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The How-To Lounge: Rejecting Someone

No matter which end you’re on, rejection is an unpleasant experience. Though in some ways rejecting someone might be easier than being rejected, it can still be difficult to negotiate, especially if you want to do it nicely. So if you’ve got to let someone down easy, I have some tips to share. To see them, please


  • Always proceed with kindness. Even if you don’t feel like being nice at the time, later down the road you’ll be thankful you kept things friendly.
  • Don’t treat anyone in a way that you wouldn’t want to be treated. Yes, we learned this one back in grammar school, but it’s incredibly true.
  • Avoid hollow sentiments. It’s easy to throw out all the clichés in the book, but your rejectee will appreciate hearing the honest truth. Applicable to breakups only: never use the “it’s not you; it’s me” line. Even if it’s true, no one believes it.
  • Consider your words carefully. Just because you’re being honest, doesn’t mean you can’t phrase things to sound gentler.
  • When people are being rejected, they’re likely to demand answers and get angry. If you encounter a situation like this, try to take their accusatory questions in stride. Their anger is normal, and it won’t help anything to get defensive.


Join The Conversation
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
Definitely be nice when rejecting someone -just in case they have a hot friend they want to set you up with. If someone is bothering you and just won't quit after you've rejected them you might have to be mean. Don't ever talk to them because that only makes them keep calling or texting because they think they could have a chance.
SiMpLy1rEs1sTbLe SiMpLy1rEs1sTbLe 9 years
I'm guilty of trying to be too nice when it comes to rejecting guys. They took it the wrong way and thought that they still had a chance. Now I make it a point to be blunt, honest, and no beating around the bush. Sometimes I can be downright mean. But honestly, I think I'd rather get a clear message out than unknowingly lead them on.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i don't like to be confrontational about things like this sometimes, and it's hard when you don't want to hurt some one's feelings. for myself - i've always taken the low road and done the screen/blow off. i usually phase someone out of my life and i know that ti's not the right way to do it - but that's what i do since i know that if the other person doesn't want to break up - i'll cave.
elizabethsosewn elizabethsosewn 9 years
I agree with chocolatine. IF I have problem si say dead-pan "stop talking to me. I want nothing to do with you. Leave me alone" and that usually makes them swallow it.
chocolatine chocolatine 9 years
I'm probably going to draw some ire for this, but I think the best way to get rid of a persistent suitor is to tell him in no uncertain terms that he has no chance with you. It's obvious from the previous posts that ignoring doesn't help; this is because many guys interpret ingnoring or gentle rejection as "playing hard to get" and increase their efforts as a result.
DearSugar DearSugar 9 years
For the guys that just won't quit, ignoring is definitely your best bet. Eventually, they have to give up, and if not, talk to your cell phone company about having their phone calls and texts blocked entirely. It's truly amazing how some people aren't phased by rejection at all!
Dr-No Dr-No 9 years
I actually had a situation similar to ladychaos in my lab. Luckily the guy didn't have my phone number, but he sat right behind me in my cube! I tried to be nice (and/or ignore him) but it didn't work. He would try to talk to me every day, but he never actually admitted that he was romantically interested. One day he confessed he had a crush on me. I EXPLODED. I told him I was going to tell the chair of my lab, and asked him to move his seat. He behaved for a few weeks so I changed my mind, but when he returned to normal behavior again! So I changed my seat, and months later he was still bugging me though I told him clearly not to. SO finally I told my advisor and now he isn't allowed to even say hello to me or he will go on academic probation! He also was required to go to counseling. ladychaos, if he is in the same school as you, report him. If you are in college, there may be a way you can anonymously refer him to get counseling.
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
Get your brothers on him! ;) If you have I had the same problem with 2 guys in High school and I got my older brothers on them and they finally GOT the message. :woohoo: But, really just continue to ignore him and HOPE that one day he will get the message. :) Good Luck Ladies!
winniecooper winniecooper 9 years
Too bad all the advice on kindness is always given to women, like on sites such as this. Someone needs to run these tips during football games...
Lily-Inferno Lily-Inferno 9 years
I havent the foggiest. I am currently going through the same sitch. I hate it. Ignoring texts, calls and IMs is not enough aparently. :(
ladychaos ladychaos 9 years
Ok, so Dear, what should I do about a guy who I've rejected that continues to call/text/email? I told him that I was not interested in going out with him, and I also told him that he gets annoying when he texts/calls me on the hour every hour every day, especially when I'm in class. I started ignoring his calls and texts and im's, but he STILL doesn't get it. What should I do? Anybody have suggestions?
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