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I have an appointment in another town, I asked a friend if I could stay the night at my friend's place through a text message. I would like a response from this person so that if I cannot stay at my friend's house, I can rent a hotel room. Normally asking this person for this favor, would not be a problem. And for the question's sake Yes my friend would be comfortable with me staying over there.

This person has seen my message and I just asked my friend. We did not have a conversation before. It was more of a spontaneous text message. I sent this message on Saturday night.

I know for some people this is an obvious answer, but for me I feel like I am rude when I demand an answer. I want to be nice about it.

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With this messaging habit, nowadays, imo we tend to forget an easier and more direct way to get things done:

CALLING

You said he/she's a friend, therefore I think there's nothing (e.g. shyness) that should hold you back from CALLING.

A polite

Hey, sorry to press you and sorry for already sending you a message, but I have this important [appointment/etc.] and I do need to find an arrangement soon, can you help me?

could suffice. Whatever the answer is, end by apologizing again.

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    Love the answer so long as you keep in mind that calling has different implications for different generations. Depending how young OP is, whether calling is best or not may depend a lot on the type of friend they are – Jesse Jan 15 '18 at 14:17
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    @Jesse If your not comfortable enough to call someone you shouldn't be asking to crash on thier couch. – Skeith Jan 15 '18 at 14:34
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    @Markino in my local social context calling out of the blue without arranging a time via text is always inappropriate. It's not the cost, it's that a phone call demands someone's attention right now, regardless of what they were doing, which is extremely rude when everyone is used to communicating asynchronously. – Racheet Jan 15 '18 at 16:22
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    @Racheet ...wow, that sounds... a bit extreme. I hate phone calls with a passion but I won't get offended if someone calls me once. Is your local social context aware of that little red phone button? It allows you to quickly and almost effortlessly convey the message that you can't pay attention to the call right now. Modern devices even have the option for stock reply messages to be sent when pressing that red phone button. (If they keep calling, and it's not a matter of life&death, I will get annoyed, though) – xDaizu Jan 15 '18 at 16:45
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    I was responding mostly to @markino saying that they believe that calling is always appropriate because quick calls are "not heavy on the pocket" by trying to explain that in my social context unscheduled calls are inherently rude for reasons unrelated to cost. Sometime's there's a good reason to be a little rude, as perhaps in this case, but one should always be aware that one is making an imposition when they do it. – Racheet Jan 15 '18 at 17:24
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I'd say something along the lines of:

'Hi, just wondering if you'd seen my message. I'd really appreciate staying with you, but if you can't then no problem, let me know soon so I can book a hotel otherwise :)'

This shows them how grateful you'd be if you do stay, but also lets your friend comfortably decline if they have any uncertainty, allowing you some time to book a place.

In the future, start with kind of structure as your first message, to (hopefully!) avoid having to ask a second time.

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    This is a common wording, but personally I never use the "just wondering" phrase. In this case it's actually a lie. You're not "just wondering"—you're actively waiting on the response so you can plan your trip logistics accordingly. This can be communicated politely without de-emphasizing the importance. – Wildcard Jan 16 '18 at 3:00
  • Very true, the second clause seems a bit obsolete when you put it like that! – MoMiJi Jan 16 '18 at 9:33
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If you've just asked I'd wait a while - probably a couple of days, but that depends on how soon you need an answer and how long it usually takes to get a reply. A few reasons for this - they might need to check in with anyone else who lives there, and check their calendar to make sure they're around.

Assuming you then don't get a reply, I'd go with apologising for asking again and explaining (briefly) why you need to know sooner rather than later.

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How to nicely remind someone to reply to important message without being rude?

Here's one example of an inoffensive request:

Sorry to press the matter, but if I need to make other arrangements I should start now. Can I count on staying at your place the night of [date]?

It provides a reason for pressing them, an apology for forcing the issue, and makes the question very clear so they don't have to go through old messages, try to remember specifics, or misunderstand/misremember.

for me I feel like I am rude when i demand an answer. I want to be nice about it.

Following up is an important part of communication, and figuring out how to do it politely can pose some challenges. However there's almost always a polite way to follow up on a question or commitment, and it's useful to start figuring out how to do it now and get over the uncomfortable aspects of it. You'll use it in many more situations than just this one.

Consider searching for articles "polite follow up" and you'll find many resources. Here are a few tips:

  • Be overly polite
  • Don't bring up their inaction or unresponsiveness ("You haven't responded yet...")
  • Don't assume any reasons for lack of communication ("I understand you're busy...")
  • Use "I" and "Me" rather than "You" - frame the request as a need you have rather than a failure on their part
  • Communicate requirements - if there's a deadline, if it impacts your work or theirs, make sure they understand the limit
  • Ask if they need assistance - ("Is there anything else you need to make this decision?")
  • Use a different channel than the original request - in person, phone call, email, text, instant message, etc
  • Supply or re-iterate important information so they don't have to spend time looking something up
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Perhaps there is an actual issue with you staying with your friend and this person doesn't know how to frame her "no" answer. To quickly resolve it, call your friend and ask for confirmation, assuring your friend it is ok if other plans are in the way.

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It may be important for you but not as important for someone else. They may be busy, get distracted by things more important for them and a lot of other reasons. In our day and age of hundreds of messages competing for human attention answering your message may be procrastinated even if you remind someone several times.

In his book "Never Split the Difference", Chris Voss suggests this trick: try to frame the question in order to get a "no" as the answer. For example:

Did you give up on this?

I don't know why this works but it is incredibly effective: according to my experience this always give you prompt answer unless the recipient really gave up.

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