Master The Art of Saying NO

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No, the simple and easy word, is perhaps one of the most difficult words to refer to in our daily lives. Children often use it freely but we as adults refrain from using it even when it is necessary. Let’s understand the rationale behind the resistance. 

In our formative years, we learned to please people around us! An easy way to please them is to say “yes” or “agree” with people’s requests, expectations, and demands. Yes, works as a perfect glue for our relationships, completing the work, and workplace harmony. To regain our internal balance, we need to learn and practice the art of saying “No”. It takes an effort to learn, but once we start using it appropriately at the workplace, it works wonders. 

As we grow up, we understand our perspectives and priorities, and slowly “Yes” word builds some imbalance within us. We feel this imbalance when we want to say “No” but end up saying “Yes”. We may not be able to say “No”, because of social acceptance norms, fear of losing relationships we value, we may be perceived as self-centered, sometimes rude. As a result, subconsciously we start living with the imbalance within us. 

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Follow the below tips to learn the art of saying “No”:

  1. Understand the consequences of saying “Yes” when you want to say “No” – The “yes trap” comes with feelings that make you feel stressed, anxious and exhausted. It keeps you busy with commitments that may or may not be your priorities. Eventually, you start living on other’s priorities. timelines and agenda. This is what leads to internal imbalance, as we find it hard to connect. On the other side, by saying No when required, you have a better understanding and control over your time and energy. You built relationships around your likes and preferences and set your boundaries. Saying no can be sensitive in work environments, but say it when necessary and sure that your boss, co-workers, and subordinates understand your rationale and priorities as well.


2. Time and energy are precious resources – We all must spend our time and energy wisely, to achieve our milestones. It is not advisable to keep ourselves busy in non-core activity which does not uplift us physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. By choosing to say “No”, clearly and firmly keeps you away from distractions and helps you to maintain your focus around things that matter to you!

3. Respect and acknowledge “No” from other people as well – Respect and acceptance are a virtue. When we look forward to our space and freedom, we must appreciate the same from other people as well. When they say turn down our request we should not become judgemental and cynical. Harmony in relationships will be built when mutual space and freedom exist!

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4. Maintain sensitivity and respect while saying “No” – It is the communication thumb rule – It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it matters. When you say “No”, we need to do it politely, with respect, in the appropriate tone and body language. Adequate sensitivity is required so that we do not sound rude and offensive. Also keep room for resistance, anger, and aggression from the other side. With time everything falls in place. If required touch base on the relationship a few days later, so that the other person appreciates your decision.

 The Bottom Line

It may seem a difficult task in the beginning, but once you genuinely choose your priorities, people respect your decision. Life becomes much more simple and easy to manage. And the best part of it is that you do not lose out on any relationships, as people who matter to you will accept you the way you are! Start your journey and feel the difference!

Best luck with your journey and happy reading. 

Also read: HR Training and Development

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