The Art of Saying No

Have you noticed that saying NO is probably one of the most difficult words to say. Surprising, considering the first word that most 2 year olds thrive on is the word – you guessed it – NO. So why then is it so hard for an adult, who is probably extremely busy and has enough things going on in their life have such a hard time to say NO?

I think it has has to do with one of two things – either you don’t want to deal with the hassle of negotiating and so it is easier to say yes or it is your personality and you really don’t know how to say No.

I know of many women who have a hard time saying no (including yours truly) but that is because it is the nature of the person, you are used to doing things for others at the expense of sacrificing your own things. You are always afraid of hurting the other person’s feelings. However you are going through major anxiety because you would rather be doing something else.

Maybe it is a woman thing – but I know many men who have the same issue. Some husbands are careful how they word their choice for fear of upsetting their wives, they need the wife to hang around and look after them (good choice!). And then there are some men who really don’t have any problems saying no when a no is required.

But there is an art to saying No. When softening the blow with an explanation seems to work in a corporate setting. The dangerous part is when you don’t say anything – because usually saying nothing usually is taken as agreement. It is always better to say something to the effect of – I still need to think about it – instead of keeping quiet.

Sometimes it is better to say No and be done with it – that way there is no question of procrastinating the decision making and you can move on – however there are some things that you really do need to think about before you say No.

However when my teenager starts a conversation with Can I ask you something – my response is usually – NO. Considering how many of those conversations start like that I am getting really good at saying NO.

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