Bo was working in his office this afternoon when he
received an email from his colleague asking him for
assistance with his project.
As soon as he read this he felt resentful immediately,
since he knew that on the one hand he wanted to
help him, but on the other this would entail extra
time and effort for him.
Thinking more about it, he did not want to accept
this obligation, because it meant he would have to
stay in the office late, and neglect part of his own
“ I have no reason to accept this other than being
helpful to a colleague, something which I can’t
afford to do at the moment “ he thought.
“ I have to say No to you this time, because I’m
extremely busy at present and I have no time
to spare for more work.
But I can recommend Jos to you, who will be pleased
to help you with your project “.
Bo decided, and replied to his colleague without any
Immediately he felt relieved and ready to continue
with his own business.
Most people dislike to say NO because they want to
help and be nice to the other person.
But saying yes all or most of the time entails a lot
of unpleasant consequences like,
* loss of valuable time,
* waste a huge amount of mental energy,
* a great amount of pressure.
All of these result in physical and mental exhaustion.
Yet people find it so very hard to say NO.
This is happening because of many reasons like,
* they want to avoid any arguments,
* they want to be polite,
* they want to fit in with the others,
* they want to maintain good relationships,
* they feel guilty if they do not help.
But if you really want to create your own life and
pursue your goals, you do need to be in full
control of all situations around you.
Learning to say NO is the greatest reward you can
give to yourself.
In order to be able to do so, you will need to become
decisive, confident and assertive — but at the same
time you must be calm and polite.
Being assertive means you must convey your message,
and at the same time to listen to the other person.
It means sharing and appreciating others.
When you manage this you will increase your
self-confidence, you will become more understanding,
you will improve your self-image and finally you
will achieve very much more.
Before you decide and turn down any demands
and requests from other people, you need to
evaluate the situation.
Here are the steps you need to take:
a) Take your time to think all requests made on
you before giving any answer.
Say you will let them know as soon as possible.
Study the demands and make certain they will
fit your own obligations and commitments.
b) Analyze your priorities, and decide whether
the new engagement is of any significance, relevance
or magnitude to you.
If you find it is of no consequence to you, just ignore it.
c) Consider the time length the new engagement
will need to be completed.
If it is long term, disregard it, because it will be adding
more stress on you.
d) Refuse immediately any demand or request,
which makes you feel guilty if you do not do it.
If you accept something under these circumstances
you will feel pressed, stressed, anxious and eventually
There is no perfect way to say NO, and there is also no
way you can ever control the other person’s feelings
The following advice is how to do this best:
a) Know your value as a person and have the right
attitude, independence and energy.
b) Stand in a power pose, look calm and assertive,
and be fast and polite.
c) Communicate your NO decision clearly and firmly,
using simple words.
Do not complicate and over-explain things.
d) Offer an alternative solution to show your good
will and to meet half way.
e) If at all possible and you really want to help,
offer a lesser commitment.
Do not forget, you are responsible only for
yourself, and not for any other person’s feelings
and actions towards you.
Nothing is perfect, including humans.
Use any criticism for your own growth.
Remember, you can not please everybody.
Never lose your self-worth.
Enjoy the long term benefits of saying NO.