Learning To Say No

Why is it so difficult to say no to a sales person, let alone your best friend? In this article we'll explore the ins and outs of saying no, when people suggest something that doesn't interest you or ask for help.

We all know that a car salesman wants to sell as many cars as possible. The last thing he wants to hear is no. Let's recognize that it's quite disappointing for any sales person to hear the word no, all day long. However, he or she has to take full responsibility for his or her emotional reactions. In other words, under normal circumstances there is no reason for you to feel guilty about saying no.

What about a friend who wants to go to the movies when you have planned to meditate. What do you do then? Would you please your friend or stand up for yourself?

When To Say No

Always remember that you have the right to say no. If you don't want to have sex, say no. If you don't feel like exercising, say no. That will make you feel better about yourself than pleasing your partner or work colleague.

So, is it selfish to say no? Yes and no. That entirely depends on the situation. If, for example, a blind person asks for some assistance to cross a busy street and you simply ignore the request, that would be both selfish and ugly

On the other hand, if it doesn't feel good or right to say yes when someone asks you for a favor, I would strongly encourage you to stand up for yourself and say no.

You will never be able to truly love and care for others, unless you first see to your own needs. You should eat healthy food, avoid overworking, sleep enough and engage in activities that you enjoy.

Disadvantages Of Saying Yes

Do you know what it feels like when someone has taken advantage of you? Personally, it makes me feel emotionally low and I also get angry with myself for having allowed someone to hurt my feelings.

Let's say an acquaintance that you hardly ever spend time with, calls to ask if you could help paint his house or transport some furniture in your car.

What are his intentions, anyway? In plain English he wants to take advantage of you and his intentions are steeped in selfishness.

Other disadvantages include having less free time, being taken for granted, when you're busy doing things for others you get tired and you will most probably end up helping people even when it feels wrong.

One could say that it's unfair when one party always gives and the other only takes, but ultimately it's your responsibility to make sure that no one takes advantage of you. If you don't know how to say no, this is your chance to develop the necessary skills.

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How To Say No

I recommend that you start out with small things. Once you feel comfortable with that, you can try the more significant nos that obviously evoke stronger emotional reactions. With practice it gets easier to utter the word. Take your time, there is no rush.

Always say no in a nice way though. It's skillful to make the extra effort to be kind even when saying no. That makes it a lot easier for the other person to accept your negative response. At the same time, it's beautiful to be honest with yourself and others, as opposed to making up excuses for not wanting to do something.

If you always say no to invitations, the stream of invites will soon dry up. Likewise, by never helping your family and friends, you may be labeled lazy or selfish.

Whatever you do, don't systematically cultivate selfishness. That has never made anyone happy or satisfied. Besides, who wants to spend time with selfish people?

Finding The Right Balance

It's nice to be helpful and kind. Too me, it makes life beautiful. At the same time, it's important not to put yourself in a position where people can take advantage of you.

I would phrase it this way. Be helpful and kind on your terms. Sometimes, you may find it appropriate to be more flexible and other times a bit stricter. In the US, they say play it by ear.

If you and your friends both give and take, you have already found a sound balance.

As long as it feels right, it's ok to go completely out of your way to help someone. At the same time, whenever it feels wrong, say no. Keep in mind that a friendly no is much nicer than displaying irritation or anger.

There are no rules, so experiment and see what works for you...

Best of luck!

Related:   Building Self-Confidence   Feelings Of Guilt   Your Intentions

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