How to tell someone you don’t want to be friends

tell someone you don't want to be friends

One way or another, it has happened to all of us to have someone in our lives, who is trying to win us over and be friends with us, but we simply aren’t interested. It could be that that person has a bad attitude that didn’t look good to us or did something that we don’t approve of, the bottom line is that you just don’t think you’d get along.

You may simply have noticed that your personalities are very different and that you have nothing in common. It’s not that you can’t be friends with someone whose personality is completely different from yours, it’s merely because you already know that it won’t work in this specific case.

Either way, what’s clear is that you’ve made up your mind and decided that you could be cordial with that person, but you are not interested in the slightest in being friends or closer with them. The problem arises when you start noticing that they are trying hard to get close and probably don’t share the same opinion as you about why you two cannot be friends.

So what can you do in this case? If you want to gently let someone down easy, or make them nicely understand that the two of you are not going to be friends any time soon then here’s how:

How to let someone know you don’t want to be friends without hurting their feelings:

1- Make excuses in a way they understand you’re trying to be polite:

The point you’re trying to make here is for the other person to stop trying to be included in your life or include you in theirs. They could be willing to ask you what you are doing after work or over the weekend, in order to make plans together. So if you suspect that they are going to ask you if you want to do something together, you could block that option by saying beforehand that you are going to be busy.

If they have arranged something with other friends and want you to go too, you could make a white lie that will make them stop insisting. You could say that you already made plans with another group of people, which will make them see that you deliberately didn’t include them.

You could also just say that you were thinking of staying with your family or perhaps you even got a date. Either way, you will want to seem incredibly busy every time they ask you to do something together. After telling them all these excuses, if they still didn’t catch on consider coming up with excuses that don’t require much effort. Saying things like you have to do laundry, or you were planning to go shopping, or even you need to prepare dinner at home.

Making crazy silly and petty excuses will make them see that the silliest thing or task is still more valuable and a priority compared to spending time together with them. They may think you’re lying about laundry or whatever silly excuse you gave and they may not appreciate the fact that you lied to their face at first, but in the end, they will see that you were just refraining from giving them a hard “no”.

2- You don’t need to prolong the subject to be seen as polite:

One of the reasons why we don’t want to be rude or interpreted as rude is because we know it’s likely to hurt the other person’s feelings. However, if after the constant excuses you gave not to hang out with them they still don’t understand your message, you will need to have a direct conversation with them. It may sound daunting, but the sooner you do it the better.

If you let the issue drag for too long, you will start running out of patience, get frustrated, and you may burst out in anger the next time you see that person or be rude inintentionally. Instead, you should ask when they have free time so you both can talk. Check this article out later on how to tell someone in a kind way or let them know that they talk too much.

When you are having a conversation with someone you have little patience for, or someone you really don’t want to listen to, just start by saying that you don’t have much time.

3- Say it’s not personal, you’re just too busy for new friends:

If the last mentioned method doesn’t work, then say you’re not available or that you are busy doing or having to do something more urgent. If you want you can choose to be more direct and say that you don’t wish to explore any form of friendship with them. You can say it’s not personal but just because you don’t have time to make new friends during this “busy” phase of your life.

No matter how kind you are about this, be prepared to see the other person feel offended and manifest it in a consternate or angry way. Don’t take it personally as it is the first time they are being confronted with the fact that you don’t want to be their friend. Be there to hear what they say and wait until they calm down.

If they try to convince you in some way that it would still be a good idea to be friends, be firm about it and just say that you aren’t interested. If they think you’re arrogant, crazy or entitled; just let them think what they want you’re clearly not gonna lose sleep over it, since you don’t care about them that much anyway. They should know that there’s no hope to avoid having them led on.

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