Say no gracefullyLearn how to say ‘no’. It can actually be good for you.

Saying ‘no’ can be a challenge for a lot of people. While we may be tempted to say ‘no’ to a particular request, something inside us just can’t seem to say it out loud. We do not want to hurt or offend other people so we sometimes just accommodate their request. In the end, we only hurt ourselves. Remember, you can’t say ‘yes’ to every single request without affecting the things that matters to you most.  

So, how can you say ‘no’ without earning the ire and alienating other people from your life? Here are some valuable tips that you may want to consider:

Identify the things that mean the most to you. Before learning how to say ‘no’, try to identify the most valuable things in your life. Do you want to spend more quality time with your family or work out at the gym more often to enhance your health? Are you looking to improve your natural skills by spending more time in perfecting it? Put these things on top of your personal agenda and you’ll soon find a way to say ‘no’ to things that take you away from what matters the most to you.     

Take some time to collect your thoughts. Resist the urge to instantly commit to a request. Let the request to stand for a few hours or even a day to think through it. Will it make sense to say yes? Think about it but don’t leave the other person hanging for too long.

Try the “positive no” approach. By using the “yes-no-yes” approach, you can say no with grace and avoid hurting anyone’s feelings in the process. This approach starts by saying ‘yes’ to yourself and what matters most to you, ‘no’ to what’s being asked of you at the moment and another ‘yes’ to offer an alternate solution to the request. 

Don’t give in to the pressure. There are times when the other person will get emotional or ask you to reconsider their request. When this happens, stand firm and hold your ground. 

Have a Plan B. Have an alternate course of action ready just in case the other person starts pressuring you to accept the request.

Learning how to say ‘no’ at the right time and under the right circumstances will help you earn other people’s respect. It can also take a lot of stress out of your life. Aren’t these things a lot more valuable than trying to please other people by saying ‘yes’ all the time? Think about it.