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LEARNING TO SAY ‘NO’ WHEN YOU NEED TO
“Live your life for you, not anyone else. Don’t let the fear of being judged, rejected or disliked stop you from being yourself.” – Sonya Parker
In life, we as human beings are so accustomed to saying ‘yes’ just to protect the feelings of those around us, without knowing how to approach the situation differently, especially when the need to say ‘no’ arises. It can be a challenge to reject one’s requests by saying ‘no’, as we often delve too much into the consequences or repercussions thereafter, which can be emotionally draining. However, remember that it’s always your decision to make, and learning to say ‘no’ is also a form of self-care in terms of safeguarding your mental wellbeing, instead of seeking to please others all the time.
It can be a challenging process to learn how to say ‘no’ when certain situations call for it, but as individuals, we can take baby steps to slowly but surely do so. Saying ‘no’ doesn’t necessarily mean being rude, or offending the other party.
Below are some effective, yet tactful ways to say ‘no’.
- Be Sincere
Honesty and sincerity go a long way, and most individuals are generally respectful of your own personal time and space when you are genuine in your rejection. Those who care enough about your wellbeing will be understanding and not take offence to the situation.
- Give an alternative solution
Thorough and open communication is encouraged amongst both parties in order to bring a sense of positivity to the table to ensure a win-win situation for all. For instance, if you are unable to help out at a friend’s party due to conflicting plans, and if you know of someone that is able to help out, then share the contacts accordingly. However, note that this should be done willingly and not be forced upon yourself to do so.
- Keep it direct and concise
Don’t beat around the bush when it comes to the subject of saying ‘no’. Be straight to the point without providing too much detail. This is to avoid misconceptions from others that you are simply finding excuses instead of truly being realistic. For instance, a simple but effective opener is, “Sorry, I really can’t be there,” followed by your reason.
Try these suggested tips the next time you’re caught in such situations and assess how you feel thereafter!