Learning to Say “No” sometimes can be very beneficial to ourselves and in this post I am going to cover the reasons why and how to do it without feeling guilty or hurting people.
Having a huge workload is sometimes unavoidable, whether it is at home, in school, or at the office. If trapped in such a dilemma, people tend to ask for help, feeling confident that they will not be rejected. Since we have the need to feel that we belong, it is very easy to say yes and agree to do favors for others. Then at the end of the day, we’ll find ourselves overloaded with the things that we need to do. This can only result in either of two things: accomplishing everything to the point of exhaustion but sacrificing our own time, or just choosing to not do the tasks we agreed to do and end up disappointing the people whom we promised to help.
So what can we do to avoid incidents like these from happening?
Simple: we must learn to say no sometimes.
It sounds like a very easy thing to do, yet this two-letter word, no matter how simple it is, has always been a very challenging word to say for most of us. From childhood, we have become used to showing courtesy and politeness to people by saying yes, especially when someone is asking us for a favour. We never say “no” casually and comfortably as we feel it sounds disrespectful. Because of its negative nature, the word “no” has always been associated with rudeness and apathy. It contradicts people’s innate good-heartedness and hospitality. Thus, there is always a degree of guilt feeling that lurks within us every time we say no to someone. Instead, we say yes to avoid rejection and to make others feel good about themselves.
At first glance, living in a world where people are very open to helping each other without fear of rejection sounds like a good idea. It prevents the unwanted feeling of guilt (if we reject someone) or shame (if we get rejected) that we get from the word “no.” But if you will look at it closely, we lose something more important if we don’t learn to say no. Every time we agree to do favour’s for others, we actually sacrifice our personal satisfaction and happiness.
Helping others is a noble deed and we really do end up feeling good when we offer assistance to a person in need. But even if we would like to extend help to everyone as much as we can, we need to understand that we also have our own tasks to accomplish, most of which are important to our personal growth.
Every task will require time, attention, and energy to accomplish, so we carefully plan our day to maximize these valuable resources and finish as much work as we can. But if we agree to do something for others, we end up exerting more energy and spending more time working on it instead of resting, relaxing, or attending to other commitments. We end up resentful while finishing somebody else’s work instead of doing something that will benefit us. And once it’s done, you will feel relieved that it’s finally over instead of feeling satisfied and proud of yourself that you accomplished it.
This is where the art of rejection comes in handy. We are not required to fulfill every request people ask us to do. We must learn to say no to some of these favours especially if these will hinder us from finishing our own important tasks. By knowing when to say “no,” we can efficiently manage our own tasks. At the end of the day, fulfilling every item on our own to-do list makes us feel better compared to having unfinished business just because we helped someone else worked on theirs.
It’s OK to say no if you don’t feel moved by an opportunity—no matter how exciting it might sound to someone else. Happiness is a choice, but it’s made up of lots of smaller choices we need to make based on what we actually want.
It’s OK to say no if you’d need to sacrifice your needs to help someone else—even if a part of you feels a little guilty about it. People are always going to have requests. Sometimes we’ll be able to help; sometimes we won’t. We’re still good people regardless.
It’s OK to say no because you don’t have time—even if you don’t know right in this moment when you’ll be more available. We’re allowed to say no without hinting toward a future yes.
It’s OK to say no without a detailed excuse—even if you feel like you should offer one. “This doesn’t feel right for me right now” is a perfectly valid reason.
Read more on tinybuddha
This is what we should do before replying Yes or No.
1. Really listen.
2. Know our priorities.
3. Be fast and firm.
4. Tell them no in a polite way.
So if you want to say no better, JUST SAY NO. Practice different polite but assertive ways of doing it that contain no explanation/workaround, such as:
“I can’t this time.”
“Sorry — not today.”
“That won’t work for me right now — but I’ll get back to you if anything changes.”
“I really appreciate you thinking of me, but I’ve just got too much on my plate right now.”
Read more on Time.com
However, this doesn’t mean that we say “no” every time someone asks us for help. Asking a favour from someone isn’t always easy, so be polite enough to listen to a person who is asking you for a favour. Aside from needing help, this is also a good indication that the other person trusts you. Analyze the work they want you to do. If you think that you can manage to work on a request without compromising your own tasks, then do it. You may also want to offer suggestions to work on the task at hand or agree to share a part of the workload instead of doing everything on your own. However, if you really cannot commit, say it politely. We all know how bad it feels to be rejected, so we must learn to say no without making the person feel disappointed or hurt. The key is to make them feel that you are not rejecting them as a person; you are just rejecting the task.
Another important step is to be firm with your rejection. You wouldn’t want to say no to someone and then take it back after a while, unless you don’t want people to take you seriously. A person who wants a favor attended is usually pushy and will have numerous attempts to convince the other party to agree. This part can be challenging, but by sticking to your answer and being firm, you will make the other person understand that your “No” really means “No.” You need not come up with any “acceptable” explanation for it, as not having enough time to do a favor for someone is reason enough to reject doing it. And if said firmly, yet sympathetically, the other party will understand. This will also give them the impression that you know your priorities and any extra work could be a distraction.
If you show people that you are focused on your game plan, you will gain their respect and they will start thinking twice every time they want to ask you a favor. In return, you will not feel inclined to please people and help them every time they ask you to.
Rejection is a very disheartening feeling, but saying “no” is the simplest way to do it. We have to learn to say no because there will always be those times when rejecting others is unavoidable and saying “no” is the most practical option. However, if we are clear with our intentions, we can comfortably do it without worrying about hurting others’ feelings or leaving an ugly impression. It may sound contradictory, but if we learn to say no, this could be the little jumpstart that we need to truly achieve happiness in our lives.
Here are some Quotes about “Learning to Say No”
I found on huffingtonpost.com
Other people find it almost unbearable to say no, no matter how busy they are, and how much they do not want to do a task. Hopefully, these quotes will illuminate why it is easy for some, virtually impossible for others, but important for all nonetheless. That saying so if not the end of the earth, but perhaps the end of being walked over, and of missing out on the opportunities that you want and should be saying yes too.
1) “Let today mark a new beginning for you. Give yourself permission to say NO without feeling guilty , mean, or selfish, Anybody who gets upset and/or expects you to say YES all of the time clearly doesn’t have your best interest at heart, Always remember: You have a right to say NO without having to explain yourself, Be at peace with your decisions.” — Stephanie Lahart
2) “You have to learn to say no without feeling guilty, setting boundaries is healthy. You need to learn to respect and take care of yourself.” — Unknown
3) “Learn the art of saying no. Don’t lie. Don’t make excuses, don’t over-explain yourself. Just simply decline.” — Unknown
4) “Don’t say MAYBE if you want to say NO.” — Unknown
5) “Saying yes to happiness means learning to say no to the things and people that stress you out.” — Thema Davis
6) “When you say YES to others, make sure you are not saying NO to yourself.” — Paulo Coelho