When a guy winks at you, it can be thrilling, confusing, or even uncomfortable depending on the situation.
As I learned from personal experience, knowing how to respond can make all the difference. That’s why I put together this list of 30 flirty, witty, and savage comebacks for any time a guy throws you a wink.
30 Responses to Use When a Guy Winks at You
Last month, I was at a networking event when one of the speakers winked at me mid-presentation. Caught off guard, I simply looked away awkwardly. I later regretted not having a better comeback ready.
If you want a quick reply when someone winks at you, try one of these: “Something in your eye?” or “Do I have something on my face?” Read on for more ideas.
Getting winked at by a stranger can be awkward. Using humor and wit defuses tension while still communicating disinterest. Try making a joke when you want a lighthearted response.
- Do you have something in your eye? Here, let me get that for you! pretends to poke eye
- I think there’s something stuck in your eyelashes, hang on fake grasping motion Got it!
- Thanks for the compliment but I already have a winker in my life point to eye
- Is your contact lens bothering you? mimic wiping eye
- Do you need some eyedrops? Your wink seems dry…
- Sorry, I’m taken by a man who uses both eyes to look at me.
When a smirking guy expects you to blush or flirt back, sarcasm wipes the grin off his face. It calls out the rudeness while simultaneously shutting it down.
Straight-Up Savage Responses
Subtlety isn’t your style? Go for the jugular with these blunt rebuttals. Warning: use sparingly and proceed with caution.
10 Best Responses, Editor’s Choice
“I appreciate the gesture, but I’m not interested. Have a nice day.”
This response works well because it:
- Is direct but polite
- Leaves no room for interpretation
- Gives a sense of finality
Avoid using if:
- The guy seems volatile or aggressive
- You feel unsafe for any reason
Looks around confused, then points to self mouthing “me?” Shakes head smiling as if to say wrong person.
- Avoids confrontation
- Allows an “out” if it was a mistake
- Removes much of the awkwardness
Don’t use when:
- The wink was clearly directed at you
- You want to directly address the situation
Does a double take, then laughs saying “Wait was that supposed to be a flirtatious wink? You know women aren’t actually into that in real life, right?”
- Catch him off guard
- Point out the inappropriateness
- Push back playfully
Think twice if:
- His body language seems threatening
- De-escalation feels safer
“If my husband saw you winking at me like that, he wouldn’t be too happy!”
- Makes it clear you’re not available
- Discourages further flirtation
- Redirects blame onto him
- Truly aggressive men
- Men who have been drinking
Gasps loudly saying “Oh no! Do I have mascara smudges again?” Pulls out a compact to check.
- Playing naive
- Making him feel silly
- Redirecting the focus
Handle carefully when:
- He knows you aren’t wearing makeup
- The wink was clearly intentional
“Sorry, I know it’s rude to stare but your intermittent winking tic is quite distracting. Have you tried Tic Tacs? I heard mint helps with muscle spasms.”
- Making him self-conscious about the wink
- Discouraging further winking
- Catching him off guard
- Belligerent or unstable men
- Men in packs who may egg each other on
How to Respond to an Unwanted Wink from a Guy
Getting winked at by a stranger can feel demeaning. Don’t feel pressured to react nicely – your comfort comes first. Try a direct shutdown to leave no room for misinterpretation.
- “I’m not interested.”
- “That makes me uncomfortable.”
- “Please don’t wink at me like that.”
- Walk away without responding
If you feel unsafe, don’t worry about politeness. Making a scene or leaving the situation immediately helps display your lack of consent.
How to Respond to a Flirty Wink from a Guy You Know
Winks can mean different things depending on context. If it’s a crush or date winking playfully:
Flirting back builds rapport. But still walk away if you ever feel pressured or uncomfortable.
When to Wink Back at a Guy
Winking reciprocally at the right moment can make your day. Butinity with someone first helps avoid sending the wrong signal. Consider winking back:
- During a mutually flirtatious conversation
- At someone you’re casually or seriously dating
- To be playful with a platonic friend
- To silently say “I see you” to a shared crush
And refrain when you’re:
- Uninterested in escalating intimacy
- Unsure if your signals will be well-received
- In a new or unclear relationship
Getting winked at by a stranger can be an uncomfortable, confusing, and disempowering experience for many women.
While the intent behind an unwanted wink may seem harmless to some men, it often feels demeaning from the receiving end.
Our natural inclination is to defuse awkwardness with politeness. However, you should not feel pressured to respond nicely if a wink makes you uneasy. Reclaim control of the narrative through direct shutdowns targeted at the underlying inappropriate behavior.
Comebacks with a touch of humor, sarcasm, or sass can also hit the point home playfully yet unambiguously. Just proceed with caution using savage retorts, as aggression often begets more aggression. The most important thing is trusting your instincts.
Never feel unsafe just to avoid confrontation. With the flirty, witty, and savage responses provided here, hopefully you can address unwanted winks while still feeling secure, valued, and respected.