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!