My sister, who is a TV-writer in Hollywood, once told me, “’Yes’
comes right away; ‘No’ never comes.” I’ve found this precept to
be widely true. In many circumstances, we find it hard to say
“no” — partly because it will hurt someone’s feelings, partly
because it closes a possibility that could otherwise remain open.
But waiting to hear “no” saps people’s energy by keeping them
hoping for an answer they aren’t going to get. If someone is
waiting for your “No,” put them out of their misery.