Rejection: It’s never an easy or a fun topic to address (well, unless you’re a little sadistic & enjoy in reveling in other people’s pain). But sometimes it’s necessary.
Maybe they’re a perfectly nice person, but you just don’t feel a spark.
Maybe after a night out, you realize they’re actually a really terrible human being and you never want to see them again.
Maybe getting involved with them will piss off a friend/start drama that you are not prepared to deal with.
Regardless of the reason, sometimes the only true option is to break the news to a person that there is absolutely no future for you. As I wrote about earlier, there’s the obvious option of just fading away slowly, ignorance is…bliss? But sometimes the person just will not get the picture, and you’ll keep getting bombarded with texts/FB chats/snapchats/whatever the kids are into these days. Then, the only real option is confronting the situation head on.
If it’s someone you don’t see on a daily basis, it’s a far less delicate situation; obviously you should still take their feelings into account, but if you don’t run the risk of bumping into them often (although, be warned. NY is a huge city but when I’m out with friends & we go bar hopping, someone will usually run into someone else they know. It’s the smallest big city, so, never say never…) then you don’t have to sugar coat the truth quite as much.
Honestly, I prefer a direct approach. Don’t fill your rejection to me with sugar coated cliches and niceties; if you don’t want to see me, tell me & I’ll move the fuck on. But when I’m the one doing the rejecting, I try to be a little nicer than that, because you just never know…let’s be honest, there’s no good way to tell someone you aren’t interested.
The other day I kept getting hit up by a co-worker, and as I’ve already made my feelings clear regarding getting romantically/emotionally involved in the workplace, I knew I needed to be clearer than [I thought] I already had been. He texted me a few times, and I didn’t respond right away, but then he called and asked me out to dinner. This situation was more delicate, as I have to see him often, I knew I couldn’t just hope it would fade away.
I tried to be as positive and honest as possible. I felt really guilty for a moment, but after I sent it, I felt this enormous weight lift off my chest-I had been unmistakably clear, and (at least I thought) pretty nice about the whole thing:
Hey, I hope you don’t think I’m being presumptuous by saying this, I just want to be honest and clear: when I said the other night I wasn’t looking for anything, I meant I really don’t want to be with/do anything with anyone right now. I think you’re a nice guy and I hope we can be pals, but I think it’s best to not mess with my professional relationships in the workplace right now.
Luckily he responded in a pretty positive manner, said he wasn’t looking for anything either, he just wanted to hang out. But unfortunately, a lot of times when guys want to just “hang out,” that’s not all they hope to do. And I’m not really comfortable fooling around with someone I feel nothing but indifference for. That doesn’t seem a worthwhile use of my time or energy. Call me a prude/old fashioned, but I like to have some sort of feeling toward someone I am involved with.
In the end, honesty is the best policy.