Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Making it Easier to Say No

Whenever someone asks me "Are you free on Monday?" my response is always "Why?" or "What did you want to do?"  I won't reveal that I am free at a given time until I know what I'm being invited to do, because it's much harder to say no to something you don't want to do once you've revealed that you have the time. It doesn't give you the freedom to decide whether to make time for an activity based on what it is.

After years of being asked whether or not I'm free on a certain day with no further details, I have developed a better way of inviting someone to do something.  I say, "If you're free on Monday, would you like to come to the party/ help out at the fundraiser/ hang out?"  This way, the person knows the event and the date at the same time, and can make a decision based on whether they want to go as well as whether they want to do something on Monday.  Sometimes I even expand the question and say "I don't know what you're doing on Monday, but if you are free, would you like to..." It's a bit drawn out, but it makes it even easier for the person to just say "No, I'm not free on Monday," and leave it at that because you've built into the question that they might not be free.

Of course, wording invitations this way is only a temporary solution to our issue of  "No" not being a complete sentence, but it would make things easier for people who feel pressured to say yes.

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