Author Topic: Success! Teaching a friend that no is not negotiable  (Read 7645 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

MommyPenguin

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4409
    • My blog!
Re: Success! Teaching a friend that no is not negotiable
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2014, 09:16:56 PM »
I just heard something about a book, maybe the Master Puppeteer (Japan), that has a story about a starving family that is invited to somebody's house to dinner.  They are supposed to decline 2 times before accepting the third, as somebody mentioned here.  But when the boy of the family is offered food, he accepts it the first time, because he is (quite literally) starving.  The father is ashamed and humiliated at his son's bad manners, but the boy was just so hungry that he couldn't go through the whole cultural process before he got to the food.

Mary Lennox

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 149
Re: Success! Teaching a friend that no is not negotiable
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2014, 09:26:00 PM »
It's not just cultural differences, it also depends on different families. My SIL is firmly in the "refuse assistance until the third offer". I am very much part of the "offer once and go with that answer." I'm not going to dance around and wait for the "appropriate" number of offers, if I'm thirsty, I'll accept your first offer of a drink. And if you want help with something, take me up on my first offer, because it won't be coming around again.

DanaJ

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 173
Re: Success! Teaching a friend that no is not negotiable
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2014, 02:58:31 PM »
POD. I would feel as if I was being pushy and trying to bully someone into taking a cookie he/she doesn't want, or I'd feel as if I'm not respecting their decision if I tried to "barter".

Quote from: PastryGoddess
Japan and Korea are different countries in the same part of the world. So I'm not sure how that is relevant.  Just because they do things a certain way in Korea, doesn't mean it happens the same way in Japan. 

I'm sorry, but I don't believe I understand your post. I provided two annecdotal examples of two distinct cultures (or three if you count Minnesota) that have unspoken "refuse the first offer" rules of etiquette that have caused some confusion when expectations have been different between host and guest.

lowspark

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3960
Re: Success! Teaching a friend that no is not negotiable
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2014, 03:15:29 PM »
I am very much part of the "offer once and go with that answer." I'm not going to dance around and wait for the "appropriate" number of offers, if I'm thirsty, I'll accept your first offer of a drink. And if you want help with something, take me up on my first offer, because it won't be coming around again.

POD. And to this I'll add, once I say no, please don't ask me again. And again. It feels like you're insisting and I've already said no.

I get that some cultures do have these "rules" but I guess the point of the repeated offers and denials escapes me.

MummySweet

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 578
Re: Success! Teaching a friend that no is not negotiable
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2014, 04:15:07 PM »
Also, the "offer food no less than three times/never accept before the third time" rule, according to that thread seems to be common in Minnesota and may have roots in Scandanavia. So I was indeed misremembering about it being a southern politeness.

35 years in Minnesota and never came across this one.  I was however taught to offer a second time later in a visit in case a guest had changed their mind.  (One off during a short visit.)

rose red

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7608
Re: Success! Teaching a friend that no is not negotiable
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2014, 05:36:42 PM »
I hate the ask three times game. I feel like they're pushing me to accept something I don't want just to make themselves feel good. If I'm the one offerinig, I really mean it and it's no trouble at all but I can't read your mind. If a guest decline, I may say "if you change your mind, let me know/help yourself" but I refuse to ask three times.

Tia2

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2876
Re: Success! Teaching a friend that no is not negotiable
« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2014, 02:51:49 PM »
I read an article once about a Dutch boy who'd lived through WWII who just after the war was offered a cream cake when he hadn't seen anything sweet for years.  He had grown up in a 'three times' culture so he turned down the first offer - and the hostess promptly gave the cake to someone else.

Winterlight

  • On the internet, no one can tell you're a dog- arf.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9800
Re: Success! Teaching a friend that no is not negotiable
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2014, 10:13:37 AM »
Also, the "offer food no less than three times/never accept before the third time" rule, according to that thread seems to be common in Minnesota and may have roots in Scandanavia. So I was indeed misremembering about it being a southern politeness.

35 years in Minnesota and never came across this one.  I was however taught to offer a second time later in a visit in case a guest had changed their mind.  (One off during a short visit.)

This is how I was raised too.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

Celany

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1492
  • the soul of a cat, in the body of a person...
Re: Success! Teaching a friend that no is not negotiable
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2014, 11:02:00 AM »
I am very much part of the "offer once and go with that answer." I'm not going to dance around and wait for the "appropriate" number of offers, if I'm thirsty, I'll accept your first offer of a drink. And if you want help with something, take me up on my first offer, because it won't be coming around again.

POD. And to this I'll add, once I say no, please don't ask me again. And again. It feels like you're insisting and I've already said no.

I get that some cultures do have these "rules" but I guess the point of the repeated offers and denials escapes me.

While I get that different cultures have these rules, it drives me up a freaking wall too.

Between the "you have to ask three times people" and the "it's polite to ask, but it's not polite to accept" people, sometimes I just want to run around screaming.

How about we all just say what we mean/want* the first time, and then maybe things will be easier for everybody to figure out?

*and saying "I don't know what I want. But let me think about it and get back to you" is perfectly acceptable too.
I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior. ~ Hippolyte Taine

GreenEyedHawk

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2092
  • Not hot but SPICY
    • My Facebook.  Feel free to add me!
Re: Success! Teaching a friend that no is not negotiable
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2014, 01:02:52 PM »
I am very much part of the "offer once and go with that answer." I'm not going to dance around and wait for the "appropriate" number of offers, if I'm thirsty, I'll accept your first offer of a drink. And if you want help with something, take me up on my first offer, because it won't be coming around again.

POD. And to this I'll add, once I say no, please don't ask me again. And again. It feels like you're insisting and I've already said no.

I get that some cultures do have these "rules" but I guess the point of the repeated offers and denials escapes me.

I'm in this camp as well.  One offer is enough, thanks, and please accept my first refusal.  One of my favourite aunts is a little pushy this way...she'll offer a drink and if I say no thanks, she'll follow it up with "Are you sure?" a couple of times.  Yes, I'm sure!

All these "Ask three times" type rules are silly in my opinion.  No wonder miscommunication happens so often!
"After all this time?"
"Always."

magicdomino

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4643
Re: Success! Teaching a friend that no is not negotiable
« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2014, 01:30:28 PM »
I am very much part of the "offer once and go with that answer." I'm not going to dance around and wait for the "appropriate" number of offers, if I'm thirsty, I'll accept your first offer of a drink. And if you want help with something, take me up on my first offer, because it won't be coming around again.

POD. And to this I'll add, once I say no, please don't ask me again. And again. It feels like you're insisting and I've already said no.

I get that some cultures do have these "rules" but I guess the point of the repeated offers and denials escapes me.

While I get that different cultures have these rules, it drives me up a freaking wall too.

Between the "you have to ask three times people" and the "it's polite to ask, but it's not polite to accept" people, sometimes I just want to run around screaming.

How about we all just say what we mean/want* the first time, and then maybe things will be easier for everybody to figure out?

*and saying "I don't know what I want. But let me think about it and get back to you" is perfectly acceptable too.

Thank you.  I hate playing guessing games, especially with people who get ticked off if you guess wrong.  That also goes for people who say "No gifts" when they expect you to read their minds and give them a gift anyway, or give them cash.  Sorry, I flunked that part of the ESP class.

Jocelyn

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3054
Re: Success! Teaching a friend that no is not negotiable
« Reply #26 on: July 05, 2014, 08:03:54 PM »
There's a book entitled Multicultural Manners that addresses cases like this.

In the book, there was an example of a boss who asked his employee to make some treats from her culture, for him to serve guests. She makes the items, and when he picks them up, he offers her money for her work. In her culture, the 'three times' rule applies, so she says, no, no, it was her pleasure. The boss pulls out his wallet and says, no, let me pay you something, at least the cost of the ingredients. The employee again reassures him that she didn't want anything, it was her pleasure. The boss thanks her again, and walks off with the treats. The employee waits for him to leave, then bursts into tears, because she was expecting him to offer again, and then she could say something like, 'The ingredients were $30, and it took me 4 hours to make,' at which point she expected him to hand over $30 plus what he though 4 hours of her labor would be worth.