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Learning To Say No, When You Usually Say Yes

Great damage is done to you if you say Yes when actually you want to say No. During a lifetime, we come across incidences in the day to day life where a critical situation arises and we wrongly say Yes instead of No. This is about the analysis of all circumstances telling and teaching us why do we say Yes, how should we say No and most importantly, what are the benefits of telling No.


Why do you wrongly say 'Yes' when the correct response is 'No'?

The first ever reason is that it is an early childhood cultural conditioning following the teaching that answering people’s request with No is not being polite. At times, we have a feeling of reciprocation or a sense of indebtedness that Yes comes spontaneously instead of No. we have a feeling of finding confrontation following No. Many times, we just wrongly think that you will be liked more if we say Yes. Actually, at employment level, we often do not want to challenge authority by refusing to say Yes. The most important is most of us do not have the courage to say No, because of lack of confidence or low self-esteem. We say Yes because we want to accommodate everyone’s need ignoring ourselves and our own need. Thus, every time a wrong Yes enters with our own frustration.

Just think, are you willing to continue giving up your happiness for others? Instead of saying Yes, ask yourself – Do you really want to do this? Do I have time for this? Can someone else do this instead of me? Will my No lead to irritable consequences? Am I going to benefit at all?

Well, No is a complete sentence – there is no need to explain further, optionally you can use following sentences. Always follow your intuition and say No.

  • I am sorry, but simply, I can’t at this time.
  • I have a personal policy.
  • Let me think about it and I will get back with you.
  • It does not look like, I will be able to do. If anything changes, I’ll let you know.
  • It looks like I am going to have to pass this time.
  • I just can’t fit into my schedule.
  • That is a good cause, but I am already supporting other causes.
  • No, thank you.

Now that you have decided to say No...

  1. Take a moment before you answer. Rather than uttering your response without thinking, taking a moment will add validity to your response.
  2. Buy yourself some time, because not all the requests require a quick response.
  3. Make a decision and stick to it. It is a must.
  4. End the subject – tell No and change the conversation topic.

No means no!
(Photo source: indiatoday.in)
Assertiveness

Assertiveness allows you to express your needs, wants and opinions without hurting others around you. Being assertive will keeps you from being cheated out of what you want and deserve in life.

You have to be confident and a good communicator.

Body Language

Eye contact - fix distance. Maintain proper posture (head up, hands down and by the sides, feet on the ground with shoulders apart).

Self-empowerment

Setting healthy boundaries and creating a balance between Yeses and Nos will be key to your success and wellbeing. You use your experience, judgment and knowledge in an effort to say No. Learn self-empowerment. Taking control of your life is the strongest power of all, and it is the one that comes from within.

  1. Pursue what you desire and decide self-imposed limitations.
  2. Figure out improvements needed and do that.
  3. Build confidence in yourself.
  4. Avoid things against pleasure or satisfaction.
  5. Be positive and maintain a positive attitude. Yes, optimism and positive attitude will improve you.
  6. Don’t be afraid of failure in the effort.

Saying No to...

  • Friend: Decide depth of relationship to avoid unethical, illegal demand. Lending money, vehicle and other things demand tricky approach. True friends know their unspoken understanding and limit.
  • Family: Children need to hear No as a part of ideal parenting. Too many Yeses may spoil the child to become selfish. They never understand limitations. It is impossible to always grant everyone to their needs.
  • Parents: Be concise and do not make excuses. Ask for different time to do or suggest alternatives.
  • Spouse: You must be tactful and thoughtful to speak up clearly to maintain an overall balance in the relationship.
  • Employer: Employees do not say No, because they want to impress bosses so that they are considered during the next increment in pay and/or promotion. Though No is difficult, it can be done. Deny the requests/orders with respect maintaining good rapport and keep the lines of communication open with your superiors.

No means No, but how will you act? The Technique.

Remember you have the final say about your action. Yes, say No and stick to it, be it with kids, at work or anywhere.

  1. Take a deep breath, it will clear all the negativity and open yourself to clear communication.
  2. Relax: This will make you understand the matter.
  3. Use even tone of voice: Use even, clear, friendly tone, so soothing will be done.
  4. Listen: Hear what they have to say. It will make them feel better and give you time to say No.
  5. Keep your emotions under control.
  6. Acknowledge other party’s emotions.
  7. Clarify your intentions.
  8. Find a common ground to the situation.
  9. Finally, practice makes man perfect.

Start with small less important issues. Tell "No, I am not interested. Thank you!" Now you have learnt the art of saying No.
There is nothing wrong with considering your needs first when making a decision. You are as valuable as anyone else. Recognise your own importance and let others know that as well by saying “No” when it is needed and thus keeping “Yes” away.

Reference:
Book: Learning to say “No”, when you usually say “YES”.
Pages: 132, Year: 2011
Author: Maritza Manresa
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House Mumbai, India.

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