We are constantly
bombarded daily with requests for our time. While helping others
can be very rewarding, at the same time we can feel distraught
about constantly obligating ourselves to others while not fulfilling
our own needs. We can feel distressed about constant commitments
to do things we simply don't have the time, energy or desire
we may immediately feel the urge to say no, but instead lose
our courage, and concede yet again. The
question is why?
It may be because....
You fear you won't be liked or feel a strong need to please
You have to always keep the calendar full so you feel needed
You undervalue the need for down time and forget simply not
wanting to do anything is a legitimate reason to say no;
You would rather not deal with the consequences of saying no
and all the conflicting feelings that come with it.
Whether at work, with family, or friends, you can say no with diplomacy,
tact, and respect...
Practicing time managament skills, setting boundaries
and saying no is taking personal responsibility for your well-being.
This requires you to clearly speak up, and specifically ask for
what you want. Your decision to say no to requests from family,
friends, and co-workers doesn't have to be filled with feelings
of uneasiness and guilt. It fact, it's important you remember
the decision to say no is strictly a personal choice yours!
at work, with family, or friends, you can say no with diplomacy,
tact, and respect. Here some ways you can embrace your personal
power and assert your right to say no.
you have all the facts Before
making a commitment, be sure you have a complete understanding
of exactly what's being asked of you. You may feel confused
because you just don't have enough information to make
a decision. You have the right to ask as many questions as necessary.
yourself Is this a unreasonable request? When
someone makes a request, he or she is usually tuned into WIIFM
(What's In It For Me). People are not necessarily concerned
with whether or not a request is in your best interest. If you
feel hesitant, trapped or otherwise uncomfortable go
with your gut and say no. These uneasy feelings probably indicate
saying yes isn't best.
Your Time There
is no law that says you have to immediately obligate yourself
to someone when asked. Take your time before you make a final
decision. Simply say I need time to think about this.
I'll get back to you.
Set goals Setting
your goals will make it easier to say no. Establishing priorities
makes it easy to decide how much time you can devote to others
without sacrificing your own needs. You will be more comfortable
declining requests that conflict with your priorities.
up - without excuses or apologies When
you have all the facts and decide say no, say no calmly and
firmly. An assertive tone of voice, body language, and eye contact
lets others know you are serious and definite in your decision.
be meek. Say no directly without excuses. Excuses make you appear
as if you aren't in control of your decisions. If you say
I'm sorry but this only weakens your
stand. If you have decided saying yes is not in your best interest,
no apology is necessary.
if they won't take no for an answer? If
someone won't take no for an answer, repeat your position.
Maintain your stand and don't allow yourself to be manipulated
or strong armed. No means no and you have the right to stand
by your choice.
good about your decision to say no Feel
calm, confident, and comfortable with your decision to say no.
Be secure knowing it's enough to say no simply because
you just don't want to.
learn how to say no is a win-win situation for everyone.
is a professional speaker published in the areas of communication,
time management, and teamwork. She works with business and government
organizations who want to reach the next level of success and
individuals who want to perform at their best. The Sykes Group Web site at