That person couldn't have had high self-esteem to begin with if something so menial could completely shatter their self-esteem. It wasn't your fault you can't help who you like.
You did the right thing. It is worse to give them false hope and to lead them on.
You didn't ruin it. They just need to learn to deal with rejection.
if someone is that concerned about a like,theyre not worth worrying about.
You can't blame yourself for not being romantically attracted to someone. If you lead him on, then that's another story. But if you were honest, and courteous, then you shouldn't feel guilty. Also try to be friendly to this person, without leading them on. I remember I had the biggest crush on this one girl in 6-8 grade. Eventually one of my friends convinced me to "ask her out" in 8th grade. Of course, I had hardly ever spoken a word to this girl, and I did not have any idea how this whole middle-school dating thing worked. So I went up to her and said, "Hi, want to go out with me?" She was with a friend, and she politely said no. It broke my sad little heart, but I didn't hold it against her because she hadn't lead me on in any way. After that, she tried a few times to be friendly to me, but I was still too shy to respond. She was my first serious crush, and I'm so glad that she had such integrity to be such a kind and honest person. I wonder if I'll ever meet her again someday...
Don't flatter yourself.
Teenaged boys are required to experience the angst of rejection and hopelessness. It helps them to be more sensitive as adults. You're supposed to feel bad for rejecting young men who don't attract you, it helps you to be more sensitive as an adult.<br />
Don't sweat about growing up, it's gonna happen whether or not you're ready for it. :)
Don't feel guilty, you can't force yourself to be into someone that you are not into. He will get over it in time.