IT'S OK TO SAY NO

Success Factors

Self Management

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Balance what you want with what you give

How hard is it to say no? 

Well, many people say it is really hard to say no to your boss if they ask you to stay late or work an extra shift even if you don't really want to. When you feel under pressure to say yes, the easiest option is to say ok even if you really don't want to! It's hard to say no to your family when they ask you to do something for them even if you don't really have time to do it. It's hard to say no to a friend who asks for a favour even when you know they take advantage of your good nature and generosity.

Saying NO is actually harder than we imagine it might be at first - we all want to be liked and we all want to be seen as helpful so saying no is not always easy to do! Saying no feels bad because we don't want people to be angry at us or be disappointed in us. Not saying no when saying no is actually what we want to say leads to us putting our own wishes and needs aside so we say yes but then feel disgruntled about doing something out of obligation!

So if you want to say NO try this: Say "I'd normally want to help out but I'm afraid I have other plans." If they say what plans? Just say it's something personal, I'm sure you understand. Most people will not pry further, however, if you have a very prying person who asks ‘what exactly are you up to' simply say ‘ I'd rather not discuss it' I'm sure you can respect that.

Another option is to say something like, normally I'd be happy to do as you ask, however it just doesn't work for me this time, sorry but please ask next time and I might be able to do something then.

Provided you respond in a calm and friendly way your relationship should be able to withstand you saying no to the things you want to say no to.

Say yes when it's right for you, try and avoid saying maybe [unless you need to check to see if you actually can say YES or NO] as maybe means the actual answer needs to be investigated quickly so the answer can be given quickly. Using maybe to avoid going a NO can create tension where there doesn't need to be any.

Once you stand your ground once or twice in a friendly and supportive way you will find people will not expect you to say yes every time, you will also find when you do say yes people will appreciate it more.

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