How to Turn Down a Guy

Article updated 2018

You’ve been there before. You’re sitting on the train by yourself or waiting innocently for an appointment, and some guy starts talking to you. Even before he opened his mouth, you felt his eyes on you, and your feminine intuition perks its head up and says….’this guy is bad news….’

So you remain friendly, and try not to say too much as to wrongly give him the impression you’re interested, and try not to say too little just in case he’s one of those ones whose anger boils when you refuse to give him any attention. I think every woman has had the unfortunate opportunity to deal with the latter.

(Click here to take the quiz on “How Naturally Feminine Am I Actually?”)

Whilst you’re trying to balance out your inattention with your pleasantries, the tension is building and it gets to the crunch point where he says “so where are you going after this?” or “so have you got a boyfriend?” or the dreaded “What’s your number?”

Hm. If you’re lucky, you would have gotten away with the old “I have a boyfriend, sorry” – but sometimes, just sometimes, a more ‘intense’ kind of guy throws this at you:

“WHAT?! Am I not good enough for You???!!” Or proceeds to stalk you on your subsequent wanderings.

By this time your heart is racing, and you’re feeling a little vulnerable and perhaps a tad scared. I’ve witnessed this exact situation happen with other women, as well as with myself. It’s particularly bad when a man is intoxicated.

What do you DO??!

As feminine, kind, caring, sensitive and compassionate women, we don’t want to start a fight with him, but neither are we interested in him. Here are some suggestions I have:

If you’re around other people, throw a pleading look at the nearest gentleman or beefy looking man, hoping he will step up and say “if you continue to hassle my wife, you’ll be dealing with me”. Show your vulnerability to another man of close proximity and appeal to his sense of protectiveness, and inclination to help the damsel in distress.

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If you’re alone and particularly vulnerable and he persists, the best thing to do would be to do some quick thinking, and figure out a way to make him feel important (give him some significance) without giving away any personal details, and without wrongly giving him the impression that you ARE interested. If the “I have a boyfriend” line didn’t work, then you most likely have a bigger problem on your hands.

There will be men who disrespect your femininity and vulnerability and use their perhaps overpowering masculinity to try to intimidate you in to submitting to them or giving them the attention/love that they want.

And if you look particularly feminine, young/innocent, are an open/kind and warm woman or are particularly petite or delicate, you may even appear more like the ideal target for men like this. No wonder so many women refuse to smile and talk to men they’ve never met before. It can get us into a bit of a predicament and men can take it the wrong way! (read my article about do beautiful women intimidate men)

It’s hard for women, as we don’t want to give men the wrong impression by smiling – hence giving him the impression that we’re open to them, yet we don’t want to feel inhibited and guilty. Nor do we want to ignore men or seem arrogant, snobby or dismissive.

So how do we strike a good balance and get the result we want without damaging a man’s ego or causing him to get more angry and feel more rejected?

A good way to deal with a man who is hassling you is to bounce straight back at him on his level (intellectually) and/or break his pattern. So, if he appears to be a little bit of an unbalanced and desperate individual, make up a playful yet dismissive line such as “I’m going to the North Pole, and the last train is leaving in 10 minutes”. If he’s the type that says “oh c’monnnnn….” just keep distracting him until he stops.

You could also try “shhhhh.”

“Did you hear that??!”

……….”oh it’s my phone, I think it must be my boyfriend calling!”

Use the art of distraction! Distraction or breaking his pattern, whatever you like to call it, can be very effective because you are able to superficially connect with him, so as to make him feel somewhat acknowledged, and you’re able to engage him playfully to make everything a little more light-hearted as well as confuse him.

The best thing to do, if you cannot easily get out of the situation, is to know your outcome (to not be stalked), don’t lose sight of your outcome, and keep bringing the focus of the conversation back to get him to leave you alone.

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If you get angry or aggressive back, this could make him more angry, as a man with a masculine sexual essence will respond to challenge by putting up a fight – if he is disrespecting you in the first place (won’t leave you alone), he probably won’t even consider the fact that you’re a woman and that you ought to be treated differently to a man in a similar situation, even if you’re getting angry and aggressive towards him.

It’s important to remember that in a difficult situation such as this, where an egocentric man uses his masculinity for the worse, normal ways of dealing with men may not apply. There are some men who will play on your vulnerability and the more vulnerable you look, the worse they get.

If you are with a girlfriend, you can give her a nudge to help you out. I have a very smart, witty and quick-thinking girlfriend who got us out of a situation like this before by grabbing my hand and immediately marching off with me. This was rather brazen and abrupt but effective in the circumstances.

If you want, you can also memorize the rejection line number as a quick way out. There should be a particular number for your country/area. 🙂 Just make sure to disappear before he says “I’ll prank you so you have my number too”.

If a man is seriously angry at you, intoxicated and appears dangerous, you can still distract him or break his pattern, as a man’s judgment may be impaired if he is intoxicated. So, being playful and funny, or even ‘weird’ can cause him to become a little confused, and distracted from his ‘goal’. (read my article about finding and attracting your ideal man)

Admittedly, this strategy may not always work. So if he is being aggressive and you are alone, make sure to show that you are not going to be taken advantage of, and in this situation, you want to completely disregard a man’s sensitive ego. State firmly that you no longer wish to be hassled, and that if he continues it you will (fill in the gaps)/use your pepper spray or call the police.

Ultimately, every situation will be different but knowing your outcome and standing your ground helps.

Do you want to increase your knowledge about men? Click here to get our popular program Understanding Men.

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Do you have any suggestions for ways in which women can deal with unwanted attention? What do you do when you need to turn a guy down? Do you have any good stories to share with us that we can all learn from?

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Jessica Wade
Jessica Wade

Both men and women don’t like to be rejected. If the person you’re interested in isn’t feeling you, move on. It does become a problem when one can’t take no for an answer. Sometimes you have to be an asshole or bitch to get a person to realize you’re not interested. A guy came up to me and started out as a gentleman. He asked if I had a man. I told him I was married (I really am married). Of course, that didn’t sway him, so I told him that any man who doesn’t respect my husband doesn’t respect… Read more »

Mola
Mola

as for me, turnin guys down isnt based on their looks or race.my boyfriend even askd why i was sufferin him..’i didnt want the relationship @ first’..he’s handsome trust me,hes rich and hes a white…the thing is when a girl say i dnt want to be your friend why cant guys jst accept it?..in my case,some tried provin why the should be my friend..some got my number from..in one case my boss @ work..i had to quit that job cause i was tired of guys harassin me..i mean am jst 18 ..i even thot of goin to get a face… Read more »

Holly
Holly

Lol, I think I know were I’m going wrong now! I tell people that I’m single when they ask and then say oh no I don’t give out my number. This must sound confusing to a man to say that I’m single but then tell him no I don’t give out my number. My ex boyfriend told me to say that as I felt bad about the whole situation as I’m very sensitive so overly concern myself with others feelings. From now on I will say that I have a boyfriend. one man actually said to me, is it because… Read more »

Kindness
Kindness

I have an ordeal. If a woman insists on bothering a man who is not interested in interacting with her, and yet she persists, would the above steps be an appropriate method of dealing with her? When I take the train or subway, and random women try talking to me or touching me while I am trying to read the daily news on my tablet, and I tell them I am busy, or not interested, and they do not leave me alone, but I do not wish to be rude, so I usually just politely entertain their speech, throw on… Read more »

mary89
mary89

I think if you really don’t want start a conversation with a man, there is no reason to be (or look) warm & open to him. You can be polite but cold -and even sometimes not responding. According to my experience, a lot of men will understand that you’re not willing to befriend them. This also reduces the risk of entering the intoxinating phase for him.
I don’t know how much this reaction will be usefull for other women, but for me & my girlfriends is often a good way to turn down such a guy.

erin
erin

I’m not sure how much advice I can give to anyone seeing as how I’m in the same situation, only the guy who won’t stop bugging me is kind of an aquaintence. He’s not a good friend of mine, but he also isn’t a total stranger. I made the mistake of giving him my number on facebook because he seemed nice. Now he texts me all day everyday even when I don’t respond or if I say I’m busy right now. Mistake #2: hanging out with him out of pressure and guilt. He is so darn pushy, clingy, and I… Read more »

Tanya Rachel Wieczorek
Tanya Rachel Wieczorek
Reply to  erin

Tell him your ex-Navy Seal ex-husband is in town visiting & he’d love to meet you, you two would hit it right off?? As he’s looking for a new shrink to help him with his issues after eliminating a couple of targets? (just kiddin’)

I don’t know! Did you find a solution/what happened?

Elena
Elena

Sometimes men are unable to understand how intuition is, for a woman, protection. We may never have a reason for the “no” besides “something didn’t feel right” and, truth be told, that is a perfectly acceptable reason. No one is required to be polite to someone who is not respectful? Beznik speaks as though from personal experience of hurtful brush-offs from girls. Perhaps the caustic attitude your comments reveal, the minimalization of the feelings of women, the disrespect evident (not all women think only of looks and money) in your appraisal of all women who turn down a man, etc… Read more »

A.
A.

My favorite tactic is to wear my sunglasses and always have my iphone handy, ear buds ready to pop in my ears. See no evil, hear no evil, and almost every time they clearly get the message and go away. If you’re wearing sunglasses and ear buds before they see you, they may not even bother to approach. A sweatshirt with a hood works wonders too. The only reservation I have is that rejected men can be dangerous, so don’t blatantly provoke them. This article suggests engaging with him on some level. I wouldn’t. The faster you can get away… Read more »

Beznik
Beznik

Female intuition my ass I have met a couple of women like that, they get “vibes” the kind of vibes that just so happen to tell them to fear walking on the same side of the street as a black guy or a guy who looks “creepy” to them. Usually middle or upper class and acting on classist assumptions at the end of the day they expect daddy or the cops or some “big strong man” to protect them and are an embarrassment to feminism. What I am getting from this article is if your a guy and you are… Read more »

Elle E.
Elle E.

@ peter pan… if brad pitt (or in my case, Johnny Depp 😉 ) did that I would be EVEN MORE FREAKED OUT – its not good, NO MATTER how hot the guy actually is. i had to recently sit through ten solid minutes of a guy just repeating the same question (“can i have your number”)OVER and OVER, TRAPPED ON A PACKED TRAIN… i made the stupid STUPID mistake of actually replying the first time -.- (and i live in Vienna – ppl are not very helpful here.. i think it even had something to do with the fact… Read more »

Catherine
Catherine

Peter Pan, I do not feel that a woman would ‘feel happy’ if she rejected Brad Pitts advances, and informed him she has a lovely boyfriend, and he kept on pressing her. Someone asking for your number can be flattering, but someone continuing on when you have made it clear you are not interested, that is uncomfortable. This is not a post about men who will just take ‘no thank you’ as a response to their advances. This is a post with some peoples opinions and theories regarding how a woman can avoid a confrontation or upsetting situation with a… Read more »

Peter Pan
Peter Pan

So it doesn’t matter if all you do in fact is go up ask for her number (and then leave) it is just how she FEEEELS about it?

Seriously?

Bet she wouldn’t “feel” she was being stalked if Brad Pitt came up to her and did exactly the same thing.

A.
A.
Reply to  Peter Pan

@ Peter Pan

I liked stephanie’s response. It was intelligent though I thought she was placating you way too much, given how aggressive you are. Your response to her, which is irrational and continues to be argumentative and aggressive, just demonstrates that placating aggressors is ineffective and a complete waste of time.

stefanie
stefanie

Ps @ Pan: I know the majority of rapes are by people you know (and I don’t drink or do drugs ever, so that isn’t a risk), but I seem to have that stirring something that attracts psycho’s. I’ve been assaulted by total strangers in broad daylight (in quiet places) several times. Considering the fact that I’m not strong enough to fight off any man who would want to harm me, I’m not allowed to bear arms and sometimes, there just isn’t anyone around to help, it’s only natural to get a bit paranoid. Better safe than sorry. I know… Read more »

stefanie
stefanie

Please, mr. Pan… To my defense: The nazi act is not meant to be graceful and ladylike, it’s meant as a turn-off so that the guy loses interest. It works! I wouldn’t do it to a guy who is polite enough to go away when it’s obvious I’m not interested, but some people won’t take no for an answer. I’ve had men try to kiss and touch me after I told them I had a boyfriend. Would you have me politely smile and say “I’m sorry but I really don’t think this is a good idea”? I’ve tried that, it… Read more »

David
Admin

Think about it from the woman’s perspective, Peter Pan.

YOU may not think it’s stalking. SHE may feel like (or think) she’s being stalked.

Peter Pan
Peter Pan

Did I really just read an article equating approaching a woman with stalking? Everyone does know that most rapes are people you know and drugs/alcohol are usually involved.Right? The “stranger dragging you into the bushes” type is actually rare. I digress..let us examine the “feminine” responses: Act like a nazi Being rude and ignoring the guy Fake rejection phone number… How very ladylike and graceful. What is funny is most of these people will be whinging about how no guys approach them or won’t buy them drinks. It is coming..oh yes it is. Renee I respect what you are doing… Read more »

A.
A.
Reply to  Peter Pan

@ Peter Pan
Any halfway attractive woman is going to have her space violated daily, sometimes multiple times per day by overbearing, controlling men who can’t take rejection. Women don’t *OWE* any of these turds “ladylike and graceful” behavior.

Beznik
Beznik
Reply to  A.

So a man is a turd because he wants to have a relationship with a woman and approaches her. Women almost never ask a man out so its kind of our job sure some men are assholes but apparently so are some women. Yet again if you think he is attractive you will act much more differently. So whether a man is a “controlling turd” or not is based on his looks.

A.
A.
Reply to  Beznik

A man approaches a woman for various reasons. Maybe he is charmed and longing for love and wants to get to know her. That’s somewhat rare but lovely. If that is the case and he is a healthy-minded man, not secretly obsessive and psychotic, a woman will probably sense it and feel flattered. These guys aren’t the reason women act like Nazis to drive them away. There are some guys who think they are really nice but in truth they have a chip on their shoulder against women. They feel victimized by women and have a lot of complaints against… Read more »

Beznik
Beznik
Reply to  A.

I am sure it is so “annoying to be you” because you must be so hot men are just throwing themselves at you constantly on a daily basis. This is the problem girls love to complain about. I am not saying you like the guys that hit on you that you reject, just that on some level you like the attention, and like to brag about it. The onus always seems to be on the man to be mature isn’t it. Its like feminists believe men are tainted with original sin, but not women, feminists really want to have their… Read more »

Anna
Anna
Reply to  Beznik

Why do you keep talking about feminists? You know this isn’t a feminist blog don’t you? And as to your statement here: ‘ Its ok to hurt a man his feelings don’t count’, women are conditioned to put men’s feelings before our own, even when it compromises our safety. Although if you’re hitting on me, while not taking no for an answer, if you’re being pushy and aggressive while showing your bitter and angry attitude, then frankly, no, your feelings don’t matter. I’m not going to stay around a man with your attitude, just to protect your precious ego. Not… Read more »

Cindee
Cindee

My mistake ! ignoring a guy with an intense ,cold and numb POSTURE could make him look silly and its really effective because usually they give up really quick and try to save face because they cant stand being ignored. and like said Renee, you gotta know the outcome.So your not interested right? walk away! If your in a sitiuation were u could walk away simply do that. WIth GRACE!

CINDEE
CINDEE

i think ignoring them with an intense numb poster could do it .i did that alot and usually they give up quicklky because they cant stand being ignored its makes them look stupid. also GRACEFULLY walking away with a peaceful attitude is good. And in reality he cant say u were RUDE To Him ,because YOU DIDN’T EVEN SAID A WORD!

Hazelia
Hazelia

say “im not interested…but you’re kind of cute…got a sister?”

Renee
Renee

Haha, brilliant Stefanie! 🙂

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