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How to Tell Someone You’re Not Interested Without Hurting Them

by | Meeting People, Moving On

May 20, 2024

One of the saddest things to accept, especially when we are dealing with very genuine people, is that attraction is not in our control. We cannot decide whether to be attracted to someone or not. It just happens. The absence of interest towards someone who loves us very much can sometimes be very difficult to communicate. In this article, we make things a little easier. We show you how to tell someone you are not interested without hurting them. 

1. Prove that jealousy is completely absent in that interaction

Jealousy is one of the big pointers that attraction is present in an interaction. Take away jealousy, and both parties know that there is neither interest nor affection. 

Ubong, a relationship expert, says: “Jealousy is not one of those things you can conjure. It is there or not. Its presence means there is affection. Its absence means there is none.”

Showing this friend that you don’t have any drop of jealousy in you is going to achieve the same result as showing them that you are not interested in them.

How does one show that they are not jealous at all?

  1. Compliment their admirers: let’s say you are talking to a guy—a guy who other women swoon over. The one and very effective way to show him that you don’t feel jealous at all is to compliment his admirer. You can say, “That girl who kept looking at you is so pretty. I think she is, in fact, one of the prettiest women I have seen.” This works very effectively to drive the point home. 
  2. Match him: this is also very effective. When you try to match Someone with others, you are making it quite clear that you cannot be matched with them. You are taking his eyes off you for a while. You are showing him that you are not interested in him. You can always do this casually and not eagerly. You can say something along the lines of: “That girl likes you so much, and to be honest, I feel like you should talk to her more. You may even want to be in a relationship with her.” I guess he will be thrown aback by this, somehow, but he is going to get the point. 
  3. Ask that he matches you: this one usually hurts a guy somewhat, but it works. You can ask him to match you with any of his friends who look good. Tell him you may want to love his friends, since they will likely be as nice as he is. This one does magic. It is able to take his mind off you almost immediately. Guys like to compete with other men for women. And when it becomes clear that they have lost, they tend to let it go and seek out other women. 
  4. Compliment other guys: compliment other guys in front of him. Make sure he hears it, and do it often. With time, I assure you he is going to get the point, and he is going to take it better than he would have if you had just popped up to tell him you’re not interested in him. 

Read: Signs a Guy is Interested in You

2. Subtle repetition

The truth is that we usually listen without actually listening. It is the same thing with both guys and girls. We listen to subtle messages even when we may not be paying so much attention, and this is especially true if these messages are repeated very often. 

I want you to take advantage of this as you try to tell a guy you are interested in him without hurting his feelings.

Repeat your disinterest in him by calling him your best friend or your brother. 

You may even start to refer to him as “bestie” from now on. And when you’re both having conversations, be sure to also chip in that you had always wanted a “best friend” like him. 

You can say: “Sometimes I think about how you have been such a best friend to me. I want nothing less than the best for you all the damn time. You are an amazing man; I have never doubted that.”

If this doesn’t work, you can refer to him as a brother. 

Ubong says: “There was once a girl who used to call me big brother. The first time she called me that name, I imagined it to be a joke. But it was not. She meant it. At that moment, I knew that she was not interested in me at all.”

Call him big brother, too. If this does not work, you can take it a step further and introduce him as your brother when you both hang out. It is not going to hurt him. It may make him uncomfortable in some way, which is supposed to happen anyway, but he will get the point. 

3. Make it about you

The best way to reject a guy without hurting his feelings is to make it about you. 

Show him that you’re not so interested in him because you don’t want to be in a relationship just yet. You may not tell this to him directly. You can do so by constantly repeating that you are tired of relationships and wish men could learn how to stay friends. It may take a while, but he will get the point. 

You will know he has gotten to the point when he begins to pull away. 

Read: Why He Doesn’t Seem Interested Even Though He Is

4. Reject all advances

All advances to initiate physical contact that goes beyond the usual, or to be in places that are secluded, should be rejected. 

As you constantly reject his advances, he will sometimes get the point and will pull away from you. Or at least ask you what is going on. 

5. Tell him

When he asks, he is most likely prepared for anything and will not hurt much. So, tell him then. Tell him you can’t bring yourself to see him that way. 


You can always tell a guy you don’t like him. You just have to do it easily, without resisting too much. 

By Emilie Schleif

Emilie Schleif is a Lifestyle Writer at Whatsdalatest, where she covers all things relationships and wellness—born and raised in La Canada Flintridge. She currently lives in Hamburg and loves running, hiking, and walking with her dog, Jasper.

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