Why and how to say NO more often

22nd Nov 2016
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We’ve all been there. We’ve all said yes one too many times when we wished we could say no. The truth is that we had the chance to say no in most of those situations. Looking at those agonising times in retrospect and recognising why we said yes is the first step in realising why we should say no.

We give in to people’s wishes for many reasons. We don’t want to be rude, we just want to help out and feel guilty when we don’t, or we don’t want to be judged. But most times, it’s simply because we’re put in a difficult spot and the only ticket out seems like a nod. Learning how to say no might seem like a skill to hone, but to get there it is first necessary to see why it’s so important in the first place. Say no…

Image : shutterstock

Image : shutterstock

To set a boundary

People sometimes don’t realise they’re asking too much of you and it is only when you say no that you make that clear. Isn’t it unfair to expect them to see a boundary that you’ve never drawn in the first place? Once you say no, they may be taken aback, but before they ask something of you again, they’ll surely consider. Even if they aren’t so considerate, they’ll in the very least, hesitate.

So you’re not taken for granted

Some people do understand they’re asking too much of you but don’t see anything wrong about it. Even if they do, it won’t matter to them because from what they understand, you have an abundant supply of yesses. You need to say no more often so you’re not taken advantage of, so have an identity other than the one that always concedes. Saying no even once establishes the fact that you cannot and should not be taken for granted.

To be responsible for yourself

Saying yes is a taxing business as it sucks away your time and energy. If you find yourself saying yes all the time, then you already know how stressful it is. Moreover, there’s an added level of stress because you know you put yourself in those situations. When you say no, you demand all that time and energy for yourself. It’s okay to be selfish every once in a while if it means it can benefit your personal health and growth. Sometimes when you say no, you also take responsibility for someone else’s growth, because without your help, they can learn to do things for themselves.

Say no…

By being frank

Most often, our no takes the form of feeble excuses. We resort to explaining ourselves because anything else seems rude. But the truth is that nothing is more helpful in these situations than straightforwardness. When you can’t, say that you can’t. Stating a firm reason is different from explaining yourself. “I’m sorry, I can’t come with you now, I have somewhere else to be” is a reason whereas, “I can’t come with you now, I have a lot to do since I couldn’t do much yesterday…”is an explanation that, as we know from experience, goes on till eternity. Also, thinking of reasons to back up your no only makes you more anxious.

By being polite

Yes, it is possible to be both frank and polite. But before you’re mistaken, being polite doesn’t necessarily mean being apologetic. Of course, if you’re genuinely sorry for saying no, you could always apologise. But sometimes you may be aggravated for being forced into a corner. At times like this, you don’t have to fake an “I’m sorry.” You could simply state your reason for your no in a polite or pleasant manner.

By setting your own rules

It’s not always easy to say no as situations sometimes demand a different approach. This approach could be reaching a middle ground. Tell the person that you can help but not in the way they’re expecting, and that is all that you really can do. This way, your conscience won’t be heavily bruised, and you would have exercised some control.

Saying no is necessary especially in situations where it seems the most difficult. But asserting your wishes against that of others only makes you more confident in the long run. You’ll also be able to rely on yourself to make better decisions for yourself .These are things you can’t say no to!

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