Monday, May 5, 2014


Scraped thin, like too little butter over too much bread...

I had just related to a friend at a meeting that I felt like a horse that was stumbling in the harness. Faltering. Going down. "Like one of those pitiful nags in Black Beauty that pulled a cart until it collapsed in the harness, and then was cut loose and left to die in the nasty streets of London," I joked.

Not more than five minutes later, another friend approached me. "We have this job we really need you to do for us..."

"No, I can't," I replied.

"But we need you," she pressed.

"I'm sorry. I really can't take this on right now."

"But you have to," she insisted. "You don't have a choice!"

I'm not afraid to say No - it's something I've been working on for years. I'm much more proficient at saying No than I used to be.

Still, I don't quite know how to respond to people who won't take no for an answer, who insist that I must do what I have expressly stated that I am absolutely incapable of doing.

I've read tips for saying No effectively...

Use emphatic language: "It would be impossible for me to do that."

Use body language:  Hold your hand in front of you in a "stop" gesture as you say No.

Use diversionary tactics:  Say No and then immediately change the subject to something different.

But sometimes, even these strategies do not work. Then what?

Today, Readers, I'm asking for your input. Actually, I'm pleading. How do you say "No" effectively, without being rude? I could really use your input!


troal said...

How can I, Mr. Rude, say this without being rude? Hmm. Let's try: 1. "You are about to force me to be rude." 2."Do you realize you're being rude?" 3. "You know, I thought we were friends and I don't wish to become angry with you." 4. "Honestly, this is becoming unpleasant. Surely you don't desire that."
As you can see, there are many variations on the "Don't make me angry, you wouldn't like me when I'm angry" theme that Dr. David Banner made popular.

Camille said...

R.B., I love this! It occurred to me as I was writing this post that the person who "refuses to take no for an answer" is definitely being rude when I insist on giving No for an answer...and yet I end up being the one feeling bad about being rude! Maybe if I took the attitude "If you want to play the rude game, then I'm ready to rumble," then I could weather these encounters with less stress! Thanks so much for your input. :)

Athyrio Jones, Local Expert said...

How about this? I am telling you no right now. I am not changing my mind. Don't disappoint yourself by waiting around for me to cave in to your unreasonable demands on my time.

Your Brother

Athyrio Jones, Local Expert said...