Everyone has heard some variation of the story. An enterprising individual has an idea, something they feel will change some facet of life. All they need is the right people or person to see it or hear about it and gain some backing, some momentum.
The story of Colonel Saunders is well known, how he approached fried chicken shops with his chicken recipe and was turned away over one thousand times before receiving a ‘yes’. Positive life coaches talk about not giving up, as the next opportunity may be the one you were waiting for. Perseverance is a lauded, recognised and an encouraged trait for a would be go getter. No is never no. It is just the first refusal; it’s a test! Do you want it or will you be easily deterred? Rousing stuff.
Like religious text, people have a way of interpreting things in a way that benefits their thinking. The notion of ‘no’ being the starting point of a discussion, as opposed to the conclusion, is very much a generational, liberal thinking, modern phenomena.
Anyone who works in an environment where they are required to deal with the request of others, will understand this. The present generation have a real problem with the word ‘no’.
Whether it is something quite important, like trying to gain a place for their child in the best schools, or fill a necessary prescription or something less so; getting a table at a hip restaurant on a Saturday evening or tickets for that unmissable thing, the response in the negative will, for those entitled souls, begin a battle of attrition.
The variety of non important things, objects, request is endless. There is just a belief that if one shouts loud enough and long enough – basically the equivalent of a small child throwing a tantrum – you’ll get what you want. This tends to actually work because most want to avoid embarrassment or confrontation. It is bullying.
It is nice and can be fulfilling to get what one wants. But always getting your way is only possible for those blessed few. The rest of us just have to accept that sometimes no means no.