How many times have you found yourself stuck in a situation where you’ve been asked to be a part of a certain event you really wished you stayed out of and you acquiescently agreed. How many times have you wished you knew the easy ways to simply say “NO” wherever possible without having to worry about any consequences or after-effects? The incessant thought about how the other person might feel when we say NO or about missing out on money, fun or other experiences makes it all the more difficult to decline such offers. This also has a negative impact at work when our seniors would unexpectedly want something done at the earliest and because we cannot say NO it makes us leave all that we are currently focussed on and start something different.
Nevertheless, you need to draw lines where they need to be drawn. Situations do arise wherein it becomes imperative to decline. Here are 8 ways we can do that fruitfully.
- To understand the fact that you cannot keep everyone around you equally happy is a starting step. More often than not, when we are to make decisions it so happens that the decision is favorable to one party and unfavorable to another. It is impossible to please everyone. Constantly saying “YES” can be taxing and may give others the opportunity to take undue advantage which is why drawing the line and knowing when to say NO becomes important.
- Reflect and prepare yourself before you say NO. Take time to assess the situation, weigh all your options, check if you have the time, see if it is worth the effort, calculate the risks of saying NO and firmly yet gently put it across.
- Know what you’re accepting or rejecting. Many a time when we’ve said NO to something it automatically becomes a YES for another something. Analyzing all the things you could do by saying NO would at times make you feel less guilty when you do so.
- Don’t have to shell out too much of information once you decide to say NO because chances are you might get convinced to change opinion. The NO might change into an insincere YES thereby affecting many other tasks.
- Recognize manipulative tactics of certain people and that makes it easier to frame reasons next time when you have to say NO.
- A firm and direct NO is much better than an indirect NO thereby leaving no room for misinterpretation or chances of being convinced otherwise.
- Offering options would be a great method to lead the party to believe that you have thought about the situation and would understand that there could be genuine reasons for you declining the offer.
- A simple apology will help but over apologizing comes across as not firm and the other party can use the apology to get a YES out of you.
The best way to say NO is with a gentle smile and a harmless follow up so the other party knows it wasn’t a thoughtless NO. An ideal win-win situation.