How Not To Say ‘NO?’

by Tejas Nair

If, until the time of reading this, you have not said NO to anyone about any hell of a thing, then I will consider you are either an android or a teenager. I am sure a time will come when you WILL have to utter the two letter obnoxious word. However you say it, make you sure you don’t say it this way:

Last day, one of my jolly classmates approached me to be her partner in an inter-collegiate technical paper presentation. Her spirits were too high for the local competition. She was being redirected from a dear friend who had already said NO to her on grounds that he was not available during the day of presentation. Clever! Not thinking about the status quo, I texted her of my approval. After having presented tens of presentations, with failures in the last few, I had decided not to participate in those stereotypical competitions. But, I still haven’t figured out why I said YES in the first place. I believe it had to do with – 1. my inability to say NO 2. Her undaunted attitude & dependency.

So, here we go about the topic selection. My brain finally realized the state of affairs & began to instruct me about how careless I should behave in the next fifteen minutes. And I did. She sent an abstract downloaded from the internet to the organizers of the competition for analysis & pre-selection. The topic was too boring for me, against the fact that I did not have any other in my mind. A copy was received into my mail, too. Had I been the organizer, I would have never selected it. Next day, her text message read, “Hey, we got selected. 🙂 :)”

It was the unluckiest hour of my day and I chose not to reply. Next day, after our first session of examination, she came to me and asked what I was gonna do. Her believing eyes and sentimental approach again forced me to say the three-letter obnoxious word. I bought myself few more hours before I called her up in the evening about how my answer was always a NO. No, I didn’t say that, else there’s no point of this post.

I told her how presenting without preparation would be of no use and it was obvious that we’d not win. Based on pure lies, I pacified her before tears started dripping out of my phone’s speaker. Next day, the girl I knew as a lovely & always-smiling girl was different. Not to the world, but to me.

So, the lesson learnt here is that if the answer is NO, say it right. If there’s even an iota of doubt in your YES, it is time to rethink before you start selling free hopes.