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#7 Saying “no” to surveys or petitions

Let’s face it. If we’re in a hurry, we simply cannot stop to listen to someone with a clipboard and a pen. Or maybe we are just not interested in taking a “short, two-minute survey”.

Have you ever seen that portion of your receipts that says “Chance to win $10,000! Just answer this question.” Just one question. Sometimes you get a free burger just by answering ONE question. Maybe we’re afraid of sharing our opinions?

Not me.

 Say no can just be an uncomfortable situation for any person. I mean, if we have no loose change when a hobo asks us for money, or if a little girl tries to sell us chocolate and we just happen to be allergic to chocolate (that would suck, by the way), we find it hard to say no.

How do you say no?

1) You can pull out your cell phone and pretend to be on the phone.

2) Pretend you don’t speak English and look straight down at the floor (it makes it look more realistic).

3) Wave at a stranger from far, and pretend that he’s an old co-worker and you have a lot of things to catch up on. Then walk away from the person with the clipboard and go to your car and speed away.

Or you could try my technique and look angry. Nobody wants to talk to an angry person.

Remember, few of us feel comfortable saying no to others. We might feel a little guilt. I always make sure to stop, and apologize that I cannot take the survey or sign the petition because I am not interested. I wish them luck in getting other people to sign their forms, and walk away with a smile. They’re used to getting rejected, but they’re still people with feelings, and that is something you might want to remember next time.

  1. What about Girlscout cookies…how many boxes have we gotten that we don’t want. You try exiting out with a group and you try exiting out another door. I’ve gotten down “I’m sorry we already bought some and they are delicious! Good job!”

    I sometimes scold my husband when he comes home with another box or two…”I couldn’t say no” after indicating we had 4 other families we were obligated – a niece and people on sports teams! We end up with like 12 boxes in our cabinet. And they are now kind of pricey…here in Southern California anyway…where I find Orange county charges more for YMCA and all normally “inexpensive” fun. UGH! Also, it’s more than once a year now…have you noticed that?

    So, I’ve concluded- it’s the Girlscout’s fault I’m fat! 🙂


    April 17, 2011
    • Oh yeah, the cookies. They make it pretty difficult to say no when they say it so happily!

      I will never forget the time I bought chocolate from a little girl that melted in my pocket and into my cell phone speaker and charging jack. I didn’t even want to eat it. I hadn’t learned how to say no.


      April 18, 2011
  2. Keelx #

    What about honesty? I am a very awkward person, but I can say no easily…

    July 20, 2011
    • That, my friend, is a gift! I find it tough to say no sometimes, especially when they’re doing it for a good cause (to better a company or institution). Thanks for the comment, Keelx 🙂


      July 21, 2011

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