Problem Point: How Do I Deal With Unwanted Attention? 

Photo by Metin Ozer

Question: This guy at school has a huge crush on me. He catches up with me in the hallways and keeps talking to me. He also pretends he needs the homework so he could find an excuse to sit near me at lunch. What’s most annoying is that he gets mad if I talk to other guys and keeps instant messaging me. I don’t know how to tell him to leave me alone without hurting his feelings. What should I do?

A. You cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs so you have to accept that you ARE going to hurt his feelings whatever you do, unless you accept his attentions. Nobody likes rejection of any sort and he will be no different. So decide what matters to you most: not hurting him, or getting him off your back, because it will affect what you say, and you can’t have both. You are not responsible for him getting mad. he is solely responsible for his reactions. Moreover, if he was mature enough for a relationship, he would be respecting your wishes, taking things more in his stride, and not getting upset about your friends.

If you really want him to stop, then you have to also acknowledge that you have a RIGHT to him not pestering you. So, one day when he comes next to you at lunch, or at a convenient place, say something like this, in your own words:

“I’m flattered that you like me because you are a cool guy. But, just now, I am not really keen on a friendship and would prefer if you give that attention to someone else, because it is rather wasted on me. Right now I need my space to do my own thing but I’m sure someone else would value your company. I hope you accept that as I’m not enjoying your attention.” 

Make NO apologies for your action.

Then listen to what he has to say because being attracted to someone is not negative, or a crime, unless they are stalking you. However, continue to stick, politely but firmly, to your decision. Don’t be persuaded. If he still tries to home in on you after that, just completely avoid him when you see him, or remind him of what you said. If that does not work either, then time to seek help from someone in authority. Hopefully, your first frank comment should do the trick. 

I hope this is of some help.

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