You do not have to be perky, cheery, flirty, or sweet for this to happen. You can be fabulously snarky, moody, or uninterested and a guy can still misread your politeness or a little kindness as being interested in him. That’s when things usually get super awkward, so here are a few tips to help you handle it.
- Be compassionate. Oh how it sucks to like someone and not be liked back in that way. Try not to belittle or bad talk anyone for crushing on you. If you act responsibly and respectfully during this, you will come out ahead. Trust us on this.
- Be direct. Even if it’s scary or uncomfortable, if a guy is pursuing or wooing you and you have no interest in being pursued or wooed, you owe it to yourself to tell him that. A moment of honesty can alleviate weeks of him chasing you and you avoiding him. (That gets old. Fast.)
- Be brave. It’s no fun telling someone stuff they probably don’t want to hear. It can be scary or make you totally anxious. But this is another thing that sucks, that’s necessary, and that’ll make you feel instant relief as soon as it’s over. Tap into your courage. We know you have it in you.
- Be yourself. Don’t think you can’t be nice or funny or encouraging during this. You have to be you. The idea is to be clear with him, not a robot. Showing care is ok, just don’t get sucked into feeling sorry for him and taking care of his needs over yours. Stay strong, communicate your way, but don’t backtrack or leave it open ended because then you’ll have to go through this again in a month or two.
- Be aware. Some guys might feel humiliated or slighted in this situation. Most can cope, but on rare occasions they can’t. If he gets aggressive or mean in any way, that’s not ok and it’s important to tell someone. Friends, parents, a trusted teacher or another adult, your brother who happens to be a cop—let any of them know you’re bothered and let them help.