Kindman suggests letting them know that you appreciate their honesty and courage, and give them space to understand that their feelings are not reciprocated.
You could say something like this: ‘I hope you know how important our friendship is to us and how much I value you as a person. I admire your courage and it’s definitely not easy to share your feelings. The last thing I want to do is hurt you, but I need to be courageous as well and tell you that I don’t feel the same way. I know it’s probably not what you wanted to hear, and this may make our friendship awkward for a bit, but I really want to continue to be your friend. Take all the time you need and when you’re ready, I’ll be here.’
Be respectful and appreciate the gesture
According to Gina Handley Schmitt, LMHC and author of Friending: Creating Meaningful, Lasting Adult Friendships, if your first date was not as good as you expected it and you have nothing in common, there’s no point in continuing to go on dates with that person. Schmitt suggests being kind be straightforward.
However, even if the other person is not quite your ‘type’ you need to consider their feelings and be respectful. After all, there is an actual human being on the receiving end of the rejection, a person who might be very disappointed or hurt if their feelings are not reciprocated, so you should try to be respectful and appreciative.
You could say something like: ‘I really appreciate your courage and I’m very flattered that you’re interested, but for me, it’s clear that a romantic relationship between us is not going to happen. Wish you luck in finding the right person for you.’
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Keep it casual
Most of the time, people feel the need to explain themselves after rejecting someone, but it doesn’t have to be like that. If a coworker asks you out on a date, and you know they’re not your cup of tea, be clear and straightforward and tell them you’re not interested, without feeling pressured to explain why.
By keeping a casual, neutral tone, you will create a more comfortable and less awkward situation.
You could say something like: I appreciate your interest and I’m flattered, but I don’t think we’re on the same page. I’m not looking for a partner right now, but thanks for asking!’
Make sure to also check the 10 Ways You’re Acting Like a Jerk Without Knowing It.
Don’t leave them in the dark
According to Kindman, one of the hardest and most uncomfortable feelings in the world is when you’re confused and don’t know how the other person is feeling about you, whether they’re interested or not.
“When we don’t have specific information, we tend to fill in the blanks ourselves.” Of course, there’s no need to share your life goals and expectations with every stranger you meet on a dating app, but if you went on several dates with a certain individual, you probably need to give them a few details and explain your decision.
You could say something like: ‘I’m glad I had the opportunity to know you, but I’m looking for someone who wants a serious relationship/ shares the same core values/ or the same political values, so I don’t think we’re on the same page. I hope you find what you’re looking for.’
Especially when it comes to an ex, you need to keep it short and sweet. “Let them know that your focus has shifted,” says Walker. There’s no need to discuss old details about your past relationship or talk about how much the breakup hurt.
You could say something like: ‘I’m very grateful for what we had, but boing out again would feel like a step backward for both of us. I wish you all the luck in the world and I hope you find what you’re looking for.’
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