April 18, 2010

I take no for an answer.

Really. I do. If I ask you for something, and you say, "No," I accept the response and move on. But I have an acquaintance who doesn't. This is a woman who only ever approaches me when she wants something. If the phone rings, and I see her number, I know she is going to ask me to do something for her. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. It's the don't times that end up irking me. Recently, she asked me for a favor I can't do. I'd have to control space and time in order to give her what she wants. So I nicely emailed, "No."

Sam smiled at me, "She's not going to take that for an answer."

"But I explained that there's no possible way for me to do what she wants."

"And she won't accept that," he reminded me.

Damn. He was right. Last night, I got home and there was a message from her on the answering machine, not taking No for an answer. Holy fuck. Here's the thing. I'm not actually a sweet person, but I play one in real life. Most people think I'm nice. And they also often think I'm a bit of a push-over. (I believe this is because I rarely say out loud what I'm thinking in my head.) Truthfully, I'm more of a donkey. I don't like being told what to do (unless it's Sam doing the telling) and I don't like being pushed around (unless it's Sam doing the pushing). When I get annoyed, I become something of an ass. My facade slips, and suddenly, I am—well—me.

So I told Sam when she hits me up next time, I'm simply going to say, "You know, I made a t-shirt in your honor. It says, 'I take no for an answer,'" and walk away.



Jo said...

Hmm. I take no for a n answer to the point of being scared to ask for things in case people will feel pressured and not say no when they want to.

Because I'm bad at saying no as well. And then being stressed about it. Sigh. It's hard, being human.

Renae1303 said...

Heh. For whatever reason, I haven't run into too many people who don't take my first "no" to mean "NO." (Other than my children, but they're learning.)

I've recently run into one, a PTA-mom type. She hasn't talked me into anything yet, but it just puzzles me that she keeps asking. Did I stutter? What part of "no" is hard to understand?

Alison Tyler said...

Yes, that's it exactly! The "Do I stutter" part.

I personally find saying No somewhat difficult. So if I manage to get out an N and an O, and someone doesn't accept my answer—and I have say No over and over again—well, hell. Where's the fun in that?

But I have met people who seem to have taken training in not taking No for an answer. There's a woman who calls us every year for a sponsorship. And I told her last year, "Look, we're floundering. I have no $$." And I swear, she still called three more times!