7 Methods for People Who Want to Say No Effectively and Not Feel Like a Jerk
When a Hungarian psychology professor asked Peter Drucker for an interview for his book, the answer was: “One of the secrets of productivity...is to have a very big waste paper basket to take care of all invitations such as yours — productivity in my experience consists of not doing anything that helps the work of other people...” And this is the way we should evaluate all requests before we agree to them.
Psychologists say that people won’t take our no as badly as we think. “Chances are the consequences of saying no are much worse in our heads than they would ever be in reality.” Today Bright Side wants to bring your life back to you and explain the obvious things we do not want to see.
Why is it so difficult to say no?
Before we talk about how to learn to say no, we must know the reasons for our “yes behavior.”
- We are taught to respect others. How many times in childhood did you hear that you shouldn’t argue with adults but do whatever they say?
- We avoid conflict. Saying no leads to a confrontation, and you will have to stand your ground and explain your position.
- We are afraid of hurting others. And it does not matter if we hurt ourselves when saying yes.
- We think that every proposal has opportunities. If we go to a café with friends, we might meet someone important. If we help our superiors, our career path might go up.
- We do not want to feel guilty. Do you feel guilty if you refuse to help someone? We often punish ourselves even though we know that the decision was perfect for us at that moment.
When is it better to say no?
We know that it is not easy to immediately change something we are used to. To help you in this difficult task, we want to show some situations where you should say no for your own sake.
5. Lending money
Friends are forever...until you lend them money. Has this happened to you? So many friends suddenly forget about you, delete your number, or forget the way to your house when you lend them money “until tomorrow morning.”
If you are not attracted by overtime pay or other benefits, feel free to refuse. Extra work can cause health problems, and you may miss other opportunities and let your productivity go down.
3. Spending time with people you are not happy with
Have you ever been in a situation where you have to give a fake smile, talk about boring things, and waste your time with someone you do not care about? Is it really so important to meet such people and give them your energy? Say no to them, and you will notice that your life gets brighter and more colorful.
2. Spending time with people who do not value your time
“I’m sorry I’m late!” “Oops, I missed the bus!” “I went to bed really late yesterday!” “I would have been here on time but had to help an old woman cross the road!” Share in the comments the excuses your friends usually give.
1. Anytime you want
There is nothing to be afraid or ashamed of in saying no if you are not interested in a request or proposal. Say yes only if it will let you develop, show you new sides of life, give new and useful experiences, or help you to relax.
How can we embed it into our life?
To succeed here, always stick to the following rules:
- Make a list of your values and priorities. If the things people ask you for have nothing in common with your list, you have the full right to refuse.
- Value your time. There are so many things we can try but not enough time to do them all. Choose the things that are the most interesting to you.
- Value your health. If you say yes to everything but do not really want to do these things, it will definitely raise your stress level. And this is a true way to shorten your life.
- Do not be afraid to lose people. Do you really need them if they do not appreciate you and your choices?
- Take time to think the situation over. What are the pros and cons? How will it impact your life? Is it worth doing? How is it aligned with your personal goals?
- Do not make excuses. You do not have to explain your answer. If you think that today it is OK to say yes and you will be able to say no next time, you are wrong.
- Be polite. But firm. Show that you respect the feelings and opinions of others, but set your personal boundaries.
Bonus: How to say no nicely
- I wish I could, but it is just not possible right now. Thank you for thinking of me.
- Thanks for thinking of me, but I don’t think so right now.
- I hate saying no to you, but I really must this time.
- It is a wonderful invitation, but I am just too stretched to accept it.
- Gosh, I really wish I could, but it’s just impossible.
- I can’t do that, but here is what I can do.
- I understand you need my help, but I’m unable to say yes to that. I’m sorry.
- I’m going to say no, but I will let you know if anything changes.
Saying no is a great favor you are able to do for yourself. This will give you an opportunity to do what you really want and not spoil your life doing useless things.
Share in the comments what situations you usually try to avoid. Is it easy for you to refuse?