Rejection can be difficult to deal with on the best of days.
While it hurts to be told No, the way we deal with that reality can make all the difference.
What do you do though when you try and let someone down gently and the reaction they give is less than ideal?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Outrageous-River3744 when they came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit
In a now deleted post, OP asked:
“AITA for not wearing my wedding ring at work?”
OP got right to the inciting incident.
“So yesterday at work I (Female 30) had this customer follow me around for a bit being just creepy.”
“Asking weird… Pervy questions.”
“And I was polite in telling him no and walking away.”
“He followed me for a lot longer than anywhere near the normal amount of time.”
“It took a bit and one of my coworkers came up and asked me if we were still on for the double date with my wife.”
She then explained the actual conflict.
“This dude got so mad at me cause I didn’t “look” married and that if I was I should have just said so… Even though I told him no, as nice as I could I was still working after all.”
“The creepy guy again looked at me and told me that I should at least wear my wedding ring if I’m not ‘on the market’ any more.”
“I don’t like wearing my ring at work because it gets caught on things and I don’t like dealing with it.”
She was left to wonder,
“Am I the A**hole for not wearing my wedding ring at work?”
“And was there a better way for me to tell this guy no other than just saying no thank you and walking away.”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some pointed out privacy concerns.
“Your marital status is none of his business.”
“You were clear that you weren’t interested, and he heard that as ‘be persistent’. Where deemed safe, break out of being polite with creepy men.” ~ baobab77
“NTA you have no obligation to advertise your marital status.”
“Dudes that hit on people while they’re working are assholes because they don’t realize that the smile and the politeness are part of the job, not somebody flirting with them.”
“Businesses are not a women markets and you are not product. If the dude couldn’t take a hint that was his problem.” ~ Hot-Specialist-6824
Others pointed out how entitled the guy was.
“Her marital status is also completely irrelevant.”
“She might have been single and ready to mingle but that doesn’t mean she wants to mingle with him.”
“The audacity of men like him believing that women are obligated to go out with them unless they’re married (and not always even then).”
“This guy has some serious Nice Guy energy going on.” ~ Zupergreen
And, sadly, there were personal stories.
“This! Even with little things – I used to answer the phone for an organization.”
“They’d had issues with personal targeting before, so they had rules about not using personal names on customer-facing things like various forms and when answering the phone.”
“People would get SO STUCK sometimes on wanting your name.”
“Why can’t I have it?”
“Why are you saying no to me?”
“Sometimes they’d seem to get into this escalating emotional state, as if I was denying them food or water or actually relevant information.”
“People who aren’t good at boundaries get SO UPSET when other people hold to them.” ~
“Two examples spring to mind.”
“One – dude is hitting on me and I’m trying not to engage.”
“Asks me if I’m married and I confirm that I am.”
“Dude then continues to hit on me.”
“Really bothered me because does that mean you were only asking if I’m taken so if I said I wasn’t, you could utilize that somehow?”
“Felt super shady to ask if someone is taken and then not back off when they say yes.”
“And then two, one of my ickiest memories of this category.”
“Dude had my number from a while back, started texting in a flirty way. (For example, when I asked who it was, he sent a shirtless selfie rather than texting his name.)”
“I let him know that I’d gotten married in the years since we talked, so he was barking up the wrong tree.”
“Dude sent back something like ‘that’s alright, I’ve enjoyed the favors of many married ladies’….” ~ very_busy_newt
“Nope, a ring wouldn’t have stopped him.”
“My sister used to work as a dealer in a casino.”
“Her hands were always basically on display… complete with the wedding ring, with the diamond catching the light all the time, I’m sure.”
“She still got hit on CONSTANTLY.”
“Even flat out telling guys that she was married didn’t deter them AT ALL, because they apparently assumed ‘married’ meant ‘looking to cheat,’ or something?”
“Honestly, do whatever you’re comfortable with.”
“My parents have been happily married for 45 years and counting, but Mom is a massage therapist and obviously can’t wear her wedding ring when she’s working, and as for Dad… I know I’ve seen his wedding ring once or twice in Mom’s jewelry box, but I wouldn’t recognize it if I saw it again.”
“In his career, wearing a ring was a legitimate safety hazard.”
“I honestly have no idea if he’s ever worn it at all past the day of their actual wedding.”
“But, again… 45 years, and they’re still going strong.”
“Their relationship is not at all defined by the presence or absence of a piece of jewelry.”
“For other people, that same piece of jewelry is EVERYTHING. Neither way is ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’ Just find what works for you and your wife, and the rest of the world can shove it.” ~ TogetherAgain18
The real issue was consent.
‘”The creepy guy again looked at me and told me that I should at least wear my wedding ring if I’m not ‘on the market’ any more.”‘
“You are not a cattle.”
“You are not ‘on the market’. You are a human being and you don’t have to wear a symbol to prove you’re ‘owned’ by someone else.”
“A wedding ring is a personal decision and a symbol of commitment.”
“Not a REQUIREMENT TO BE MARRIED. He can f*ck the f*ck right off with that incel nonsense.”
“No is a complete sentence and for the love of GOD stop apologizing for creeps and losers.” ~ bexyrex
“Sooo…if you weren’t married, you would have been obligated to accept this entitled creep’s attentions?”
“I think not. No means no, and you don’t owe anyone anything more than that.” ~ rikkimit
“Your ring is irrelevant.”
“This creeper is an AH. And you are NTA.”
“No means no. It doesn’t mean stalk, cajole, force, talk you into it, etc.”
“Since you seem to be in customer service, this is tricky though. I suggest 3 chances.”
“No, thank you. What Item can I help you with?”
“I said no! Leave or I am calling the police.”
“You may get reprimanded or fired like someone on this subreddit did.”
“But these people need to be put in their place.”
“You need to stand up for yourself. And you need to be safe.”
“You are not an object at a market for him to buy.”
“Your husband is not your owner, and he is irrelevant to the situation as well.”
“Your ‘no’ needs to be respected.”
“A lot of creeps will respect another man’s ownership of a woman, but not respect the woman’s ‘no’.
“That needs to change. No means no.” ~ MissAnth
Communication is key.
“That guy was not ok.”
“But if you’re unsure about whether you should or shouldn’t wear a ring, that’s a great question to ask your wife.”
“I wear one and would be uncomfortable if my husband chose not to wear his.”
“If you and your wife are totally ok with no band, then don’t wear one.”
“But if you don’t like it getting caught on things and that’s the only reason, then you could always get a plain band?” ~ liselov
There was even mention of larger issues.
“No question at all.”
“Sounds like you did nothing to invite his attention. Sounds like you were being ‘mid-west’ nice, (No clue if you’re even from the US!) and he took that as you being interested.”
“Sounds like he might have shame issues.”
“The moment he realized you were off the market must have triggered something in him, and then he tried to flip that feeling on you by making you feel shameful for not wearing your ring.”
“No more shame on him for trying to hit on a married person. Now the shame is on you for creating the situation in the first place. 🙄”
“Nothing about this situation is your fault.” ~ stop_spamming_caps
While rejection can be a difficult, never be patient with someone who tries to make their discomfort your problem.
Remember, the boundaries you place—including telling someone no after they make an advance—are entirely valid and you are supposed to set those limits.