Saturday, May 14, 2011

The art of saying “NO”

I heard my friend telling me yesterday, “I didn’t really want to go for the movie but I couldn’t say no!”  I remember her telling me some time back, “I really wish I didn’t have to go to work this Saturday to help a colleague with his pending reports.”  And this kept on occurring from time to time! And I recognized what her problem was! She was not able to say the ‘forbidden’ word – NO!!
And then I realized that this problem was not hers alone. Lot of people around us were fighting within to say this word! How many times have we found ourselves in an awkward or unpleasant situation where we wished we could say “NO”, but ended up giving an affirmative? How many times have we been pushed to do things which we didn’t want to, by our friends, family or colleagues? I have a feeling that we come across such situations quite often either at home, work or elsewhere.
But have we wondered that why are we not able to say “NO” at the right moment? The reason is the fear of making the other person unhappy or spoiling the relationship. We have been made to believe that it is rude to say no to people! However that is not the case. Being assertive is not the same as being impolite.
We have to understand first, that it is important to express our refusal in certain situations because if we don’t we will be carried away. If we are unable to express it in the first instance then it becomes even more difficult the next time. After some time, we develop an inner resentment towards ourselves and other people and ultimately it affects our relationships with them. We also end up wasting a lot of our important time doing unnecessary favours.
So what do we do? The secret is in the art of saying the forbidden word –“NO”
1.      Set Priorities – If you have your priorities right, then you will know yourself what needs to be done first and what to say no to!

2.      Reschedule – Try and reschedule the request of favour to a later time when you think you will be able to do it. This way you will not end of giving a straight refusal and also not disturb your current timetable. However don’t do this, unless you wish to do this task at a later instance.

3.     Polite but Firm – Being polite is important while refusing. For example one could say, “I would have loved to do it, but….”, or “I am probably not the best person to do this...” etc. You can give any such reason politely. However remember to be firm. Make the other person understand that you can’t be persuaded to change your mind!

4.     Don’t give too many explanations – Saying No when you feel is your right, so don’t offer too many explanations for the refusal.

It might seem a little difficult in the beginning, but once you have mastered the art of saying no at the right moment, you will discover that it’s really not that tough!  You will end up saving a lot of time, be more efficient and relaxed and happier! I learnt it and I know I am happier! Why don’t you try! 


Haresh Vora said...

Nice article Nidhi !!!
The things that happen when people can't say no:
They feel resentful but don't say anything so no one knows they're upset
They're the ones who end up staying late or working extra hours
Their stress levels sky-rocket at the thought of having to 'get tough' with colleagues.

SJP said...

Very good advice.

UMESH SHAH said...

Nice one.
People many a time wish to say No, but for the fear of hurting feelings of others end up saying Yes..and be at the receiving end.
Trust your article would give them necessary courage and understanding to voice their inner desire.
BTW the new design is also very good.

Anonymous said...

Nice article. And the suggestion you gave are also very good. I agree with every point that you have mentioned here.
I came to your blog through indiblogger. I must say, the template is so cool. I have a suggestion if you don't mind, you might like to change the colour of the comments text. The background is also light coloured and text is white. For some people it could become difficult to read comments. ( If you don't want to change it even then it's ok, after all it's your journal)

Very good post. Keep blogging, keep growing. :)

Nidhi Kush said...

@Papa - You are very right...when we are not able to say no, we end up being stressed out. Thankyou so much!

@SJP - Thank you. Hope it will be of some help.

@Papa - Thank you so much for the valuable feedback!

@Shilpa - Thank you so much for the compliments and also the suggestions! I have implemented the suggestion and hope this is much better. I would love to incorporate valuable suggestions. Hope you got a chance to go through the other posts as well. If there is any other feedback, I would love to hear it. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

The comments are more readable now. Cool!
I will definitely try to read other posts depending on my time. :)

Hey, I just noticed the Ezine articles badge on your blog, I even have email subscription of creative-writing articles from that site. So do you write for them? If yes, then what category?

sush said...

How right you are. apt title, structured and nice writing.


Nicely written

S.R.Ayyangar said...

It is difficult to say no to near and dear ones, but to say NO with proper explanation should be fine.

Defiant Princess said...

That's true. some people find it tough to say a no. It shouldnt be like that! Nice read :)

Amar said...

I was definitely in need of this!I've always had a tough time saying no!Well i guess now i can..Thanks to you..;)..

Take care..:)

Anonymous said...

yes! finally a good way to say no!

Anonymous said...

Very important advice. It is so important to be assertive to survive amidst cut-throat competition!

Nidhi Kush said...

@Shilpa - Yes, I do write for Ezine Articles. I am a basic level expert author there..and have written a few articles in the "Self Improvement" category. Thanks for the feedback again :)

@Sush - I am glad you liked the title :) I had few others in mind, but liked this one the best!

@Vikram - Thank you for the feedback.

@S.R. Ayyangar - Yes! It is indeed difficult to say no to the near and dear ones. However as you mentioned, sometimes we need to do that in a polite and proper manner. Thank you for the feedback.

Nidhi Kush said...

@Defiant Princess - Yes! some people do find it tough. I was one of them in the beginning...but now have kind of figured it out! :) Thank you for the compliments.

@Amar - Thank you for the appreciation. I hope the message would be useful to you.

@Confusedyuppie - Thank you for the feedback!I hope it will be useful!

@Sanjeev- is indeed important to be assertive in today's world. Thank you for the feedback!

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Good advice thanks nidhi i love ur blog.
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Nidhi Kush said...

@Best colleges in India - Thank you for the feedback and appreciation of my blog. I hope you enjoyed reading other posts too. If there are any suggestions please let me know.

Anonymous said...

You have covered an important point that we all face in our lives.Atleast I do..and your suggestions to say NO are practical.

Neenu said...

Nice article.. :) I just remembered the movie,'27 Dresses, while going through the article. In it, the main character played by Katherine Heigl has difficulty saying 'no' to others and she ends up in a mess!Its an eye opener for all those people out there who refrain from saying 'no' to others. In the rush to protect others feelings they are infact harming their own emotions :)