Do you feel it's more important to be nice or direct when rejecting someone?

I personally feel it's better to be direct because when you reject someone softly or indirectly and offer excuses and compliments, it can lead people to keep trying.

I'm not saying you should be super mean by any stretch, but I think it's better to say: "No, I'm not interested in you and I'm not going to be in the future," then: "I'm really just not ready to date anybody right now, you're a really nice guy/girl and everything, I'm just really focusing on me..."

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Most Helpful Guys

  • What good does it do to be sugarcoating the reality that stands between you and the person you're rejecting? If you come forward with being direct about why you're rejecting someone, it gives them insight of what could be improved for the next person they meet unless it's just simply a lack of compatibility which is understandable! Every time you beat around the bush trying to reject someone as nicely as possible, you'll begin to feel bad that they haven't learned anything from you and may make the same mistakes with the next person they meet.

    I can agree with you that you shouldn't have to bash them down with criticism, negativity and harsh tones; just be simple and direct with providing useful information and feedback about what went wrong and then simply move forward after that! The more often you speak your mind of what you truly want to say, the more confident you'll feel in providing honest and helpful feedback to whoever you come across. I'd hate to think someone couldn't handle the truth and that you'd have to be soft on them so they don't act out like an immature person with their emotions running wild. Simply put, I'd completely agree with your statement and think people should be more honest and direct about rejecting someone instead of cowardly ghosting them or being too soft about it.

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  • Well... depending on the wording. You can always send underlying messages...
    but you have to gauge on how hard you were hit on. Like if they were just telling you that they liked you, the response would be different than if they just flat out asked you out.
    A response i would use would be "I appreciate the gesture, you seem likable, but im afraid im not the one you are seeking."... its a roller-coaster effect. they get to land softly...

    Well, its better than the time i looked that girl up... then down... then up again and straight up said to her face "oh hell no".. then laughed.
    it all depends.

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Most Helpful Girls

  • Hmmm, surprisingly, I disagree. I think thats a little much and not really necessary in most situations. I think all women have the right to handle it however they see fit though because men can be a bit much at the same time. I've been successful with the nicer approach and it works fine, accompanied by the right body language, tone of voice, and environment. I might say, "Im not interested" but I probably would never say "and I won't be interested in the future." there's also something about the "you" that seems especially harsh in this scenario, I don't know. Im just not into it. It also sounds like something someone with very limited communication/social skills would say, if its used as a first resort in all scenarios.

    Ill give an example. The other day some cab driver asked for my social media. The first time I said no, because I usually dont use that one, then he asked for another one and I just said, "yeah I have one but I only give it out to my friends." And then I just changed the subject quickly. He kind of gave me this smile/what the hell no fair look, but he got the message. And I didn't have to directly tell him "ill never be interested in YOU, sir." Its just a bit dramatic for that scenario and most that I've been in.

    I've also literally just said "oh, no thank you, but enjoy your drink. Love the shirt!" While walking away with a smile.

    If its a friend, It does get trickier. One guy friend kept trying to break the "friend zone" with sexual comments. Id tell him you can't just say those kind of things but he wouldn't really stop completely. Then I just told him how I felt and why Id never do anything with him. (Was a specific reason in that case.)

    In other cases, its as simple as "youre great, but im looking for something else. I do wish you luck in finding someone though and I hope we can be just friends."

    You dont have to be nice, women are told to be nice way too often. So if thats your approach, by all means, let them know!

    Still, I prefer something thats more of a kind let down personally, UNLESS he's an obvious asshole or is harassing me, in which case, my reply would probably be a lot harsher than what youve posted. And I'm actually a very direct person in general, but Im also conscious of the vulnerability it takes to put yourself out there and sensitive to the impact on peoples confidence I guess. If he gives me a reason to be harsh, I'll let him have it. If not, I have the communicative capacity to strike a balance of nice and direct.

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  • Direct is bet I think.
    Unfortunately when you’re nice about it can leave things unclear and possibly give hope to them that something could happen in the future. Like lying and saying “no, I’m sorry I have a boyfriend” that’s just saying if I didn’t have a boyfriend I’d totally be open to going out with you.
    It sucks to have to be direct and it comes off as cruel but in the end it just makes more sense so no one is unclear about what is/could happen

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What Guys Said 92

  • I think oyu have to use your judgement on These Things- I don't have a hard and fast rule, although I've certainly handled turning a Woman down poorly sometimes when I was younger.

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  • I think being nice is important, if you are going to reject someone, reject them how you would want to be rejected, don't just say "Fck no." be considerate to their feelings and maybe even stay friends after and don't make shit awkward ^_^

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  • I’m nice when rejecting someone. I usually don’t need a second or third take, because most people will get it after the first. If you need a second or third take, then take it. I don’t personally like being rude or inconsiderate of other people’s feelings, so by being “nice” you ensure that no one’s feelings are going to get hurt or if they do get hurt, it’s the most minuscule amount.

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  • There are mature ways to go about it, why you feel the need to hurt someone in the process is crazy. For once you should appreciate someone even wants your ass, because there is always more fish in the sea.
    Second it takes courage for a man to speak his mind to a woman in manner, which is exactly why women don't ask men out, they are weak and emotional and 1 rejection will crush their little hearts.

    So I'm polite about it, I try the most mature way always, no need to be cruel.

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  • Direct is definitely the way to go. When I was younger and more naive, a girl rejected me "nicely" and I thought I still had a chance. It's anything but being nice. It's actually just being dishonest and makes the other person hold on to a hope that isn't there.

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  • I'm a pretty friendly guy and I go to various social events. There have been instances where women have been bitchy and mean to me out of thin air perhaps thinking I was "interested". Yeah OK but really did they have to be that way? I mean if I had asked them on a date or made some other advance towards them then I could "get it". I'm just saying that if a woman is going to reject a guy, make sure there is something to reject first... A guy being friendly isn't necessarily a come-on.

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  • If you're being "nice" you're doing it out of selfishness, not selflessness. If you really gave a damn about their well being, you'd tell them exactly what they did wrong (if anything) or what exactly about them you don't find attractive (so they can change it)--so that they can be more successful in finding a partner in the future.

    If you're "nice", you're sacrificing all of that for the sake of making yourself more comfortable.

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  • Nice is direct. Obfuscating and lying is not being nice. I don't know why people think lying is nice, its never nice. And before anyone says "What if your wife puts on a trash bag of a dress and asks if she looks nice? you better not say she looks hideous." No but I would say that dress doesn't look good. What is nicer, lying so she looks stupid in front of everyone or telling her the truth so she can change?

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  • Saying "No, I'm not interested in you and I'm not going to be in the future," actually IS on the mean side! I'd rather say: "I don't feel much chemistry between us, so there's no point in pursuing a relationship" ... or something like that.

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    • I agree. I thought it was on the mean side too. You don't have to be a jerk to reject someone. It's already hard enough to be rejected. I'm not for telling lies but you would be better off teliing this person you have a girlfriend or whatever than say that. Do unto others as you would have done to you.

    • @Rosie7777 "Do unto others as you would have done to you", except if you're a masochist !! LOL

  • You can be direct while being tactful. Ie if you aren't attracted to him telling him he's ugly is mean but saying he's not your type is fair.

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  • Chronic you're exactly right! Better to be Direct it stings but why give some guy false hope? I know some women do it just because the like the attention. They like being pursued. So they'll always have that ego boost banked. i don't want to call them bad people. but i don't think it's very nice.

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  • I totally agree with you there - if you're too nice they might see it as an open window to try harder. I'd say to be firm and asertive just not cruel... Unless they really don't get the message that is 😊

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  • Women tend to tip-toe around things and are sometimes too nice. It gets them into a lot of trouble or causes issues such as when trying to reject a guy's advances. Being direct is MUCH better and gets the job done the first time.

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    • Exactly! I use to try to put others down nicely but it didn’t help.

  • I *feel* its much better to be direct, but It's really easy to think you're going to be direct... however when push comes to shove its hard lol. Especially if the person is really attractive to you and really nice. If they're not your type at all or they are too pushy then it's easy to be blunt.

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  • Be sincere. There is no need to tear someone down while rejecting them unless something they did warrants it. If the chemistry is just not there, then so be it. There is no sense in wasting everyone's time because of fear of hurting someone's feelings. In the long run you may end up hurting that person more as more time elapses and attachment grows in their mind.

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  • Speaking from experience what good is it to sugar coat or play the freind angle? All you do is give them false hope which is 100x more cruel by stringing them along.

    Once you drown in all your sorrows all at once then the healing process can begin.

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  • Both. You can turn someone down without being rude or disrespectful. But it is important to be clear that its not going to work.

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  • Why must the two be mutually separated? Eph 4:15 says to "speak the truth in love". Be direct and speak kindly while still keeping your boundary in the situation.

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  • Its an individual decision.
    The way one speaks can tell about him/her, how they have seen their surrounding.

    I would reject in a nice way, coz i never know wats going in others mind or how they might be struggling or something else.
    If im in a bad mood, rude words will be automatic.😂😂😂

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  • Had a girl reject me tell me she wouldn’t date me if I was the last guy on earth then I distanced myself from her and she goes why aren’t you talking to me and I’m not gonna leave you alone till you talk to me. I talk to her and she reports me to our manager for harassment

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  • both.
    start with nice, respectful, and truthful.
    if they don't get the hint, go to direct and firm.
    but always be respectful.

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  • Direct, as nice as you try to be it always comes across as condecending. A no is enough of a reason no need to go into more detail unless they try and push you.

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  • I am nice, it didn't work out well
    But then again , no girl would be interested in me lol , okay maybe online , but not in real life.

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  • l play it cool as l have been rejected by a girl on this site after 5 month of talking it was all my own blame l wish we could get back to talking again as l miss her so much the girl blocked me

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  • direct, so he knows why and can Change himself for the next time.

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  • Direct. One thing that pisses me off about women is when they can't say, "I want another date" or "This was fun, but I don't think this will work out".
    Quit wasting my time.

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  • You can be both. Being blunt isn't unkind, it's actually the kindest thing you can do. Honestly is the best policy.

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  • Yes, I agree. Being direct with a rejection is better than saying something nice and not being fully understood.

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  • It's important to be nice, but you can make yourself clear without being too direct.

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  • No you have to be very blunt, not even if you were the last warty look alike on this fly piece of space junk!

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What Girls Said 53

  • Nice

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  • To be honest, I just don’t reply after a bad date. People can work it out from silence. I think that is unkind to verbally reject someone, basically listing all the reasons they don’t measure up. I wouldn’t like that. I’d prefer to just work it out myself with silence.

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  • rarely is lying a good idea. but firm and polite are not exclusive. and you dont have to be honest to a fault. that IS a thing... such as no need to tell him he hasn't got a shot in hell and his nose hairs are a major turn off. a simple "we are not compatible but i am sure other women would be a better fit. i wish you the best" works

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  • When I read your question first I was gonna tell to be nice but your explanation damn saying it from personal experience, I ended up waiting for my ex for more than 3 years because he said me the same exact words.. I wish he would have rejected me directly than giving me false hope now I don't wanna date anyone which made me think may b in future he will if I wait patiently bc he didn't reject me

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  • Somewhere in between. I feel that if someone is decently approaching you, you should turn them down decently too. It's another story if they're being incessant.

    Like "it was nice of you to ask, but I'm not interested, hope you find someone who you click with"

    But even after this they're being pushy then I'd be direct

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  • You can do both. I prefer straight rejection then the BS that I've gotten (you deserve better, I'm not ready etc etc). I handled being told "I don't think its going to work out" a lot better. When I have rejected someone, I'm not mean to them.

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  • You can do both. Be direct, but let them down easy so there isn’t any lasting tension or awkwardness for when you have to interact with them in the future, which, if you’re classmates, coworkers, in the same friend group, etc., is bound to happen if you aren’t tactful.

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  • I do choose to be nice often before but i discovered that (some) people would still see it as a chance and you end up leading them on. So I’d say being straightforward and direct really is the better choice, but you can still try to be as considerate to their feelings as possible.

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    • And also ***based on my experience when you choose to be nice, they’d see hope for some reason.. like they can change your mind, or say “its okay im not rushing you..” / “I’ll wait for u”, etc. Which is worse because you would have to reject them twice and so

  • I agree with you.
    A clear communicated rejection is better than keeping them hanging; for both parties.
    I do offer explanations though (not detailed) as to why I'm rejecting, because I find that to be more respectful than ghosting or not say anything at all. It can provide a beneficial change for either me or the other person, and depending on the situation, maybe not in the moment but down the line.

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  • If you're still rejecting them, being nice shouldn't be a problem. It seems to be for me though. People just dont understand a "no" Even when its said clearly. Some people just have way too much hope and try too hard. They take niceness for granted. And I mean being nice, not being indirect.

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  • I have tried both. Nice is better when you want to keep the person interested. Direct is better when you don't.

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  • Be honest but do not be cruel. There are many ways to say a word it just depends on how you say it. For me I keep it simple I say that I am not into dating I don’t add the extra information just to pet their ego. Just not interested in dating.

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  • Direct, if your too nice they will think they still have a chance. Or they may even misinterpret what you are saying.

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  • It’s better and more important to be Direct. Some people don’t know how to see niceness for what it is.

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  • It's best if you're both nice while being firm about it. But If I could only choose one, direct is better so they aren't left with any false hope for a future relationship.

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  • Definitely direct, which can still be done nicely. :)

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  • I'm direct, but sometimes that doesn't work anyway, so I guess I'm either too nice about it or doing it wrong.

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  • Direct.

    Some don't get the hints. Most pretended not to get the hints.

    And I don't need obsessive stalkerssssss

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  • I used to be nice. But they never took the hint and kept trying. So now I've learned to be very direct. Even if I am mean at times.

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    • Being direct and honest isn't mean when it comes to feelings in that matter is being nice, but being the so called interpretation of being nice is actually mean and disrespectful, also if you present it on purpose in a demeaning way or in a mean way.

  • Yes so u wouldn’t hurt someone’s feelings that much. If u turned them down rudely then they’d be really offended

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  • I never get approach but if I do I make the ugliest face.

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  • To be honest and direct but not unnessecarily harsh.

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  • Always be kind because you'll never know when you might need that person -- you can be kind but still direct

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  • direct being nice they still think they have a change or try changing your mind

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  • I've tried being nice but it doesn’t work. Ring direct but not too blunt is better

    For instance, a guy wanted to date me so I just told him I couldn’t cause my parents. Later this person became a friend to me but he wanted to date me. I told him I only saw him as a friend and he stopped asking me out

    Another example is a guy would message me but I was annoyed by him. So after he kept texting me despite me not responding or responding with one word, I ended up telling him that it wasn’t a good idea for us to be friends. He stopped messaging me after and he wasn’t left with questions

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  • It depends on what type of relationship you want to maintain with the person you're rejecting.

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  • Some men will kill you, it's actually your survival instincts that forces you to lie for your safety.

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    • Some women will kill you just because they see you walking past. That's like a 0.0000001% chance to happen. We still don't stay holed up at home being afraid of it.
      If the chances are too slim, we usually ignore them. You don't lie due to some survival instinct.

    • @Sucram Shut up dude, just shut up.

  • Being direct is the best choice. Nice rejections with the words "right now" and "you're really nice..." give fake hope and may confuse the other person... that's not fair.

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  • It depends on the person, if this person is kind and fragil, you should put it as nce as you can.

    But soeme are getting angry if you do it that way and be like 'Just say what you want damit!'

    Bit dont say 'but we can still be friends'

    Its like when the doctor says 'Your dog died but you can keep him'

    Let them say it then you can say yes or no.

    But you have to think that they liked you very much and have to witness you with another or helping you with andother person in your life. beeing happy without them.

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  • I tried to be nice a lot of times before... but now I've learned to be more direct with rejection... its the easier way for me😋

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