A question has been posed. Someone wants something from you, you’d rather not do.
Was your inclination to say yes, even though there’s a voice deep down saying “NO.”
If so, its time to raise the volume on that voice deep down within.
How can you confidently respond when someone makes a request you just don’t want to do?
What are the reasons for saying no?
- It’s beyond your means?
- It’s beyond your comfort level?
- You have no interest?
- All of the above?
Identify all the reasons you have for saying “no.” Identify which reasons are from lack of confidence, versus a sincere disinterest in fulfilling the request.
What would happen if you said yes? Perhaps:
- You would be considered a team player
- It would make your boss happy
- It would make friends or family happy
Here’s the deal, it comes down to a simple cost/benefit.
Would the discomfort involved in saying yes outweigh the benefits of possibly going along with the request?
Or, do the benefits outweigh your temporary discomfort?
The role of guilt
Saying “no” is hard for many of us, women especially!
Whether this guilt has its roots in religion, a proper upbringing, or a worldview that simply says “it’s not nice to say no”, we often make decisions we’d rather not make based upon it.
Actually Saying “NO"
So now you’ve made the decision to say the Big N word, after weighing the results of your cost/benefit analysis. Are you scared, are your teeth chattering, are your hands shaking, are you dreading talking to the person? Maybe you want to send a text message instead?
Nope! Time to put your big girl panties or big boy boxers on.
Go ahead and say it clearly, and self-assuredly...in the mirror.
Look yourself in the eye, and do it. Just say “NO.”
Say it like you really mean it. Shout it from the roof tops. And then say it again like you would to the culprit who made the request. When you pretend you’re speaking to the person, does it come out differently?
Practice and experiment with different ways to say “NO” until you find one you’re comfortable with.
Then go, and say “NO!”
After you say “NO”
Now let’s be clear…….If you’re used to giving in to others, then guess what?
After all that practice, you may just be surprised to find that people are not willing to accept it!
They may push, rephrase the question, or make a new, not altogether different, request.
Be prepared for this! Know your boundaries—what ARE you willing to do?
Revisit the questions you asked yourself before—what would happen if you said no, or yes?
If you are serious about saying “NO” then stick to your guns.
Nicely tell the individual making the request that you would appreciate it if they respected your wishes, and ask them to refrain from pursuing it further.
If you are comfortable expressing your “reasons why” then do so speaking from your personal perspective. Or don’t give a reason at all. Sometimes its not necessary and gives them an opportunity to talk you into a Yes.
5 Tips on how to effectively say “NO!”
- The “Wet lettuce NO”
If you’re going to say NO, you must say it in a way that actually means NO!
Saying NO in a quiet, unassuming voice is like a limp, floppy hand.
By saying NO in a non-confident way, it makes you feel you have to convince the other person about your decision and the reasons why you have said it! You don’t!
- The “Mr Angry NO”
This is the other end of the spectrum in saying NO.
It’s done in an aggressive manner and usually said with resentment and contempt.
It’s an equally ineffective way to communicate your NO.
Here are a couple examples:
“NO. I’m not doing that craziness. You’ve got to be joking me!”
“Hell NO. I would never lower myself or stoop to that level”
- The assertive NO
This is the best way to say NO!
In a firm, yet polite voice say:
“No. I will not be able to do that for you”
Also, if you want to say the reasons why, keep it short and sweet.
“No. I will not be able to do that for you. I am getting my hair done at that time.”
- Use effective body language
When saying NO remember the power of non-verbal communication.
Look the person in the eye when you say NO.
Shake your head at the same time as saying NO.
Stand up tall.
Use a firm tone in your voice.
- When all is said and done
Don’t forget that when anyone asks something of you, you are perfectly OK to say, “Can I think about that and get back to you?” or “Let me Check my schedule and get back to you.”
You should not be pressured into giving an immediate answer, even if the delay is only a couple of minutes. It will give you some time to think it through and to gather your thoughts.
It will also give you some time to think about how you are going to say it, the words to use and your body language.
Saying NO exercise
Practice makes permanent!
What I would like you to do for the next 7 days is to start to say NO more often. Hell, say NO just because you can; like a child who learns the word NO for the first time and says NO to everything.
It could be the shady salesman, the cold call, “Would you like fries with that?” the store assistant, your children, your spouse, whoever – practice saying NO to at least one person for at least the next 7 days.
Do this and you will be an expert at the end of the week!
What will happen? 5 Major Benefits to Just Saying NO!
- You will feel much more confident and proud of yourself.
- You will find that practice makes permanent—the more you confidently say “NO” the easier it becomes.
- Others will respect your wishes and take you seriously the first time you say “NO.”
- You won’t find yourself doing things you never wanted to do in the first place.
- You’ll have more time to focus on the things you do want to be involved in.
- The list goes on and on… insert your experiences here!
Live life, love fully and laugh often!