Had a situation over the weekend where instead of saying “No, I’m not interested”, a friend of mine made up excuses as to why he didn’t want to hang out. Problem for me was that I actually believed the excuses and took them as fact. Problem for him is that he told another friend of ours a different excuse…and now he’s been found out. Seriously, is it not way more work to make stuff up than to actually say “no thanks” and leave it at that?
I’ve always believed that the more detailed a response to a simple question, the greater the likelihood the person isn’t telling the truth (or the whole truth). When we’re trying to let the other person down easy or not wanting to hurt their feelings, we aren’t direct or clear and that leaves the other person with hope or expectations of a different result next time. And it typically leads to more conversation where you have to turn the friend, partner, colleague down a second or third or fiftieth time because they still haven’t heard “no thanks”. Isn’t that a lot of stress in your life – worrying about the next call or email or text? Just say no the first time, be clear without being mean and free up your brain for more important things.