If you’re a lady, then you’re going to be hit on, mostly unwantedly, at some point in your life. Nisha Jamvwal tells you how to turn a guy down without being too harsh.
IT’S JUST A BOY THING
I’ve just come back from a delightful visit to Turkey. Istanbul is beautiful, the people so hospitable, and the men – they can quite leave a lady with an identity crisis, where she feels like she’s Angelina Jolie or uncomfortably that she’s being seen as an easy game. Funny place for a woman, isn’t it? On the one hand, she wants to look hot and on the other, she would prefer not to be the object of unwanted attention or pointed appraisal of her ‘assets’.
They often come on strong and sweet like their famous coffee. But this predilection is not an isolated Turkish thing or Italian or some other. It’s something a lady can encounter in our cities as much. Even enduringly married ladies meet up with uncalled for advances. Much so in our ‘modern’ urban society. Modern can have ambivalent shades. It leaves me wondering if the times have become so liberal or virtues more elastic. Even friends husbands seem inclined towards indiscretions. So how does a lady deal with this “modern” thing? How does she convey that advances are not welcome?
My friend Bella is a no-nonsense person. She says she clearly tells any “Johnny” who gets leery with a drink and loosens his inhibitions “Tcha! Man! Stop this nonsense! Come-on behave yourself!” That’s fine as far as it goes, but often a drink need not be the catalyst, the modus quite subtle and the situation delicate. Such a direct response can create humiliation or at least bruised egos. You don’t want that and it seems uncalled for where nothing is as obvious as to make a pointed comment. Or he’s your or your partner’s work colleague or ‘close friend’.
HOW TO AVERT IT
The most simple is to gloss over the innuendos and pretend your IQ just does not extend to such intelligent heights. But many times this leads to greater pursuance and persistence. There comes a point where it becomes necessary to draw the line and convey your lack of interest in a way that avoids a scene or an awkward situation. It becomes clear that it is clearly not friendship but something more overtly uncomfortable in the mind of the man. You can try zooming in the wife, if there is one, and shower her with friendly attention. It may be a safety valve. Or bring in your partner to diffuse the ‘over friendliness’. But it’s not always at a gathering of folks. It can be a work-place, a client or an associate at work, someone-to one encounter or indeed situations that need the same dexterity as our diplomat designate to the USA.
There are those who go wringing their hands and ‘what-to-do-ing’. Or then those who fly into self-righteous umbrage and vent out the ‘injury to their good name’. Others go confiding the offence to “close friends” and create a chain of Chinese whispers! It’s apparent that these responses leave inflammable consequences with undesirable repercussions. Constructively, one analyses the matter as having two or three considerations. You think “Well, God has made me presentable, and attentions come with the label” and you side-track the innuendos by determinedly keeping the chatter friendly and light. Or you graciously respond to them as compliments. If needed you drop friendly hints that you are committed and without saying it out aloud, indicate that “harmless” flirtation is not your scene or any friendly change of subject that works.
If the onslaught is stronger, and if the person’s status is necessity-based or value-based, give it all the props to maintain esteem. Indicate you value the association or that you both have such a good work arrangement, or you value the equation with the person and you understand he is paying you a great compliment “and let’s not complicate matters by intrusions that are likely to dent a good thing” and so on.
A LITTLE LESS RESERVED
A more direct approach is to mention that you are not interested. And if some other suggestion, like dinner or a trip, is mentioned, persist with “I am not interested’. Calm, composed and dignified. Not necessary to be angry or react sharply. So long as it is polite to take as a compliment than getting huffy and self-righteous. Remember to keep a tone of bonhomie in place. Of course, each one knows her situation best and how to evaluate the approaches and measures to take.
I don’t recommend mentioning your relationship status, because if a person is single it does not mean they are automatically available. A person has to be interested in the first place. As I see it, if the matter is truly insulting in its implications, especially if the advances include any groping or touching, go ahead, take advantage of the privacy and render that tight slap with “I think that conveys what I think and I’m sure you don’t need to speak of it to me or anyone else.”The point I’m making is that you have to decide how far it is harmless and where it is entering a space of unsavoury.
Whatever be the case, you are the decision-maker of where you want to take this and it is not necessary to be engaged to another man in order to make it clear that you do not wish to have anything to do with the man hitting on you. Learn to say ‘no’ politely and it will take you far in life, believe me.
My parting tip for you is this, prepare your come back incase of that come-on happens from a guy you’re not into. Being prepared makes you cool, in control of the situation and the one that will steer it to where she wishes it to go. Tell yourself what you will say and how you will say it and voila, you’re the winner.
It’s altogether another story if you are amenable to such scenarios, as a friend, attractive too and married, told me “Why don’t you pass him on to me, Nish”. Modern times.
Read more of Nisha’s point of view at www.nishajamvwal.blogspot.in, tweet to her @nishjamvwal and write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org