Learning to say no without creating a fuss is difficult. It’s human instinct to want to please people. It helps to build or keep relationships but sometimes, you end up trying to please everybody and it takes a toll on you.
I once had to say ‘no’ to a colleague who needed me to cover for his shift at work. I had a lot to do on the said date and I knew agreeing to that would be of great inconvenience to me.
He wasn’t happy with the response but I couldn’t help it. Learning to say no, especially when you know it’s something you really need to refuse or disagree with, is good.
People tend to take advantage of availability – which is why you shouldn’t always be a “yes person”.
If done wrongly, saying ‘no’ can ruin communication between people.
Regardless, you shouldn’t say yes to situations when you clearly need to say no. Be it at work, home, or anywhere else, saying yes every time can be unhealthy.
Also, people tend to want to know the reason for your negative response. You need to understand that every reason you have for saying no, is valid- whether it’s inconvenient to say yes at that time or you just want to say no.
However, you should not be rude while communicating your refusal as well. Here are ways to say ‘no’ politely.
“The idea sounds great! It’s just that . . . “
Here, you’re simply encouraging the person and introducing a different opinion without making them feel they are less informed. If you do this, you are perceived as smart.
For instance, if you say ”This idea is bad.”, this spells trouble especially if you are speaking to your boss and you’ll be offending a friend as well if it’s a colleague involved.
“I can’t today.”
This goes without creating a fuss. You’re simply telling your friend that you can’t do what he or she is asking with a promise that you’ll do it in the future.
Whether you fulfill your promise or not, your friend will be sad but hopeful – which is better than being angry.
If you had said ”No, I can’t do that.”, you would have made an enemy as you would be perceived a rude.
“I’m sorry, but I can’t.”
This is an alternative to the last one. You’re refusing to do it but you are adding an apology to appease the person. Magic words- please, sorry, and thank you- can be very helpful most times.
They help make excuses for you without your knowledge.
“I would rather not, thank you.”
Here, you are informing the person that you have a motive for not doing what he or she has asked for even when there’s no motive at all.
That person will be made to see reasons with you and respect your decision.
Finally, this article is not meant to deter you from pleasing people. It is only a guide on better modes of communication as it helps in forming relationships.- which, to humans, is necessary.
There should be boundaries in order not to disrupt your productivity.
I have been in situations where I needed help from people and they would be ready to assist me. I understand how relieving it can be but it can also seem selfish if it’s consistent.
We should also try not to be self-centered when making people for things. There are people who reach out to others only when they are in need.
This is a very wrong form of communication as it is perceived a parasitic
See also; 10 apps for long-distance relationships