Since we opened Scandaleuse, we have been shaking the Earth for opportunities. One of our motto is “if you don’t ask, you don’t get”, so we jump right in with our no-BS mentality and 90% of the time, we get positive results. But sometimes, we cannot get a simple yes or no answer for the life of us.
A lot of people are incapable of saying “no”. Why is it so hard to reject an offer, to set boundaries and decline something you can’t or don’t want to commit to directly? If you are one of these people, do read the following!
You won’t be offending anyone. (and if they are, honestly, they need to grow up)
The #1 reason for not being able to say “no” is the fear to offend the person you are refusing something to. Maybe you like them, you’d love to help, you’d like to be able to swing whatever they are asking and if you were to say no, they will be disappointed, let down and -dear God- they won’t like you anymore.
Trust me, I am the one person that cannot stand not being liked by someone. I am Reliable Girl and it crushes my heart if you don’t like me. (I am working on it). But there is something even more important to me when it comes to other people: I treat them the way I want to be treated, with mutual respect.
To me, being honest with this specific person and admitting you won’t be able to do whatever they need you to do is showing respect.
Respect of their time. It definitely does not showcase a lack of feelings or care to them, it is just letting them off the hook so they can replace you, organize themselves and avoid endless awkward follow-ups with you.
don’t be the cause of multiple follow-ups.
On the business side of things, you have no idea how many times we follow up with people on a weekly basis. It feels like we need to babysit people constantly, and it is a huge waste of time when we finally get a “no”. Are we disappointed? Not so much. Are we annoyed because you stayed on our to-do list for weeks? A little. We are not psychic, so until you put on your big girl pants to say a definite and clear answer, we will keep asking.
The truth is, you are likely to lose credibility as a person or a business by making people wait around.
We have reached out to companies we truly admired and got led on a potential opportunity for weeks. It ended up not working out and it stained our perception of them. It just shows us you really don’t give a crap, which can be okay too, after all you can’t care about everything, but ignoring us or leading us on makes us feel like dummies. And if I feel like a dummy through your behavior, I will never come back and I will also never spread a good word around.
So truly, saying “no” can be a proof of reliableness, which is one of the best quality anyone could have.
Don’t make me feel like you are waiting for better options.
Ah. The biggest problem in our generation. People wait to see if they have better options before giving you a definite answer. They like to keep their options open. Blame it on the FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out) movement.
But on the receptive line of this, how do you think I feel if you throw a bunch of maybe’s at my face and then cancel my plans for something else? Like crap. Like my ideas don’t matter to you, they aren’t worth your time. This also applied if you leave me hanging and don’t show up.
How to behave in society so you keep your friends and your business
Rant over, let’s get to the actual advice.
By all means, please decline an offer if:
You have too much on your plate. If you already don’t know how you could possibly fit this inquiry in your schedule, be honest and decline it. It’s way better than half-assing it or worse, not even show up.
You really don’t want to do it. It’s that simple. If you get an off feeling by just hearing the favor, that’s not a good sign. And no, laziness is not a good excuse, but feeling overwhelmed and uncomfortable are.
It’s just not a good time. Bad-timing is a real thing, you are not Wonderwoman. For your own sanity, you can’t accomodate everyone and maybe it is time you put yourself first.
Note: don’t be a dick when you decline something but be honest. Honesty is always appreciated. Remember: mutual respect.
What are the benefits of saying no?
You won’t look like a fool. If anything, you may gain respect for not wasting people’s time.
You can take better care of yourself. By not overscheduling yourself, you can take a breather and put your health, your mental state back into first position in your life, just like the way it should be.
You actually become reliable. You’ve set boundaries and people know they can expect honesty from you, that you will actually be here if you can help. You are building trust and it is the hardest feeling to build with someone.