An early reply I remember hearing in Russia was “Nyet, it can’t be done.” It was a common challenge. Then I learned how to respond. “I realize it is difficult,” I said, “but if you were to do it, how would you do it?” Then I got a different response.
It is understandable that the Russian automatically says “no.” “Yes” burdens him with personal responsibility, a character trait seemingly in short supply amongst Russians. He knows from experience, that even if theoretically it can be done, something will surely happen to screw it up. So why bother and then take the blame?
So appealing to the “how” of a problem immediately appeals to a Russian’s sense of resourcefulness, a character trait in great abundance. The Russian spirit has for centuries struggled against adversity. Their inherent penchant for survival has prepared them for getting around the obstacles of life and supplying solutions, sometimes unusual Russian solutions, to get the job done.
With the young today, you get things done. That’s why relationships are everything in Russia. Today the aggressive young man or woman might well respond to a request requiring responsibility with an unqualified assurance of success.