These tips are also handy in other no-saying situations – for example, if your partner suggests something that you really don’t want to do.
- Try to be honest about why you don’t want to go out with them – without mentioning any physical reasons, such as their weight or poor fashion sense! For example:
‘I’m sorry, but I just don’t feel the same way.’
‘I appreciate the way you feel, but I don’t think it’ll work out.’
‘I’m very busy at the moment, so I just don’t have time for a relationship.’
If you can’t think of anything, then just say ‘no’. You don’t always have to explain yourself.
- Be firm, so they know you really mean it. But be nice too. Don’t laugh, or say they’re being ridiculous.
- To make the situation less awkward, try to start a conversation after your turndown. Like mention a film you’ve just seen, or something funny that just happened to you. If this doesn’t work, just politely excuse yourself and go talk to someone else.
- If the person is a friend, tell them that you appreciate their friendship and hope the two of you can still hang out. It may be awkward for a while and they may need some space to recover. But as long as you continue to treat them normally and with respect, the friendship may even grow stronger.
By the way, here are some specific tips on saying ‘no’ to sex.