How do nice girls say no?*

1 Nov

*This post has a language warning. Nice girls who don’t like not-nice language should avert their eyes.

manMap wonders how nice girls say noEvery now and then single girls find themselves in tricky situations. Often these situations are the result of our efforts to be friendly and non-judgemental, in the hope that we’ll meet a ‘nice’ guy. But even when niceness backfires, we still feel pressured to be nice, creating a ‘nice’ prison which can be difficult to escape. A few weeks ago, a wing-girl found herself caught in the sticky trap of her own niceness.

After a round of mapping on a Saturday night, I met some friends at the pub. As I settled in with my first beverage, my friend pointed out a guy she’d liked the look of. She’d chatted to him and decided he wasn’t her type after all, even though she’d been physically attracted to him. Her lack of interest increased when he proceeded to flirt with nearly every other girl in the room, including girls in our circle, which made the whole situation bizarre.

An hour or so later, my friend found herself trapped. The guy (let’s call him Mr TIO for Try-It-On) sat next to her and started talking about himself. Her forced smile said it all but Mr TIO was oblivious. He’d cornered her off and was droning on and on about his political career. As she kicked me under the table, I wondered how to extract her from the situation without being rude. And because my friend is a Nice Girl, she didn’t know how to permanently get rid of him either.

As I fretted over plans of faking violent illness and needing my friend to hold back the scraps of my short hair in the bathroom, a guy-friend sitting next to me said, “I don’t know what the problem is. She should just tell him to fuck off.” I tried to explain that that was impossible, that my friend was a Nice Girl. She would never tell a strange man to fuck off just because he was talking to her. He wasn’t forcing himself on her or being revolting. He just wasn’t her type.

“That’s absurd,” Guy-Friend said. “I really respect women who can tell men to fuck off.”

“But it’s rude,” I said. “She’s just trying to be polite and open-minded. If she’s rude to him, other guys here might think she’s an evil bitch.”

“No,” Guy-Friend was unwavering. “She should just tell him to fuck off.”

Realising this was an argument I wouldn’t win, I turning my mind back to saving my friend, who was performing her role of Nice Girl brilliantly. Eventually I blurted, “I love this song. Let’s dance!” and dragged her away, thereby relinquishing my own role of Nice Girl and leaving Mr TIO alone to TIO with someone else.

The scenario, although not particularly joyful for my friend, raised an important question. If you’ve approached a guy and decide you don’t want to get to know him further, how do you politely get rid of him? This is one of the benefits of speed dating. You only have to last three minutes, then the bell rings and you’re saved. And when I’m mapping, I can always pull out my, “Well I’d better keep surveying so I can meet my quota,” line. But if you’re a Nice Girl, there’s no bell or survey and you’re planning to spend a few hours in one spot, how do you say fuck off without saying fuck off? 

Anyone with a good strategy, please share! You’ll be helping save scores of women from difficult situations.

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5 Responses to “How do nice girls say no?*”

  1. Stacey November 2, 2010 at 8:18 am #

    She should have told him to fuck off. It has nothing to do with being a nice girl. If a guy is a complete jerk, he needs to be informed of the fact. And if any guy doesn’t like ‘ladies to swear’ they can also fuck off. Welcome to the 21st Century boys. We can vote AND swear.

    • Lucie Stevens November 2, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

      That’s the thing though, he wasn’t being a jerk. He just wasn’t someone my friend wanted to talk to, so swearing at his face would have (in my opinion) been an a tad extreme. There must be a way to do it effectively but not offensively. That’s what I’m trying to work out…

      • Stacey November 3, 2010 at 9:01 am #

        ”Excuse me, I’m neglecting my friends, it was ‘nice’ chatting to you”

        You don’t owe men ANYTHING if they choose to engage in conversation with you in a bar. It’s give and take. If you don’t want to talk to someone, you walk away.

  2. ceade November 2, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    Hi Lucie,

    There is no “nice” way to tell someone to get lost. A nice girl respects herself above all others and if she is entrapped with a no-hoper, “it’s-all-about-me”, TIO, she would be wise to do herself a favour first and get rid of him pronto. Generally, these types of characters keep moving along until they find a “nice” girl who puts up with his “not-so-nice” behaviour. Until she takes off the rose-coloured glasses and sees the cad for what he really is, she will be play second fiddle to his bad behaviour. Now, does a nice girl deserve that?

    Nice girls – do yourself a favour and the rest of the world, give it back twice as hard to unpleasant oxygen thieves because subtlety won’t cut it. Mr Too-Into-Himself or Mr TIO won’t even notice. A nice girl can be strong, firm and as sweet as a Riverina peach but she should prioritise what’s important to her. And, if it means that some time-wasting, narcisstic, jack-ass get’s the big heave-ho, then go for it. Imagine ten years of your life wasted with a lying, cheater who gambles every cent you work your pretty little toush off. You’ll age faster than your friends, you’re calmness and serenity will be non-existent and you’re whole essence will be stripped out so there’s nothing left to give. Does that sound like a “nice” way to live?

    Look at the bigger picture girls … life’s short, don’t waste your time on people who don’t get you and appreciate what you have to offer as a total package.

    Have fun, be nice to those who appreciate it and deserve it and as for all the rest, do what you have to …

    Social Graces

    • Lucie Stevens November 2, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

      Thanks for visiting SG. You’re absolutely right about women not investing in situations that aren’t right for them.
      I still think there must be a way to wriggle out of conversations you don’t want to continue without being rude. Maybe I need to contact a diplomat and ask them for some inside info…

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