Educative Self Improvement

Learn How To Say No


As little kids, saying “no” was our favorite word and we pronounced it with great resoluteness. What changed? We became adults and we find it hard to say no or feel bad whenever we do say it in any meaningful conversation. It’s an important word to use, and we should all try to learn how to use it more.

One of the reasons why people don’t say “no” is because of the idea that saying “no” is not nice. We all agree that it is good to be nice, but at times being too nice can be detrimental to you.

Learning how to say “no” is essential. Life is more active when we don’t take on extra loads that aren’t ours to carry. Saying “yes” to the wrong things doesn’t help the people making the requests either. Agreeing to do something for someone takes away that person’s chance to learn to achieve whatever the real solution was. They continue relying on you instead.

The pitiful part is that when we do say “no,” it tends to be to those who don’t deserve it, especially ourselves. We say “no” to the fun and “yes” to the work. “No” to what we like and “yes” to what others prefer. We say “no” to the people who deserve our time and “yes” to chores no one else wants to do. We need to train ourselves to learn to say no at the right time. Here some guidelines you can follow:


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Say no honestly

We can do so by giving honest answers to the following questions; Is this really mine to do? If not, who should be doing it? Is that person available? If not, why am I the one asked to handle it? And most importantly, is this important enough that anyone should be doing it? Giving honest answers to these questions will help you filter and find out the important thing that you really need to do.


You do not have to say yes to everyone who ask nicely, rather, you say no nicely. _Steve Roberts.


You have to be realistic, not everything your are asked to do warrants that you actually do them. Ask yourself. Do I believe in what I am are being asked to do? Do I really want to do it? Is it truly my responsibility? Or is “yes” just easier? “No” takes more courage up front but “yes” takes a lot more time.



Stand your ground
Even when you know you need to say “no” it’s easy to be derailed by sweet talk. Be alert to the folks who tell you how great you are at whatever they need done. What about the situations where the person you have to refuse is difficult? You still have to say it. And you have to learn to say it calmly and with confidence again and again.


Say no calmly and quickly

A lot of us believe we have to say “yes” to anyone who asks nicely. Not really. We just need to say “no” nicely. A rude response will only lead to problems, and we don’t want to ruin our friendship with that person, do we? The other part is that courage to say “no” often doesn’t come until we are at the boiling point. Then “no” is lobbed like a hand grenade. Saying it as “the last straw'” often has catastrophic results. The big fight that results just isn’t worth it. Overly-delayed, “no'” is almost always part of a major explosion. But instead we should learn how to use the word at the right time, rather than not to using it at all.

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Be specific when saying no
You have to be straight to the point when saying no so that the message can be heard loud and clear. Here are some examples, “No. I can’t take on the debating competition .” (You can add “Sorry” if necessary.) Say it gently. “I’d love to do something with you, but not that movie.” And particularly, with kids and teenagers, you have to say it clearly or they will still hear “yes.” “No, you can’t do that” is more effective than “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

Saying no can be hard, but it is very important especially in situations where we know that we won’t be comfortable if we said yes. Developing this nature will save us a lot of time and unnecessary stress.

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