It's flattering when a guy is interested in you, but that attention can quickly become an annoyance or inconvenience if you don't feel the same way. It's natural to put off saying "no" to someone because you don't want to hurt his feelings, says life coach Preston Ni in "Seven Ways to Say 'No' and Keep Good Relations," for Psychology Today. However, rejecting his advances doesn't make you a bad person, provided you do it in a considerate way.
The next time the guy asks you out or flirts with you, tell him you're not interested. Use "I" or "it" statements, for example, "It's not the right time for me to get into a relationship," or "I made a promise to myself that I would stay single for a while." These types of statements are difficult for someone to argue with, says Ni. Use a combination of "I" and "it" statements to make your point until he gets the message.
Bend the Truth
Sometimes, honesty is not the best policy. By focusing on a guy's good points, it's possible to let him down gently, suggests "Cosmopolitan" in the article "How Can I Let Him down Gently?" Telling him you're not attracted to him might hurt his feelings. Instead, give him a compliment and then explain why you're not interested in dating right now (or tell a little white lie if you don't have a genuine reason). For example, say something like, "You're a lovely guy, but I've just gone through a difficult divorce and I'm not ready to date yet." If he's persistent, or if he wants to know details about your divorce or past relationship, tell him politely that you'd rather not discuss it.
You may not want to date this guy, but if you think he'd be perfect for one of your friends, utilize your matchmaking skills. He'll soon get the message that you're not interested if you suggest setting him up with someone else. In this scenario, you are actually paying him a huge compliment, because you're saying, "You may not be the one for me, but I think you have the qualities to make someone I care about happy."
Go for the Gadgets
If a guy really won't get the message that you're not interested, employ a few tricks to avoid him without being rude. When you spot him approaching you, grab your cell phone and become engrossed in an imaginary conversation. Have your cell set to vibrate in case someone actually calls you and ruins the pretence. If you tend to bump into him at certain times or places, wear earphones as part of your routine, suggests Dave Johnson in the article "4 Ways to Politely Stop People from Distracting You." What you're listening to, if anything, doesn't matter. Look straight ahead and walk with purpose. He'll assume you're too engrossed to be aware of his presence.
C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."