A friend once complained that his lady friend was always in the habit of saying ‘No’ and declining his request in a very humiliating and derogatory way, which in the long run puts him off and makes him start thinking if he should continue the relationship at all. Saying ‘No’ the wrong way and time can destroy what we treasured and valued most by alienating and angering people and that is why saying ‘No’ the right way without hurting people’s feelings is crucial.
The word No is perhaps the most important and certainly the most powerful word in the language. Every day we find ourselves in situations where we need to say ‘No’. But as we all know, the wrong No can be very expensive and disastrous as most times we find that we just say it without giving consideration to people’s feelings. For example, this friend of mine explained that he asked if she will be oppurtuned to go out for lunch with him and instead of her to decline or even give a simple excuse, all she carelessly uttered out via SMS was “well if it exceeds 3pm, forget it because I have got other things to do”. Now, this demoralising as it will not speak well about whoever utters such negative responses.
A positive No has the power to profoundly transform our lives, needs, values and priorities. Saying ‘No’ can be positive experience with a little foresight, if we really have to say ‘No’ or turn down an offer, we should embed it with respect and if take the effort to say why you cannot meet the proposed offer or better still suggest an alternative for the proposal. Outrightly turning down the offer will only be cynical.
Every relationship, whether personal or any other type, will present us with requests for our time and energy. And there is that tendency for us to turn down these requests, but it can be done in a mature and politely way so as not to cause any friction or misunderstanding. Saying ‘No’ politely help to build and make the relationship stronger rather than straining it. Turning down a request or proposal can take nerves but when it is necessary you can do it politely without rubbing it in the person’s face. When you know that you cannot meet up with such request get yourself and acts together by kindly and firmly turning it down.
Since there are not enough hours in a day to meet up with up and appease everyone that wants you attention or assistance, learning the art of saying no without hurting or people others down is one that we have to learn. Though it will not be out of place to state that some people find it difficult to say no and go out of their way to satisfy and meet up the demands of others. Saying no respectfully and humbly will go a long way to show that you would have loved to but due to time constraints or other commitments you cannot make it. Saying no does not mean you have to rude about it, there are various polite and assertive ways that you can tell people No when you need to.
In this life people are always going to ask you to do things that are way out of your control and rejecting is the only way you could be doing yourself and the other a lot of favour by being polite about it and in the process be free of any guilt. Saying no without taking into consideration the other person’s feelings will only make you appear inconsiderate and even give an impression that you are being dishonest about the whole thing.
According to a book by William Ury “The power of a positive No” he says no is the most difficult word in the language and the most difficult to say and still maintain a healthy relationship but says if used appropriately could be the most effective in building relationships and showing how humble you are, so next time you want to turn down a request maybe you should think about what you have at stake and rephrase the way you want your no to sound as he says “we can say no, mean it and make it stick without feeling guilty about it or starting an argument”. Understand that you need to be civil in all you do.