“No.” Such a simple word that has so much baggage. In an age of equivalence, “keeping our options open” and old fashioned indifference, saying no can be a very difficult decision. Whether it’s to an unreasonable request from a coworker, taking a stand for something that’s important to you or denying the impulse to buying a new pair of shoes, deciding not to do something can be more challenging than agreeing to an action.
Let’s be clear: saying “no” is a choice – a decision – that often leaves us feeling like a total jerk or completely unsure of what comes next. The difficulty of saying no is that we often frame it as a close-ended option. What if, instead of seeing “no” as a final decision, we begin to view it as a choice to go in a different direction?
“No, I can’t lend you $500 dollars but I would be willing to help you figure out how to be more financially secure.”
“No, I’m not really up for a visit this weekend but what if we set aside some time to Skype?”
“No, I’m not ready to commitment to a relationship but I like what we have right now and really enjoy our time together.”
“No, I’m not buying those fabulous shoes. Although I love them they aren’t going to fix my frustrations at work.”
Saying “no” doesn’t mean the end, a rejection or failure. It means setting boundaries, limits and offering alternatives. Saying “no” to others can help strengthen your values and being respected. Saying “no” to yourself can be an opportunity to assess what is truly important to you. It’s time to stop seeing “no” as a closed option but rather an opportunity to try a different approach.
And if you want some additional thought about how to say “no”, check out this post from lifehacker.
My thoughts and reactions to the world in which we live...completely biased and unfiltered.