Friend zoning has a lot of negative connotations. People always take it as a rude gesture.
Even though it hurts to be put in the friend zone, it’s sometimes necessary. It’s better to be friend zoned than to be led on by someone who has no intention of being with you.
Being the one to put a person in the friend zone is just as cringe-worthy. It’s never fun to be in that position.
If you’re a human with a fully functioning heart, you don’t want to hurt anyone.
But since you know you can’t force yourself to like someone, it’s important to get the point across to that person you only see him or her as a friend.
It can be hard to nicely tell someone you only want to be friends with him or her, which is why some people avoid the act of friend zoning all together.
But this just causes too many problems and a lot of confusion. To help you out, here are some ideas about how to politely friend zone someone:
1. Give subtle, yet obvious hints.
You don’t want to be the person who says, “You remind me of my brother.”
You really don’t want to talk to him or her about another person you have a crush on.
But, you can do other things to hint to this person you're not interested.
If he or she gives you a compliment, rather than acting weird about it or forcing yourself to compliment him or her back, just say, "Thank you."
This way, you aren’t giving him or her any wrong ideas, and you’re still being as polite as you can be.
If the person tries to make a move when you’re together, instead of freaking out, start talking about a random subject to divert him or her.
While this may seem weird and awkward, it can easily show your lack of interest.
(Disclaimer: If your friend really won’t give up in trying to make a move, it’s perfectly acceptable to push him or her away.)
2. Always suggest group hangouts.
If you genuinely like spending time with this person, but don’t want him or her to get the wrong idea, make sure other people are always there.
While it's acceptable for friends to have one-on-one hangouts, it would be better to only hang out in groups in this scenario.
An example of making this happen would be asking if your friends could tag along whenever this person invites you to hang out.
Not only will this lessen this person’s chances, it will also reflect you only see him or her the same way you see your other friends.
This is a rather quick and easy way to place someone in the friend zone, all while keeping the pain at a minimum.
3. Don’t ignore this person, but don’t give hope.
If he or she tends to text you a lot, don’t be that person who stops responding.
Even though that seems like a good way to hint you’re not interested, it’s basically just taking the easy way out.
You can still talk to him or her. Just do so without giving him or her the wrong idea.
For instance, if he or she tries flirting through text, rather than putting your phone down and walking away, just subtly change the subject by asking a question.
Now, you don’t want to do this every time he or she tries to flirt, but you can do it in situations when the flirting has become too much.
This will definitely prove to him or her you don’t want to return the flirting.
If he or she is always asking you to hang out, tell yourself it’s time to turn to the last idea on this list.
4. Be straight-up.
While the above ideas can help you politely friend zone someone, the most important thing you can do is just be honest.
Sit him or her down and talk to him or her face to face. Explain you only see him or her as a friend.
This is probably the most difficult to do out of all these ideas, but it’s also the most respectful and mature thing to do.
Tell him or her you can see he or she has feelings for you, and you are very flattered. But, you aren’t able to return those feelings.
If you emphasize the fact you don’t want to hurt him or her, it can make the situation a little bit more bearable.
He or she might feel a little hurt anyway, but he or she won’t think of you as a terrible person in the end.