Social skills for autonomous people: Holding on to no



Lately, I’ve noticed that when i start to lose verbal bandwidth, one of the first things to go is my ability to say no. This is in part because saying no in a socially acceptable way is complicated, and tends to require a lot of verbal nuance.

I’m trying to…

I think the reason speaking demands more “bandwidth” than typing is because… well, it’s more complicated to perform. Adjusting muscle tension of lips, jaw, throat, and breath control; versus swinging your forearm from letter to letter and pushing down. So you have more brainpower to think about what you’re going to say.

On a sidenote, I find it sad that our compulsion to please everyone causes us to feel bad when saying no.

It’s very simple to use positives like “yeah”, “right”, “of course”, “sure”. But when it comes to negatives, you need to tone it down a bit, otherwise it’s socially unacceptable. “I’m afraid not”, “not yet”, ‘I can’t sorry"; you must APOLOGIZE, show how bad you feel because you’re too busy or unable to do something. Not to mention “I’ll think about it” and “I’ll get back to you” which are ambiguous for this very reason.

Yes, this. Saying yes is *far* easier and logistically simple than saying no. That’s really dangerous.