Everyone has experienced the suffocating feeling of unwanted attention at some point in their lives. Whether it’s a classmate who won’t stop asking you out, even after you’ve said no or an acquaintance who always wants to know where you are and what you’re doing, it can be incredibly frustrating.
It’s true that it can be flattering to have someone express interest in you, but it can also be very exasperating. The latter applies especially if the person who is interested in you is just not your type. In these cases, it can be embarrassing and uncomfortable to have to keep rejecting them.
Ultimately, you just want them to stop liking you and go away. While it’s not always easy, it is possible to politely discourage someone without hurting their feelings by following the steps below.
So how to get someone to stop liking you?
1. Set up boundaries:
To avoid feeling hurt, people sometimes unconsciously blind themselves from the fact that the person they’re pursuing is just not getting it. They will find excuses for every rejection and think “ah, they’re just playing hard to get” or something else. They will imagine anything but the simple and true fact that the person is just not interested!
That’s to say that people don’t always get that they should move on from liking someone that doesn’t like them back. It can create awkward situations, for both people, so if they don’t stop imposing their feelings on you, you are the one who needs to step up and create some boundaries.
Once someone likes you, they act flirtatious and seek your attention and the occasional physical touch, and that’s exactly what you will have to avoid. Avoid giving them excuses to make a move, like going out with them alone or allowing for conversation to flow in a flirtatious direction.
If you are hesitating to do this because you think it will come off as rude, remember that there are several ways to get your point across and still be polite. You can simply prioritize other things in your life, like being with other friends or being busy with work.
2. Be honest with them:
One good way to make someone stop romantically pursuing you is by having an honest talk with them. Sending a text message might not be enough, so consider making time in your schedule to meet in person with them and privately of course. This way you don’t publicly shame them and make their feelings for you turn into hatred and a thirst for revenge.
At the beginning of the conversation you need to establish that you are aware of their feelings, but you don’t have the same interest in them as they do in you. It can hurt hearing this, so let them know that one of the reasons you are having this conversation is because you don’t want them to waste your time in you.
You don’t need to make up excuses as to why you are not interested in them, as this can be more confusing and complicate things more in the future. You just need to be clear that that’s something that is not likely to change.
They might ask you why you don’t like them the same way, so if you feel the need to tell them do it, but remember that there’s no need to hurt the other person’s feelings purposefully. Highlight the fact that you aren’t the right person for them and there will be someone who will appreciate their attention and advances much more than you.
3. Be firm:
It can be hard to let go when you are head over heels for someone, so if after having an honest chat with that person, they are still trying to make you change your mind, it’s time to be firmer. In this case, it’s not advisable to be with them in person again, especially not in a private place. In fact, that could make them think you are allowing them to win you over, so you will need to start creating some distance instead.
If you feel like sending them a text or calling them won’t work, there’s always the possibility of asking a trusted friend to do you a favor. You can ask a friend to go and talk to them and convince that person that you aren’t being coy and you do want them to stop liking you.
Again, make sure that you don’t make someone special to them do this as it could be embarrassing and heartbreaking to them.
4. Ignore their efforts:
When people don’t receive an incentive from the other side after a while, they start giving up. Think about it, when someone is interested in you and you in them, you make extra efforts to show that their moves are welcome.
You even do things like immediately replying to their texts and agreeing to go out with them as soon as they invite you. When you want someone to stop liking you, you will have to do the opposite.
If they send you text messages all the time, ignore the notifications and only reply to them one time per week, with very short answers. If they still don’t get it, space out the interval of time in which you reply even more.
If they ask you to go out with them, don’t hesitate to say no immediately. Waiting a few days to decline their invitation will only make them think you got busy.
Over time, they will start realizing that you can’t, or don’t want to, make room for them in your life. They will sense it’s hard to get a hold of you and will eventually lose interest.
5. Don’t make it obvious that you are aware of their feelings for you:
When you don’t acknowledge a person’s feelings for you, they can’t be heard which will then make them think that this infatuation is all in their head. Many times, it’s obvious when someone likes you, they want to make it obvious so you understand the signals, so what you have to do is purposefully act as if you aren’t seeing any signals.
If that person is part of your group of friends, treat them exactly like you treat your other friends, don’t let your friendship evolve into something else. In fact, if you’re too friendly with them, this could lead them on and make them become even more annoying and suffocating.
And if they are someone you aren’t very close with, like a colleague from work, stick to a professional relationship all the time. Act oblivious. You can be friendly with people at work, but when it’s someone who has feelings for you, you need to make it clear that you aren’t even interested in a friendship.