Ask Jono: I'm Giggly, And My Friends Think I Like Every Boy!
I know everyone says this—but seriously, your column is soooo funny! Warm fuzzies all around.
I don't like relationships (I avoid them with all my might) but my irkatating friends, if I so much as know a guy, assume that I fancy him, and tease me accordingly. Unfortunately, they do this with all the subtlety of a ton of bricks falling on my head, and they generally do this in front of the guy. So—being the way I am, I can never quite convince them that I don't actually like these guys (sometimes I do like them, but in the kindergarten-y "You are nice! Let's be friends!" way, rather than the "Urgh, you are pretty, let me kiss you" sort of way), because I can barely speak without grinning, laughing, and/or (sigh) blushing in a way that states the opposite, even if that's not the case, simply because I either
a) find it amusing that they suggest that particular guy, or
b) am embarrassed that they do this, in front of the guy, because he is my friend (this is the case with a couple of guys)
So... since my treacherous face never behaves how it's supposed to, is there anyway that I make myself stop doing that? Are there any nice rapid-fire smartass comments that I can shoot at them to make them shut up? I've tried thinking of unpleasant things, or pursing my lips, saying "Yeah, totally" sarcastically, or just rolling my eyes in as much of a tolerantly amused way as I can manage, but it never seems to work.
I know that to some extent this is just friendly bantering, but especially with the guys who are my friends, it just gets to be a little too much—my friends are kind of thick, and don't quite read the signs that say that I'm not finding it that funny.
You know, in the scheme of things, this is actually not a bad problem to have. This is something a lot of other guys and girls are dealing with—you have a nervous reaction to being singled out or feeling embarrassed—but yours is a fun, giggly reaction. Those of us who are hopeless sadbrains usually have a very different reaction (forget how to say words, hide in a closet, vow revenge, etc.). I'm not downplaying your issue, of course; I'm just saying that, when you do decide you want a relationship, it will be helpful that your nervous reaction is "be adorable" instead of "act like a robot that was built to be depressing and then broke."
Apparently your group of friends is pretty slow, but I also want to reassure you that, in adulthood, people generally realize the difference between being chipper and being flirty, assuming the rest of your behavior communicates that you're not interested. If a girl is giggling and blushing and fluttering her eyelashes, I'm initially going to assume that she likes me, or, if she is doing all of these things simultaneously, that she is having a very specific kind of seizure. But if she then says and does totally normal friend/acquaintance stuff, I'll gather that she just wants to be friends and not to jump my bones. Realizations like this may not occur to high school dudes, though, because they have a significant handicap to overcome (they are dudes, in high school).
You asked me for some rapid-fire snarky comebacks, but I am terrible at those. You could say... uh... "With friends like these, who needs anemones!" and hit them with a sea anemone that you have been carrying around all day for this exact purpose.
Sorry, snappy one-liners are not my forte. There are some things you can do aside from shutting your friends down with a totally sick burn, though. Here are some other suggestions.
Try the usual anti-anxiety strategies
You're basically just dealing with regular nervousness, except that your friends are causing it by assuming you love every boy that lives. I've written a couple of posts about that sort of thing, and there are lots of suggestions for dealing with nervousness—concentrating on your breathing, muscle relaxation, and focusing on the other person in the conversation are three common ways. Ultimately, they all come down to thinking really hard about Not You, so that your brain can't go "OMG! Giggle! Titter!" because it's too preoccupied with other things.
Polite signs of disinterest
The next time your friends are like "Are you in love with Every Boy??" and shove some dude in your face, there's a lot you can do to nicely indicate that you're not actually interested. Orient your body so that you're facing slightly away from him (because sitting a bit sideways or presenting the side of your body is closed body language—the opposite of what we unconsciously do when we like someone). Check your phone a lot ("This boy is less important to me than whether or not I have any new texts. Do I have any new texts yet? No."). Eat a giant Sloppy Joe (because eww).
Talk to one of your friends
Obviously you don't want to swivel around and give all your your dopey friends a stern lecture about embarrassing you in front of dudes the next time they embarrass you in front of a dude, because that will embarrass you in front of the dude. But the only way this stuff will stop is if they all know you don't like it. So just pick one person to talk to, and tell her, one-on-one, that you are perfectly able to mack on sexy gentlemen by your own dang self, and that you'll be sure to let everyone know when you do like someone.
Try not to be too snarky when you do this, because I do think they mean well (most teens, instead of saying "I don't like relationships," are usually saying "Oh my glob, I am going to crawl under my bed and die of terribleness because I don't have enough relationships!!"). I'm pretty sure your friends are honestly trying to help you out here; they're just not very good at it.