How to say “No”

For some saying no is a major challenge. Some persons find saying “no” really difficult; to the extent that they even sacrifice their personal goals, preferences and time just to please others. Saying “no” is an inevitable part of life and it would be better that one should master the art or develop the skill of saying “no” tactfully, politely and firmly as well as creatively and honestly.

  • Be firm

Be firm when saying “no”. Do not insinuate or leave some remarks that may lead to some gray areas. This is because the other party may take this as a cue or as an opportunity to further push his demands on you. Even worse, he may pursue you in some future time.

  • Be creative

You should be creative in saying “no” especially when the person asking you the favor is somebody close to you or maybe somebody who can help you in the future. Of course you do not want to disappoint such a person; which is why one good way to say “no” is to cite your reasons clearly. Let the person know that you really wish or intend to say “yes,” but you cannot because of some circumstances or factors that are beyond your control. Then assure that person that in some future time you might be able to help him for sure. This will soften the blow of rejection and help you avoid hurting the person’s feelings. Learn the art to disagree without being disagreeable.

  • Be polite

In saying “no” to anybody whether he is a friend, an acquaintance, a relative or a superior, it always pays to be polite.

  • Make it simple

Saying no should be done without showing any reluctance or indecisiveness.  You may not know it but the person asking you could have been rejected several times that it hardly means anything to him.

A more common scenario where you have to say no is when a close acquaintance is peddling you some goods such as insurance plans, wellness products, or goods that are commonly sold via network marketing. Other instances could be somebody asking for donations or peddling raffle tickets. Persons who are persuading you to avail of such products or donate to a certain cause are already used to hearing no so you should do it casually while stating your reasons simply. There is really no need to elaborate because if you do, the other person may easily find gaps or inconsistencies in your reply to further his cause. Be short but firm because such persons are well trained in the art of sales and persuasion. Lesser folks have been easily convinced.

  • Be honest

Tell them you have valid reasons why you have to say no. it is really up to you if you want to elaborate or not. You be the judge since many times how you answer depends on who is doing the asking. “Different strokes for different folks” is the operative line. Honesty is disarming, so much so that those people telling you to do things you don’t like will soon realize that you really mean your “no” this time.

Nobody likes to be forced to do the things that they don’t like. Once you hold your ground and say no, even though certain norms require you to say yes, you are off to a good start of being free from bullies. Bullies are not actually the bad guys here, but just eager friends or people of well intent passionately forwarding their cause. Be as passionate in saying no as they are.

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