I Know a No in Disguise 8

“A no in disguise.”*

  • I’ll get back to you on that.

  • I don’t have my calendar with me.  Let me check it give you a date.

  •  have to check with so and so about such and such…

In other words:

  • you don’t want to meet with me,

  • you don’t plan to follow-up on the project and

  • you are full-of-manure, fake, phony… 

You might be on of those people always talking about what you’re “fittin’” to do, who just want to go on record as being interested and helpful even though you don’t plan to follow through and do anything.  (You know who you are.)

It’s a no in disguise (except when I say those things, of course).

There are also lies in disguise, as when so many people say to someone who knows me, that they’ve been trying to reach me.

“I’ve been trying so hard to reach you…”  (Uh, no you haven’t.  If you googled me you can find me plus my phone and email haven’t changed in six years.)

“You’re so tough to get a hold of.”  (Uh, leave a message on the answering machine. I’m not tough to get a hold of.  I return phone calls and email messages.  So you must be lying.)


(*Thanks to my husband for this phrase. It hits the nail on the head.)



About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

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8 thoughts on “I Know a No in Disguise

  • Sarah

    My husband is the king of “no” in disguise, or, as I call it, beating around the bush. While I hate to hurt the feelings of people I love, I think it’s worse to waste people’s time. So, I am very direct (and as a result have to handle much of the confrontations that come with being a parent and a homeowner).


  • Candelaria

    I agree.  I tend to be direct, too, but am trying to soften it somewhat because it can be so off-putting to some people.  Thanks for your comment.

  • LeeAnn

    OH! This is too unreal – you need to go to Cheerio Road today and read her blog post called, “What I know to be untrue” (or something very close to that). It’s too funny that you both wrote, in your very different ways, the same blog post!

  • Anali

    I hate when people do that!! I’ve heard the same thing. “Oh I’ve been trying to reach you!” What a bold faced lie.

    Good post. I guess we can all relate. Unfortunately. *sigh*

  • George

    The oblique after-the-fact lie is prefaced by “I mean’t to…” and “I forgot to…” as in “I mean’t (I forgot) to call to tell you we were having a party. It was the bomb.” I learned these lies in Passaic, New Jersey, my hometown. However something tells me they’re universal, like CP time.