Captain Obvious: Do Not Give False Hope

I have always believed that it is better to be rejected than to be given false hope. Imagine being in your dream job interview and the HR employee tells you, “We’ll give you a phone call.” So you wait . . . in vain. No phone calls, no emails. You try to follow up, hoping for the best, but they will not respond.

Maybe it’s the HR workload? I do not know. But I would rather receive a “We are thankful for your application, but we are already planning to offer the job to someone else” than nothing so that I can peacefully move forward; I might be disappointed, but at least I am moving forward. And while we’re at it, it’s your option to be brutally honest, but for people with anxiety (like me), we appreciate if these words are nicely expressed.

I apply this whenever I try to buy something on Facebook. Unlike Lazada and Shopee, the price of most products on Facebook Marketplace is not indicated, so you have to contact the seller directly. If you are unsure whether to take the product or not, then put a reply such as “Okay, I’ll get back to you after sifting my options. Thanks!” That way, you are letting them know that you are checking their competitors and they may not be your best bet. Moreover, as a responsible buyer, give feedback. I highly recommend writing a detailed description of the item you have received so that other buyers will either be warned or be encouraged.

In a way, not giving feedback—especially with regard to anything graded—is a form of false hope. I have teachers before who never returned our “final projects” for the quarter, but we attained a grade. How are we supposed to know if we deserved that?

Sincere words of affirmation are one of its forms—better if you follow it with a description of its strong points. If you think one’s project, product, or service needs improvement, then indicate its weak points. Aside from rating a Lazada or Shopee product with stars or smileys, I often comment on their timeliness (Did the order arrive within the specific date?), accuracy (Did they send the right product?), and quality and performance (Is it durable? Did it make me happy?”

The point is not to give false hope and give feedback as much as possible. I encourage everyone to make this a norm whenever a response is desirable, such as rating a product, grading a paper, or telling an admirer whom you are not interested with what your real feelings are.

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