The Art of Saying No
I feel NO as one of the most powerful words yet the most detested word.
We don’t use it often and infact whenever we do, most of us become quite uncomfortable. We always say yes (the easy answer) to most opportunities. And everyone usually appreciates this honed accepting skill. This appreciation weakens us to say no. We say yes to sweets when our family pushes us for it during a festive season, we say yes to friends for a night over when we might not be in the mood to party, we say yes to colleagues for any help in a tight schedule when we may already have our own deadline, endless times!
The stress of saying no often makes us say yes automatically. When we say yes reluctantly, we complain or blame ourselves, “why couldn’t I just say no?” One of the reasons we find it difficult to say no is because we want to conform to other people’s expectations. Sometimes we have to make decisions that will influence our life’s outcome.
Kenny Nguyen is a public speaker, author and a cofounder spoke about the art of saying no in his ted talk. Good to hear the entire speech (but good to pay attention from 6:30 minutes till the end) where he speaks of how to confront this powerful word but also talks about knowing when and where to use it, how to open the doors of opportunity with a no contrary to saying a yes!
While there are different books, blogs, posts, forums etc. where it definitely teaches you on how to say a no and not offend a person in front of you, I personally feel being straight forward and just say No is enough. If people have questions, they usually ask/ request further and based on your relationship you can choose to explain/ reason out the core.
However, being blunt and saying a No is usually understandable by everyone. It’s different than being mean. It’s just another answer. Most importantly- it’s in our head and it’s not difficult at all. It carves out the Real Us and makes us more confident.
Next time don’t hesitate to say a No when you don’t want to do something!