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August 15, 2019


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This could also work great (short version) with birthday party invitations. I always have parents who don't respond then show up or don't show up and I cannot give the venue a proper head count. Plus I don't know how much I'll pay for the party so my budgeting is almost always thrown off. Sigh.


Thanks for this insightful post, Lynn. We have experienced that awkward silence of the non-response before. I think it feels worse than a no in certain situations, like yours for example. Thanks for tackling this social situation head-on. Also, Laura's comment made me realize another thing that seems to have changed. RSVP means "respond please," but I think people have come to interpret it as "respond if you're coming but don't if you're not." That puts "power" in the invitee's hands to change their mind at the last minute if they want to. Problem is, I'm sure most don't then notify the host that they are indeed coming.

Business Writing Blog

Hi Laura,

That's a great example of when a simple no message would help the other person. Thanks for sharing it.


Business Writing Blog

Hi Judi,

Thanks for your comment and for echoing Laura's concern. I hope it gets people's attention. Perhaps I need to do another post on the importance of providing an RSVP.



I am frustrated when people do not take time to respond to my emails. I don't expect to get a quick reply but being ignored bother me. It bothers me more than receiving a no.

Business Writing Blog

Hi Emmanuelle,

Email correspondents can be so frustrating! The other day I wrote to someone with a request. She wrote back telling me she needed the details, including the time of day. All the details--includng the time-- were in the email! The time was even in my first sentence. I ended up calling her instead.

That said, sometimes I realize that I myself have read an email too fast, or ignored one.

Thanks for commenting.


Frederik Baastrup

Hi Lynn

This was some really helpful advice on how to say no to a client or business partner. Just what I was looking for.

By the way, love your blog!



Thanks for sharing this amazing post.

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