NO! Just Say it! That’s it NO! It really is a complete sentence!
Why is it that, with all that we know and all that we talk about, so many still have trouble saying no to others? What are we afraid of? Will a good friend like us less if we say no now and then? Will a boss for whom we do a good (maybe even great) job on a daily basis loose faith in us if we take care of ourselves (or our families) every so often? It seems to be much deeper than that. Most of us have the logic to see the above as unrealistic. Yet, we say yes when we don’t want to. We put our own needs after other’s. We try to do more than we can do well and still stay sane. The only person we seem to say no to is, ourselves. I have to admit, even though I coach others and I write about it, I still find myself saying yes when I mean no. I just like to think I do it a lot less than I used to.
I’m not saying that there aren’t times when we put a friend ahead of ourselves, if they’re in need. I’m not saying we never do a favor or don’t put in that extra time on the job, when needed. I’m not suggesting we all become a bunch of selfish individuals. I’m just saying we need to know when to say when!
Even when we do say no, we get uncomfortable. We think we need to give elaborate explanations. Why? This is especially interesting when we are saying no to someone who imposes themselves on our lives. Tonight I received still another call soliciting donations. In the past, I have given to them when I wasn’t sure I wanted to. Recently, I decided to limit my donations to a small number of organizations that mean something to me. The person on the other side of the phone had difficulty taking no for an answer. “Are you aware of how much each donation means.”, etc. I finally said exactly what this article’s title says:” NO IS A COMPLETE SENTENCE! I don’t owe you an explanation!” For once, I didn’t feel guilty. I felt good about sticking to a decision I had made with some serious thought.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to say no to my daughter and I’m fairly sure I’ll rarely say no to my grand daughters. But, now, I know I can say no when I want or need to. Or I can say yes! It’s my choice!
If you still need some help saying NO (it does take practice) or, if you choose to give an explanation - I share the following:
20 Ways To Say No
By Ramona Creel
I AM IN THE MIDDLE OF SEVERAL PROJECTS
let people know when you have accepted other responsibilities
no need to make excuses if you don’t have any free time
no one will fault you for having already filled your plate
I AM NOT COMFORTABLE WITH THAT
you might be uncomfortable with any of a number of issues
the people involved, the type of work, the morale implications, etc.
this is a very respectful way to avoid a sticky situation
I AM NOT TAKING ON ANY NEW RESPONSIBILITIES
you aren’t saying that you will never help out again
just that you feel your schedule is as full as you would like now
understanding your limits is a talent to be expected
I AM NOT THE MOST QUALIFIED PERSON FOR THE JOB
if you don’t feel that you have adequate skills, that’s okay
it’s better to admit your limitations up front
the best way to avoid feeling overwhelmed down the road
I DO NOT ENJOY THAT KIND OF WORK
life isn’t about drudgery — if you don’t enjoy it, why do it?
don’t be afraid to let someone know you just don’t want to
someone else is bound to enjoy the work you don’t
I DO NOT HAVE ANY MORE ROOM IN MY CALENDAR
be honest if your schedule is filled
“filled” doesn’t have to mean really filled
know when you are scheduled as much as you are willing and stop
I HATE TO SPLIT MY ATTENTION AMONG PROJECTS
let people know that you want to do a good job for them
but you can’t when your focus is too divided or splintered
you will be more effective if you focus on one project at a time
I HAVE ANOTHER COMMITMENT
it doesn’t matter what the commitment is
it can even simply be time to yourself or with friends or family
you don’t have to justify — you simply aren’t available
I HAVE NO EXPERIENCE WITH THAT
volunteering shouldn’t mean learning an entirely new set of skills
suggest that they find someone who has experience in that area
offer to help out with something that you already know how to do
I KNOW YOU WILL DO A WONDERFUL JOB YOURSELF
people often ask for help because they doubt their own abilities
let them know that you have confidence they will succeed
you are actually doing them a favor in the long run
I NEED TO FOCUS MORE ON MY PERSONAL LIFE
don’t be ashamed of wanting to spend time with your family
having a strong family is an important priority in and of itself
be willing to put your personal needs first
I NEED TO FOCUS ON MY CAREER RIGHT NOW
often, you have to focus your energies on a work-related task
you may have to give up some civic or community duties
if you don’t do it, someone else will take on the task
I NEED TO LEAVE SOME FREE TIME FOR MYSELF
it’s okay to be selfish — in a good way!
treat your personal time like any other appointment
block off time in your calendar and guard it with your life
I WOULD RATHER DECLINE THAN DO A MEDIOCRE JOB
know when you aren’t going to be able to deliver a quality product
the reason doesn’t matter — not enough time, wrong skills, etc.
whatever the reason is enough for turning a request down
I WOULD RATHER HELP OUT WITH ANOTHER TASK
saying no doesn’t mean that you can’t help at all
if someone asks you to do something you really despise, refuse
then offer to help with something you find more enjoyable
LET ME HOOK YOU UP WITH SOMEONE WHO CAN DO IT
if you aren’t available to help out, offer another qualified resource
helping to connect people is a valuable service to offer
make sure the person you refer will represent you well
NOT RIGHT NOW, BUT I CAN DO IT LATER
if you really want to help but don’t have time, say so
offer to help at a later time or date
if they can’t wait for you, they’ll find someone else
SOME THINGS HAVE COME UP THAT NEED MY ATTENTION
unexpected things happen that throw your schedule off
accept that you may need to make a few adjustments
it is temporary and you will have more time when life stabilizes
THIS REALLY IS NOT MY STRONG SUIT
it’s okay to admit your limitations
knowing what you can handle and what you can’t is a skill
your time will be more efficiently spent on something you do well
sometimes it’s okay to just say no!
just say it in a way that expresses respect and courtesy
leave the door open for good relations
”Ramona Creel is a modern Renaissance woman and guru of simplicity — traveling the country as a full-time RVer, sharing her story of radically downsizing, and inspiring others to regain control of their own lives. As a Professional Organizer and Accountability Coach, Ramona will help you create the time and space to focus on your true priorities — clearing away the clutter other obstacles and standing in the way of that life you’ve always wanted to be living. As a Professional Photographer, Ramona captures powerful images of places and people as she travels. And as a travel writer, social commentator, and blogger, she shares her experiences and insights about the world as we know it. You can see all these sides of Ramona — read her articles, browse through her photographs, and even hire her to help get your life in order — at www.RamonaCreel.com. And be sure to follow her on Twitter and on Facebook
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