What If She Says No?
You did it; you took the plunge and asked her to do something... to come with you, go out with you, tell you something, show you something... to invest.
And now, she’s said no.
Well what exactly do you do? What do you do when she says no?
This is a pressing question for men. If guys didn’t worry about answering the “what if she says no?” question, men everywhere would walk up to the women they wanted and address them with reckless abandon.
There’d be no “missed connections”; no “I saw this beautiful girl today, and she saw me, and I wish I’d gone and said something to her.”
No more “waiting for the right moment”... not really.
Because there’d be no fear of looking awkward and feeling
uncomfortable if it didn’t work out. Yet, this is not the case, because
men generally do not know how to handle a no.
In Part 2 of our 3-part series on compliance (you can read Part 1 here: How to Get Her to Say “Yes”), we’re going to tackle your options for how to proceed when you get a “no.”
Negative Compliance and the Severity of “No”
How bad is it to get a “no”?
It depends, but it often is unfavorable. Men seem to know this instinctively, which is probably why you’ll tend to pass up so many opportunities that would’ve been great had you pulled them off.
The risk of social shame at being publicly rejected plus the chance of building up negative precedent with a girl you like by collecting rejections from her is enough to make most men take pause in a big way before going for what they want... frequently leading to them never doing anything at with her at all.
As it were, the severity of a no and its impact on how you look (to her and to others) depends on a few things:
How big the compliance you were asking for was. This one is modulated a great deal by the next factor we’ll talk about; it can actually be almost irrelevant if you handle factor #2 properly. However, if you’re a normal dude just starting out with average social skills, generally speaking, the smaller the compliance she rejects, the bigger the negative effect.
e.g., her saying no to “Hey, hand me that pen?” is much worse than her saying no to “Hey, let’s go chill and watch a movie” if everything else about how you ask is the same, because she won’t even do that small amount of work to hand you a pen, and that says something.
What most guys end up doing though is that they ask for a pen nonchalantly, but get super tense when inviting her home, bringing us to Point #2:
How nonchalantly you made the request. This one’s one of the larger factors. Were you totally laid back, chill, playful, and clearly very self-assured when you told her to hand you that pen or head back to yours? Then her saying no has little effect SO LONG AS it is not a trend (that is, she KEEPS saying no to you). That is even the case for a small investment like handing you a pen, because if she says “no”, she’ll play it off in her head as part of the “game” you are playing with her and not an outright rejection. That’s because it seems to her that you’re in control, you’re testing her, and you’re certain you’ll get her – you’re just pinging her to see if now’s the time or later is.
Alternately, if you’re very serious, nervous, hesitant, and outcome dependent, her even declining to hand you a pen can be the death of your shot with her, because she knows your expectations were riding high and she’s just crushed them with one rejection – it wasn’t a game, it was real and the stakes for you were high. Girls don’t want to play high stakes games with you though; they want to have fun. That’s what the laid back, playful guy provides, even if they reject him now; both he and she knows he can always try again later. No such luck for the high stakes guy.
How nonchalantly you handled the rejection. If she says no and it rolls off your shoulders like a drop of summer rain, your “Don’t worry; I’ll get you sooner or later” vibe is maintained. And women adore this; when a woman tells you she wants a “confident man”, this is a big part of what she’s saying. She wants someone who knows what she wants (that is to say, him) better than she does. If you flip out or act defeatist or confused or try to haggle with her, you’re done. She knows you’re not in control and are lower status than her and are uncertain... none of those things being remotely what she wants in a man.
How persistently you follow up and what the outcome is. If you follow up a “no” with persistence – continuing to ask or invite her along – the effects of an ultimate “yes” or “no” here are amplified. Usually this means much worse for you if you persist hard and still get a “no”... though there is an exception I’ll talk about in a bit.
How many “no”s in a row you stack up. The greater the number, the poorer your precedent, and the worse off you are. The polar opposite of the yes-ladder, in other words. One exception: if you’re doing a hard push and get 10 “no”s, then a “yes”, those previous 10 “no”s are immediately wiped out and attraction for you soars through the roof (due to how big a deal her acquiescing to your request has become thanks to how long she resisted before giving in; the longer the resistance, the bigger the impact of an ultimate “yes” OR “no”).
Whether she’s able to accurately gauge your reaction. Here’s one that makes day game and street game a little harder. All of the previous points, even if you execute them perfectly, and are very playful and laid back and nonchalant about how you ask and how you take the rejection, and you the investment you asked for was a big one so it’s reasonable for her to reject it outright, and you didn’t persist and turn a small deal into a big one, do not matter if she’s moving quickly and leaves you in her dust before she had a change to gauge your reaction. She won’t know if she blew you out or you smiled and laughed to yourself and shrugged and weren’t affected a bit.
This is a big part of why cold approach is a game of very asymmetric returns; a single compliance rejection early on can be the end of things, even if with the same girl in a social circle interaction that initial “no” would’ve been inconsequential (once she’d gauged your reaction to her “no”).
In order of importance, from most to least, I’d rank these thus:
- Whether she gauges your reaction
- How many “no”s in a row you’ve stacked
- How persistently you followed up and what the outcome was
- How nonchalantly you received her “no”
- How nonchalantly you asked her in the first place
- How big or small the compliance asked for and rejected was
What If She Says No?
There are effectively three (3) kinds of “no”s she can give you:
Uncertain: “I don’t think I should...” “I have to do this other thing...” “But my friends are waiting...” This one is almost more a “maybe” than a “no”, but she’s leaning toward telling you no. Usually she tries to hide behind some other excuse, like people waiting for her or something on her schedule she has to stick to or some resolution she doesn’t want to break.
Gentle no: “I can’t.” “I have to stay here.” This one’s a “no”, but she’s either nice enough or still likes you enough that she doesn’t want to be too firm about it. Trouble is, it’s often difficult to tell whether she’s just being nice but isn’t remotely interested, or whether she likes you but just needs you to ask a little more persuasively.
Firm no: “No thanks.” “Nope.” “I don’t think so.” This one she’s shooting you down firmly with, no two ways about it. This comes in two flavors: she’s dismissive or annoyed as she shoots you down, or she’s getting a kick out of doing it. You need to be able to read her facial features and body language to tell the difference, but sometimes the girls who get a kick out of it will pretend to be dismissive just to make their performance all the more convincing. Usually though, they’ll say it in a very happy, self-congratulatory way: “NNNNNope!” [big, self-satisfied smile]
None of these are the end of the world, of course. The worst thing that can happen is you screen out a girl who isn’t interested, like what we talked about in the last article on getting to “yes.” Of course, sometimes that’s a pain if you’ve already invested a lot of time into her (all the more reason to start asking for investment early and often, to rapidly screen out the women who won’t invest in you and aren’t serious about doing anything with you).
Yet, “no”, no matter the firmness, doesn’t necessarily mean things are
finished with a particular girl.
When She Says No in an Uncertain Way
She is on the fence, uncertain, and unsure. She needs guidance.
But not just any guidance. She needs fun guidance! Energetic guidance!
When people are in a confused, uncertain state, they fall into a state of “I don’t know what to do; I just don’t want to make a mistake.”
This makes them hyper vigilant looking out to avoid pushy people who aren’t fun, but also makes them a lot more likely to follow the lead of the energetic, positive, happy person who is being playful and providing the fun alternative.
That means you need dialogues less like this:
You: Hey, hand me that pen for a second?
Her: I’m using it right now... I need to finish writing my report.
You: [serious face] I only need it for a second.
Her: Can you find something else to write with? I have to finish this.
You: [serious face] No, I want to show you something.
Her: Can you show it to me later?
This is not fun. It’s boring, and it’s annoying. It’s clear that you are trying to GET something from her, not GIVE her something. You feel that way, and you project that feeling out and make it obvious that this is what you’re doing.
Instead, you need dialogues more like this:
You: Hey, hand me that pen for a second?
Her: I’m using it right now... I need to finish writing my report.
You: [big smile] C’mon, just give me the pen! It’ll just be a second.
Her: But I have to finish writing this...
You: [big smile] You can finish it in a second. You’re going to love this. Gimme the pen...
Her: Okay, here [hands you the pen]. What are you going to show me?
Notice everything you’re doing there?
You’re using a lot of the methods we talked about in the last article, including:
Focusing on the benefit: “You’re going to love this” --> you want to show her something
Overselling things: “You’re going to love this” --> sounds exciting
Being excited and committed
Employing good voice tone and facial expressions
The first example contained none of these things, which is why it failed to push her off the fence and into your hands, and instead seemed annoying and value-sucking.
When you’re up against an uncertain woman who is leaning toward no but not certain it’s what she wants, break out the energy and show her why going along with you is the far more fun and interesting alternative – and she can always get back to whatever other boring routine thing she has to do after you’re done horsing around with her anyway.
When She Says No Gently
When she says “no” in a gentle way (“I can’t. If I wasn’t so busy I’d love to go with you, but I’m just too booked”), you’re faced with two choices, with very different possible outcomes:
Accept and make it a small deal. Assuming it wasn’t a do-or-die moment, like you inviting her home at the end of a sexually charged date, or anything that you made become something do-or-die by putting a lot of pressure on the ask and making it feel like a big deal, you can often smile and shrug off declines like this and still stand some chance of rebuilding investment and salvaging the interaction later on.
Persist and get a final decision. If it was do-or-die (getting a phone number from a girl you’ll never see again; ending a sexually charged date with a wide open escalation window that’ll slam shut if you don’t act; something small that you turned into a big deal by focusing on it or being nervous about it; etc.) or if you just don’t intend to have a follow-up date with her, either because you have too many other things on your plate to bother doing second or third or fourth dates or whatever it’d be, or because you’re on travel and will leave before you can see her again, you can break out the hard push and make an effort to overturn her “no” decision and get her going with you.
The odds here are that she will still stick to her “no” anyway, even if you execute this perfectly, but in situations where you’d usually get a “nothing” no matter what you do, this allows you to sometimes get a “something” instead.
Here’s how you decide:
If it’s not an escalation window, just brush it off and ignore it and make it as small and insignificant a deal as possible. You hardly even noticed. You’ll just recover from it later. Example: you say, “Tell me a little about you; where’d you grow up?” and she says, “I don’t really want to talk about that right now,” (not in an overly agitated voice; if she’s agitated, you need to focus on finding out why and resolve it or you will lose her or end up in the friend zone) and the two of you are otherwise sitting and enjoying the moment? Just say, “Then let’s just sit a while,” or, “I understand. I’ll let you choose our topic of conversation then.”
If it IS an escalation window, you don’t have a choice: persist or write her off. You will infrequently get second and occasionally even third chances to hit escalation windows, but... it’s not very often. When that window opens up, you’ve got one shot. Break out your hard push.
If you’ve met her doing street game, potentially every bit of early compliance until you get her to commit to the interaction with you is do-or-die. In this case, a hard push can be called for if you think there’s a chance of it working (usually though with street game you’re better off letting disinterested girls just walk away... don’t want to wear out your welcome in a place you like to meet girls at by becoming known as that cat who goes around bugging random women).
If it’s social circle, unless you really know what you’re doing, don’t go crazy persisting, because the cost of blowing it up with even one girl is just too high.
If she’s much more experienced than you, or otherwise very clearly in control of the interaction (how you know: you keep trying things, she keeps shooting them down; you mostly do what she wants to do, rather than what you propose; etc.), sometimes it can be okay to just shrug off everything and let her let you move things forward when she’s ready. She has a certain pace she wants to move at, but if she wants you for the lover role, just keep pinging her nonchalantly and brushing it off like no big deal when she declines, until she says “yes” – then move it forward.
If she’s much more experienced than you and/or in control of the interaction, it can also be okay for you to persist in a relaxed, smooth way, because while you won’t change her mind, for her this is endearing and attractive, and you mark yourself as a man with spunk. In this case, this can actually help tip the scales for you if she was trying to make up her mind whether you will be a friend, a boyfriend, or a lover – the latter of which obviously stands the best chances of getting her in bed and then however he likes her after that.
When She Gives You the Firm No
If it’s social circle? Unless you’re an absolute pro, then... drop it. She ain’t interested, so move on. Make as little of an impression on her as possible and give her as little incentive to want to affect your reputation socially.
Anything else though, you’ve got two options:
Drop it and move on: the most commonsense option. This is what you’ll do the majority of the time, because a.) you probably don’t want the ego beating of hanging in there and having some girl who doesn’t like you get progressively more brutal with rejecting you [can really ruin your day, even if you have Everest-tall self-confidence] and b.) it’s just more efficient to move on from women who are giving you nothing and go find women who will give you something.
Go for greatness: I’m calling this “greatness” in terms of picking up girls as a skill or achievement. There’s really no other reason to do this other than to prove to yourself that you can do it and to be able to say you’ve pulled something off few men will (that is, sleep with a girl who doesn’t like you).
There’s nothing really to be said about the first option of walking away – react the way I discussed in “How to Act When a Girl Rejects You” and you’ll be fine.
So let’s talk about the second.
When you meet a girl whom it’s love at first sight with, she’s usually going to be very friendly, warm, and receptive to you right away (occasionally she’ll go the reverse and get super cold and aloof either if she’s uncomfortable with her own emotions or she REALLY wants to challenge and make sure she only gets together with a guy who overcome the toughest of obstacles and resistance to get her... but girls like these are rare and most girls who really like you will go out on a limb to make it easy for you).
Usually then, the girls who are giving you firm nos are flatly disinterested in you.
That doesn’t mean you can’t sleep
with them, though. “Liking” someone and being sexually attracted to him are two
different things (girls like plenty of guys that they will never sleep
with in a million years, while by contrast they sometimes sleep with
guys they really do not much like).
If you’re not interested in trying to get women like this, you can stop reading the article right now and I’ll see you again next time for Part 3.
If you’re approaching pickup as a kind of personal challenge, like weight lifting or martial arts or sports or video games or whatever else you like to challenge yourself at, this will be of interest to you.
Women who give you firm nos come in two varieties: the girls who really aren’t interested, and the girls who get a kick out of toying with men (these girls do actually exist, though they aren’t as numerous as some guys seem to think. You will only meet them on occasion).
You’ve got three (3) options for trying to keep things going with girls who are firmly saying no to you:
Keep talking, amused: the least effective of the three, but it can work on occasion, especially with girls who are acting bitchy just because they’re horny girls. In that case, they will sometimes just go, “Oh, all right – I guess this guy’s going to stick around, and I need to get laid in any event, so let’s just go do it,” and give in to what you’re asking of them.
Break out your hard push: this one’s also challenging to do effectively, because when she’s declining you firmly it’s very difficult to not seem like you’re chasing with it (because she’s giving you nothing, but you’re still dealing with her nicely/moderately). The easiest way to do this effectively in this case is to try to use baiting first to get her somewhat involved again, like so:
You: Let’s grab a seat, it’ll be way more comfortable.
Her: That’s okay, I’m fine over here.
You: [smiling to yourself; pausing a moment] You know what they say about standing...
Her: I don’t care what they say.
You: [unfazed] Well, you know what they say, right...?
Her: [looking at you very skeptically] What do they say?
You: [leaning in as if you’re revealing a big secret] That people who stand at bars get bar butt, and it lasts your entire life. So you should come sit with me and preserve your behind.
Her: [laughs] I’m waiting for my friend.
You: Don’t worry, your friend will be able to see you; we’ll be right over there. Let’s go.
Switch angles completely: this is where you start off very elegantly saying, “What say we head back to mine and have a nightcap?” and she says, “No, I’ll stay here,” and you drop the façade and say, “Okay then. How about we just go fuck.” While it may sound a little odd, sometimes a complete angle switch like this can make a girl who was cooling off on you completely turn around and go instantly from “no” to “yes”. Also, like #2, it’s fun to do.
Biggest challenge: you will usually be shifting from, say, low promise (“Let’s relax”) to high promise (“Let’s go pound the bed sheets”), or high promise (“Let me go ride you till the sun comes up”) to low promise (“Let’s just go sit then and stare at the stars”), so you’ll have to maintain the new expectations you’ve set up at least until you’re alone together. The transition here is a harder one to manage because if she starts thinking you’re going to pull a bait-and-switch and she isn’t going to get the hard pounding (or, alternately, soulful stargazing before the hard pounding) she’s been promised, she’ll change her mind again and bail.
Two things to notice there: you keep going with something
intriguing until she asks what (you don’t need to know what it is; just
make something up – it can be completely ridiculous, like “bar butt” –
you just need to get her guessing), and the aim is to shift her from
her firm no to something less firm – like the half-gentle,
half-uncertain “I’m waiting for my
friend” statement, which is something you can work with.
This is great fun to do and it’s always a blast when you can pull
it off (if you get your rocks off changing minds and pulling out
situations 999 men out of 1,000 would never be able to pull anything
My personal preferences here are #2 and 3... #3 especially. Though the reactions can range from disgust to “Hmm, okay”, especially when you’re talking about intimacy.
Note that if you’re doing #3, the switch has to be sufficiently dramatic that it breaks her out of autopilot and seems a big shift. For example:
You: You know what, we should grab a bite or a drink sometime.
Her: Actually, my schedule’s been pretty full lately...
You: Okay, in that case, how about we go for a walk right now?
Not a big shift:
You: You know what, we should grab a bite or a drink sometime.
Her: Actually, my schedule’s been pretty full lately...
You: Then let’s make it ice cream – I know you can fit ice cream into your schedule somewhere!
If you look at those, the second example feels kind of weak and flailing about, while the first feels bold and powerful. Why? Because the first ups the ante; it pins her (in the chess terminology sense); that is, it forces her to stop being evasive and either agree to what you want her to agree to or take the hit of having to be super blunt socially (which she’s trying not to do in order to save face / not look like a bitch). That sounds mean, but you can turn girls on like crazy by pinning them.
Suffice it to say that you pin her by taking the thing she’s declining or evading and either
Make it more immediate, as in the example just above (instead of proposing something for the future, you scrap this and propose now), or
Change the tenor of it, to more forceful / less elegant, or less forceful / more elegant, whichever is the opposite, as in the original example in “Switching angles completely”
Either way, pin her down. She’ll love it.
*Notes on Persistence
Mandatory “do not rape” warning in here. 99.999625% of the readers here don’t need this, but if you’re one of the 3 guys who do, if you’re getting a hard “no” about SEX, while escalating, then full stop.
If you’re getting a softer “no” about sex while escalating, you need to proceed more cautiously. Still work on overcoming resistance, but always leave an easy out for her to get up and leave whenever she wants.
Or, if you’re at her place,
if she starts resisting a lot, just ask her, “Do you want me to leave?
I’d like to stay, but if you want me to go, just tell me, and I will
go.” If she says yes, you can always stand up and start getting dressed
and say, “Are you sure? Because I’m getting dressed now and if I go we
won’t be together anymore.” Frequently you'll find yourself grabbed and
dragged back down and you’ll have a much easier time of it after that.
If you have half-descent social intuition about this, you shouldn’t
have much to worry about (unless you’re in one of those regions where
looking at a woman funny is liable to get you slapped with a rape
which case, it’s time to change locations to somewhere a little more
It’s Not Over Just Because She Says No!
I mean, it could be.
And there’s a good chance that by the time she’s saying “no”, you’ve already mucked things up enough that you won’t be able to turn them around. If she’s saying no because you disappointed her already and she’s gone into auto-rejection, you’ll have a hell of a time pulling off a reversal.
However, if she’s saying no because she’s still juggling other concerns (“What about my friends?”), or she’s more experienced or otherwise in-control than you are (“I know what he’s doing... you don’t get to have me just yet, young pup!”), or likes toying with men (“Let’s see what he does when I give him the cold shoulder”), or just wants something different from what you’re offering (“A late night drink? Oh please! I thought he was going to tell me we were going to go back and he was going to make me shriek my lungs out. Instead, more drinks? What is he, too scared to be straight with me?”)... in any of those cases, you’ve frequently got some options.
Read the situation. Use the option that seems most suited to it.
And above all, have fun. And make sure that she has fun, too.
Because when she’s having fun, guess what?
Right, you guessed it: that’s when all those vexing “no”s magically melt away.
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