I can’t. Well, I mean I can, but I choose not to. The people in your life that expect you to take a hint aren’t exactly honest people. This means they’re not your friends. If they were really your friends, there would be no hints to take. No code to interpret. They would just be straightforward and honest.
But, not everyone is a decent person with real friends. Some people are sociopaths who pretend you’re their friend. And, in case you’re one of those people who can’t take a hint, I’ve taken the liberty of giving you the English interpretations for some of the more common hints.
* * *
“No, it’s not you.” – Yes. It’s you.
“No, that’s not it.” – Yes. That’s it. (Noticing a pattern?)
“No, no. I really do like you.” – I can’t stand you.
“No, you’re not annoying me at all.” – Why the hell won’t you go away!?
“I’ve just been busy.” – Busy trying to get away from you. Stop calling me!
“When I’m not busy,” “When things settle down,” or any other vague time in the future. – When hell freezes over.
“No, I haven’t been avoiding you.” – How the hell did you get my new phone number!?
* * *
You see, because these “hints” have identical wordings to some of the things your real friends might say, it hardly seems prudent to reward the hints and punish the honesty. For this reason, I won’t take a hint. What if it’s not a hint? What if they’re really being honest? I can’t take that risk. If they really don’t want to talk to me, they’ll just say that. Even if it takes acting as if I believe their “hints” are literal reality. And, if we all do the same thing, then the lies to be polite will stop.
And, really, lying to be polite is so terribly rude. You’re wasting my time and yours, so just be honest.