I Would Rather Hear No Than Dead Silence

So this posting will have a mild rant-like flavor to it and I apologize ahead of time for any inconvenience. Let me back track a little and take you down memory lane to approximately five years ago when I was still on the dating scene.

As I had been with my ex-husband for ten years and had not really dated anyone else, I was on a new quest for self-discovery when I divorced. Within a year, I had signed up for an online profile on OK Cupid (and eventually I met my boyfriend there two and a half years ago.)

This was a culture shock in itself and suddenly I was getting a flood of messages from random men telling me how cute I was in that photograph of me holding a giant pine cone and giving a very cheesy thumbs up sign.

Sometimes I would go back and forth messaging some guy frantically and suddenly there was dead silence on his end. He literally dropped off the face of the planet leading me to speculate about his disappearance:

A. Alien abduction.
B. Found another girl.
C. Became romantically involved with said alien.

So here is my dilemma – why do people have a hard time telling you that they are just not interested in you? They would rather hurt your feelings the cowardly way by disappearing into the great abyss instead of facing a potentially uncomfortable and awkward situation.

When I first met my boyfriend, I was incredibly impressed by his elaborate story on how he agonized for over an hour writing another woman from OK Cupid an email to tell her that he was not interested in her.

That takes some consideration…and it also takes courage.

I’m finding that we live in a culture where it is the norm to just disappear and not be upfront about how you really feel. I would take a no any day over a disappearance. Just please be honest and upfront with me.

I can take it, really.

Do you think that I’m made of glass and will shatter to a billion pieces? Do you think that you are doing me a favor? In fact, you are really doing me a disservice.

Because meanwhile I am hoping, praying, waiting and fantasizing for something to happen.

The same thing goes for a job search. I wish that some employers would just make it a point to say no to me so that I can move on to the next prospect. But instead, there’s this big long, uncertain waiting game.

Sure they may be flooded and overwhelmed with other qualified applicants and I may not be on their priority list anymore, but saying no gracefully is a common courtesy. And I always appreciate those companies that make a point to reach out to me and make the effort.

What is it about our culture that we can’t just show this simple act of consideration? We are all trying to be so PC and not hurt anyone’s feelings, but in actuality, it is causing much more damage this way.

I advocate treating each other with respect.

So the next time you are confronted with an uncomfortable situation where you have to reject someone, please just tell them no and move on.

And yes, you are doing them a favor. You are giving them the gift of closure.

Photo Credit: Nathan Gibbs via Flickr Creative Commons.

Jula Pereira

Jula Pereira

I am a freelance writer living the good life in beautiful Sonoma County with my partner and our dog Timmy. Please say hello on Twitter or connect with me on Facebook.

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