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How to say no without offending someone…

We often have different viewpoints when someone suddenly says ‘no’ to us and as a result we might label them as selfish, arrogant or in some cases bold. On the opposite side, some cultures find it hard to say ‘yes’ as this can come across as offensive. For example when you are a guest and they ask you whether you want some ‘tea’ and you reply with a ‘yes’, this may come across as offensive in some cultures believe it or not.

Saying no takes some skill

Saying no takes some skill

Depending on what kind of relationships you are in, you may feel perfectly within your rights to ask your spouse to buy a gallon of milk on his way back after work. Receiving a ‘no’ response might elevate your emotions and lead to a fight. Again there are good and bad responses to this and is based on your perception of the event. For example, you might just curse your spouse and shout at him for thinking of giving that kind of response. You may feel ‘that was an odd reply, maybe you suddenly feel empathetic and ask ‘really, any reason’. Equally, the person who says ‘no’ can start off by giving good reasons first on why he should say ‘no’. For example, he could start with ‘I’m afraid I will be working late, you would need to pick it up or one of the kids can pick it up’.

The example above was a simple one but it shows how responses from both parties can be worded to avoid miscommunication or heated arguments. It is one of the reasons and and an often used tactic to test and provocate others by people who are skilled in this. Dare I say, it has been used effectively by the male gender to have more control over the opposite sex. It is always wise to listen and assimilate what is said to you before you respond. However, one is unable to stay in this mode of thinking when both parties known to each other are spontaneously engaged in a conversation. If you do most of the talking, you are most likely to be more vulnerable to criticisms as the person who says less.

There is the question of assertiveness that comes into play when saying no partly because you have been a yes person most of the time. Trying to be ‘nice’ and saying yes as opposed to a ‘no’ all the time labels you in the weak category by other people. In order to please others and forgo self-interest the person ends up agreeing to what others are saying. What has to be understood is that a ‘no’ is just an important part of the conversation and relationship as saying a ‘yes’ and is healthy. However, the way we say those are important.

Is there a singular solution to handling yourself in the best manner possible? Unfortunately, we humans are not alike, with some having much tolerance and becoming labeled as a ‘door mat’ whilst others with no patience are considered brash and selfish. Then it stands to reason that the middle ground is the best place to be.

Our machine algorithms developed by the ThinkTank Labs of Jumpdates has sifted through thousands of messages to find the word ‘no. We have learned some interesting tactics that members use to convey a ‘no’ to the other person. Stay tuned for more information on our findings.

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