I was chatting with one of my friends the other day and she and I broached the subject of the word NO. Like me, she has always had a hard time telling people NO. It gets both of us into a lot of trouble sometimes.
How do you tell someone NO when you don’t want to say YES?
I looked this dilemma up and found “How to Say No”, “When to Say No” and “Why You Need to Say No”. It would appear that my friend and I are not the only people on the planet suffering from the word NO! I decided to read each of the articles I found and try to condense my search gatherings into something simple and easy to follow here.
First of all, I think it might be helpful to think about why you have trouble saying NO to others. Helpful people, people that like to be nice to everyone, are the ones that suffer. Eventually, n’er-do-wells figure out your penchant for being magnanimous and they are the ones that can cause you considerable grief over time. They will take and take and take until you have nothing left to even give yourself and then they will still want more! Telling them NO would save you so much heartache and sometimes it will even save your bank account. Think of it like saving pennies for a new hat when you tell these scoundrels NO!
Don’t misunderstand! Just because you have a problem saying NO, it doesn’t make you a weak person. No siree! You are kind, generous and well meaning. You simply don’t like to hurt people or hurt their feelings. Those are traits to be admired. That is something others can aspire to.
The only thing you lack are stronger personal boundaries.
After taking in a considerable amount of information on the how’s and the why’s of saying NO, this was my conclusion. It’s not saying NO that makes the difference. It’s how you feel after you tell someone NO. That’s the real improvement. If you feel empowered, fresh to start on a new path, lightened, or free, then you have mastered the art of saying NO.
I read several good suggestions on how to say NO without being defensive or offensive because, let’s face it, since we are people that love to see others happy and avoid the conflict of trying to defend our stance, how we say this new word NO, is very important. The last thing you want to end up in is an argument about why you’re saying NO.
The overall information gives the suggestion that making the refusal about yourself is the best route.
“No, I don’t want to do that right now because my schedule won’t permit the extra time. I hope you understand.”
Then stick to your guns and don’t do the extra favor for them.
“No, I really don’t want to do that right now, but you might try asking so and so.”
Be kind though and don’t direct them to someone else that has a problem saying NO.
Saying No doesn’t have to be the end of a friendship. If it is, then the person really wasn’t your friend at all. A good friend will respect your time and not impose if you tell them NO.
Never feel the responsibility of explaining why you are telling them NO. The refusal should be enough. When someone pushes you for an explanation they are simply looking for holes in your reasoning so they can manipulate you into telling them YES. Watch out for those people! The best defense is telling them you really don’t have the time to explain it to them, but you’ll keep their request in mind. Then make your exit.
Learning how to say NO will broaden your horizons and free you up to do other things. Perhaps it will give you the free time you want to try something new, or to become a stronger person. Saying NO will be a hard thing to do at first, but once you get those first few times under your belt, you’re on your way to living a life with a whole lot less stress.
Good luck out there and remember; Saying NO is not a bad thing, it just means you respect yourself enough to know that NO is the best answer in some cases. Say YES to yourself!
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