Learn How to Say NO ?

“NO is a tiny word with huge baggage”

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]aying NO is all about saying YES to things which are really, truly, and deeply important for you.  Saying ‘NO’ to people without hurting their feelings is an art. If you are not in the habit of saying NO to people, you may feel guilty if you turn someone down.

Rejecting something gives you more energy, more confidence, more control, more respect, more honesty, more fun, and YES to other things that actually matter to you. Living in a fear of exploitation is much worse than exploitation itself.

Saying NO gives you more time for doing what is really important to you. You cannot add more time, but you can prioritize the available time. If you are not used to refusing someone, you will have to learn this art. This is how you can politely say no to people without feeling guilty in 3 simple steps:


1. Know the Fact:
You must know these facts before you start.

      • Acknowledge that you cannot do everything.
      • Know that you cannot please everyone
      • Tell yourself that you are not selfish
      • Think and weight saying YES and NO
      • Understand why you have hard times saying NO; know different tactics people use to get you say YES.

2. Know your reason, why you cannot say NO:
Each of us has a personal reason for not saying NO. Identify your reason.

      • You do not want to be rude- You are a NICE person
      • You do not want to feel guilt
      • You do not want to ruin the relationship
      • You do not want to miss ‘what if’

3. The process of saying NO without feeling guilty.

    • Be Honest:
      Be honest with yourself and others and do not keep yourself and others in a dilemma. 75% of body language is non-verbal. It reflects in 1/12th second. Thus your honesty and politeness reflect in your body language. Be honest and polite to express NO.
    • Be brief- Do not over-explain:
      What if you ask someone to do something and the next person starts giving you a long and detailed story, you probably hate that person. So what about you? If you have a genuine story, keep brief and if you cannot, do not try to make. The risk of making a story is that the next person may get space to give counter logic.
    • Give a reason why?
      Reason adds validity to the argument, so give a genuine reason with honesty. Do not say ‘maybe ‘act straight forward. No means no, do not start discounting your priority with others. Be a person of your words. Be accountable and take 100% ownership of you.

Putting It All Together Here’s the formula for how to say no feeling guilty: be honest + be brief + offer a reason why. Here’s a great example:  ”I cannot commit to this because I have other priorities at the moment”.

Let’s break it down. “I cannot commit (a firm no), because (offering a reason why), I have other priorities at the moment (a reason which is short and vague enough not to invite counter-arguments and specific enough not to sounds dishonest).

Another great example: “Now it’s not a good time because I am in the middle of something”. Or you can use this when appropriate “No, I believe it’s not a good fit for me right now”. Over To You Now. And there you have it, how to say no without feeling guilty.

First, figure out the reason behind the discomfort so you can eliminate it (this eliminates the guilt part). Then, start practicing saying “no” using the above formula: honest, brief and to the point, don’t over-explain and always back up with a reason why.

Follow these three steps keeping in mind following 10 things:
  1. Be honest, factual and brief
  2. Be available for things only you can do-Weigh both sides.
  3. Use of appropriate body language: Right tone, steady eye contact, less voice modulation.
  4. Sandwich model: Yes (Understand need)- No- Yes (Acknowledge with however).
  5. Explain exactly and specifically.
  6. Stay away from favor seekers.
  7. Do not apologize too much
  8. Put a question back on the person asking.
  9. Do not delay- Less guilt
  10. Tell alternative resources if possible

Start adding this art into your routine by saying NO simply to family, friends, media, and talks. 

“Learn to say NO to some GOOD things, so you can say YES to GREAT things”

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Success News Team

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