In reality, saying NO isn’t that hard, you just need to learn a couple of simple, yet extremely effective techniques on how to say NO in an assertive way. A lot of people usually find it very hard to say NO to others, and most times their concerns are not grounded ‘cause apparently, somewhere along the way we have become conditioned to do what others want in order not to upset them. Remember that every time you say YES to something you don’t enjoy doing, you actually say NO to something you love, so that’s why, when you are asked to do something for someone, no matter how small, first try to think about your priorities and about what’s really important to you too. In this little article, I will give you a few hints on how to say NO in an assertive way, so that you won’t fear that the consequences of saying NO will upset the people who ask you to do them different favors.
1. Realize That It’s Okay to Say NO
The most important thing you should realize when you want to learn how to say NO in an assertive way is that it’s okay to say NO from time to time to certain people and to certain requests. Remember that you always have the right to say NO! Don’t be afraid that people may get upset if you decline their request; the open-minded ones and the ones who matter to you will understand your reasons for saying NO and will respect your choice.
2. Don’t Apologize!
Because of all that guilt that comes with saying NO, people often tend to apologize (or even over-apologize) for saying it, even if that’s not necessary. By saying sorry, you might seem less firm and you have no reasons to do that. Being able to say NO to other people’s requests is the perfect combination of the right attitude, the right actions, and the right words. So, avoid apologizing and be a little bit selfish! It’s your right to do whatever you desire.
3. Keep It Simple
Sometimes, the best way to say NO is to just keep it simple. There’s no need to over-explain your actions and your reasons for declining their requests. Try to be calm, sincere and polite, and you will surely keep the entire situation under control. Most people (and I’m sure you too) prefer to receive an honest NO than a big fat lie. So, keep it simple and don’t be afraid to say NO. It really is that simple!
4. Provide Alternatives
If you feel to need to (‘cause maybe you feel bad about saying NO) and if you do know any other alternatives to someone’s request, then you should propose them to him. You can do it as an act of good will, but also, the other person will appreciate the effort you take to help him and this will ease the negative impact of a refusal. I must remind you that this is not necessary, but I like to do it ‘cause, this way, I help the other person find a solution to his problem and I believe that it’s a nice thing to do that will require very little effort on your behalf.
5. Try Writing Everything down
If you have difficulties in declining a specific request from someone who is really important to you, you could try first writing it down. This way, if you feel a bit concerned about the way you or the other person would react, you will be able to rehearse the manner in which you say NO and you’ll also decrease your anxiety and the stress associated with the refusal. You will see that with a little bit of practice, you’ll control your emotions better and you will respect yourself more.
6. Be Respectful!
A lot of people usually avoid saying NO because they think it’s disrespectful, but that’s completely false. You can refuse something or someone in a very respectful and polite manner. It’s not that hard! Just acknowledge the other person’s feelings and use appropriate language. You won’t offend anyone by respecting your rights and by thinking first about what’s really important to you.
7. Practice Saying NO
It may seem hard at the beginning to just say NO to people that you’ve always said YES to before, but you will see that with the proper amount of practice, you will master this technique in no time. If people are still persistent and they keep insisting on convincing you to help them, just be firm and keep saying NO, no matter how hard it may seem at that time. You’ll get used to it and you’ll learn how to value your time and yourself.
It isn’t that hard to say NO, you just have to get used to it. The bottom line is that if you learn to respect yourself, others will do that too. So, do you find it hard to say NO? Do you do it as often as you’d like to? What other tips on how to say NO in an assertive way do you know? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section!