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July 8, 2024 4 mins

Let people know when you'll assume the answer is no

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
Welcome to Before Breakfast, a production of iHeartRadio. Good Morning,
This is Laura. Welcome to the Before Breakfast podcast. Today's
tip is to make silence meaningful. Don't leave yourself wondering
how you should act if you don't hear back from someone.

(00:26):
You can reduce stress and uncertainty by giving yourself and
them a moment when silence becomes a no. Today's tip,
like some others we've heard recently, is from Anna Goldfarbe's
new book, Modern Friendship. In this book, Goldfarb shares strategies
for making and growing friendships and are often disconnected times.

(00:52):
Goldfarb notes that it is great to be the one
reaching out and initiating get togethers. Someone has to do it,
it may well be you, But of course, these days
a lot of our communication is digital. You are not
necessarily asking someone to do something face to face where
they will likely give you a response. Sometimes people respond

(01:16):
promptly to texts and emails, and sometimes they don't. This
can be stressful if you are making plans. Did they
get the message, are they just not responding or are
they thinking about it? But you can make silence as meaningful,
she says, let them know a moment when silence will

(01:38):
be a no. So, for instance, if you send a
text inviting a new friend to go see a movie
with you on Friday night, you might add, if I
don't hear from you by Friday morning, I'll assume you
can't make it, or if you need more advanced notice
for something, we'll be going to that new Italian place
on Thursday night at seven pm. If I don't hear

(02:00):
from you by Sunday night, I'll assume that it doesn't
work for you, and I'll go ahead and make the
reservation without you. This framing does a few positive things. First,
you can extend an invitation with less stress. You know
there is a moment where you can go ahead and
make other plans or proceed with your plans without the

(02:22):
other person. That might make you marginally more likely to
extend an invitation. It also gives the other person an out.
Not everyone is as good about responding as they should be.
If the other person isn't checking their messages or forgets,

(02:44):
they won't also feel bad about holding you up. And well,
maybe it is a no, but the person doesn't really
want to say no for whatever reason. This gives everyone
a gracious way for there to be a no without
a no actually happening, you can go about with your

(03:06):
plans without complicating your own timeline. Making silence meaningful does
require getting in the habit of remembering to add this
line to your invitations. But that's not such a hard
habit to build. In recent weeks, we have learned the
virtues of making invitations specific. Not let's get together sometime,

(03:27):
but let's get together for coffee to talk about your
new job. How about Saturday at three pm at the
Starbucks near your apartment. All you have to add is
if I don't hear from you by Friday, I'll assume
you're swamped with all the new stuff you have going on.
It's all good. In the meantime. This is Laura. Thanks

(03:49):
for listening, and here's to making the most of our time.
Thanks for listening to Before Breakfast. If you've got questions, ideas,
or feedback, you can reach me at Laura at Laura
vandercam dot com. Before Breakfast is a production of iHeartMedia.

(04:18):
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Laura Vanderkam

Laura Vanderkam

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