Live your life for you not for anyone else. Don’t let the fear of being judged, rejected or disliked stop you from being yourself ~Sonya Parker
Friends, I want you to know that saying No doesn’t mean that you are being impolite, self-centered, egoistic or unlovely or even plain hostile. These and some more are all unhelpful dogmas/beliefs that make it hard to say no even when that’s the most profitable and positive things to say.
When we recognize and learn where these biases and beliefs have come from is a great way to learn to let go of them.
Looking at my boys, I’ve always wondered why it was so easy to say no when we were a little kid and what made it so so difficult now? What happened? What changed?
Well, i think as children, we started learning from the adults around us (passively and actively) that saying no was disrespectful or impolite or inappropriate.
For example, If you said no to your mom, dad, brother, sister, teacher, uncle, grandparents, and so on, you were most certainly considered to be being rude, and you would have probably been scolded, “disciplined” or grounded.
Saying no was totally considered off limits, and saying yes automatically gave a vibe of being respectful and also assumed to be the polite and likable thing to say.
So, now that we are all grown ups, we are now more mature and hopefully capable of making our own choices (i assume….lols), as well as knowing the difference between wrong and right (i assume….lols). Therefore, i believe No shouldn’t be a word that’s off limits, but rather, based on our personal discretion, something that we decide on ourselves.
But sadly and most times unfortunately, we still hold onto our childhood traditions and beliefs and we continue to associate no with being disrespectful, dislikeable, ill-mannered, unkind, self-centered or selfish.
We worry that if we say no, we will feel humiliated, guilty, or ashamed, and will end up being alone, rejected, or abandoned.
Lets Start Like This…
Would you like to help look after my kids while I attend a business conference, Pleeeeeeeeaaaaaaase? No.
Are you ok with me coming over to see you tomorrow morning just to hangout? No.
Can we renegotiate our terms of service without necessarily increasing the price? No.
I know that the Art of saying No can be relatively easy sometimes!
While at other times, finding the right words to use in saying No can be confusing and ultimately mess us up. And when we don’t use the right words in communicating our No, we most times say Yes when we mean to say No. This single action has led to situational and mental frustration, stress, bad feelings and negatively toxic energy.
I’ve presided over some brainstorming sessions in one of my MindRetreatTM sessions discussing a lot of strategies and methods (ways) to say No. This depends majorly on the given conditions and situations and even people involved and also what type of No we’ve decided or just wish to give.
Here are 36 ways (not necessarily exhausive) to say No. These works effectively for both personal and business related circumstances:
When No means: I can’t do it now, but I can do it later
1. The acceptance of new candidate into the program is closed till First week in October so I won’t be accepting any new students
2. I think we can schedule this for Thursday instead. What do you say?
3. This Wednesday is really bad for me
4. I don’t work on Fridays
5. I need to leave for work by 7.00AM
6. I need to leave work by 4:45PM
7. I’m engaged for July-September
When No = No
1. I can’t take on your project at this time
2. I’m not bringing new staff or customers or friends on board my business or life
3. Doing what you’re asking isn’t sitting well with me. I’m not comfortable doing it
4. Even though what you’re asking isn’t out rightly wrong, I’m just not willing to do it
5. You’re not in my immediate schedule. My appointment is top priority
6. I can’t work with that because I’m already committed to another project
7. We don’t do that at all. It’s a matter of policy and principle.
8. My goal is to balance my work and life so I can’t “squeeze” time for it
9. Because my schedule is in priorities, all things works around that. Right Now, I’m declining
10. Assuming that type of responsibility is beyond my immediate ability
11. We have to see through our initial agreement. I don’t change in the middle
12. I have an appointment Now. Rescheduling isn’t an option that I can consider
13. I have a plan to do ………………………….(fill the blank)
14. I’m not happy doing that work
15. My responsibilities comes first and for now…This Is It
16. This My decision is final
17. I won’t go and I’m not going
18. I’m not the right person for the job
19. My schedule is so busy and I’m committed to work/life balance
20. This is what I want to spend more time doing ……………………… (fill in the blank)
21. I can’t reconsider this stand. It’s all my family henceforth.
22. No sir. The kids have a school play this evening and that is my choice
When No = I Offer B instead of A, I can’t do A
1. I can offer a delegate to deputize for me as long as it’s not more than an hour like you promised, I can’t do this myself
2. I don’t have the qualification to do this job/project/work, Do you mind me recommending a more qualified and an exceptional person who should be able to assist you in solving the problem(s)?
3. I prefer working on B
4. This returns (cash, incentive, commission, and wage) is too small for this type of grind, how about B?
5. I think B is fair and a win-win
6. With the following requirements and parameters, I’m available for B. I’m not just comfortable doing A
7. See, I think I would rather do it using B strategy than the A you are suggesting
And finally, don’t forget the always-useful, straightforward + old fashioned NO. That is, Just Say No. Without preface, reasons, excuses, or narratives and most importantly WITHOUT GUILT. NO!!!