Friday, May 18, 2012


An Apocryphal Teaching Story

“I need money. Can you lend me Ten Thousand Rupees?” a man asked his friend.

“I have the money, but I won’t give it to you. Be grateful for that,” the friend said.

On hearing this the man got angry and said irately to his friend, “That you have the money and you don’t want to give it to me – this I can understand. But I don’t understand why I should be grateful to you?”

“My dear fellow,” the friend said, “look at it this way.
You asked me for money.
I could have said ‘come tomorrow’.
Tomorrow I would have said ‘I am sorry I can’t give you the money now’ and I would have told you to come the day after tomorrow.
If you had come to me the day after tomorrow, I would have said ‘come at the end of the week’.
In this way I would have staved you off indefinitely till such time you would have given up hope and stopped coming to me.
However, till then, because I never said ‘NO’, you would have counted on me giving you the money and you would not have looked elsewhere to get the money.
That is why I tell you in all honesty, in the first instance itself, that I am not going to give you the money rather than give you excuses and create false hopes in your mind.
Now that you know that I am not going to give you money, you can immediately try to get the money from some other source without wasting any time. And for that you must be grateful to me.”

Don’t you agree that it is better to say a firm NO than give EXCUSES which can sometimes create FALSE HOPES.

The one thing the Navy taught me was how to say “NO” – when we did not want to grant a request or did not want to agree to do something, instead of hemming and hawing, dithering and giving shilly-shally excuses, all we did was to use the term “NEGATIVE” when we wanted to say “NO”.

I have seen so many people who are quite hesitant to say a direct “NO” to a proposition because they are worried “what will the other person think if I bluntly refuse and say NO”.

You may think that directly saying “NO” to a request in a straight-talking plain-spoken manner may sound discourteous and impolite.

So you will keep postponing by giving excuses trying to fend off the requester hoping that he will finally tire out and give up. But in the bargain this may raise false hopes in the mind of the other person.

As illustrated in the story, postponing and avoiding saying “NO” may cause more harm to the other person than if you bluntly said “NO” at the first instance and this dithering will cause damage to your own credibility and may create stress within you.

Moral of the Story:

If you do not want to do something it is best to say a direct “NO” and get it over with.

If you don’t want to go out on that weekend date, just say “NO”.
Don’t give excuses like “I am not feeling well” or “I have work to do” or “I have some other commitments” etc etc etc.
Be candid – and say “NO”.

Have a Happy Weekend doing exactly what you want to do.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Did you like this story?
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About Vikram Karve
A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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