Cowards Don’t Reject People

Photo by Kevin N. Murphy

I’d like to share an interesting comment from “Peter” at Marginal Revolution:

As an insurance salesman I would happily sell my soul and burn in hell for all eternity if more people would reject me. Because most people are too cowardly to say “no,” they resort instead to complete lies. I know they’re lying, and they know I know they’re lying.

Typical ways for a coward to say “no” without actually uttering that dreaded syllable:

  • Let me think about it.
  • My schedule is totally crazy, I don’t know when I’ll be able to meet with you.
  • Let me ask my wife.
  • Let me check my schedule and get back to you.
  • All insurance buying is done by our home office. They’re in the process of moving and don’t really have an address right now, so there’s no way to contact them.
  • My brother is in the insurance industry, I do all my business with him.

I have heard each one of these in just the past few weeks. The “let me think about it” is the most common, I get that several times a week.

[ End of comment ]

Now, I know in the FAQ it says do not reject others, but people need to exercise common sense with this rule. What I really meant is this:

Don’t go out of your way to reject others, for no reason, and think you’re doing a saintly deed.

You’re actually being a jerk.

However, if someone embezzles you out of your life savings and then asks to borrow money again, you’d be insane to agree.

Likewise, if you have no intention of purchasing a salesperson’s product, it’s cruel to patronize him or her with a lie to avoid saying no. As Peter so rightly put it, it’s a typical coward’s way out, and both parties know it.

Author’s admission: I was a coward a few days ago when I blew off a phone salesman. He was pitching me the latest version of  software I’d bought in the past. I said I’d buy it before the special offer ended if I got some cash in time, but that was only partly true. It would need to be a lot of cash for me to spend a hundred simoleons on software I rarely use.

Thanks for setting me straight Peter. ]

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§ 4 Responses to Cowards Don’t Reject People"

  • john says:

    Erm… isn’t it just the case that most people don’t like being hassled, but they are trying to be polite? Being polite, and not just saying no is barely the trade mark of a coward. They do know that you know that really, they are just saying no. But out of a need to protect your feelings, they are just being kind.

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  • rinkjustice says:

    Yes, but there comes a point when our politeness is downright misleading. As in my case, the chances of me purchasing that software was slim to none. I think the salesman detected it in my voice, because he never did call back.
    Thanks for your comment John.

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  • Wendymal says:

    There’s nothing rude about saying No–so avoiding it isn’t politeness. It’s actually very inconsiderate to string someone along if you have no intention of doing what they want.

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  • rinkjustice says:

    I agree Wendy, and that was the point of my article (except you said it more succinctly than I did).

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