How to Reject a Guy Politely

Written by morgan o'connor
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How to Reject a Guy Politely
(BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

When a guy flirts with you, asks you out or requests your phone number, you may find yourself in an awkward situation if you are not equally interested in him. This awkwardness is compounded if you are a particularly compassionate person who understands that he might be mortified if you reject him or if you and he are friends and you do not want to destroy the friendship by abruptly and coldly rejecting him. Fortunately, you can usually reject a guy politely while mostly sparing his feelings.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Thank him for his attention. Be as genuine as possible when doing this; knowing that you sincerely appreciate the question will help him feel less embarrassed about being turned down. If he has been inappropriate in his attention, you may wish to skip this step, as he might take it as encouragement or a sign that his behaviour is welcome.

  2. 2

    Tell him that you can't accept his advances, and---if it would be appropriate and helpful---explain why. For example, if you already have a boyfriend, you might wish to make this clear to him. Do not lead him on, however. If, for example, he asked you to a movie on Friday night and you are not interested in ever going to a movie with him, don't tell him that you are busy on Friday night (even if this is true), as he might think this means he should just ask you out for another night. If you have no reason to refuse him except that you are not interested, simply tell him that you can't accept without elaborating as to why.

  3. 3

    Show him that you like him as a person, even if not a potential date, and that your rejection is not because you hate him or find him unworthy of any attention. Again, the exception to this would be if he has treated you inappropriately or you truly do dislike him for a good reason. If possible and you think he will take it the right way, answer with a sense of humour to make him feel more comfortable.

  4. 4

    Tailor your answer based on the circumstances and what you think of him. If, for instance, a perfectly likable guy asks you out on a date while you are at a dance night in a pub, he might say, "You're a great dancer. Would you like to go out tomorrow night?" You could respond with a smile, "Thanks so much, I'm flattered. I'm afraid my boyfriend wouldn't appreciate me going out with another guy. But I'd love to have the next dance if you don't already have a partner." If, however, a creepy guy who has been leering at you all night were to ask the same thing, you could simply and politely say, "Thank you, but I'm afraid not."

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