(Closed) NWR: How to politely tell a proselytizer you’re not interested?

posted 8 years ago in Secular
Post # 3
14186 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

That is really annoying. It happens a lot on college campuses, though–people promoting their groups/organizations, trying to ‘rush’ you, etc. 

Wear headphones! Even if there is no music, lol. And ignore them…and say “sorry i’m busy studying, thanks” then put them back on.

When all else fails, just be blunt and tell them you’re not interested. Repeat: “i’m not interested” and if they pester, tell them they’re interrupting your study time and they’re being inconsiderate.

Post # 4
2398 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I would leave out the bit about being Catholic, etc.  Defensiveness usually only leads to more conversation leads to justifying…

When I was in school I stuck with, ‘Sorry, I’m really busy,” and went back to whatever I was doing.  Minimal eye contact is key.

And if they persist she can certainly be short with them.  It’s rude to interrupt a person who clearly wants to be left alone.

Post # 5
1080 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

avoid eye contact and simply ignore them…..its less rude when headphones are on like ejs suggested πŸ™‚

Post # 6
6597 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

Wow thats crazy – I would be really upset if someone did that to me on campus!

I get them coming to my door at home though and I just tell them I am an atheist and they leave me alone LOL! So even if you aren’t this could work!

Post # 7
162 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Marie Gabrielle

I live right next to a Potbellys, a super-popular spot for groups to canvas/evangelize/survey/etc.  It’s so annoying because every day they say something like “Do you care about the environment?”  Hearing it twice a day every day gets uber-duber annoying.

So I guess that doesn’t help much – I need advice myself!  πŸ™‚

Post # 9
5823 posts
Bee Keeper

caitlanc: OMG, I went to Boulder!!  On top of bible study, I wonder how many times she’s been asked if she has a minute for Greenpeace??

The headphones are a GREAT tactic.  But my favorite was a sign I brought with me that I safety pinned to my backpack.  (I think I even still have it somewhere, I had it laminated so I could reuse it all the time…)  My sign said:

“NO!  I do not have a minute for:


Please leave me alone so I can study.”

I used to get asked about that crap ALL the time in the quad.  Another option would be if she chose a different place to study.  She’s probably right outside Alferd Packer grill by the bookstore.  That’s where all the trolls roam.  She could move to the library (not too far of a walk) or just outside the library on the lawn.  Boulder has the most annoying/persistent trolls ever!  Thus my sign…

Post # 10
1854 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

How about:
“I’m sorry but I’m studying right now and would really appreciate if you let me concentrate on that. If I do want more information, I know where to get it. Have a nice day” and immediately go back to books.

Post # 12
695 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I usually go with a polite but curt “sorry, I’m not interested.” Repeat if necessary.

Post # 13
944 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

caitlanc: I live in the Springs and don’t have a problem—well, unless you are downtown and then you get harassed by the homeless people so I avoid it.  I agree though, Boulder definitely is it’s own little world.  I think people who don’t even live there and only visit once know it’s just a place of it’s own for sure.

Post # 15
2395 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

Oh man…I went to Fort Lewis in Durango and was always hounded by those groups.  I agree with leaving out the Catholic part.  I tried that once, only I told them I was Mormon and oh man did they jump on that.  Then they really wanted to “save” me and convert me to Christianity.  That’s about the time I replied, “Uh, thanks…But I am already Christian.”  Surprisingly, they always stayed away.  I always thought they would have tried harder.  Very happy they left me alone though!

I think the headphones & backpack sign are genius!  I probably wouldn’t have been brave enough for the sign, but I definitely would have used the headphones!

Post # 16
18643 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Haha I love the comment about moving targets.  Someone tried to convert me at Tyson’s Corner in Washington, DC.  It was some strange offset of Christianity where they worship the Virgin Mary instead of Jesus or something.  They wouldn’t take no for an answer either, so annoying.

@caitlanc: I went to UCCS and I was never ever approached by anyone about that sort of thing.  The Springs was actually less religious in my experience.

The topic ‘NWR: How to politely tell a proselytizer you’re not interested?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors