Wednesday, March 16, 2016

No!

Somewhat a propos of my recent maunderings - someone here recently invited me to a dinner supporting an anti-choice organization.

Once I got over my initial reaction (RBG forever, burn it down!), I tried to decide if I wanted to decline or explain.

This is not an original thought, but: an explanation presumes an obligation. You don't explain to the cashier why you shopped at Store Y instead of Store Z. You don't owe them the energy or the emotion. You don't owe them the opportunity to judge your reasons.

I started  writing a whole response that started, "Well, I just don't think...."  and then I thought, why am I weaseling?  I don't know this person that well* and I don't owe them an opportunity to be hostile. Embrace the robot feelings! Lead with NO! 

(Small towns being what they are, I actually said 'Thanks, I'll have to pass on that.')

Do you have a favorite way to say no with minimal offensiveness? (I have plenty of favorite ways to say no with maximal offensiveness...)


*OBVIOUSLY.

16 comments:

  1. An introverted husband is a good excuse for getting out of social invitations. "It's been so busy lately, we're going to have a quiet weekend at home." Or I use the children. "Oh, that's past their bedtime, we can't make it."

    But really, a simple "No, thank you" with zero explanation suffices for most situations.

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    1. See also: every time anyone offers me food. (Not YOU.) No... thank you.

      Past bedtime is a good one!

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  2. That's SUCH a great response. Will make a note of that. I'm not sure I have any good ones of my own...

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    1. I like it because it doesn't invite 'Why.' Why? BECAUSE.

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  3. You are right on line with my grandmother's advice: no is enough, without explanation. I try to remember that, but I might have a hard time with that particular example.

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  4. Very smart. I tend to over-explain, and really, I don't want to deal with the questions in most cases. Will make a note to just say "no" in the future.

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  5. Belle5:45 PM

    One of my colleagues has this:
    http://www.amazon.com/Button-Electronic-Voice-Gift-10-Different-Versions/dp/B0098LH0XW
    (Forgive the Amazon link, I'm not trying to sell anything.)

    I kind of want one.
    Right now I would also like a big red "no" nerf ball that I can throw at people who are doing stupid (or a red no foam noodle to whack them with). (I've just been briefed on all the unbelievable drama I've missed while being on sabbatical and some of my colleagues have made incredibly bad plans recently.)

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    1. "Often sold with 'yes' and 'bullshit'." Of course.

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  6. Anonymous12:46 AM

    Husband's stock answer anytime someone in public service tries to sell him something, get his email address, and so forth is, "Not today." Sometimes with a "sorry" appended to it. Wouldn't work for getting out of a horrid invitation like the kind you describe, but it's a good, all-purpose response that I pull out a lot now!

    Sarah

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  7. I would say no thank you to a MLM invitation or a prayer gathering, but I don't think I could be polite about an anti-choice gathering. Fortunately I have not had such an opportunity!

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    1. Hah. If I didn't live in a small town, I would have been MUCH ruder about it.

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  8. "Thanks, I will have to pass" is an awesome answer!

    A colleague who is a superstar at all things political, social, and especially passive-aggressive, says things such as, "Sorry, but it doesn't work with my/our schedule" or
    "It doesn't work for me/us." If you ever try to reschedule and keep getting the same response, eventually you realize that it's code for "I don't actually want to do it and you can't make me."

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    1. "Maybe another time. No... not Tuesday. Another time..."

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  9. I usually say, "No. That's not my kind of thing." I feel like it's sufficiently honest and vague.

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