The Right to Refuse: Saying “No Thank You”

You won’t like everything presented to you. I get that. No one does. But how you refuse something says a lot about you.

The most obvious refusal is food. Let’s say you’ve been invited to someone’s home for a dinner party. They’ve served up a bevvy of delectable food and drink and everyone is set to have an amazing time. Dishes are being presented course after course. The broccoli gets passed to you. You HATE broccoli. Well, you have a choice here. You can quietly pass it on to the next person and not have to deal with it. Or, you can choose the less manner-able option of refusing and sharing with everyone that you don’t like broccoli. Look, no one cares about your special diet or your likes and dislikes. Unless the host is prompting you and saying things like, “You have to taste that! It’s the best broccoli in the world!” you don’t need to say anything. Quite frankly, it’s an overshare.

Society has people tricked into thinking someone gives a damn about their preferences. No one does, I promise. Just kindly refuse and move on. I can’t tell you the number of times it caused an awkward pause in a conversation when someone was offered something and they went into all the reasons they didn’t want it. Less is more. “No thank you” goes a long way and it’s a great response.