I have a FB friend whom I like and respect, but who is substantially more liberal than me. Okay, that doesn’t quite convey what it’s supposed to – he’s REALLY liberal, whereas I’m REALLY conservative.
He’s no dummy though, and when he posted this article he was very critical of it. As well he should have been.
The title of the article is “How to Get Him in the Friend Zone: 7 Steps (With Pictures)”. The interesting thing about it is that if you read the steps on their own they sound perfectly innocent. The writer was going through great pains to make this seem “respectable”. But it’s not.
Take Step 1 (Bold is mine):
Remember that he is your friend. He will only ever be your friend: The key here is to be oblivious. When he starts dropping hints about how good you two would be together, just shrug it off with a laugh. Or how much he likes a ‘girl’ but she does not seem to notice, just nod sympathetically and say “that sucks” or “that’s too bad, you really deserve better.” Then change the subject. Quickly.
Did you catch what is actually being said there? The writer is telling the reader that, in order for you to stay friends with a boy who’s attracted to you, you need to manipulate them. How about, “The key here is to be honest”, not pretend that a person’s feelings don’t exist because they make you uncomfortable. If you are a girl and you think a guy likes you and you don’t like him in a romantic way, ask him, and if he says he’s romantically attracted to you tell him it’s not going to happen.
Might it end up worse for you in the end? Maybe, maybe not. But at least you’re not literally acting as if somebody’s feelings aren’t valid because you don’t want them to be.
And it keeps going. Step 2:
Make him see the value of your friendship: Talk about your boyfriend, commiserate with him over your life dramas, make it clear that you are absolutely comfortable with him because, to you, he is sexless.
At least this part is honest. But here’s our running count:
Real Step 1: Lie to him.
Real Step 2: Emasculate him.
And let’s continue. Three, four, and five are just extensions on the the “emasculate him” theme.
Lead by example: Be a good friend to him, but don’t go too far. If he is upset or angry or hurt you are welcome to comfort him. But avoid hugging or anything too emotionally attached.
So be a good friend (after you’ve lied to and emasculated him), but make sure you don’t act the way you would around your other friends. Remember, we ARE trying to manipulate him here.
The last step:
If he started this whole mess by declaring his feelings, be kind but firm. Tell him the dreaded “I’m sorry but I only like you as a friend.” Let him lick his wounds then practise steps 2-6 consistently. If he is still persistent, then its time to stop seeing him for a while.
And finally, only tell the truth when absolutely necessary, then avoid talking about it ever again and hope everything goes back to the way it was when you wanted it to be that way.
So, to summarize, here are the REAL steps to friendzoning a guy:
Step 1: Lie to him.
Steps 2-5: Emasculate him in various ways.
Step 6: Mark him out as your special emasculated male friend by treating him differently than everybody else.
Step 7: As a last resort, when you have no other choice, acknowledge his feelings, but stop pretending he has any as soon as possible.
Oh, and don’t forget:
Remind, repeat, renew: Boys are silly. They need to be reminded of things.
If you don’t tell somebody something and they don’t get it anyway it’s their fault for being
stupid silly. So spell it out for them, just without actually saying it.
And last but certainly not least:
Be prepared that at some point he will likely hate and/or resent you and want you out of his life. For some guys this will take longer than others, but your rejection of him will always be a scar on his ego, and since that scar is at the very foundation of your one-sided friendship, it will eventually cause the whole thing to crumble.
This is surprisingly candid (the implication that it’s somehow the fault of the guy’s “ego problem” notwithstanding), but given the admission that this won’t actually work anyway it does make you wonder why nobody has suggested the most obvious solution: Tell the boy how you actually feel and why you don’t want a relationship.
Look, I’m not one of those people who believes guys and girls can’t be “just friends”. I’ve seen it. It does seem rare though…a few of the “just close friends” people went on to date, or else came close to dating before deciding not to. But I’ve still seen close opposite sex friendships where both sides were straight. So I’m not saying that guys and girls shouldn’t be friends (I know there’s an ongoing debate on the subject, too).
That’s besides the point of my post. The point is that the girl in this scenario has the sort of companion she likes. So this article is about her keeping what she wants (a close buddy) no matter how the other person in the party feels. Lying, emasculating him, and even, if worst comes to worst, telling the truth – all in the name of getting what you want. And damn how the guy feels about the whole thing, because it’s not about him. It’s about you.
There’s a manosphere term they use called “female solipsism”, which basically means that women are incapable, or nearly incapable, of thinking of anybody besides themselves. I always thought, and still think, that the term is greatly overused and stretched to the point where judging its truth value as a general concept becomes awfully shaky. But this is as good an example of it as you’re going to find.