Rejection sucks. It stinks when you have to let someone down and it definitely stings when you’re the one getting rejected. However, it is something that has to be done. It would be just dandy if your crush always liked you back. Sadly, that isn’t just the way life works. Sometimes people have crushes on you and you just don’t feel the same way back. And sometimes those people who are crushing hard on you are your friends.
It’s one thing to reject a stranger or a casual acquaintance, but it is another thing to reject a friend. You care about them, but you don’t care about them like that. You don’t want to see them get hurt, but you also want to make it clear that this is a relationship that is only going to stay in the friend zone. How are you possibly going to do that without making your friendship awkward AF?
Rejecting a friend, but still maintaining your regular relationship is tricky business, but it can be done. You just have to feel out the situation, be honest, and remember that awesome relationship you already have going on. Simple, right? This is how you can reject a friend who has a crush on you without making things totally awkward.
Don't Lead Them OnIf you don't have any feelings for your friend, make it clear without being rude about it. You might initially think that you're being nice if you allow them to think there's a possibility of something happening, but giving someone false hope when they have no chance sucks. And don't even think about saying something that if you're not married in fifteen years, you two can get married. Not cool. Image source: iStock
Do It In PersonNo one likes being rejected by text or email, so don't think about doing it to that good friend of yours. I would love to do it via message too, but you owe your friend more. Plus, the next time you see him/her in person, you're going to have a conversation about it anyways. It's guaranteed. So, you might as well just have the face-to-face convo to begin with. Image source: iStock
Don't Be MeanRemember, this is your friend. Yes, it is uncomfortable that he/she wants more than friendship and you don't, but that doesn't mean you have to be cruel about it. You should actually be flattered that your friend thinks that much about you that he/she would like to take your relationship to the next level. Therefore, try to do things as gently as possible. Image source: iStock
Make It Clear You Will Want A FriendshipYou probably still want a friendship, you just don't want a romantic relationship, right? Then tell your friend! He/she might think that you don't want them around because you're rejecting them, but make it clear that you still do. Tell him/her the truth that you value your friendship and don't want to lose them. It will actually help make the rejection less awkward. Image source: iStock
Avoid InsultsYou might want to support your case by telling your friends the reasons that you're not attracted to them. You don't need to. It's enough to just say that you're just not into him/her in that way. If you start breaking things down too much, you're just going to hurt your friend more. Think about it: Who wants to be told the qualities that make them unattractive? Image source: iStock
Get To The PointRejecting a friend is like ripping off a bandage. It is better if you do it fast than if you stress out about it and pick at it in little pieces. You don't have to be so blunt that you come across as rude, but it's better if you take care of things quickly. Dwelling on it will make it seem like it's a massive deal and that could mess up the relationship you already have going. Image source: iStock
Try Dropping HintsIf your friend has just started dropping his/her own hints that he/she has a crush on you, you can try dropping your own back to let your BFF know you're not interested. It can stop things from going further, but be aware that you're probably going to have *the talk* about your feelings for each other sooner or later. Image source: iStock
Do Not Turn It Into A JokeBreaking tension with a bit of humor is a good trick, but it's something that probably won't work here. If you try and make light of the situation or don't take it seriously, your friend may think that you're not taking his/her feelings seriously which would make him/her more upset. Image source: iStock
Have you ever had to reject a friend? Let us know in the comments!
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