It looks like we have reached a new age, the age of indecisiveness. Numerous fantastic possibilities make it almost impossible for us to decide. A clear confirmation or refusal is harder to get than a Finn with proper chest hair.
Since we added the word “maybe” as an option to respond to invitations, everyone seems to keep themselves available for other, better offers. It seems to be even worse than the “I don’t know”-option in multiple choice exams. Saying “yes” and then cancelling is considered as impolite, saying “no” and then not finding anything better lets us lose face – but with a maybe, we are always on the right side. We can show our willingness to show up, but it is far from binding. Because who knows, the ultimate invitation to the party of our lives might slip through our mailbox in very short notice? Maybe it is just delayed?
Of course invitations to occasions like QStock in August, Vulcanalia in September or the next Caribbean Fever do not require a decision immediately; you could still click “maybe” and get all the relevant information about the event (but honestly, why would you wanna miss out on those ones? ).
But watch out! The general hesitance has already spilled over. It is becoming a common pattern in other life situations: Why committing to a job, a relationship, if there might be something better? Temporary jobs come with a maybe from both employee and employer, because maybe there will be a contract afterwards. Or maybe not. Maybe we can plan that holiday together in August, but let’s do it last minute, cause eventually I have found someone else until July…
Let’s put an end to the floating around and make those runaround-givers take sides. If we decode the maybe, it seems simple: it’s not a yes. Not a yes is a no. So a maybe is a no. If we really really want to go to that party, of course we say yes. If we are not so sure… well, let’s be honest then? A no is a statement, and it shows we have the guts to stay alone at home rather than being at a mediocre party that we actually only are to not be alone. And it helps the hosts plan food for their actual guests even!
A no could be honest and fair – it’s time to adapt to the Finnish way and get some more of those qualities, isn’t it? Or then just go for it, say yes, try something! No risk, no fun. But make up your mind eventually: Theodore Roosevelt already realized that “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
Well, maybe this is true.
This post initially appeared on the blog Ouluwhispers. It was written by Bianca Beyer in July 2013.