If Someone Hesitates, Should You Try To Persuade Them?

by Reid on February 28, 2016

Asian couple argue, closeup portrait with two people.Where does consent meet with encouragement? Should you push your friends to agree?

With Reid Mihalko from ReidAboutSex.com and Cathy Vartuli from TheIntimacyDojo.com.

Cathy: Is hesitation an invitation for further persuasion? This is Reid Mihalko from ReidAboutSex.com.

Reid: And this is Cathy Vartuli from TheIntimacyDojo.com.

Cathy: I’m so glad you remember who I am.

Reid: Thanks Cathy.

Cathy: In our society, it is often seen that if we hesitate, the other person jumps in and tries to convince us to go with what they like. Is that really a space for further persuasion?

Reid: No. I’m just going to say no.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: Because oftentimes people are hesitating because they’re unclear, or they don’t have access to their words.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: For me, whenever somebody hesitates, I just take that to mean that that’s a no, because what I want is, I want people’s hell yes.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: I want people to be like, “Oh my God, this is a good idea,” and when somebody hesitates, you can just kind of give them the space to figure out what they need if they can find their words or not.

Cathy: Yes.

Reid: Because it’s important to play with, date, surround yourself, make friends with people who can find their words, ladies and gentlemen. People who can communicate what’s going on for them, will help you not have to read minds, and they’re just more fun over the long haul, for the most part, to be surrounding yourself with.

Cathy: Yes.

Reid: That’s just my 2 cents.

Cathy: I agree, and I also know sometimes I’ll ask you a question and you have a lot going on, you’re distracted, you don’t answer. It’s OK I think to ask, “Hey, are you thinking about that, or did you forget that I asked you a question?”

Reid: Well yeah, asking for clarity, but there’s a difference between, “Oh this person’s distracted” and, “I’m a deer in the headlights, and because I’m hesitating, that’s supposed to be my cue to seduce you, or …

Cathy: To push it.

Reid: … enroll you more”.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: Really what I like doing is giving people, really giving them room to say yes or no freely, and then if I sense that it’s not … if I sense that it’s a maybe, for me it’s a no.

Cathy: Yes.

Reid: And that’s a rule from Cuddle party, and it’s a really great rule. If you’re a maybe, say no. ‘Cause when you give yourself permission to have that space, you can now figure out what it is you might need if you want to change your mind or renegotiate the situation.

Cathy: It also helps people feel safe when you’re not pushing them to be a yes. If I really wanted Reid to do something and I said, “Please please please” when he didn’t answer, if he agrees, he’s probably not feeling quite as relaxed or heard then if I said, “Hey do you need time to think about that, or is it a no? What’s going on for you?” And let him use his own words. A lot of times in our society, we’ve taught our men especially to take silence as an invitation, as room to push forward and try to convince them. That doesn’t create safety. It also ends up treating women as if they’re not able to use their words and can’t figure out their own minds and have to be convinced.

Reid: It’s not just a gender thing, like women do this to men too, and men do it to men, and women do it to women, but the idea is are you giving people room to say yes or no? If they’re hesitant, you should take that into consideration and be like, “You know, I don’t think I’m OK with hesitation here, I want a solid, enthusiastic yes, so why don’t we just make that hesitation mean it’s a no, and if you find that you really are a yes, then please do that. In giving people that kind of room, because so few people actually get that space to make choices like that, you will become somebody who’s a lot more … for whom people will often want to say yes to more because you’re so respectful about giving them that room. That’s been my experience.

Cathy: Yes. They might come back with something as simple as, “Oh I was just thinking about my schedule, can I fit that in?” Then you know if they say something like that, you know that they’re considering it and wanting to be there, so that if you do go forward with the activity you can really enjoy it.

Reid: Mm-hmm. (affirmative)

Cathy: Let us know what you think. Is hesitation an invitation for further persuasion? Or when have you had that experience with other people? What have you had to do, how has that felt? Subscribe to this channel, we’d love for you to be in touch when we send out a new video.

Reid: Thanks for watching.

Cathy: Have a great day.

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