Here's a simple problem: You want to reject someone without
lying, going into long explanations, or making a scene, without
thinking too much about it. So you say, "Bad
timing." Then if they say, "Why is it bad timing?"
you have a backup ready: You say, "Many
things!" These two responses are verbal tools. Here
are some others useful for rejection: "Too
soon," "Too early,"
"Someone else," and for extraordinarily
complicated cases, in which you're better off simply telling
the truth, you begin by saying, "It's
insane," ... then you level. Strangely enough, the
best way to reject someone is to hurt their feelings! For
instance, if an underage girl asks you out on a date, begin
by saying, "Yeah, sure." Then
add, "Next time you come to work
drunk I'm going to tell your father!" It's what old-timers
called tonic, whose sole purpose was to make life easier
for people. This book is about verbal tools, derived from
close observation of verbal abusers on one hand, and wise
elders on the other. It answers the question, "How do some
people know just how to make everyone laugh ... while letting
both abuser and defender save face at the same time?" Totally
natural. I hope you enjoy it.