Author Topic: Article in the paper about saying 'no' (and why we have to).  (Read 3118 times)

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taxing

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I'm not sure whether this is in the wrong place or not, if it is, please scold me appropriately.

I thought this article was interesting though, and it is relevant to this board: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/may/08/change-life-asker-guesser

Quote
We are raised, the theory runs, in one of two cultures. In Ask culture, people grow up believing they can ask for anything – a favour, a pay rise– fully realising the answer may be no. In Guess culture, by contrast, you avoid "putting a request into words unless you're pretty sure the answer will be yes… A key skill is putting out delicate feelers. If you do this with enough subtlety, you won't have to make the request directly; you'll get an offer.

It sounds like we're all Guessers, though the article fails to mention that it is possible for Askers (and maybe Guessers too) to go waaaaay beyond the bounds of etiquette.

Coruscation

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Re: Article in the paper about saying 'no' (and why we have to).
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2010, 06:03:01 PM »
It does seem to miss that section of the population who ask in the full expectation that you will of course say yes and DO in fact get upset if you say no.

HeebyJeebyLeebee

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Re: Article in the paper about saying 'no' (and why we have to).
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2010, 06:53:16 PM »
It does seem to miss that section of the population who ask in the full expectation that you will of course say yes and DO in fact get upset if you say no.

Would those be called "Demanders"?
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Twik

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Re: Article in the paper about saying 'no' (and why we have to).
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2010, 10:49:48 AM »
I think that the difference is actually in the attitude of the responders. We become "guessers" if we think that saying "no" is bad, so we don't want to put the responders in an awkward position. There's no problem with asking directly, as long as we accept that "no" as a valid answer.
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Ereine

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Re: Article in the paper about saying 'no' (and why we have to).
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2010, 12:19:39 PM »
The dialect of where I live now has a construction I really like, questions that include a no, like "You wouldn't have any tomatoes?", though I'm not really able to translate it, it's more of a "You don't have tomatoes?" (I actually heard that one at the market). It seems to take the pressure off saying no (I guess that I'm very much a Guesser) and gives the impression that though you'd like what you're asking for, you're perfectly willing to settle for a no.   

taxing

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Re: Article in the paper about saying 'no' (and why we have to).
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2010, 06:35:05 PM »
I often find myself phrasing questions like that. 'You wouldn't happen to have any stamps, would you?' 'I don't suppose you sell beans?' On paper they may seem rude, especially the last one, but in person they come out more self-deprecating. Like 'This is a silly question, I'm well aware that the answer is probably no, but I'm looking for a violin, do you have one?' It suggests that if the shop owner/librarian/person who you want something from hasn't got what you want then that's entirely expected so it's totally fine and not their fault, but if they do happen to have it, it would totally make your day.