Created on: July 16, 2008
We've all been in a situation where a less-than-ideal-for-us person has invited us on a date. The callous person finds it easy to crush the would-be suitor's self-esteem by laughing in their face, or by blunting stating that they're horribly uninterested in them. The kinder souls out there are the folks who have a difficult time in these "no, thank you" situations. Thankfully, declining a date invitation is a very easy thing, and can be handled with grace, courtesy, and kindness.
If you are genuinely uninterested in spending time with this person, regardless of the circumstance, a simple, "Oh, thank you for asking, but no," some similar variation will do nicely. This allows you to decline, but also allows the person with their confidence on the line to accept the rejection gracefully. Most people, after all, don't wish to make a scene and will appreciate the simple, respectful way you let them down. There is absolutely no need in expounding on why you are saying no, nor to patronize them with conciliatory pats on the back and encouragement to seek company elsewhere. Those types of responses do nothing but wreck the other person's pride. Also, if there is someone nearby whom you *would* be interested in spending time with, they may overhear your callous rejection of the first person. Chances are, that will get you classified as mean, and will destroy your chances of being asked out by the more desirable person.
Now, let's say that you're being asked out by someone that you wouldn't mind spending time with, but what they're suggesting sounds just dreadful. For instance, if you're a city-life girl and the invitation is to a camping trip or a three-mile hike. Or, if you're a country boy and being invited to a black-tie art gallery opening and operatic extravaganza. Just because the other person is offering something totally uninteresting to you does not mean that the person themselves is a hopeless cause. So rather than dismissing them directly out of hand, why not try a little negotiation first? "I'd love to go out with you, but I'm not really the outdoorsy type. How about dinner and a movie?" Or, "I'm not much of an art-gallery guy, and I don't own a formal suit. But I would like to take you to dinner, and maybe a walk on the beach?" If these suggestions are shot down, then perhaps the two of you don't have enough in common to negotiate further. At this point, a simple, "Well we'd certainly run out of conversation inside of an hour! Perhaps some other time," with a laugh and a smile will end the conversation easily, and let you both know that while you find each other attractive, you simply wouldn't have any fun together.
There will always be the person who absolutely refuses to take a "No, thank you" for an answer. At these times, it is one-hundred percent acceptable to drop the courtesy and bluntly tell them, "No, I am not interested in you, please leave me alone," and ignore any further attempts to engage. This is difficult for softer-hearted people who really don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. But short of being sneaky and giving a fake number or claiming to be married or of a different sexual orientation, blunt honesty is sometimes the only way to get through to an obnoxiously persistent pick-up artist. And hey, if you can't bring yourself to be so blunt, you could always say, "Why don't you give me your number, and I'll give you a call when my schedule clears up." No need to reveal that you plan on filling your schedule until the year 2045.
Learn more about this author, Hope Darby.
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