I'm not sure if I've ever gone on record saying it, but I have no problem with "the fade". I also have no problems with making up excuses or having non-answers like "I'll let you know" or "I'll check my schedule" as a way of rejecting someone without coming out and saying it. I'm an adult, and somehow an adult who gets social cues fairly easily. I understand that anything other than a "yes" is a "no".
But, there does come a time when you need to be honest with people. When putting something gently or being passive-aggressive, or coy is not an attempt at sparing someone's feelings, but just a way of implying that they're stupid. Telling someone after three dates that you can't see them anymore because you're not over your ex, or some other variation of "it's not you, it's me" is acceptable. Saying that to someone you've been married to for 10 years, not so much. It's not even about the length of time you know the person, it's more about the degree to which trust and honesty is deserved.
I was reminded of this recently, hence the timing of this post. Someone I had hoped would have the decency to be honest with me given the similar difficulties we face, but who instead went the passive-aggressive rejection route. I'm not even talking about romantic rejection, because I didn't see this person that way, it was more of a personal rejection of me as a person. I don't know what kind of issues this person is going through, nor their reasons for their actions, but given what I did know of them, I had hoped that clear communication would have been possible. I hold no ill will and the door is always open for them to return, but I do hope this person finds what they're looking for. I got the hint though and I'm backing off. Thanks for everything, and take care of yourself. I really mean that.
This isn't really about one specific person though. This post is about how we should interact with anyone in our lives. Knowing when honestly is owed and when it's not is a crucial part of interpersonal communication. The little things can sometimes go a long way.