Are you someone who is a people pleaser?
Do you frequently say “yes” to requests only to later regret it?
Do you often prioritize the needs of others over your own?
If you said “yes” to any of the aforementioned questions, learning to say “no” might be helpful.
Why do you have a difficult time saying – “no”?
Human relationships and interactions depend a lot on reciprocity, thus we tend to think that breaking social norms may threaten our relationships with others. “Social connection and a sense of belonging are one of our most basic wants. According to Dr. Vanessa Bohns, assistant professor of management sciences at the University of Waterloo in Canada, saying “no” feels like a threat to our connections and relationships. In the midst of our struggles to blend in and win over our contemporaries, we worry that if we say “no,” those very peers would reject us. The desire to avoid disagreements or confrontations contributes to the fear of saying no. People frequently worry about saying no because they don’t want to let others down or offend their sentiments.
Furthermore, We live in a ‘yes’ culture where it’s believed that the go-getter who is going to progress is the person who says yes to everything that comes their way. People have also started to internalise the notion that they need to work endlessly as a result of this. It’s not entirely accurate though. People that work nonstop, overwork themselves and refuse to turn down any work eventually lose the ability to complete their tasks because of tiredness. “I’ve actually seen people’s careers take off when they learn to say no,” says a career counselor, Dara Blaine, In the times of New York.
How do we respond to things?
“The Power of a Positive No: Save the Deal, Save the Relationship – Still Say No” by William Ury asserts that the difficulty in saying “no” frequently results from a conflict between the need to assert our own authority and the need to support or nurture a relationship. According to Ury, we frequently respond to requests by doing one of three things:
- Accommodate: When we genuinely want to say no, we say yes to be accommodating. This gives us a brief, illusory sensation of peace, which is later replaced with anxiety and resentment. Without consideration for our position of authority, we submit to the relationship, which ironically leads to relationship degeneration over time.
- Attack: We frequently take for granted people we love the most and do this to them. Aggressively asserting our power, we say “no” while paying little heed to the relationship we have with the other person.
- Avoid: Everyone suffers as a result of our failure to prioritise either the relationship or our own personal power. By leaving an issue unsettled and not giving the other person an answer, we dishonor ourselves and increase our own discomfort.
What are the benefits of saying no?
Yes! Saying No can actually be beneficial for you! Here are 5 benefits of saying “NO” By Monica Leong :
- Allow you to express yourself honestly: By refusing, you can express your emotions openly. You need to express your opinion if you don’t want to attend that concert or participate in that initiative. Inform them that you can’t due of other commitments. Don’t feel bad for saying no or that you need to give the other person a detailed explanation. It is sufficient to express gratitude for the invitation and to explain that you must decline due to other obligations.
- Empowered you: A lot of people are forced to take part in activities or projects simply because they lack the ability to refuse. We want to be people-pleasers, but politeness can only go so far before we start to feel annoyed at ourselves and the other person for forcing us to do things. Saying no demonstrates that you value your wants and feelings, which may be empowering. In the long term, saying no can increase your confidence and give you the power to take charge of your time and, ultimately, your life.
- Say yes to things you love: Some are not able to say no because they are afraid they will miss out and that’s a wrong perception. When you say no to things you aren’t passionate about, you make room to say yes to things you do enjoy or want to engage in. Therefore, keep in mind that saying no now means saying yes to something else in the near future when you find yourself tempted to say yes because you don’t want to miss out.
- More time to concentrate on your priorities: You are missing out on your own priorities if you frequently say yes to side projects or offering your assistance. By declining, you free up time to concentrate on your list of priorities. The flow of a present task will be disrupted by too many interruptions at work, and getting back to where you were will take some time. You must put your priorities first before agreeing to someone else’s in order to have a positive impact both at work and at home. This can entail declining to assist a coworker once more who frequently begins his project at the last minute and accepting the two weeks in advance scheduled hair appointment.
- Give others a chance to GROW AND FLOURISH: By refusing, you give other people a chance to step up and take on the challenge at work. By doing this, you give others a chance to grow while concentrating on your key priorities. It’s a win-win for both!
We know it might be not easy saying “no”. But you have to start somewhere. Explore online therapy or counseling to practice, rehearse and build your assertiveness skillset.
Learning to politely say a No:
Being polite involves more than just words and actions; it also involves your intentions. Rather than agreeing to something without intending to follow through, it is more polite to say no up front. It demonstrates your respect for the other person’s time and right to consider alternative solutions. Additionally, it becomes simpler to establish sound boundaries that are respected by others.
Saying no the right way will be simpler if you follow these 5 steps by Nandyz Soulshine:
STEP 1. Clarity: Clearly define your priorities, available resources, time, and energy. This will enable you to respond quickly and positively to requests while maintaining objectivity.
STEP 2. Conviction: Commit to what you can while remaining true to your convictions. Saying no to less important activities and keeping your word will be easy.
STEP 3. Technique: To say “no,” use a calm yet firm voice. Give the person your undivided attention to prevent making them feel inferior.
STEP 4. Following through: Don’t second-guess your decision out of concern that you’ll offend someone or pass up a great chance. Saying no and then changing your mind would mark all of your future decisions as being “negotiable.” It will be simpler to overcome resistance if you are certain in the reasoning behind your no.
STEP 5. Practice: It’s human nature to take the simpler route. Since initially saying no can be uncomfortable and anxious, our brain seeks to return to the momentary comfort of saying yes. If you want to make the ability to say no a natural part of who you are and something that comes naturally, keep practicing.
“Saying no to small things means saying yes to big things.”
― Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words.
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