How to say No when we want and have to say No

Because of anxiety and eagerness to please ‘all’ and ‘always’ , we often undertake or commit things we cannot do or really do not have time for doing.

It will be very much beneficial to learn to say “No” when we feel overwhelmed or over burdened. We must not say “Yes” when we want and have to say “No”.

There is one simple word we can use to increase our effectiveness and make us more productive, which is just “No” , instead of always saying “Yes”.

Saying ‘No’ may be difficult, particularly if we have been always saying ‘Yes’ in the past and people are used to our instantly accepting to do everything.

We feel that we ‘should’ or ‘ought’ to say ‘Yes’. We do not want to let people down.

We want to be helpful always and to all. We feel guilty if we do not say ‘Yes’.

We must be clear and direct, when we have to commit anything to anybody. It is our time and it is our choice as to how we spend it.

We should not be misled by other people’s expectations, whether it is family, friends, or even our boss in the office or work colleagues.

It is important to set boundaries so that other people know where they stand. We must be realistic about what we will able to achieve. 

We cannot say ’yes’ to everything and suffer under the burden of responsibility, time constraints and excess volume of work.

When we are in a situation where we are about to say ‘Yes’, we must ask ourselves, “What are we saying ‘Yes’ to, and what are we saying ‘No’ to?” By saying ‘Yes’ to do something we are saying ‘No’ to finish some other work on time.

By saying ‘Yes’ to take up an additional work we are saying ‘No’ to have time for ourselves to do the routine work.

And We are saying ‘No’ to spend more time with our own parents, family members, children, partners or friends as the case may be.

We have to analyze to find what stops us from saying ‘No’? and what do we get by saying ‘Yes’? There must be some benefit for us to say ‘Yes’, such as recognition, respect, affirmation, and we must find out the cost of the same.

We may try to find out whether someone else can do it, and talk to the person making the request and negotiate to suit our time -frame , particularly if this happens in a work environment.

It may be uncomfortable to say ‘No’ in the beginning. Instead of saying’ No’ we may say that we will think about it.

This will give us a chance to decide if it is something we want to take on.

As it is our time, it is our choice too as to how we spend it.

We must not say ‘Yes’ until we have a chance to think about what we are saying ‘Yes’ to, and what it means to us.

We may think about some different ways that we may be able to say it as the following: 

  • ‘No, I am too busy to do that right now” ,
  • “No, I do not have my diary with me. Can I get back to you later?”,
  •  “No, I am not interested, thank you!”, 
  • “No, I cannot do that but perhaps somebody else may be able to help you with that”.

We should not make unnecessary excuses. We must be open, upfront and honest with people.

They will not think any less of ourselves for saying ‘No’ and we will not let people down by saying ‘Yes’ too quickly and then have to say ‘No’ later on.

If it is and is an important issue for us we may practice it with a friend or colleague so that we can become comfortable to say ‘No’.

If and when we get used to saying “NO” it will become easier to control our time and our life.

“Do not Say Yes when you want and have to say No” to manage your time and energy effectively.

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