Puberty Books of the Damned: How to Say No (Like a Sociopath)

A very bored teenage boy.

Here we go again! It’s time for another round of pointers from those Admirable Adjuncts of Adolescent Advice over at TEENWORKS. They’ve taught you how to flirt, make friends, and walk on your buttcheeks. Now they’ll instruct you on the fine art of turning someone down.

If you’ve been following the TEENWORKS method to the letter, you should be enjoying the kind of long-lasting relationship that makes your friends groan in envy. Each day should be a fresh study in unspeakable bliss, marked by moonlit strolls and amorous exclamations like the following:

I'd rather go to the movies with him than have a private audience with the King of England!

That’s fortunate, given current English monarchical realities.

But what if you’ve fallen short somehow? What if you’ve played the wrong hand, spoken the wrong line, attracted the wrong man? What if–heaven forfend–you actually need to reject somebody? How can you shake a sub-par would-be suitor?

Don’t Be Direct
One thing you definitely don’t want to do is be direct. The consequences of an improperly softened “no” can be disastrous.

A harsh no can put a guy off dating for an entire term!

An entire term, ladies! In a society that caters endlessly to the young male ego, a single “no” can break a guy. The most tedious of women’s libbers might suggest we condition young boys in such a way that they can cope when life fails to hand them everything on a platter, but let’s be real: isn’t it easier to keep training girls to cushion the blow?

“Sorry,” you might say. “Although you are extremely virile, I need to wash my hair tonight.”

“It’s not you, it’s me,” you might also try. “Your masculinity overwhelms me; also, I’m overdue for a vigorous round of buttcheek jogging.”

“Please don’t feel bad,” you could additionally remark. “I can’t be in a relationship until I sort through my problems. My vagina problems. In my vagina.”

If He Can’t Take the Hint
Sometimes subtlety runs off teenage boys like piss off a plastic bed sheet. TEEN WORKS acknowledges this. In fact, TEEN WORKS indirectly recognizes the possibility that a guy might miss the message eight or nine times.

Can't you take a hint?

The above question is from a quiz called “Are You a Caring Person?” If you choose Option A, it means you’re a callous jerk. (Whether it also means that Ben is a pushy lunatic, TEENWORKS doesn’t say.) Again, you can’t be too direct–so what do you do?

The answer lies in the immortal words of Seal: you’re never gonna survive, Dear Reader, unless you get a little crazy.

The trick, so far as I’ve been able to deduce, is to make yourself so undesirable that the boy in question won’t go near you without a concealed-carry permit and a hazmat suit. To do this, simply turn the standard TEENWORKS advice on its head. Articles that were once primers on what not to do in the company of boys suddenly become instruction manuals on getting undesirables to back off.

Become What Boys Hate
Here, according to TEENWORKS, is what boys hate. These answers allegedly come from the mouths of real teenage boys, but because TEENWORKS shields said boys behind nondescript initials, I’ve been forced to draw my own conclusions about their identities.

Boys Don't Like When Girls Dress Up

Boys Don't Like Dark Makeup

Boys Don't Like Girls Who Dress Like Idols

Boys Don't Like Fluorescent Colors

Taking these preferences into account, your course becomes clear. Heavy makeup! Dark lipstick! Fluorescent everything! Basically, you want to look as much like Nicki Minaj as possible.

Nicki Minaj

As if I needed another reason to want to look like Nicki Minaj. (via Ivan Nikolov/

And If That’s Not Enough…
What if you make a concerted effort to be physically unappealing to him, and he still won’t leave you alone? That’s when you bust out the big guns.

How to Bore a Guy.

TEENWORKS leaps to the rescue again with a series of conversational gambits sure to send any man running. To the police station, where he will immediately file a restraining order. Here are a few of them with illustrative examples.


HIM: “Would you like to go on a date this Friday?”
YOU: “Can I call you back? I’ve got half the football team doing lines off my chest right now.”


HIM: “You look sexy today.”
YOU: “Sometimes I sit in a bathtub of Jell-O and just cry for hours.”


HIM: “How do you stay so fit?”
YOU: “There’s less fat than you’d think in the tears of unbaptized infants.”


HIM: “Last night was incredible.”
YOU: “I find the color of your foreskin off-putting.”


HIM: “Stay away from me, you crazy maniac!”
YOU: “Benedict Cumberbatch would never talk to me that way.”

If Worse Comes to Worst…
…change schools. Anything’s better than hurting a boy’s wittle feelings, right?


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