From a young age, we are taught that being kind and courteous and nice are all wonderful attributes to possess.
Being polite to others, smiling, and helping friends and neighbors are positive qualities that we need to cultivate in order to make friends and … most importantly, find a romantic partner.
So it makes sense then, that when we meet someone on the street, at a bar, at work, whatever … someone who we are really attracted to and really into … we’re going to be nice to them. Why wouldn’t we be?
Well. Two words: Friend Zone.
If you haven’t picked up on it already, being too nice can put you almost immediately into the friend zone with someone of the opposite sex.
We know, we know. Being nice is your go-to thing. You use it to get people to like you, and you think it’s going to work with this woman or this man. Well, you might want to think again.
When you’re into someone romantically, being nice is definitely good … but only to a certain extent. That is, you need to adjust your kindness. And adjust the way you interact with this person so that they know you are interested romantically and not as a buddy-ole-pal.
If you’re lost, don’t worry. Here are 9 ways to make sure you don’t end up in the friend zone.
How to Avoid Being “Too Nice” and Ending Up in the Friend Zone
- Respect yourself first.
When someone is really into another person or even in love with them, they often put that person first. But if you are not technically dating this person you’re into yet, you can’t put them first because this makes it seem like you don’t respect yourself. Always respect yourself first and make it obvious. It’s perfectly fine, and it will make you seem attractive.
- Make it a point to not always be available.
Of course, you are going to want to always be available for this guy or girl you’re into, but this is the wrong choice. Instead, be there sometimes for group gatherings or to help the person with a specific project. But sometimes, when they ask or when an event comes up, be absent and don’t make a big deal about it. You just don’t want to always be available because it makes it seem like you don’t have a life of your own.
- Don’t talk about past or current relationships.
Think about it. Friends who talk about relationships, men or women they are into, or past flings … are just that: friends. So don’t do it. Likewise, don’t allow them to talk about their relationships or dealings with the opposite sex. If they start to talk this way, shut them down or give them a weird look. It’s not rude, and it gets your point across that you’re not interested in that person with someone else.
- Give “the look”
You know the look, it’s the one that means you’re into them. It’s serious yet flirtatious. Sexy, yet playful.
- Don’t do little favors. Just don’t.
It’s a red flag if this person starts to ask you to do favors for them. For example, it’s a red flag if they ask you to help them move, to do something for them at work that they don’t want to do, etc. On the other hand, if they ask you to do something fun, this might be a sign that they want to flirt with you. The key here is that if they themselves don’t want to do whatever they are asking of you and if they might not even be present during the actual carrying out of the task, don’t do it.
- Ask The Question to drop a hint.
“So… are you seeing someone?”
- Flirt of course!
This one is a no-brainer. You have to learn how to flirt. There are lots of articles and tips for successful flirting, but in general, you want to smile, laugh, lightly tease, and do a little bit of touching when it’s appropriate. We are talking a touch on the shoulder or pat on the arm here, not the dreaded hand on the small of the back creepy push through a doorway that many men attempt.
- Don’t be walked over.
Being walked over means you’re not being treated with respect by this person. They might make fun of you in front of others (hopefully jokingly, but still not good), ask you to do favors they don’t feel like doing (see above), or just treat you generally badly. Do not allow this to happen.
- Ask them out.
And finally, sometimes you just need to make that move and make it fast. Asking someone out sooner rather than later obviously shows your true intentions with them. It says: “I’m interested in you romantically!” like nothing else does.
And even though great relationships often do start out as friendships … sometimes bypassing that stage is just necessary. Because if you don’t … you might slip right into the friend zone trap—a place where some men and women are doomed to stay forever.
So if falling into the friend zone is something you’ve struggled with before and you know it might be a problem for you … just avoid that possibility altogether and go in for the date. It’s a bold move, sure. But sometimes bold … is just what you need. Good luck!