Frog Hunting: Say No, Then Say Why
While I am far from an expert at dating—hey, I wouldn’t even describe myself as experienced—there are two things at which I am an expert: unrequited love, and getting rid of guys I don’t want to date.
You’ve already gotten a taste of my unrequited love experience, now let me regale you with my rejection techniques.
My best friend (heretofore mentioned in Frog Hunting: My First Broken Heart) is one of those girls (wasone of those girls before succumbing to the fate of matrimony several years ago) who got so much unwanted attention from guys. Like, so much. She was like that girl from Runaway Bride who would spazz out with all this unrestrained flirtatious energy—giggling at all the right times, telling men—somehow—everything they wanted to hear. She’d smile, say encouraging things, give men her full, undivided attention. She was never snooty, mean, demeaning, angry, or even sarcastic. She was a gem. And boys loved her.
The trouble with being so agreeable was, she’d often attract attention from men who weren’t always—ahem—socially conscious. To put it lightly. It often seemed they were the ones that once they got attention from a woman—any woman—they pounced like a cat on a laser beam.
And my BFF was so nice, she let them down so easy they didn’t even know they’d been rejected. They were so completely unaware of her rejection that they seriously did not know. This typically had them coming back for more. Often two and three times, before they finally got the hint.
Watching this play out, I was consistently irritated. In my head: this person is ew, gross, so just say No! How hard can it be?
In high school, I didn’t have a lot of practice at rejection, so I didn’t get why it was so hard.
Then I got to do some rejecting of my own and discovered it’s a pretty straightforward art form (though not at all easy and actually quite anxiety-inducing).
I had my share of sputtering and stumbling and making up excuses and saying stupid things like, “I don’t think God wants me to date right now.” (Which is the worst excuse, trust me. If a girl has ever said this, what she’s really saying is, “I don’t want to date you, but it’s easier for me to blame God because then you can’t blame me.” We need to grow a Metaphorical Pair.)
Then, one day, one of my guy friends shared a helpful formula for rejection: Say No, Then Tell Them Why.
He shared this helpful tip with a group of women and every, single, woman looked aghast. In hindsight, I think we looked aghast because our reasons for saying no were often lack of attraction and nobody wants to tell someone, “I don’t want to date you because I am not attracted to you.”
But just think, how much easier rejection would be if we could just say that?
Think about it, and tomorrow I’ll tell you my absolute favorite rejection story.
(Also, what if we didn’t call it rejection. What if we called it, “One person’s frog is another person’s prince” or something).