Let me say noSome bloggers have this "mood" indicator on their blogs. If I had one, this post would be preceded by a note saying "extremely pissed off" mixed with large doses of "fuming".
One of the biggest weapons that one can have in the social armoury is the ability to say no, whether to refuse or to reject. For people are forever being taken advantage of. I find that the nudniks who put me in the position of having to say no vehemently usually have one large cannon firing - they are adamant in their badgering and they think it as merely being persistent. It seems to constitute the major chunk of their negotiation strategy - pester, and infinitely so.
To which the pestered will usually cave in, not possessing the same obduration as the blistering barnacle. This is where we err. If it comes down to a battle of wills, then we must learn to match their staying power. We give up merely because we want to be rid of the nuisance (several requests turn into precisely this, and no words must be minced here). The opposing party takes this as further proof of his/her persuasion, which is precisely why I think one must relinquish all sha.rm-O-hayaa and slug it out. Which is a policy I had some success at over the last couple of years, for earlier I found myself doing too many things I should never have agreed to, just to please or most often, to avoid "straining of relations".
But there still remain some who cannot be wished away like this. In the above policy, you have to risk losing some amount of politeness. "Be firm" is alright in books. So to some people, you cannot always easily turn your back. You know them somewhat or their feelings will be hurt or some third person you know will take this refusal unpleasantly etc. What I cannot get is the inability of these educated and sophisticated people to accept refusals. How do they know what is good for you or what you ought to do? Really, these social niceties cannot be taught. They must learn that getting someone to agree to them after badgering them hardly counts as a victory. Half the time, the end in question is to put up appearances. I say that even if it was good for me, I wouldn't mind missing out if I didn't want to do it.
It's all fine telling me to learn how to say no, but who will teach these people to learn to accept a "no"? They push the limits, but we idiots cannot - we have to maintain proprieties, including those that they have not. Add emotional blackmail to the pot. You force us to lie as a result, and every time in the future, I'll avoid you like the plague. A more frank world would be less socially amenable, but I'll vote for that today. The only people who are allowed to push us to do something that they think would be good for us would be close relatives & friends. And even they cannot do it all the time. Why don't we listen, really listen to the guy screaming "no" silently!
Thus ends intelligible, general, semi-cathartic rant.