Do you have trouble saying no? I found this article on how to say no to be super helpful, since I am the least confrontational person ever and go about my days avoiding the word entirely.
Apparently, the best way to say no (be it professionally or otherwise), is to say it on neutral ground. “A neutral no is steady, uninflected, and clear. It is mostly notable for what it is not: harsh, combative, apologetic, reluctant, or overly nice.”
For me, there’s always that moment after saying no where I’m rushing to deflect the awkwardness by providing a reason, even if it’s untrue or irrelevant. It’s easier to fill the silence than to sit in it right? I try to remind myself now that even if I don’t feel comfortable doing something, I don’t have to always explain myself. “No” is often enough.
Another no that’s hard to say? The rejection no. The “thanks but no thanks” no. I was talking to a girlfriend on the phone recently who had gone on a few uninspiring dates and had decided she wasn’t feeling it. She told me about meeting the guy for coffee and how she had planned to gently turn him down. “I explained that it wasn’t the best time but that I really enjoyed our dates. And then I reiterated the ‘not best time’ part and hoped he would get the picture.” Well, after their coffee date, he cheerfully asked her out for rooftop drinks. “He totally didn’t get it!” Which brings us to this point:
“People often argue their no backwards: they start with lightweight reasons, holding back the real reason why they’re saying no. But the little explanations are not persuasive and are easily batted aside. To limit frustration—and to avoid appearing disingenuous—give reasons with good weight up front.”
It’s hard and uncomfortable to say to someone, “I’m not interested” (aka no thanks) because it’s so personal, but ripping the bandaid off might be the best (and ultimately the most respectful and communicative) way of doing it. What do you think? P.S. Including this photo because I’ve been wanting to for a long time and it finally feels soooomewhat appropriate.