06 November, 2010

Learn to say NO!

Who of you have had a question asked of them that called for an answer of a big fat "NO"? Whether it was an invitation to a family dinner you didn't want to attend, or that pesky friend always wanting to borrow money? Let me tell you, I've had my fair share and have always had a hard time saying no. If anyone asked of me anything, I would do it or give it, I feared not being liked and didn't want to disappoint them. But there comes a time, when we need to stick up for ourselves and refuse to be trampled on. Enough is enough, we need to learn to say NO!

But in order to say no, we first need to know what we want to say yes to. To do this, make a list of the things that you enjoy doing or would want to try, and include the things that matter most to you. Having in mind the activities that matter to you, helps when a situation calls for a "NO" answer, and having a list on paper will remind you of your priorities.

Saying "NO" without feeling guilty takes practice, but eventually this feeling will subside. So when someone asks you for a favour or you receive an invite, kindly tell them you will think about their request. This will buy you some time as you're more likely to cave in under pressure when put on the spot. 

And when you do decide to decline their request, avoid giving them reasons. Saying "Sorry, I can't, I have an appointment this afternoon" allows the other person to barter with you and reply saying "So when is a good time for you, tomorrow?" It's simpler and more courteous to give a vague answer such as "I'm sorry, but I can't help you". This way you won't have to give reasons, or make up excuses. And if you're like me lying is definitely not an option.

Listen politely to any of their objections, acknowledge that you heard their request and took it into consideration, then simply say "No" again. People who feel they have been listened to are more likely to accept disappointment. 

If they do become emotional or angry DO NOT CAVE IN! Some people use this as emotional blackmail, hoping you will give in.  Although, this may cause a little bit of tension, it will be short lived, and you will be a stronger person for sticking to your guns, so to speak. And hey, they'll eventually get over it! :)