I can not recall when this specific change to calendar options took place.
Response options to invitations for calls or virtual meetings with “tentative” or “maybe” are now as ubiquitous as an open middle seat on a flight (post COVID).
What are you really saying when your response to an invitation is “maybe”?
There are pressures all around us to say “yes”. "Yes" to meetings, "yes" to Linkedin or FB invites. When you don’t respond you get alerts and as time passes, if you don’t make a decision, the guilt to say yes sets in.
You really don’t want to say “yes” so you click on “maybe” to give the pretense of a “yes” with a future “out” option.
Or could your “maybe” response be a way of trying to gently say “no” (ie. being non-committal)?
Why is it so hard to say “No, I am not interested” or “No, I can’t”?
Time is a finite resource. Why be in places you do not want to be or agree to do things you do not have to do especially if you are going to be frustrated and resentful.
When you have a number of booked “maybe” appointments you aren’t leaving yourself FULLY OPEN to other opportunities you really want to attend because you view your calendar and realize you didn’t fully close the door and you now have to revisit the decision and what your intent is.
I certainly have agreed to commitments I should not have. Not only did I not listen to my own needs or feelings but oftentimes it resulted in negative feelings towards those people or events.
When you try and get out of things and you are not direct, the person who wants your commitment doesn’t see your “maybe” as a no. In “Dumb and Dumber” Jim Carrey’s love interest tells him there it’s a 1 in a million they will get together and what he hears is “so you are telling me there is a chance?”.
On many occasions I have gone beyond the “maybe” option and tried to NOT RESPOND despite knowing that ignoring it will certainly not make the decision go away. We all have persistent friends, acquaintances and colleagues: if you haven’t responded after some follow ups it becomes harder to say “no”.
Have you ever considered that people respect those who are direct and have no difficulty saying “no”?
Being unavailable increases your value.
The next time you get a calendar invite don’t respond with a “maybe. Be direct especially if saying “no”. That is your right. If you say “yes”, remember this when participating in the event. You chose to be there; complaining makes no sense.
No more “I’m not sure” or “I’ll think about it”. Don't say "maybe" if you want to say "no".
Being direct will make your life better.
You are so much control of yourself. It is ridiculous. If I say I am going to do something, I am going to do it. If I don't say it, don't expect it from me. Kevin Hart (podcast interview)