What's the nicest way of turning down applications? If I reply, it's a rejection. If I don't, it's a snub.
I've been at the receiving end of both: The reply is a blow to your ego and makes you feel like a loser. The lack of a reply preserves your ego more but makes you mad for being snubbed.
I can't acknowledge an offer I'm not going to accept without also having to reject it.
The worst is apologetic rejections. Does anyone else think it's almost better to be blunt like it's no big deal?
Perhaps your replies need to be massaged.
Take a note from Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People".
Start with a compliment, something personal that shows you took the time to know about -them-. Then give them the unfortunate news.
By starting off about -them- it shows that you actually thought highly enough to consider acceptance.
@thor I'd give them a compliment and then grim news. Something like "Although your vibrant colours and unique artwork definitely caught our eyes we sadly have choosen someone else" (but better words) That way its a lesson learned, not another rejection imho. I'd def wouldnt ignore them (they may think you just completely overlooked their artwork or you didnt get they dm at all and thatd be awkward) or give any critique. Try to be friendly,but polite.
And good luck Im awful at stuff like this:D
@thor Worry less about hurting someone's feelings and worry more about your own concerns. You can be assured that that's what the other party is doing.
If they're hurt and take action against you because of that hurt, that's extremely unprofessional and probably not an isolated incident, in which case actively rejecting them is a very good stance to take.