The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The assertive “NO”

Dear Distress Signal,
I get hit on by guys who I’m not interested in for whatever reason. I try to politely say “no,” but they keep pressing the issue. What can I do without being rude?
-Nice Girl For Now

Dear Nice Girl For Now,
Wait, what’s wrong with being rude? If a polite answer of “no” has already been given and they persist, I have to wonder if a second polite response is warranted.
Refusing to take “no” for an answer certainly wouldn’t garner them a polite response if they were haggling with a parole officer.
Why should this exchange be any different? Why are women always expected to be polite?
Say “no” clearly and concisely, maintain eye contact, don’t offer modifiers or excuses for how you feel and be unapologetic. Do not smile or lift the ends of words in a questioning manner.
This isn’t a question; it’s the statement of a command. There is a fine line between polite and unclear.
Honestly, men can be dense sometimes.
They are taught that if they keep trying, they will eventually get to have what they want.
Try to remind whomever you’re dealing with that women are not an object to be “had” and that romantic inclinations are not a prize at the end of a video game.
Our culture conditions boys to communicate competitively and aggressively. The world won’t end if women stop being all-forgiving to every forward advance.
Lois Frankel, author of “Nice Girls Don’t get the Corner Office,” cites female preoccupation with “offending others” as one of the top 25 mistakes women make that prevent them from moving forward as quickly as men.
Don’t let the fear of offending someone hold back other areas of your life as well.
Boundaries can be fuzzy in social settings, but school/work is a different animal.
Repeatedly crossing boundaries in a professional setting is not a question of etiquette but of sexual harassment.
Remember the words of Laurel Ulrich: “Well-behaved women seldom make history.”
Don’t let being well-behaved keep you from getting what you want.
Addendum: If safety is an issue, then additional measures need to be taken. As much as it pains me to admit it, sexual aggressors can usually be deflated by the presence of another man.
I’ve gotten myself into situations where my only available option was to go running into the arms of a nonplussed, random guy while muttering in his ear, “I’m in trouble, can you hold my hand for a minute until that scary dude goes away?”
While this has historically panned out for me, it doesn’t have to be that extreme.
Hang out with friends, guys and gals, don’t be alone.
Get a friend to walk you to your car at night. Fake a phone call.
Just make sure that whoever is pushing the issue is aware that people know where you are and that you aren’t alone.
Best wishes,
The Distress Signal

Got a burning question? Submit your relationship issues anonymously at: http://goo.gl/HGAKSL or email the Distress Signal directly at: [email protected]

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The assertive “NO”