With a “no”, you are free to go, with a “yes”, you are in a mess (aka How to learn to say “no”)
Written by Rodolfo Parlati on 17/08/2021
Do you find it easier to answer “yes” or say “no”? How come a little word like “no” can create many problems in pronouncing it?
Because it brings a series of negative emotions that are difficult to tolerate. A “no” can hurt, disappoint or irritate the person you’re saying it to. Furthermore, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person and a “no” might jeopardize the future of the relationship.
By always answering “yes”, even when you’d like to say the opposite, you hide your need for approval in others, because you are afraid that something difficult to manage may happen.
It’s well-known that you can never be effective and productive if you take on too many commitments. The risk is to waste your energies on too many fronts and be unable to do anything well. To stay productive and reduce stress, you need to learn to say no more often, which many people struggle with.
When you don’t set limits, you somehow don’t respect yourself. It is as if you were invisible to yourself and everyone else would have the right to decide for you. When this happens, your self-esteem decreases and often gives way to deep feelings of failure and loneliness.
How can you learn to say “no”?
By following these 6 steps you can effectively manage your approach to the problem and definitely learn to say “no”:
- Learn to love yourself. When you always want to please people, you often do things you don’t feel like doing. So, you should learn to love yourself, to do what you like and not to devote so much time and effort to others when you’re not doing the same to yourself.
- Practice saying “no” by replacing the word with a head gesture. Use non-verbal communication. This way your subconscious mind will begin to believe that it’s not so hard to say “no”. Then, you’ll begin to accept it.
- Never be afraid of criticism. People will never agree with everything you say or do. If you accept this idea, you’ll lose the fear of being accepted and feel more confident and stronger.
- Reject the request, not the person. Remember that you’re refusing a request, not a person. People who ask for your time can easily be disappointed, so be gentle and explain the real reasons for your refusal. They’ll usually understand that it’s your right to say “no”, just as it’s their right to ask for a favour.
- Don’t give too many explanations. You don’t have to justify yourself for saying “no”. Just explain the right and be polite and sincere. If you stop and think too much, the only thing you will get is generating more anxiety that will only harm you.
- Consider compromises. Do it only if you think the request is truly valuable for you, but you don’t have enough time. Suggest ways to satisfy both of you or exchange commitments, redefining responsibilities. Consider compromises only if the activity makes sense, do not do it to avoid saying “no”.
Do you want to know more?
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Tagged as changing, coaching, habits, leadership, saying no