People who can't let things go, you are the reason people lie.

Ah, get in line. :smiley:

Broken record technique.

Wanna hang out Friday night?
Can’t. I have other plans. Maybe some other time.
Oh, what are you doing?
Something else. Let’s make it another time.
Come on, you can tell me!
I’m doing something else. Not available on Friday night.

Saves you having to invent stuff. Doesn’t give them an opening for a counterargument. Penetrates all but the thickest skulls after 20 or 30 reps.

I have this problem, too. With everybody. I can’t ever tell my mom “no,” because she will inevitably ask “Why not?” And then she’ll make excuses ALL DAY as to why it’s more important I spend my time and money helping her than doing whatever the fuck I want on a weekend day. So I communicate with her less and less over time, which is the only way I can feel unguilty on a daily basis. I hate it though, because I have trouble lying to people who know me. It sucks. Screw everyone who makes me do this!

On dates, I find it’s easier to lie. I have nothing invested in the situation, other than a few hours and a few bucks. So after a bad date, I’ll usually say, “Yeah, definitely. I’ll call you.” And then delete their number or block them on okcupid or wherever. It’s easy for me to lie convincingly to a stranger, particularly one in whom I’m completely romantically disinterested. And it’s much easier than dealing with the whiny fallout of rejection on his fragile ego.

If you’re honest, people argue. I don’t have time for that, I’ve got stuff to do. Like [del]sitting on my ass doing nothing in my house[/del] volunteering at the library.

Ha ha - he wants to pester you, bully you, wear you down - what is it? into a relationship.

You need the “don’t even start” incredulous look.

Failing that it’s - I’ll probably be down at the < choose some place that would suit his tastes > on Friday, maybe see you there. You beat that down to - I’ll have to see how I feel, not sure what I’m doing.

You don’t go of course but he does and hopefully meets new people to take his mind off you.

“But why?”

“Because you’re the type of guy who asks ‘why?’ after being politely rejected.”

I have never said this, but one day I will.

Bah! I’d like to think I’m pretty good at giving exasperated looks. People I know tell me the expression on my face often gives me away. The kinds of people who pester don’t care about how visibly annoyed you are; they have no shame.

Ha! This response to badgering sounds familiar, but I don’t think I’ve said it to anyone.

So I’ve simmered since I wrote this OP, but everyone, please, just let it things go already. This is still irritating, horrible behavior, even if I’m not presently boiling about it. And then these people seem to wonder why people are so frequently full of shit in their dealings with them. Because, okay? You’re painful to deal with, and we lie to get away from you.

MeanOldLady and Vinyl Turnip - together at last! I think we were all pulling for you crazy kids.

I like that - I think I can adapt that to a lot of situations.

Thankyuh. And, yes, I’m a dude.

And I have really hissed at people. Well, mostly my kids when they can’t take no for an answer. Works like a charm though.

Funny, when I wouldn’t take no for an answer, my mom would just look at me like I’m an asshole then ignore me. This might work on some people, but I’d bet a godzillion dollars it wouldn’t work fired back at my mom.

In one of the most awesome books ever written, The Gift of Fear, the author suggests that if you’ve told someone no once that should be enough. If you again say no and they don’t listen it’s time to just forgo worrying about being nice because they’re not respecting your decision. He gives a suggestion for a direct refusal something like:

Whatever we’ve discussed or assumed before now, I’m not interested in having a relationship with you. I’ve given it thought and I’m not going to change my mind. I’m sorry if that’s bad news and I wish you well.”

and then just walk away or hang up or whatever ends the conversation. It sounds kind of cruel at first, but if they won’t take no for an answer I really don’t think they deserve much in the way of social niceties. Plus if they keep trying to hang on to hope after that they only have themselves to blame.

The problem is to you it’s perfectly clear why you’re saying no.

But it’s not so clear to the person hearing it. Did that no mean “I have zero interest in ever going out with you again”? Or did it mean “I’m not sure you’re really interested so I’m playing it cool”? Or maybe “I’d like to go out with you again but I really do happen to be busy that night”? If he misreads the signals, you’re left wondering why somebody you were interested in never asks you out again.

Now I’ll grant you if the conversation ran like this:

“Would you like to go out on another date Friday?”
“Sorry, no.”
“I guess you’re not really my type.”
“Well, what is your type?”
“I really don’t know, it’s pretty broad.”
“So then?”
“So then you’re not it.”
“Well how can you be so sure I’m not your type if you can’t define what your type is?”
“Um, well, I guess I can sort of. I dunno, swarthy and funny.”
“I’m plenty funny.”

The guy should have picked up a clue.

As long as everyone learns to answer with absolute honesty, for reasons Little Nemo gives.

F’rinstance, way back in my dating days I asked a woman out and she said no and I took no for an answer. Much later we ended up intimate, and she told me how she’d been so pissed at me on the earlier occasion for taking no for an answer.

You’re just meeting the wrong guys, I can handle rejection like a champ, just watch.

Meanoldlady would you care to go out with me? (then you say “no”, I say “ok”, done deal)

Meanoldlady would you care to go out with me?

Yeah, I’m thinking she misplaced her anger in that situation.

There you go. This is also Miss Manners’ recommended technique. Don’t feel that you need to give any details about why your answer is no; the trouble with doing so is that it muddies the waters and gives the boundary-challenged an opportunity to latch onto your politely-given reason as something to argue against. The pertinent part of your answer is NO, and you need to stick to just that and “I’m afraid that won’t be possible” again and again and again if need be. If you continue on into “I’m afraid that won’t be possible because …” you are telling the other person that if that obstacle weren’t in the way, you would totally do the thing they want you to do, and so they focus their efforts on getting the obstacle out of the way. Don’t give them that opening. “No” is absolutely a complete sentence and you don’t need anyone’s permission to accept it from you.

And anyone who hasn’t read The Gift of Fear yet simply must do so, it’s a tremendously important book.

And if this doesn’t work for you, go with cmyk’s racoon thing.

DAMMIT, has anybody seen my anger? It was right here! Did you move it? I can’t STAND it when this happens!

This stuff is why Miss Manners is my favorite. I read her column mostly because no one else is so good about coming up with techniques that make people feel like the assholes they are without actually being obviously rude.

I read her for the same reason, and I’ve learned to say “no” and “none of your damn business” like a lady now. And I love her. The ONLY PROBLEM is it only works in English, so I can’t gently dissuade my dad, who doesn’t speak enough English to get it. It would be awful, especially on a cell. And right now he is the most pushy person in my life.