Saturday, 15 February 2014
Is your plate piled high with obligations? Are you trying to be sweet to everyone just by saying a ‘yes’ to each work allotted by them at the expense of yourself?
Why say ‘no’?
The number of worthy requests isn't likely to lessen, and you can't add more time to your day. At the end of the day, you will find yourself doomed to be over committed.
Saying no isn't necessarily cruel and selfish. When you say no to a new commitment, you're honoring your existing obligations and ensuring that you'll be able to devote high-quality time to them.
Saying no can allow you to try new things. Just because you helped them once, doesn't mean you have to do it forever. People can find their own way at the end!
Agreed, saying ‘no’ is a hard thing. Since, we don't like to introduce negativity into the conversation, cause a possible confrontation, or have someone think less of us because we don't agree. That said it's often important to turn things down.
> If you’re uncomfortable being so firm, or are dealing with pushy people, it’s OK to say, “Let me think about it and get back to you.” This gives you a chance to review your schedule, as well as your feelings about saying "yes" to another commitment, do a cost-benefit analysis, and then get back to them with a yes or no.
> If you would really like to do what they’re requesting, but don’t have the time (or are having trouble accepting that you don’t), it’s fine to say, “I can’t do this, but I can…” and mention a lesser commitment that you can make. This way you’ll still be partially involved, but it will be on your own terms.
> People are often afraid to be rude and severing relationships and burning bridges! But be firm -- not defensive or overly apologetic -- and polite. This gives the signal that you are sympathetic, but will not easily change your mind if pressured.
> If you decide to tell the person you’ll get back to them, be matter-of-fact and not too promising. If you lead people to believe you’ll likely say "yes" later, they’ll be more disappointed with a later "no."
> If asked for an explanation, remember that you really don’t owe anyone one. “It doesn’t fit with my schedule,” is perfectly acceptable.
> “I’m not the best person to help on this. Why don’t you try X?”
> “No, I can’t.” The simplest and most direct way to say a ‘no’! We build up too many barriers in our mind to saying no. These barriers are self-created and they are not true at all. Don’t think so much about saying no and just say it outright. You’ll be surprised when the reception isn’t half as bad as what you imagined it to be.
> Make a counter-offer. Sometimes, you've got to say no for your own good, but that doesn't mean you aren't interested. Suggest spending less time helping out, or offer to do something else in a similar vein when you have free time.
Handle problem requests with bluntness. It's best to be civil and polite, but sometimes, no matter what you do, people won't respect your kindness. If someone keeps trying to crack holes in all of your honest excuses, and pesters you to explain yourself when there's no further explanation you can give, it's time to put your foot down. The next time this person asks you for something you don't want to do, say “No, I can't” or “No, I won't.” There's no need to say anything else. When they ask you to explain, ask them what part of the word “NO” they don't understand. *winks*