Ask the Trollacle: Taking hints

Confuddled in Coburg writes:

Dear Trollacle,

I’ve been out of the game a little while, so my first forays back have been a little tentative. Recently this chap has been coming on a little strong, in texts, in person, on email. I am not interested in this person, but I want to maintain a degree of courtesy.

Should I lie, or be truthful about my level of interest? Are all social norms and niceties just lies anyway?

Yours gratefully

OK, even if we clear up your confusion, there is still the Coburg issue, but first things first.

How to behave depends entirely on what you stand to gain or lose. Are the messages of an explicit nature? Do you want to put your pursuer off so completely he/she will never be able to stomach being in the same room as you again? How much is she/he worth? There is always the straight-faced threat of blackmail.

“If you don’t leave me alone and give me $10 000 by Monday, I will post a new screenshot each day of your creepy correspondence to [name]”.

But yes, all social norms and niceties are lies. Embrace the… truth of that. Make it a laser-targetted lie.

Start with increasingly less subtle hints about your existing partner, exotic disease or outstanding arrest warrants.

If this still doesn’t work, find out his or her fears, and hone in on them mercilessly. Get blatant and brutal. Leave her or him in a state of catatonic confusion. Obliterate what confidence she or he has. Mercilessly crush this person.

People who can’t take hints are destined to spend eternity in purgatory. Actually there’ll probably be a lot of clues about on how to escape, clues entirely wasted on that populace of course.

If you do feel pangs of guilt about giving this person social PTSD, just take solace in knowing that you are doing God’s work.

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