A case of Insufficient Communication

tomveatch.com / badtalk.php

I remember an often-repeated childhood experience, that when I could not understand something spoken by others near me, I said, "What?", and consistently I was ignored.

Upsetting. Outrageous. Often.

What gives the right to an insufficient communicator to refuse requests to clarify?

There is certainly a convenience in not having to do the work of clarifying, and a power position obtained by not having to say or be explicit.

Just now the roofer called me, and I didn't pick up. Why? If he had called a month ago, I would have been super grateful and given him $10,000 for a job. But today, I didn't want to answer. Why? If I answered I would have had to say, Do I want him to do the work or not? A decision and commitment either to him or to not use him. Unfortunately it's complicated. I have another contractor who I need because he is the one that is licensed to do a lot of work I need done, and roofing is but a part of it. He is also not saying what the costs will be, and I think they will be higher than the roofer that called. But I need him because the roofer can't do the other work I need done. But I don't want to reject the roofer because if I could use him I would. If I answer, it's too complicated to explain, and probably amounts to a No to the roofer making the call. I'd rather leave it unspoken, and then if my contractor falls through I can call the roofer back without having by then previously told him No. So it's uncomfortable to answer, and disempowering.