It’s not being allowed to be a bitch. It’s about knowing your boundaries and being honest when you talk to someone.

Good Girls are taught to say “no,” but may give mixed signals, so a guy will ask more than once. (Note: I hope this is a clearer explanation than the previous one I used. Apparently, it’s easier to react to a few words and project a completely skewed interpretation about my meaning, while ignoring the other thousand written that stand in direct conflict with said misinterpretation.)

Think about this. In all of your relationships, how often was it the case that you said “yes” the first time a guy asked? Would you even be married right now if your husband had taken the first “no” as an absolute “no?”

Taking the example of you in the club, you said you couldn’t drink because you had to drive. If, as Nice Girls are taught, you said it in a pleasant way and even added a smile, you gave the guy absolutely no idea whether you were interested in him or not. Many women don’t get this because they are rightly concerned about safety issues, so they maintain some ambiguity in the hopes that the guy will lose interest. But this only frustrates men further, so they keep trying to get an answer.

I don’t know the statistics, but given the fact that 1 in 5 women will suffer sexual abuse at some point in their lives, and knowing that sex offenders tend to be repeat offenders, I’m guessing that a large percentage of men (maybe 90–95%?) are not rapists. They are horny, insecure, sometimes scared, sometimes confident, sometimes lonely, sometimes romantics, sometimes cheating dogs, sometimes charming, sometimes hopeless in all social situations, etc. etc. etc., but they have one thing in common. If they’re decent guys, they may feel rejected and hurt, but a clear “no” will be accepted as meaning “no.”

Here are clear “no’s” you could say to a guy in question:

“I’m sorry but I don’t socialize with men unless we’ve been formally introduced” (old school, I know)

“I don’t feel comfortable hanging out with older men.”

“I’ve got a boyfriend and I’m not available.”

“I’m sorry, but I’m not into guys.”

If it’s a clear enough message, it will stop the vast majority of sober men. (The more messed up they are, the louder and clearer the message has to be.)

There is an old rule taught to salespeople (of both sexes), called the rule of three no’s. You have to get three no’s (to different types of questions) in order to know that someone is serious about not wanting what you are trying to sell. Since I once had to do that disgusting (for me) work, I always give telemarketers the respect to give them a second no if they try a different approach in their pitch. If they ask again, that’s when I say “okay, you’ve gotten your third ‘no’” and then end the call.

So many of the problems between the sexes have to do with poor communication. I’m a huge fan of Dr. Deborah Tannen. She’s a linguist who wrote a number of books on these different styles of communication, and the underlying paradigm used by most men or most women to view the world. I wrote about it in depth in these stories.

If men and women could learn to understand and respect these differences, we could eliminate so much of the unnecessary animosity created in our relationships and between the sexes.

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