Why "No" Is Better Than Nothing
They say hate is not the opposite of love; that indifference is the opposite of love. Why? Because it hurts a hell of a lot more when someone just doesn't give any type of shit. Like, not even a half ounce of shit. To know you're going unnoticed and have little to zero affect on someone's feelings or daily life is a whole lot worse than someone displaying publicly how much they hate you day-in and day-out. That gets old real fast. I am and always have been a fan of the hard "NO." It leaves nothing to question. It's straightforward, leaving no room for second guessing or wondering. Did they actually get my text, though? Maybe the email just didn't go through? I wonder if they didn't hear me when I asked that question directly to their face?
The hard "NO" doesn't just pertain to pointed questions, though. That's the practice and, subsequently, the beauty of it. If everyone put just a little more effort into making firm decisions and following up on said firm decisions, I envision an overwhelming amount of peace and eased anxiety in the majority of humans. Because, you see, when we muddy our answers with "I don't knows" or "Maybes" or "We'll sees," we also muddy the already hard-to-navigate and ever-flowing stream of thoughts in our minds. "I don't knows" and "maybes" give people pause and false hope where there should be none. And when someone(s) just don't respond at all? Any tiny speckling of dignity, clarity, or sanity is swiftly replaced with OMFG - WHY HAVEN'T/HASN'T THEY/HE/SHE/IT/MY PET RESPONDED?
Take, for example, applying for jobs. Speaking from (nightmarish) experience, when you're a sad, unemployed individual who has made it her job to find a job, the list of places to which you apply can be infinite. Company names start meshing together in your brain, and you can't remember who you wrote last and when (expert tip: keep an Excel spreadsheet). Therefore, when companies are prompt in writing you back to reject your sorry ass, you're grateful. Appreciative. Beholden. "Thank you for rejecting me so quickly," you want to respond. "Your swiftness in not believing I'm good enough to hold your company's company has saved me from many sleepless nights and wasted excitement over new email notifications and strange numbers leaving me voicemails."
When a company just doesn't ever tell you "YES" or "NO," it's crap. Oh, I'm sorry. Are you too busy to have noticed the SEVEN times I applied? It's a numbers game, isn't it? One of you couldn't take 20 seconds to write me and say, "NO. FUCK OFF"? I would take that over nothing, truly. Because when there's absolutely zero response, it makes you feel the following things:
- Not good enough
- Like maybe they really didn't receive even one out of the seven emails you sent applying for the job (i.e. unnoticed)
And all this goes for just about every other aspect of life. Dating, relationships, requesting PTO at work, trying to make plans with friends. Leaving anything in the gray area puts you in the gray area indefinitely and it's terrible. Why should the gray area get to stomp around like a giant, while the rest of us try not to get smushed under his big feet? What's so great about the gray area? Hm? The black and white areas are just as cute as the gray area. The black and white areas are just as smart as the gray area. People totally like the black and white areas just as much as they like the gray area. And when did it become okay for one area to be the boss of everybody, huh? Because that's not what the USA is about. We should totally just *stab* the gray area!
We need to:
Change "I don't know - we're just, like, hanging out" into "We're officially a couple" or "It's nothing and won't turn into anything."
Change "I just don't wanna do 'titles' or anything" into "I don't like you enough to call you my boyfriend. I want to be able to ditch and run when someone hotter/funnier comes along, but you'll do in the meantime, buddy" or "I'm lying to myself about what I want because I'm terrified of getting rejected and hurt. LOVE ME?"
Change "Let's play it by ear!" into "No, I can't/don't want to/am not in the mood to go" or "Yes! Sounds great."
Change "Let's just see how we feel later" into "No. I'm tired and will not want to do that later at all, so I'm telling you now" or "Absolutely yes, but let me know if YOU don't want to go later. I will want to, though,"
Change "Thank you for applying! We don't have any open positions right now, but will keep you in mind" into "You're not the right fit. Don't bother contacting us again, but nice try" or "We really don't have any open positions right now and budget is tight as fuck, but we seriously think you're amazing. Let's set up a phone interview so I can hear your voice and fall more in love with you, and I promise to reach out when something opens."
Change "We should get together soon!" into "I don't foresee you and I ever having one-on-one time again probably, so I'm not going to sit here and send you empty texts pretending otherwise" or "I'd really like to grab dinner with you because I think we could be awesome bitchy girlfriends together, but I don't know whether or not you actually like me. So just let me know straight up."
You get the point. Hard NOS, harder YESES (that's the real plural form of "yes"). Just all-around really blunt, straight forward, crystal clear rejections or acceptions (that's not the real form of any word. I just made that word up), and we can finally move out of the gray area for good.
I'll leave you with this: