Here’s Why You Should Never Prioritize A Guy’s Feelings Over Your Own Comfort

At some point, you’ve probably found yourself in an awkward situation with a guy who was coming on a bit too strong. You wanted to just tell him straight-up to leave you alone, but instead, you found yourself being worried about offending him. Before you knew it, you were trapped in a conversation that was mostly him creeping you out and you trying to find a “nice” way to get the hell away from him without coming across as a jerk. I get it — I’ve done it way too many times, too. But this is exactly why you shouldn’t worry about being rude if it means getting out of an unpleasant situation:

  1. Your safety is more important than his feelings. If a guy gets butthurt because you crossed the street to get away from him at night, sucks for him. He might know that he’s not a dangerous guy, but you don’t know that. You deserve to feel safe whether you’re in your in your own home, out at the bar, or at work. Whether a guy is intentionally or unintentionally making you feel uncomfortable by being around him, you’re not a bad person for putting some distance between you two or giving him a “no” without the “thanks” if he tries to make a move.
  2. A man who’s pushing your boundaries doesn’t deserve your kindness. If you’ve already rejected him once and he’s still going for it, take away his politeness privileges. People who put their own interests ahead of someone else’s comfort are rude, selfish, and just not good people. A guy who keeps trying to grind up on you at the club after you’ve asked him not to doesn’t deserve five different polite rejections before you get to “GTFO.” If he can’t be bothered with basic human decency, you shouldn’t either.
  3. Some guys really can’t take a hint. Some men understand that not responding to a text message or declining an offer to let them buy you a drink is a subtle form of rejection, but others seem to be clueless even after you’ve explicitly told them that you’re. not. interested. These dudes think that “no” means “convince me,” and it’s not until you walk away from them mid-sentence that they realize that you were serious. The type of guy who doesn’t know when to give up is often the type of guy who needs to be put in his place.
  4. He’ll get over it. If the worst thing that’s happened to this guy’s fragile little ego is that a twenty-year-old woman told him that she doesn’t date guys who are older than her dad, don’t worry — he’ll manage to recover somehow. There are guys out there with seriously predatory behavior, and if they don’t leave you alone or take your rejection as a challenge, you could end up in a bad situation. If it comes down to hurting his feelings or getting hurt yourself, his emotions are what need to be sacrificed here. He might be bitter about it for a minute, but he’ll be fine.
  5. This is not the type of guy you want to impress anyway. There is no reason to be nice to a person who isn’t nice to you. Save your smiles and soft rejections for the guys who you’re not interested in, but are still kind and respectful to you. The idiots who send you disgusting messages on dating apps or get way too handsy on the first date are not the kind you want to waste time and energy on. Do what you need to do to get your message across to them, and do it with no regrets.
  6. You have as much of a right to be assertive as a man does. Women spend their lives being taught that we should be sweet and demure and innocent. We are told that when a Big Sexy Man expresses interest in us— regardless of how he expresses that interest — we should feel grateful for the attention, even if we don’t want it. When we have to reject the man, we’re told that we should be “nice” about it, that the least we can do after he brave enough to put himself out there is to be gentle. In lots of cases, sure, it’s great if you tell the guy “Thanks! You seem great, but I’m not interested. Best of luck!” with a big smile or fifty smiley emojis, depending on whether this is happening in real life or online. But in cases where you feel like you aren’t being respected, screw all that noise about what’s “lady-like” or not. Guys are taught from birth that they should stick up for themselves if they need to, and you know what? So should you. You’re a human being, and regardless of your gender, you deserve respect and to get angry and “rude” when that respect isn’t given.
  7. Once he gets past the first rejection, your “no” will fall on deaf ears. If he’s able to guilt you into giving him your number even after you’ve told him that you’re not interested, he knows that your rejection can be manipulated. From there, he’s going to see how far he can push you. Is he going to insist on driving you home? Staying the night? Since he knows he was able to guilt you into something little, he’s going to start aiming bigger and not take you seriously when you turn him down. We’re often so focused on not hurting the guy’s feelings that we don’t realize our gentle responses are turning our brick walls into straw. Stop worrying about being gentle on this dude — just tell him “no” and stick to it no matter how big of a pity party he tries to throw afterward.
  8. You’re not a “bitch,” you’re sticking up for yourself. On what planet is a guy who pushes a woman’s boundaries not a loser, but she’s a bitch for snapping back at him? Not this one. Never be afraid of how you’ll be perceived for foregoing your manners and telling a rude dude what’s up. And if he tries to stick you with that label, wear it proudly knowing that you have your priorities in order.
  9. You don’t owe politeness to anyone. If you wanted to greet everyone you met with a middle finger instead of a handshake, you may not make a whole lot of friends, but you’re well within your rights to do it. You don’t owe a guy a conversation because he approached you on the bus, and you don’t owe him a smile just because he smiled at you. Some men think they’re entitled to that stuff, but nope. Just because a guy wants to give you attention doesn’t mean you have to accept it, and you can turn it down in any way you’d like.
  10. You’re not a robot. You’re a person. Your emotions are valid, and you’re not a bad person for getting creepy vibes from a guy and not wanting to spend time with him. If this guy wants a sex doll who will take his hard-hitting flirting with a smile and an “Aww, you too,” it’s 2016 — I’m sure he can find one somewhere on the internet. If a man — or a woman, for that matter — is making YOU uncomfortable, though, you can say whatever you’d like to get him to leave you alone.
Averi is a word nerd and Brazilian jiu jitsu brown belt. She's also a TEFL/TESOL-certified ESL teacher and an equine enthusiast. Originally from Pennsylvania, she lived in Costa Rica for a while before moving to Australia. In addition to her work as a writer and editor for Bolde, she also has bylines with Little Things and regularly writes for Jiu-Jitsu Times.

You can follow Averi on Instagram @bjjaveri or on Twitter under the same handle.